Sunday, May 28, 2017

BASEBALL REMAINS A NATIONAL PASTIIME ACROSS GENERATIONS

Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America

Memorial Day Weekend! It's the unofficial start of summer.  And what better way to celebrate than to watch baseball.  With the Yankees dropping one and winning one against the A's this weekend, we are hanging in there as the third best team in baseball.  But even more importantly than that, the Yankees and quite frankly all of baseball are attracting today's youth.  This is good.  This is something special.

Suzie Pinstripe writes with an audience

Like many families this weekend, we are on "vacation."  And it started off with a wiffle ball game at the beach, followed by talks about the Yankees, and then some Fox Sports baseball streaming with commentary from me for my young nephew, Matt, who just turned nine.  The featured game:  The Washington Nationals vs. San Diego Padres.  The Nats are the second best team in baseball and the best in the National League, much to the chagrin of my 20-year-old niece, a Met fan, Melissa.  She added to the conversation by screaming "Jason Werthless."  Yes, Jason Werth who is an arch enemy of the Mets got his second hit of the game. Our conversations went from who is Bryce Harper to wow he can hit, to is that really a double play to he was out at the plate (he was safe, actually).  Although Matt's dad is a Met fan (my brother), he is showing interest in the Yankees, and therefore life is good!  Let's get him to the Stadium...fast!

Melissa waits for the Mets

The other generation of kids here with us include college and high school age darlings (not really) and these guys were equally engaged.  Apparently the Mets are on after the Nats, which is attracting my nieces and let's not forget my son, Chris, who not only writes for us here at #BYB but is a born Yankee fan.

Source: Mike Stobe/Getty Images North America

Chris and I discussed the idea that Austin Romine should catch for Masahiro Tanaka- every game.  Tanaka wins with Romine behind the plate- the numbers don't lie and although our offense did not put it together for a win yesterday, Tanaka threw 13 strike outs besting Catfish Hunter on the all time list.

Source: Al Bello/Getty Images North America

Then there is my mother, who is just shy of 75 who is a part of the conversation.  She watches the Yankees as much as I do and if the Yankees aren't on, she reminded my niece Melissa, she will watch the Mets.  Basically, if she is forced...hahaha!

Source: Greg Fiume/Getty Images North America

So as we head into the rubber game against the A's and later travel to Baltimore on Monday for the Memorial Day Classic at Orioles Park, it is good to know that baseball is on the menu for many folks including yours truly.  Enjoy the games, enjoy your family and keep the national pastime alive!




MEET JOE... AND WELCOME TO LIFE

I've been busy. I admit that.  I've been way too busy lately to write anything truly motivational, inspirational or even happy or sad about my New York Yankees and life in general.   When you have kids, people will tell you that it's busy, but no one truly knows what that means until you are in it.  Well... I'm in it.

But today... today I'm taking a moment because of something that I found unbelievable... yet, in my own way, I did what I was raised to do, and so, in the end, I felt as though I was able to turn it around, even for only a moment.   Yup... this doesn't have a lot to do with the New York Yankees, but more about life and respect of life in general.


Meet Joe.

Joe is a military veteran standing outside a Dunkin' Donuts. I met him on Saturday morning.  As I pulled up and parked, I watched Joe as people as young as 17 and as old as 40 walked by him, patting their pockets and telling him they had no money on them or they'd "get him on the way out."  Joe looked discouraged, but I can tell that military time served him well... still standing tall, as best he could. Still not being defeated, even though no one could help fill his tin and supporting the troops on Memorial Day weekend.  My heart was broken, and as I walked toward him, I realized I was no better than any of them.  I had no cash on me.

"What's your name, Sir", I shook his hand.  Years of life had now shrunk this man, yet, when I looked into his eyes, I saw that strapping solider he once was.

"Joe", he said.

"Joe, here's the deal. I have to grab some munchkins for my little ones, and I only have a card. But when I get out, I will make sure I get you money for you and the troops. I promise."  I winked at him.

"OK, thanks", he said.  You could tell... he knew I wasn't coming back.  He'd heard that one before.

I grabbed the munchkins, threw them on the dash of my car, shut the car door and I walked the street. I found a Deli about a half a mile up the road, walked in and got out cash.  When I walked back... there was Joe... still there... still being ignored. Nothing had changed.

I walked back up to the man.

"Joe, this is for you.  Thank you for your service, sir. Thank you for our freedom."

I put a twenty dollar bill in his bucket.  The man was blown away.

"Thank you. What's your name?" he said, shaking my hand sternly.

"Robert.  Robert Casey," I said.

"Thank you Robert.  Thanks for coming back."

As I walked to my car I turned back.

"Hey, Joe. You need a chair?"... it was the least I could do.  This man, probably in his early 80's was in for a long day...no relief in sight.

"No, no, I'm fine."

I pulled a lawn chair from my car, I leaned it against the building.

"Tell you what... if you need it, it's right here. And when you're done with it, take it home," I said.

Joe winked.  He winked like I winked 20 minutes before and he waved and as I got into my car. I gave him a honk, and went on my way. 

Americans need to wake up.  We have it too easy.  We don't realize how wonderful it is to have to freedoms we do, and we should also always let our veterans and service men and women know that we appreciate them.  That's what my parents taught me... that's what I'm telling my kids as well.

Michael Heiman/Getty Images
Life is too short.  I mean sure... there is so much we can talk about here on Bleeding Yankee Blue and it's fun to talk Yankees and share stories about being at the stadium and seeing Jeter's 3000th hit and watching a Judge diving catch or a Holliday homer or no-hitter of whatever.  And that's all good... because we're all fans.  But life is so much more...

The relationships I have made over the past 10 years are so valuable to me. The ones I have with my BYB audience are incredible. I talk more to people, not just to talk, but to learn about them.  I like the dialog because it helps me understand the other person better... what they are thinking, and liking in life.  Their dislikes... what makes them happy... you know what I mean.



Like for instance, Joey Moses, that Australian Yankee fan and BYB fanatic... he and I talk nearly every day.  He tweeted me this great picture above of him eating breakfast.  Notice his phone... BYB with his morning chow.  You can't beat that.



And yesterday he sends me this... a feature on MLB.com to customize you own shirts.  How freaking cool is this?

As I look at notes from him, or from others who ask, "Where are you?", I realize that life has really taken over... for not just me, but for many of my writers.  We are evolving in our lives, but still trying our best to find the time to write for you, however difficult it may be some days. Because if anyone who writes knows... it's about flow, and passion and not about filling pages here.  Yes, we want stories for you to read every day, but we also have to FEEL it because we know if we do that, you will see exactly how we feel about either the team or life or whatever we put out there.


Look at Suzie's Sunday feature today for instance... BASEBALL REMAINS A NATIONAL PASTIIME ACROSS GENERATIONS  for her, for many, baseball brings a family together.  Even me with my oldest... going to baseball tournaments, coaching my little guys... it's a grind in life, but opportunity for them is massive, and as parents you need to help guide them to their passions. Growth is good in making solid, disciplined individuals.

I'm full of emotion today, clearly. But meeting Joe really opened my eyes.  We need to be friendlier, folks. We need to stick together... grow together, love each other.  We need to stop being so angry and ignoring, but instead, shake hands, look people in the eyes and smile more.  Life's too short.  Life has a lot of offer.

The New York Yankees are my favorite baseball team ever.  That is why Bleeding Yankee Blue was created. But something happened to me as we are close to hitting our 7th birthday for Bleeding Yankee Blue.  You guys, our readers are the one and only reason we exist and are so damn popular.  Yes, our writers are wonderful, but if no one reads us... we're doing it for ourselves, and that's no fun.

Keep smiling out there. Keep having a dialog.  Stay happy.  Stop the hate and on this Memorial day weekend... thank a service man or woman for their service.

It's important to the evolution of what America is.  Thanks for hearing me out. 

Happy Sunday.



--Robert Casey
BYB Chief, Managing Editor & Head Writer
Twitter: @BleednYankeeBlu










Friday, May 26, 2017

THE YANKS ARE GOOD, BUT TRADES ARE LOOMING


As Memorial Day weekend approaches, everything seems right in Yankeeland for the most part. As of this story, the Yankees stand at 27-17 and are in first place in the AL East. Sure, there are some concerns, mostly the pitching of course, this Yankee team has been better than most predicted.

Pretty soon we will be hearing trade rumors and there will be a ton of speculation as to what the Yankees should and need to do. Who should we keep? Who should we trade and for whom should we be traded for? As the trade deadline approaches, all eyes will be on Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner.   

Photo: New York Daily News
According to this piece in the New York Daily News, Cashman's biggest job will be convincing Hal to part with some prospects...

"For all the praise Brian Cashman received for the prospect haul he brought back in trades last summer, his top accomplishment may well have been convincing Hal Steinbrenner the time had come to sell — especially when Randy Levine was in the owner’s other ear, arguing to the contrary."

Photo: USA Today
As it stands right now things look pretty damn good in the Bronx. The Yankees have a 2 1/2 game lead over the Orioles in the AL East. What's even better is Boston, who, before the season were the overwhelming favorites, but not right now.  Instead, 3rd place... and 3 1/2 games out. We have seen some great plays as well as some boneheaded ones.

Photo: Newsday
We've seen everything from a bloop single to a monster home run from our bats. The offense though can only carry you so far. Once again... pitching is the issue.  They need to be consistent.

Now look, I'm not advocating trading away the entire farm so that they can win today! I don't believe they really need to necessarily. I think, they can win with the team they field now... my opinion of course. Though I also believe if they don't get another starter that can pitch on a consistent basis and give them quality innings, things may not look as good in September as they do right now. Eventually the bullpen will break down and be ineffective. In fact, we may have already witnessed that to some degree.


In the end, someone may need to go.  Maybe it's Rob Refsnyder.  Maybe Clint Frazier. Who really knows. But listen... very soon we will find out.  Until then though, let all the speculation and suggestions flow. That's all part of the fun of being a fan anyway... isn't it?



--Michael Carnesi
BYB Writer

Follow me on Twitter: @sevn4evr





American Eagle


SALIVATING OVER GLEYBER TORRES


Everyone is excited about Gleyber Torres.  He's making a leap to Triple A and there is plenty of talk about him coming to the Bronx real fast.

Well, Brendan Kuty of NJ.com is more excited than anyone, and literally took the time to set a lineup with Torres in it.  I am taking the Torres portion... where he'd bat in the lineup and what Kuty thinks of him.  The full piece is HERE though. Check it out:

"It may not be long until the New York Yankees welcome top prospect Gleyber Torres to Yankee Stadium. Here's what the lineup might look like. Hint: It's not great news for Chase Headley...


Thursday, May 25, 2017

HATE BRADY ALL YOU WANT, BUT HE GETS IT

(Ed Reed/NYC Mayor's Photo Office)
So let me get this straight.  When Tom Brady's in the Big Apple, he goes to Yankee Stadium with his kids and sits in the box seats out in the open where everyone and the YES cameras can see him rooting for the home team.


And when he goes out for a bite to eat and some shopping with Gisele,  he can wear his Yankee cap in plain sight of the world's paparazzi.  But the Boston-born mayor of New York City refuses to  ever allow a Yankee cap to darken the point on his dome?  And he refuses to ever set foot inside the Stadium? Really?

Yep.

Photo: New York Daily News
The Red Sox fan in Gracie Mansion thinks the Yankees and their fans should all go piss up a rope.  He said as much this week when he showed up in the Bronx for a week to basically make the entire borough and everyone in it a stage prop in his re-election campaign, setting up a faux office and pretending to conduct daily business there.

At a welcoming ceremony by the borough president, he was offered the obligatory team cap and jacket -- the same ones cheerfully accepted and proudly worn and displayed by all distinguished visitors to the Bronx, including presidents, prime ministers, queens, kings and popes. But de Blasio didn't accept it... he got whiney about it.

"Oh God. We have a situation," the mayor said as Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. unveiled the souvenirs. "Call security immediately."

Diaz would not be deterred, but de Blasio absolutely refused to wear the cap, instead agreeing to hold up half a jacket while covering his face and turning away from the camera.

He called that a "compromise."


I call it a joke. This is a guy that will march in an upcoming parade honoring someone who served time for killing and maiming innocent people with bombs, but he can't support a New York Team?  Are you kidding me?

Tell you what, Bill. When the Yankees win their World Championship and have their parade, find an excuse to be out of town that week... you're terrible. 


New England's lovely that time of year. Go root for the Sox... or the Pats.

If you do, say hi to Tom for us.

He gets it. Maybe he'll explain it to you.




 --Barry Millman
BYB Writer
Twitter: @nyyankeefanfore







THERE'S A LINE TO GET INTO THE SHOW!

Brian Cashman is rich!


The Yankees have a lot of depth, and a lot of guys that are ready or will soon be ready for the next step. Gleyber Torres made a quick jump from Double-A to Triple-A and will soon be knocking on the Bronx door (Watch out Chase Headley!) Sure, I may be fast forwarding a little bit, but the guy has talent and at this rate he could be our next third baseman. Soon, some of our other guys could be in the same situation. The Yankees haven't had this challenge in years. As Joe Girardi would say It's a good problem to have.

For years we have been pretty bad at developing positional players and when we did.....a superstar veteran was blocking them. Going forward, the possibilities are endless but Cashman may have to get extra creative. So with so much talent, how does Cashman handle it?

Photo: USA Today
Cashman answered it best HERE when he said "If a guy is ready and you can find room, you do that. If you have something that is not working on the major league level, you rearrange.
If not, you wait or trade." It's just another example of Cashman and his poker face. For years, we have traded our farm away for a big superstar to WIN NOW. Now, we are just collecting talented players no matter what position they play and I like it!

Photo: USATSI
Now the question is....with the recent promotion of Torres is Cashman preparing for a future move with Chase Headley? If you follow a lot of the media hype recently, some suggest that Headley's days in pinstripes are numbered, like THIS article. It all sounds like everything is looking up for Torres, but nothing is going Headley's way.

Or, this could also work in the Yankees favor if they are in contention by the trade deadline. The Yankees could add other pieces they need like starting pitching without giving away the top prospects which Hal Steinbrenner has already said he won't do HERE. But, considering how deep the Yankees are at certain positions they can afford to sacrifice a prospect that for us may not be a top prospect and have a roadblock in front of them but would be a top prospect for another team.


The Cubs essentially felt the same way about Torres when they gave him up for Aroldis Chapman and look how well that ended up for the Yankees.

It took a long time to get here, but finally we can agree with Cashman and say "If you have a number of guys performing at the minor league level and performing at the major league level simultaneously, you don’t complain. You smile." 

No complaints here, Cashman!




--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ





Macy's



HOCH IS FOLLOWING ME. BUCKET LIST COMPLETE


BYB is done.  We've accomplished everything. We're closing shop. It's over, we conquered everything ever that we wanted to accomplish... thanks all... (Curtain falls). 

KIDDING, take a chill pill.  I still have more to do...

Just wanted to publically thank Bryan Hoch for taking a chance and following BYB on Twitter.  He's a solid reporter, one of the best out there, and in my little world of personally liking a few really, really good writers, like Pete Caldera, Pete Abraham, Eric Boland, Ken Davidoff, Wally Matthews, Jack Curry, Bob Klapisch... Hoch is right there.


So this is a thank you.  Thanks to all those guys.  Without those writers in my life, Bleeding Yankee Blue would never have become a thing. 


We were inspired because we had an idea.  We wanted to talk about the New York Yankees... but we wanted to talk about family and life and expand to a much different audience thanstat nerds and jerks. 


 We found that audience that no one tapped into, more women than men and we are doing our best to present good and solid stories with the help of giving shout-outs to many fine reporters out there in our reporting.  To me, it's about giving back to the reporters that helped me, even if they never realized it in their own careers! Those sports reporters are important to me personally. 



We love our fans and BYB friends! All of it inspired by the great writers out there!

So thanks Bryan Hoch.

You don't happy croon like my man, Caldera too... do you?


Love Caldera! Simply the best! 

Happy Thursday!





TRACKING CUBAN LUIS ROBERT


Back in February, our fearless leader Robert Casey asked me to write up a piece about a kid from Cuba named Luis Robert. Read ANOTHER "CUBAN SENSATION" WE NEED TO HAVE for more on that.

This past weekend, Robert was finally able to sign with any team since officially being declared a free agent in April. According to the rules of international signing, a number teams would not be in contention for his services. Teams like the Yankees, Dodgers, and Red Sox among others, were only able to sign an international player to a contract of up to $300,000. You can read more about the International Signing Rules in this piece from Baseball America.

Photo: redbirddaily.com
According to this article on MLB.com, Luis is finalizing a deal with the Chicago White Sox.

"The deal is expected to be worth more than $25 million, and likely in the $26-27 million range, according to the source, and it will be the second-highest bonus for an international amateur under the current signing guidelines. Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada set the record when he signed for $31.5 million with the Red Sox in 2015."

Photo: MLB.com
With the signing of Jose Abreu in 2013 and the acquisition of Yoan Moncada this past offseason, the South Side of Chicago now has 3 of the highest touted Cuban Defectors in recent years. Fascinating!

Good Luck to Luis as he makes his way to the Majors!!!!



--Michael Carnesi
BYB Writer

Follow me on Twitter: @sevn4evr






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'GAMER' VS. 'HALF-ASSING IT'. I CHOOSE ELLSBURY!


I love when players play hard.  It shows they are determined to not only help their team win, but will sacrifice himself because he knows that somewhere in that season, his teammates will do the same for him.  It's gorgeous and tragic all in the same ball... pardon the pun.

Poor Jacoby Ellsbury.  I wish injury on no one. This is pretty sad and I hope he fully recovers... a concussion is no joke.

NJ.com has the story:



"Joe Girardi's never doubted Ellsbury's will to win, which was on display on the first pitch of Wednesday night's game at Yankee Stadium when he crashed into the center-field wall face first robbing Kansas City Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar of extra bases.

'He plays to win,' Girardi said.



Ellsbury looked out of it getting checked by head athletic trainer Steve Monahan and Girardi, but passed the initial tests (which included smelling salts) and talked his way into staying in the game.

For a few minutes."

Now look, it's scary and no joke. We as Little League coaches need to go through all the signs and what to look for and pulling kids even if we suspect there's an inkling of an issue.  Yanks did the right thing pulling him. 

Ellsbury will be out for a bit... feel better, Gamer!





Wednesday, May 24, 2017

ALL RISE: JOIN THE JUDGE'S CHAMBERS

Source: ELSA/GETTY IMAGES

I can't get enough of Aaron Judge.  I mean, I really can't.  The fact that he is so fun to watch and has a similar disposition to Derek Jeter just adds to his likability.  His gap filled smiled, his genuine attitude and his overall presence has made fans All Rise when they hear his name.  And 18 fans can do this every game now thanks to the Yankee Stadium new seating conveniently named, The Judge's Chambers.


"On Monday, the team revealed "The Judge's Chambers," a specific cheering section for the Yankee outfielder. The team added fake wood paneling around three rows of seats at the back of section 104 in right field to make it look like a jury box. The back panel details the name of the section," reported the New York Daily News.

Source: BEN WALKER/AP

Although you can't buy tickets to sit in the 'Chambers', fans can wear Judge gear and take their chances on being selected for this specialty seating. Like the humble player the newest Yankee star is, Judge expressed his excitement for the new fan experience.  "I was shocked, you know. I was surprised," Judge told the Associated Press. "I think it's going to be a pretty cool idea that the fans will like. It will be something the fans I really think will enjoy."

Source: Sports Illustrated 


Another added feature to The Judge's Chambers is the judge-garb and gavels fans will be given to cheer in this section behind Judge. " Fans sitting in the Chambers Monday will be given black robes that featured Judge's No. 99 on the back to wear during the game, though they cannot keep those. They'll receive styrofoam gavels, too, which they can take home with them"

Source: CBS Sports

Aaron Judge has been an incredible addition to this year's club.  Honoring him through this fan experience is equally incredible.  He touts 15 home runs on the season with a .321 batting average in 165 games.  Heck, I want to sit in the Judge's Chambers.  Maybe the Yankees will give me the honor in an upcoming home game this season! Wearing #99 seems just the right number for me as we pursue #28.




--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof





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