Monday, September 30, 2019

ALDS SMACK TALK: TWINS THREATEN THE YANKEES


You've heard the cliche of "don't poke the bear" before most likely. If you poke the bear it means you have done something that will likely provoke an angry reaction. The Yankees and Twins are set for another postseason match up and the Twins may have just done something similar to poking the bear....I think....but now it is a dragon.

Even though it is a dragon I think the Twins are still just "poking the bear" and if so I say bring it on! Twins President Dave St. Peter did an interview with SKOR radio where he said "Organizationally, I just say it is time to slay the dragon, right? Let's go. Bring'em on!" You can read more of it HERE and you know what? I dig it.


Mr. St. Peter is no stranger to the Yankees. He's been around for 17 years so he has experienced 17 years worth of beat-downs from the Yankees. The Yankees have walked all over the Twins since 2002. Now things are a little different. This Minnesota team is much more powerful than in years past. The Twins didn't end the regular season the same way that the Yankees did. The Yankees need to get that spark back, the Twins right now are riding high knowing that even though the Yankees entered the final day of the regular season with 305 home runs to the AL Central champion Twins with 304. Unfortunately, Aaron Judge was the only Yankee to go deep but the Twins hit three home runs which beat the Yankees for the all-time record for home runs in a season.


The Yankees know this series with the Twins won't be like previous postseason match ups. This Twins team is much stronger than in years past, and they have momentum right now that the Yankees just don't have. They broke a record, and meanwhile the Yankees lost their last series and have more injury concerns with Gio Urshela's mild ankle sprain and Luis Severino's bumpy last appearance. The Yankees needed to end the regular season with a hot streak, and it just didn't happen.

It's time to turn the page and live in their postseason mentality. The spark and the determination need to be back and better than ever. It's time to get back to work and above all else winning. This challenge from the Twins comes at the perfect time. Please, poke the bear...we aren't going to back down.

Bring on the Twins and the Chase for 28!





--Jeana Bellezza-Ochoa
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @nyprincessj


Sunday, September 29, 2019

GAME 162

Source: NY Post

With a record of 103-58, the Yankees enter the final regular season game for 2019.  The Savages have battled throughout this long season and with game 162 facing them this afternoon, they have a lot to be proud about and a number of things to tweak before the post season.

“Everything matters,’’ Boone said. “It's important for guys to stay in a good rhythm, to build a little momentum going into the off days. “Hopefully some guys (start) swinging the bat well and the pitchers get the necessary work in that they need," reported NJ.com.

Source: BRANDON WADE AP PHOTO

Luis Severino was a bit uneven in his third start since coming off the IL and it showed as the 25-year-old gave up two runs and threw 33 pitches in the first inning.  He also allowed three stolen bases. Certainly if he is to pitch game one of the ALDS against the Twins, he will have to have things well under control and ready to battle.

“They’re a beast,’’ Yankees manager Aaron Boone said recently of Minnesota; the Yanks have a 4-2 record against the Twins this year and have historically dominated that organization in postseason," reported NJ.com.  With the beast heading into the Stadium on Friday, the Yankees need to go all out savage on the tough team from the central division with both their arms and their bats.

Source: NJ.com

Luke Voit's frustrations at the plate continue,  going 3 for his last 32 at bats.  Gio Urshela also has lost similar momentum at the plate as well.  Brett Gardner batted in the three spot last night and the Yankees need him to continue to add some extra heat to the lineup.  His September has been the best of his career, blasting 10 home runs to lead the AL for the month. 

The Yankees have Chad Green set to start Game 162 followed by Masahiro Tanaka later today.  Not sure if this is just a glimpse of future, with Green setting up Tanaka, but it just goes to show the Yankees are experimenting with possibilities. They will try to pick up win 104, stay healthy and then strategize for first game of the ALDS this Friday. Let's do this!



--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof





Saturday, September 28, 2019

STANTON HITS NUMBER 300 FOR THE YANKS!


Not sure if anyone saw it, but it you didn't... here it is:


Now I think everyone can agree that when Giancarlo Stanton is feeling good and healthy, despite his sometimes choppy swing at times... he just makes a home run look easy.  And that's exactly what happened last night. Not only did the Yankees reach 300 home runs with this bomb, but the Yankees killed the Texas Rangers 14-7.

Gotta love the Yankees this season in every way. Bring on the playoffs baby!


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MAJOR INJURY CONCERN HITS YANKEES AGAIN


Whether or not this latest injury to James Paxton is truly serious or not is still to be recognized. What I do think though is that the Yankees have a serious strength and conditioning problem, and it needs to be addressed once the season ends... hopefully after we win the whole damn thing.

Last night, Paxton who has been amazing as of late, left in the first inning... hurt.

We love Kevin Kernan here at BYB...so this is from the New York Post:


"Yankees ace James Paxton came up with a tight left glute after one inning Friday night and was removed from the game in the Yankees’ 14-7 win over the rancid Rangers at Globe Life Park. 

Both Aaron Boone and Paxton downplayed the situation and said the move was strictly precautionary. In a season where so many injuries have hit the Yankees, no injury, no matter how small, can be taken for granted. 

Boone made the right move to get Paxton out of the game after 21 pitches. The Yankees are entering the postseason where there is no room for error."

It was the right move obviously to remove him. But damn... what now happens as the Yankees are about to head into the post season? We shall see.

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Friday, September 27, 2019

ARE THE RAYS OUR NEW NEMESIS?

The Yankees bats go "quiet" according to Aaron Boone during their latest series against the Rays. It may not seem like these games matter since the team clinched, but the home-field advantage is slipping away from us and moving closer to the Astros.

Source: NJ.com

"I don’t know. Just a weird couple of days for us" said DJ LeMahieu. "We just battled, had the same mindset we had all season. It was just a weird couple of days with us offensively. They have such a good staff. I don’t know if it’s the building or the pitchers or both but like I said, overall, it’s a weird couple of days for us offensively."

Rays' right-hand pitcher Charlie Morton shut the Yanks out, throwing six shutout innings.

Source: Newsday

"If you’re not really on top of your game up and down the lineup they can have nights like this. Especially when they turn to Charlie, who really been their ace. When he’s on top of his game, but no question these two games, they kept us quiet," said Boone

Coming up, we have our final series in Texas. We also have our playoff rotation ready with James Paxton, Luis Severino, and Masahiro Tanaka started in the AL Division games, with JA Happ and CC Sabathia coming out of the bullpen. 

What's left is to get our lineup back intact and keep morale high.

“We know we’ve got a really good team. Personally, I feel like a little bit struggle at the home plate. The ballpark too is a little different. Two games we lost, we’ll continue to the next series and prepare mentally for the playoffs,” Gleyber Torres said.





--Missy O'Rourke
BYB Contributor
Twitter: @missy_orourke







Thursday, September 26, 2019

DJ LEMAHIEU HAS COMPETITION FOR THE BATTING TITLE!


What a season for DJ LeMahieu! The best move that Brian Cashman made before the start of the season was signing LeMahieu to a two-year, $24 million contract. He's been worth every penny of that contract and he has been the Yankees MVP this season. The guy is going to get some votes for the American League MVP award this season for sure, but what about a batting title to go with it?

I don't put a lot of importance on individual awards, but it would be nice to see him win the American League batting crown and it would help him get more MVP votes. He is second in the league with a .328 BA but there is another guy that has recently become eligible for the batting title and he just happens to be ahead of LeMahieu. On Tuesday, Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson made his 502nd plate appearance of the season which now makes him a contender for the title also. He has a .334 batting average, so let's hope LeMahieu gets on a hot streak these last few games.


Anderson is an interesting contender and we haven't heard much about him until now. He has missed some time this season due to an ankle sprain. He has played in 119 games, meanwhile LeMahieu has played in 140 games. Anderson is just one season removed from a career-worst .240 BA and knows the batting title is in sight. Even though it would be nice to see LeMahieu win, I admire his determination.

"It would mean a lot," he said to the Chicago Sun Times. "You better believe I’m going out and trying to get it. I’ve made it this far, so why not? I’ve come a long way. If I win or if I don’t, it’s still not going to take away from the season that I’ve had. I'm trying to keep carrying it on to next year and continue to do what I’ve been doing."



LeMahieu won the National League batting title with the Rockies back in 2016. It would be cool to see him win a batting title now in the American League and make history as the first player to win batting titles in both leagues but even if he doesn't he's been invaluable to us. It's going to be hard for LeMahieu to get a batting title at this point. Anderson is on fire hitting .372 during the month of September and LeMahieu has slumped lately.

I hope he gets a batting title, but even if he doesn't he's been so important to the Yankees this year. It would be nice to see him win a batting title, but it will also be nice to be playing baseball in November and ultimately winning a World Series ring. A championship is an achievement that lives on forever.

We are pulling for you, DJ!





--Jeana Bellezza-Ochoa
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @nyprincessj






Wednesday, September 25, 2019

CC SABATHIA: I'M A BULLPEN GUY NOW!

Source: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

CC Sabathia quietly made his way out to the bull pen in last night's contest against the Tampa Bay Rays at the Trop.  This is not where he usually watches the game when he's not on the hill, but it will likely be his new digs as the Yankees reset themselves and CC for the battle for the American League.

“I’m a bullpen guy . . . It’s exciting. I’m excited. I’m nervous. I don’t know what to expect. It’s the first time going out on the field and [thinking], ‘I’ve never done this,’ so we’ll see," reported Newsday.

Source: Sipkin, Corey, New York Daily News

Sabathia performed just as the Yankee had hoped.  He threw a scoreless quick inning where he gave up no hits, no runs and nailed down two strikeouts.  Sabathia only has pitched one game out of the bull pen during the post season before, but last night was his first appearance in a regular season game.  Once again the veteran lefty is reinventing himself for a sport that he has loved playing for most of his life and 19-years in the major leagues.

“When the team needs it, you do whatever you can,” Sabathia said. “This is my role going forward, so I’m going to embrace it. Hopefully, I can step up and fill it good,” reported Newsday.  He has always stepped up for his team even when things were tough.  But coming back next season as a lefty specialist is completely out of the question for the veteran pitcher.

Source: New York Daily News

“Come back and play? Hell, no,” he said. “I think 19 years of kind of pitching the way that I have – like, emotionally -- I’m kind of exhausted. It’ll be good next year to just kind of give that a break and give my body a break. But I’ll definitely miss the guys and the relationships I have in here. That’s what I’ll miss the most, for sure,” reported Newsday.

So happy to have this opportunity to see CC Sabathia shine during his final days of the regular season.  Looking forward to his contribution from the pen in many days ahead as CC takes on the role of Mr. October of the bull pen.



--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof





Tuesday, September 24, 2019

EDWIN ENCARNACION COULD BE READY SOON!

I feel like I always write that headline. Ridiculous right?


Edwin Encarnacion has been fun on the Yankees. We all love the parrot thing now, where before he was on our team we hated it. And when we needed him, he's been a good player for us. But... he's also been hurt a lot.

Now he looks like after his latest injury, he could be back just in time. That comes from Bryan Hoch. Check out his Twitter:


Looking forward to this dude back in the lineup!




THAT BETANCES RUMOR THAT ALWAYS GETS CLICKS

Leave it to Buster Olney to come up with this one.  I'll believe it when I see it.

Dellin Betances to the Mets?

NJ.com writes:


"ESPN MLB insider Buster Olney thinks a “prove it” deal could be on the table, and a team like the Mets make sense as a free agent partner...

There are evaluators and agents who believe that Betances’ best play at this point is to work out a one-year deal with some team, betting on himself to rebound in 2020, and then hit the market again next fall... During his career, Betances has averaged 14.6 strikeouts per nine innings, with a 2.36 ERA in 358 games. It will be interesting to see if the Mets, with a bullpen makeover to look forward to this winter, get involved in the bidding for Betances, who was born and raised in New York." 


And yes...there is no indication that this would happen.  Olney "thinks" it could.  Notice none of the "evaluators and agents" have been named.


He's a terrible baseball insider. Just saying.


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Monday, September 23, 2019

HAPP TO THE BULLPEN MAY JUST HAPPEN


One week ago the Yankees postseason plans looked different then they do right now. I had an idea of what the starting rotation would look like. We all figured CC Sabathia would come in the game as a reliever now and not a starter. I had a lot of theories, but now that there are only five games left in the regular season we are going to see what Aaron Boone has decided on soon.

Last week I was sure Domingo German was going to be an important part of the Yankees postseason success, and now of course we know differently. It definitely sucks, but the Yankees have rallied and succeeded without key players all season. This is a test that the best teams all face. The best will rise to the occasion, and we have all season so there is no reason to think we won't continue to do so.


So now the starting rotation becomes more clear. Luis Severino is back and he looks as good as ever. I liked what I saw on Sunday and it makes me even more excited for the postseason. We've been waiting for James Paxton to come to life all season and he finally has. Once August kicked in we finally got to see the pitcher we were expecting when we traded for him over the winter. Better late than never, now he just has to continue with that momentum. We all know what Masahiro Tanaka is capable of in the playoffs, we've seen in before. Now we just need it to kick in again and get us to the World Series.


The Yankees have three obvious starters. That will be enough to get through the ALDS, but it makes you wonder what happens if the Yankees get to the ALCS. And what about J.A. Happ? According to the New York Post HERE, Boone says Happ will pitch "in some way, shape or form" on Wednesday
against the Rays at Tampa Bay. The Yankees are lining up their next starts and also giving starters some extra rest. According to NJ.com HERE, the Yankees are considering using openers for Tuesday and Wednesday's games at Tampa and then next weekend's series in Texas could pitch Paxton on
Friday, Severino on Saturday and Tanaka on Sunday.

So is J.A. Happ destined to join CC Sabathia in the bullpen this postseason? It sounds like it and truthfully it may not be a bad thing. Happ has pitched better of late, but he still hasn't lived up to the expectations we all had after he was so effective last season. Should the Yankees trust him to start in the postseason? It's a tough judgment call to make.


If Happ does get moved to the bullpen it's because it's best for the team. He has some experience coming out of the bullpen, and just like he said in the New York Post article, I doubt the Yankees are the only team that would go with this strategy. It's all about winning at this point and he's got the right attitude. We'll know exactly what decisions Boone makes with pitching here soon.

Would you move Happ to the bullpen?





--Jeana Bellezza-Ochoa
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @nyprincessj

Sunday, September 22, 2019

THE GOOD GIANCARLO STANTON

Source: Michael Owens, AP

Despite being out 92% of the season, Giancarlo Stanton stepped into the clean up spot in the lineup against the Blue Jays Saturday and everyone knew it.  Stanton blasted a double followed by a tremendous home run to lead the Yankees to a 7-2 victory.  This is the Stanton the Yankees need and his presence could change everything.

Source: NY Post Paul J. Bereswill

“It’s always good to get some results in your first few games back,” manager Aaron Boone said of Stanton, who also doubled before leaving the game, as planned, after six innings. “I feel like he’s stringing some good at-bats together. Hopefully he can continue to build and get into a nice rhythm here as we get ready for October,”reported the New York Post.

Source: CBS Sports

"The good Stanton" as the Post referred to the Yankees slugger, could bring much needed relief and a huge bat to the lineup if he can perform the way he did Saturday.  "He still undergoes treatment for the right knee sprain that felled him most recently, he said on Saturday, explaining, “I’ll have to do maintenance all the rest of the year. Just keep that up, keep my strength up and go out there with all I’ve got," said Stanton as reported by the Post.

Source: NY Post

His impact in yesterday's game has coursed through the entire dugout from supporting his starting pitcher James Paxton as he posted his 10th win in a row, to filling a hole in the lineup with Gleyber Torres taking the day after he slipped fielding a ground ball in Friday night's game.  Stanton's performance has also somewhat masked Luke Voit's sub-par at bats since returning from his IL stint due to a hernia.

Source: NBC Sports

Although I was skeptical of his ability to make an impact, I was impressed with his at bats and his swings, which often appear choppy.  Stanton feels if he can get a few more at bats, and continue his rehab on his knee, strengthening it as he plays, he will be able to highly contribute to his team.  “I feel like my at-bats have been good…just working off better at-bats as I go along,’’ said Stanton, who feels he’ll need to play nine innings in the outfield “at some point’’ before postseason begins. “As long as I get one or two of those, I’ll be good,’’ as reported by NJ.com.

Let's hope the Good Giancarlo continues to heat up this Yankee team and as the Yankee near the post season, he will be at his best.




--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof





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Saturday, September 21, 2019

GLEYBER OUT WITH WEAK LEGS


I don't know what that means other than he just needs a rest... or he's trying to get some tail at a club and sweating some chick.  You remember Mickey talking to Rocky right? Women weaken legs.




Mickey's got a point. But I am not sure that's what's going on. I do know this... we need Gleyber Torres very badly for the playoffs. If it means he's gotta sit the next several games so that happens, so be it.  I'm worried folks, I'm not kidding.

NJ.com has this:

"It didn’t look good when All-Star second baseman Gleyber Torres’ leg gave out in the top of the fourth as he attempted to make a throw from behind the bag after fielding an infield single off Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s bat...

It looked worse when Torres stumbled to the ground and stayed down for about a minute...

Torres talked his way into remaining in the game, but he struck out swinging in his next at-bat in the Yankees sixth, then was removed for the start of the seventh due to weakness in his lower legs."

Look, if I had to bet, the Yankees were all out the night before, blowing off steam after clinching, maybe drinking Tequila and soda and having a blast.  Dehydration comes to mind. Whatever the case... it's scary and they'll watch it.  Bottom line, we need this dude.

Get well soon Gleyber.

HOW SABATHIA COULD RULE IN BULLPEN

I'm reading a lot about how CC Sabathia could be a pen guy for the playoffs.  I freaking love that idea!


ESPN writes:

"Boone said before Friday night's game against Toronto that Sabathia will work out of the bullpen next week as the American League East champions prepare for the playoffs...Boone said he anticipates using Sabathia in a controlled setting next week at Tampa Bay. If that goes well, Boone said he would try it 'a little more on the fly' next weekend at Texas. Boone envisions a 'significant role' for Sabathia in the postseason. 

'That's why we want to do this a couple of times. He's certainly on board with it and wants to do it,' Boone said. 'I feel like for obviously as much as he has to deal with the knee, I feel like he's in at least a pretty good place right now to be able to do it,' Boone said."

Sabathia's leadership rules and this is just another example of that. I really hope this works out!

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Friday, September 20, 2019

THE NEW YORK YANKEES CLINCH THE AL EAST!


It's finally time to celebrate! With the 9-1 win against the Angels last night, the Yankees have clinched their first division title since 2012. It definitely was not an easy road to get to this point, but we made it.

Source: Newsday

“A lot of people kind of counted us out after those first couple of injuries,” said Aaron Judge, “But this team, we’re hungry. We’re ready for some more.”

The team definitely deserved their division-clinching 100th win last night with Masahiro Tanaka delivering seven solid innings, home runs from DJ LeMahieu, Brett Gardner, Cameron Maybin, and Clint Frazier

Source: NH Register

“We’ve got a really, really good team, and I think we can be even better than we’ve been,” said Gardner, “I think it’s important for us to realize how special this is, how special accomplishment this is, but at the same time, we’ve got a lot of work left to go. It definitely, hopefully, is the beginning of something special.”

Even though 30 players were put on the injured list this year, the 100-54 record made Aaron Boone the first manager to win 100 games in each of his two major league seasons.

Source: ABCNews

"We got a lot bigger fish to fry, but this is the first step along the way," Boone said. "Nothing has got in their way. Whatever has come adversity-wise, they faced it and powered right through it.”

Exciting times ahead for the Yankees. Let's celebrate...but not too hard we don't any more injuries. October Reign!



--Missy O'Rourke
BYB Contributor
Twitter: @missy_orourke






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Thursday, September 19, 2019

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ISSUE SHELVES GERMAN


I never like to hear about incidents like this, but we write about the Yankees, and we would be irresponsible if we didn't report about this latest alleged incident concerning Yankee ace Domingo German.

The New York Post has this:

"Germán has been sidelined amid a domestic violence investigation, the team announced on Thursday. 



'We fully support all measures being undertaken by the Commissioner’s Office pursuant to the Policy on Domestic Violence,' read a statement released by the team, announcing Germán’s placement on administrative leave. The initial leave period will last up to seven days, but can be extended as needed until the investigation is complete, potentially keeping Germán, 27, off the rubber indefinitely."

Now here's the deal. I don't know what happened, but MLB has a policy and they will investigate.  Does it hurt the Yankees chances? Not having German does, but the Yankees have rallied all season without players we thought we needed. We don't give up. Let's hope we can rally and keep the momentum going. Meanwhile, this tweet comes from Bob Klapisch:

Very interesting and I hope to get a second source on this to verify.

In the meantime, German needs to get his stuff together at home. Let's hope whatever is going on is figured out.


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LEGACCY: WHAT I WILL REMEMBER


I can't believe that last night could be the last time we all see CC Sabathia start a game at Yankee stadium. It feels like time went by so fast. I started to get nostalgic pretty quickly and I thought about some of my favorite moments.

Amazing ALCS 2009
It was exciting to watch CC pitch against the Los Angeles Angels on short rest in the 2009 ALCS. In two starts he dominated the Angels, and only allowed two runs in 16 innings. In game one he pitched eight innings of one-run baseball and had another good outing in game four. It's no wonder why he was named the ALCS MVP, and that was just the start of a storybook ending for his first season in pinstripes.

Red Sox Shutdown in 2009
I won't forget the early Saturday game after an exhausting 15 inning game the night before that ended with an exciting walk-off home run from Alex Rodriguez. The next day CC took the mound and set down the first 13 batters and had a no-hitter into the sixth inning before Jacoby Ellsbury ended his no-no. Even with his no hitter gone, he pitched seven innings with 123 pitches getting another win for the Yankees.


Breaking in the New Yankee stadium
It was a big moment in the new stadium. CC was the first pitcher to take the mound at the new Yankee stadium and got to pitch against his old team the Indians. He got the first strikeout in the stadium in the first inning and held the Indians to just one run in 5 2/3 innings.

The 2017 postseason
He looked like vintage CC when CC took the hill for the winner-take-all deciding game 5 against the Indians. He set down a powerful lineup in the first three innings and struck out nine over 4 2/3 innings and eventually the Yankees won and advanced to the ALCS. The ALCS started off bumpy so the trailing 2-0 Yankees put all of their trust in their veteran starter to come in and save the day. That's exactly what CC did, he put the Yankees back in the series.

Winning it all in 2009
CC struggled against the Phillies in the World Series. He lost his start in game 1 but he battled through his Game 4 start on short rest and put the Yankees into a 3-1 lead in the series and eventually got his World Series ring. Hopefully, we can add one more before he retires at the end of the season.

The almost no-hitter
For 110 pitches, CC dominated the Rays on the road in 2010. It was only his second start of the year and had a great ground ball game going. Unfortunately, Kelly Shoppach broke up his no-no on his 111th pitch and after the hit Joe Girardi pulled CC in the eighth inning and put Mariano Rivera in to close out the game despite the large lead. This was the closest CC got to throwing a no-no in his career.


The Enforcer
It wasn't a playoff game, but it sure felt like it. I like to think of CC as the MLB version of the Enforcer in hockey. If someone messed with a Yankee, CC is always there to answer the call. The Yankees were dominating the Rays in the sixth inning almost a year ago and Andrew Kittredge threw behind Austin Romine. CC wasn't going to stand by and watch someone go after one of his guys and he answered back in the bottom of the inning by hitting Jesus Sucre in the leg. He was ejected from the game just two innings shy of a $500,000 bonus the Yankees were going to pay him, but he didn't care. It wasn't about money for CC, he's already made lots of that. He chose to stand up for his teammate again like he has his entire career and his profane words shouted toward the Rays dugout will never be forgotten.


Bonus realized: the real lesson learned
I love the Yankees for this one. CC may have missed his contracted innings requirement for his $500,000 bonus but the Yankees still paid it to him anyway. He stood up for his teammates and the Yankees returned the favor by paying him the money. It's a classy move for a gutsy guy that has always had his teammates backs. This is what I will miss most about CC Sabathia.

I hope to add one more to this list....a World Series ring for 2019. It would be nice to send him into retirement with another ring. There have been so many moments over the years. It's hard to pick just a few and I am sure I missed some, but it is fun to look back on. What does your list look like? Comment and tell us.





--Jeana Bellezza-Ochoa
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @nyprincessj