Friday, September 30, 2016


I have mixed emotions when it comes to Alan Cockrell. I try to be objective about everything this season but I change my mind constantly. The Yankees are in a very different place now then they were in May and he may deserve some of that credit. Even if so, there is something that still doesn't sit right with me. It's like I am making weekly "pro" and "con" lists as to whether or not he should stay.

It's no secret, I am not sold on this guy as our hitting coach. Back in May I wrote THE BLAME GAME because I felt like he was getting off too easy. Sure, hitters have to hit but our team was under performing similar to his track record back with the Mariners. I didn't like that Hal Steinbrenner wasn't holding him accountable too. I also didn't like how sometimes when he spoke to the media it sounded like complete word vomit. His lack of ability to express a clear thought was just more evidence to me that the guy can't coach players how to hit!

So here we are at the end of the season. The Yankees have done better when it comes to their hitting but I would hardly call them consistent. Last week the Yankees were shut out in three consecutive games and going back further six times in the past month. This is hardly a great way to stay in the playoff hunt.

I sit here and see the positives and the negatives with Cockrell this season but as I dig deeper I realize it took a lot of digging to get to the silver lining here. Chase Headley did get better after a disastrous start. He was batting .140 at the end of April and didn't have an extra base hit until May 12th. Now his .252 BA, 14 home runs and 50 RBI's are hardly worth bragging about but it is an improvement.

I would like to give him credit for the improvement in Didi Gregorius. At the beginning of the season he was batting ninth and lately we have seen him hitting clean up. It's nice to see, but that also comes in the wake of a removed Alex Rodriguez, part time Mark Teixeira and traded Carlos Beltran. Was his success being masked by the "bigger" bats, or has he simply evolved? This I am just not sure of yet.

And what about the baby bombers? Maybe Cockrell has a hard time reaching the veteran players who are so set in their ways but the young kids like Tyler Austin and Gary Sanchez do respond well to his teachings. It's possible. Maybe Cockrell helped Sanchez break out and become the hitter he is now....the young kid who has performed so well that he could be the Rookie of the Year.

As we approach the off season, I have to wonder if Cockrell should continue to be the Yankees hitting coach. The inconsistency and the lack of accountability just do not sit well with me. We need a coach that is going to help mold these young players in our youth movement into good hitters. There are bright spots this season, but I just don't know how much of that credit can go to him. The Yankees have gone through three hitting coaches in the last three seasons, but should the Yankees look for number four and hope that one is the charm? I don't know. I am conflicted. It's too hard being on the fence!

Are you a Cockrell believer....or are you hot and cold like I am?

 --Jeana Bellezza, BYB Senior Writer & Editor
  Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ

Thursday, September 29, 2016


Quick note about a former Yankee kid.  Jesus Montero. Um... he's in trouble.

Jeff Todd of MLB Trade Rumors writes:

"Blue Jays Triple-A first baseman Jesus Montero has been slapped with a fifty game suspension after testing positive for a banned stimulant, the league announced. Montero was once a hyped prospect, but has been trying unsuccessfully to revive his career in recent years... Of course, Montero was originally a catching prospect; now that he’s limited to first base and DH duties, the bar is raised for his bat. It’s not clear what kind of opportunity he’ll have in the future. For one thing, he’ll need to serve his ban at the start of 2017; for another, it’s not his first, as Montero also took a fifty-game hit after he was caught up in the Biogenesis scandal."

I forgot about that whole Montero-Biogenesis connection.  And to be honest, that's terrible to find out this guy's been caught now twice.

It's amazing.  Remember how great it was when Yankee fans saw Montero for the first time in pinstripes?  Not anymore, huh?

My how the "mighty" has fallen.


With Mark Teixeira’s walk-off Grand Slam last night, the Yankees are still 4 games back with 4 games to play this season. Wow.

Too bad Baltimore came back to beat the Toronto Blue Jays in the 9th last night or we could have gotten to 3 back.  I was always hoping we could at least get to the final weekend 3 games back or less to make it interesting. Now, we need to win today and the Orioles lose and we will enter the final weekend with a chance. It's brutal.  Down to the wire.

Detroit got a homer from Miguel Cabrera in the bottom of the 5th last night just before it started raining there. They ended up calling that game due to the rain, which is total BS. This was a crucial game, and they should have waited longer. Remember, the Yankees lost a game to the Padres after waiting about 5 hours for the rain to stop. 

The Tigers are 3 ahead of Yankees with only 4 games left, and their last 3 this weekend are against Atlanta, so if the Yankees take care of business against Baltimore this weekend, it is the Tigers that will most likely benefit.

At any rate, it was a nice ending for Tex to get a walk-off  Grand Slam against Boston with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th. (Read Casey's piece "TEX! YOU DONE REAL GOOD, KID!" for more.) At least we forced Boston to back in to the AL East title and took away a little bit of joy in their clinching night.

Another observation; For Tex, that was number 15. Meanwhile, McCann still hasn’t hit that 20th homer, yet Sanchez and Didi Gregorius have.  Interesting right?  Gary Sanchez will probably win Rookie of the Year with his 20 HR in only 2 months. I mean, after all, Michael Fulmer is his only real competition.

A lot's going on in my head right now... more soon.


--Douglas Solomon, BYB Guest Writer


Mark Teixeira is almost out the door, but Mark Teixeira wants us to remember him!

Last night with the Yankees down 3-1 in the 9th inning, Mark came to the plate with the bases loaded and 2 outs.  Trust me when I tell you... I didn't think he would do it.  I really didn't.  But he did... and it was big.

Mark hit a Tex Message to deep center field in the bottom of the 9th.  It woke up the Yankee fan base, the Yankees themselves went nuts and in the end, the Boston Red Sox couldn't clinch in our house.

I was very happy, and so was fellow BYB writer Mike O'Hara:
It should be noted that as much as Mikey and I rip on Tex, we still know he's capable... we still know he's a decent hitter, we just think it's more frustrating than anything and want the guy to perform to the best he can.  Well... last night he did at the right moment.

At that point I went to bed, promising myself to wake up this morning and give you this update.  While most of you already know about the amazing news... we at BYB wanted it on record.  We are happy for Teixeira, very happy.  It was a gorgeous hit and it just goes to show when this guy is healthy... there is no one better.

Congrats to Mark and the New York Yankees... what a huge moment... and we live another day.

Final: Yankees 5 - Red Sox 3 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Earlier this week, a colleague came by to visit with me in my office.  We were having a typical conversation about how we work to support our students' success.  The conversation switched from students to current events including the elections, the tragic loss of Jose Fernandez and the results of my colleague's recent DNA test.  He shared with me that although he knew he had a certain amount of African American in his soul, he was surprised by the other ingredients that were part of his makeup including Irish-American.  As we spoke, I began to drift a bit and think about my own DNA. Then, I glanced over to an 11x14 photo of Derek Jeter, which I have on one of my walls.  I thought to myself, forget my origin from a theoretical standpoint- I'm from Cooperstown and baseball is in my DNA.

I have known baseball for as long as I can remember.  As a baby, I celebrated with my grandmother as the 1969 Mets won their first World Series.  My father quickly whisked me back to reality as the Yankees battled Boston, the Kansas City Royals and the Los Angeles Dodgers each year.  I learned the game by watching and listening to the game, every day.  Sometimes, I would record the game using my boom box...yes, cassette record so I could listen to it later.  I'd buy the long cassette tapes from Radio Shack so I could record and listen to the game later in the day.  I would even record the post game sometimes.  Announcers Frank Messer, Phil Rizzuto and Bill White, shared the airwaves and moved from television to radio almost seamlessly.  Yes, the same guys called the games and took turns between the two different media.  That's when the Yankees were broadcasted on 11 Alive and 1010 wins.  Yep, baseball is clearly in my DNA, because my recall is spot on.

When I learned early Sunday morning that we lost Jose Fernandez to a freak boating accident, I immediately thought about that terrible day when we lost the Captain, Thurman Munson, to a freak plane accident.  Although Munson was a player toward the end of his career, the pain was thick and gruesome, much like we have been witnessing with the loss of this vibrant young man, Fernandez.  #15 and #16 will forever be remembered by baseball fans for their contribution to a game that was clearly a part of their DNA.

Here at BYB, we write through the lens of our own passions.  We feel what we write, whether we are defending a player or manager or ranting about them.  You see, baseball is in our DNA.  When we say we Bleeding Yankee Blue, we mean it.  As we think about the choices we make and the way we have decided to spend our time and live our lives, we have to think about why we continue to write, day after day, loss after loss, win after win.  It's baseball.  It's our constant.  It's in our DNA.

--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer
BYB Hot Stove Columnist

Twitter: @suzieprof

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


You're looking at the name Arias in the title and you're confused.  Don't be... it's David Ortiz and I'm poking him a bit.

It amuses no one but me, I know. Leave me alone... it's fun!

The Yankees won tonight on home runs and Tyler Clippard closed the game striking out Arias with 2 men on base in the 9th inning.  The stage was set for Papi tonight. After all, if he homered, it puts the Sox in the lead and possibly allows them to clinch. But tonight wasn't the night, and not only that... the Yankees live another day.

Not a big recap tonight, but I do want to give you a few highlights...

In the first, Gary Sanchez hit his 20th homer of the season.  It was a 2 run shot.  They struck again in the 5th when Ellsbury knocked in a run. The Sox scored 2 in the 6th, but in the bottom of the 6th, Didi hit a solo shot.

The Sox didn't die and tied it up in the top of the 7th.  But in the bottom of that inning, it was Wonderboy cranking out a 2 run shot. 

At this point, it was 6-4 and Austin rounded the bases.  The question would be... could the Yankees close a God damn game? We've been struggling and so, what will happen?

Well...they did.  Tyler Clippard struck out Arias and the Yankees won tonight. It was significant and it was important. Bottom line, I loved this game and win tonight.

Final: Yankees 6 - Red Sox 4 


I woke up Sunday so excited for "Sunday Funday." I had prepared beef stew on Saturday night and cooked it in the slow cooker overnight. We had plans to make some chicken wings (which turned out great) and have a few cold ones while watching football. I was excited to see my Packers get some redemption. Then this happened...
No friggin' way. No friggin' way. I spent the next 10 minutes searching Twitter and refreshing the results. No way this was true. No way in hell.

It is true and it is devastating. Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident. One of the best pitchers, and best people, in the game lost his life in an accident.

I watched Don Mattingly's press conference and damn near shed a tear with him.
You can have everything going for you and in an instant, life is over. Sometimes there is no explanation why, sometimes it just happens and sometimes perhaps it was just your time. Whatever the circumstances, it doesn't make it easy.

Now one thing I saw that pissed me off were some Yankee fans saying that Jose Fernandez will never be a Yankee now. I swear. As true as that is though, that's pretty heartless. Jose Fernandez will now never be a father to the baby his girlfriend and he were expecting. He leaves behind family, friends and teammates.  Bottom line... being a Yankee or not is meaningless.

The Yankees have been losing lately, and honestly after reading about Jose Fernandez... I don't care. Sunday was a day of mourning to me... for all of us. Writing this is helping. A young man with a contagious smile and love for the game lost his life. It's something we will never be forgotten.

Jose Fernandez was the kind of kid you want your kid to be like. He overcame the biggest obstacle, escaping from Cuba, to follow a dream of playing Major League baseball in the USA.

In the words of Toby Keith "I'm not crying cause I feel so sorry for you, I'm crying for me." And more importantly, for your soon to be newborn baby, your family, friends and teammates.

I'm genuinely heartbroken. As Casey wrote Sunday on Twitter:

Very sad, and still, days later, unreal.


--Dan Lucia, BYB Senior Writer
Follow me on Twitter: @DManLucia

Monday, September 26, 2016


While the world was watching the Presidential Debate, I, who am not political at all, watched the Yankees pull out a big win against the Blue Jays. It was a rally. But it didn't start that way...

The Yankees were down 3-2 until the 9th inning.  To be honest, it just looked like another loss for the Bombers. I mean, it makes sense... we've been on a slide for days.

But we didn't fade away tonight.  In fact, there was life.  In the 9th inning, it was Mark Teixeira hitting a solo shot to tie it 3-3.  Then, right after that, Aaron Hicks hit a 2 run homer scoring Didi Gregorius. Jacoby Ellsbury then singled knocking in 1 more run. It was then that Gary Sanchez sacrificed home Brett Gardner.  It was then 7-3.

In the bottom of the 9th, the Blue Jays knocked in 2, but the Yankees were able to hold them, Tommy Layne got the save, and in the end it was Adam Warren who collected the win.

And just like that, the Yanks won and kept hope alive for us Yankee fans.

Meanwhile in Miami, the most touching tribute I have ever seen took place. For Jose Fernandez, the Marlins players all wore a Jose Fernandez #16 jersey in his honor tonight.  They stood around the mound sobbing before the game began.

They then circled and with Giancarlo Stanton leading the charge, he told his teammates that they will get through it together.  Fighting off the tears they pointed to the sky.

A moment incredibly reminiscent of Reggie Jackson sobbing in the outfield the night Thurman Munson was honored after his death.  Teams coming together to honor a teammate, a family member in a very touching moment.

The moment was gut wrenching and right. And while Jose Fernandez was never a Yankee, he was apart of a baseball family. And if you don't understand that... look around the team you root for the next time there's a big moment or a horrible tragedy.  You will see a baseball community rally t o become one.  Look at the Yankees tonight with their big victory.  Look at the Marlins tonight after the loss of Jose Fernandez.

In the end, there is victory or tragedy every day of our lives.  But that's life... and sometimes it's not fair and sometimes it's very rewarding.  But we as human beings need to stop and look around once in a while. Take a deep breath. Hug your kids, your dog, the mailman.  Enjoy every moment... and if it's not a good one, surround yourself with family and friends, be strong and rally.  No matter what though, good or bad... rally hard... because in the end, in life... rallying is unity if you have people around you, you love.

Two stories of victory and tragedy tonight.  It's incredible how 2 drastically different emotions trickle out the same outcome.

Final: Yankees 7 - Blue Jays 5
Final: Marlins 7 - Mets 3


Yesterday was so much more than just being a Yankees fan....or even just a baseball fan. Yesterday was a reminder that there is a human element in baseball. The exciting post season chase at this time of year means nothing without the love and compassion that go with it. Some of us get to watch, listen or play for many years while some of us are taken far too early. I was reminded of that yesterday.

Vin Scully is the voice of baseball and there is no other way to put it. In 67 years he brought baseball into our lives. He was the voice of our parents and grandparents, our hopes and dreams. So as I watched and listened to the last home game Scully would ever call at Dodger stadium on Sunday it hit me.....this was the end of an era. No one else will ever be a Vin Scully. He is something that just can't be replicated. 

We have all seen some amazing games as sports fans, but Scully has seen things some of us never will. My grandfather died when I was very young, but I remember stories about the love he had for the then Brooklyn Dodgers. Scully has been announcing for the Dodgers since 1950 so he has seen the Dodgers evolve over the years. He saw Jackie Robinson break into baseball and watch the game transition from the tension we had years ago to where we are today. Between his days in Brooklyn and Los Angeles he has called about 9,000 baseball games. He's called 20 no-hitters, three perfect games and 12 All-Star games. Simply put he is a legend.

Scully will say goodbye to baseball ironically the same way he fell in love with the game....watching the Giants. The world fell in love with baseball as they tuned into their transistor radios to listen to Scully call a game. He is the voice that no one else can ever replicate. He will be missed in that booth next year and for Dodgers fans, games will never be the same.

While some of us get to walk away from the game on our own terms after long careers with life long memories some of us are not so lucky. The baseball world is also mourning the loss of Jose Fernandez, another baseball icon. This is a reminder of how short life is and how everyone has to go out everyday and give their all because tomorrow is never guaranteed to us. There isn't always another game tomorrow. Tragically early Sunday morning, Jose Fernandez lost his life in a boating accident.

We have been following Fernandez here at BYB for a long time now. We have always admired him because with his young talent....who wouldn't? But after hearing the news this morning I was brought back to reality that he was more than just a great young arm who had a very promising career ahead of him. MLB Network spoke with other players who also had fond memories of him. As I listened to David Ortiz talk about how much joy and energy and how he was always smiling. He really appreciated the opportunity to come here from Cuba and play the game he loved. It made me realize that he really touched a lot of people not only for his amazing gift, but for his spirit. Freddie Freeman shared his own stories of Fernandez saying just how approachable he was. He was always talking to everyone not only on the bench but players from other teams on the field. He brought a compassionate side into the game. He was a people person.

While the Marlins did not play yesterday other teams hung a Fernandez jersey in their dugout. I was touched to see Yoenis Cespedes hang a Mets jersey in the dugout with Fernandez written on the back of it.

As I listened to more stories from people working within the organization it hit me even harder. This was a 24-yea old young man who was about to be a father. I heard stories about how how amazed Fernandez was when he first came to the United States about automatic hand dryers and water faucets in a public bathroom. He had a real appreciation for the little things in life and took nothing for granted. It is a spirit like his that will be missed in such a great game. Like many have already expressed, our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and the organization.

So yes, we lost two baseball greats yesterday. Baseball is more than just a game, Scully reminded us that it is the little pleasures in life like baseball that bring more life to our stories. Fernandez reminded us that life is precious and to enjoy what we have and never take it for granted. Baseball is just a game with many different outcomes, but there is always a deeper story then just a stupid game.

Fellow BYB writer Dan Lucia will have a powerful piece about more of this, specifically Jose Fernandez tomorrow. It's been chosen as tomorrow's BYB feature.  Please be sure to check it out.

 --Jeana Bellezza, BYB Senior Writer & Editor
  Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ


We love Dellin Betances here at Bleeding Yankee Blue.  BYB Senior Writer Erica Morales has been celebrating this man for a few years now and her most recent piece is DELLIN BETANCES STEADY AT CLOSER. You gotta check it out.

Mikey O'Hara wrote this piece about Dellin a while back. 2014 to be exact: DELLIN "ICKY THUMP" BETANCES.

But you have to wonder how the Yankees feel about him as their future closer though. Just being honest.  I'm starting to get the feeling that they aren't loving him in that role... yet.

I was reading the New York Post and Ken Davidoff, one of my favorites, and he says there is reason to believe that the Yankees would want Aroldis Chapman back.  Interesting...

"With Betances struggling once again Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre, failing to close out his own victory in a 4-3 Yankees loss to the Blue Jays — another soul-crushing defeat on this 2-8 road trip from hell — and with the presidential debate set for Monday night, one clear sentiment emerged:

Dellin Betances, you’re no Aroldis Chapman...

While Chapman is no shorty, at 6-foot-4 and 212 pounds, he is far more athletic and graceful afield than Betances. And as a left-hander, Chapman controls the running game far better. Entering Sunday night’s Cardinals-Cubs game, opposing base runners had stolen one base in two tries against Chapman....

If Betances hasn’t necessarily earned a demotion back to setup man, such a reassignment might give the 2017 Yankees their best shot at getting back into October."

And couple that with this... MLB Trade Rumors puts this out there today:

"The Yankees have been rumored to be interested in a reunion with Aroldis Chapman... Signing Chapman in free agency and moving Betances back to a setup role would again give the Yankees an elite end-game pairing."  

This is something that is very, very true seeing how Betances has performed lately, I would agree with it.  I believe that Betances back at the set up role would be huge for his confidence and helpful for the team, especially if we could get a guy like Aroldis back. Then D could hand off of Chapman and then, over time, he would take over that closing role for the New York Yankees again.  No one is saying Betances CAN'T close.  I'm just suggesting that maybe Betances isn't ready to close.

Yanks should try and re-sign Chapman this season in my opinion. 

What do you think? Comment.

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