Friday, November 15, 2019


While the ASSTROS are busy cheating, the Yankees are looking beyond this to build the best team in the AL.

On the first day of GM meetings, Brian Cashman stated that improving the Yankees' starting rotation would be a team priority. This is no surprise as we all know that pitching was the team's biggest weakness during the past season. The team's 4.51 ERA among starters ranked fourth among the five AL playoff teams during the regular season.

Source: Bleacher Report

 The biggest targets at the moment are Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg. However, these are not the only ones.

"Obviously, starting pitching is always something that we want to try to continue to look at and shore up," Cashman said. "There are some exciting opportunities that exist in the marketplace via trade as well as free agency. Of course, we're going to talk to Strasburg; we'll talk to Cole. We'll talk to the higher-end guys, clearly, and have conversations, and we'll also talk about some surprise guys, I'm sure."

Source: NYPost

In regards to our free agents, Cashman said that there is no ownership mandate on a maximum payroll, however, if the Yankees sign Cole or Strasburg, it might be hard to resign Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, and Dellin Betances.

"Trust me, I know one thing. We are going to stay connected, get as much information as we can, and gravitate to what is the most realistic," said Cashman.

I am feeling confident that Cashman will do the right thing when it comes to the GM meetings. So far it seems like he knows what to do in order to get us our next ring...the honest way.

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

Thursday, November 14, 2019


I post this disclaimer at the beginning of this piece....this opinion is MINE and mine alone. I do not claim that Casey or anyone else on the BYB staff shares in my opinion. If they agree, so be it. If no one else agrees then I am fine on my own baseball island. So let there be no confusion as you read on.

Sign stealing happens in baseball. It's part of the game, but HOW the Astros did still isn't right so they are appropriately named ASSTROS! in my eyes, just like we posted yesterday. I can't even say I get MAD when a team steals signs on the field. It happens. However, using technology to do it like the Boston Red Sox did in 2017 with Apple watches and now how the ASSTROS did DOES make me mad because that is different. That's a headline and it is something we should all react to, BUT I have a bigger question here.....

Why aren't people talking more about Mike Fiers? Yeah, the Astros should be held accountable all the way from the top of the organization down because that is a CULTURE that the organization has fostered but Fiers is a SNITCH! How STUPID do you have to be to talk to the media and admit he was part of a team that cheated, read more HERE. HEY DUMMY....we know sign stealing happens but quit painting yourself to be a saint just because you are the only one willing to come forward and identify yourself. Your 15 minutes back in the spotlight does not make you look good here.

The other part of the story that got buried here is that Fiers has a strained relationship with his former team. After he got his World Series ring, the Astros non-tendered him and then he signed with the Tigers and he was quick to warn the Tigers about the Astros cheating ways.
"I just want the game to be cleaned up a little bit because there are guys who are losing their jobs because they're going in there not knowing. Young guys getting hit around in the first couple of innings starting a game, and then they get sent down. It's [B.S.] on that end. It's ruining jobs for younger guys. The guys who know are more prepared. But most people don't. That's why I told my team. We had a lot of young guys with Detroit [in 2018] trying to make a name and establish themselves. I wanted to help them out and say, 'Hey, this stuff really does go on. Just be prepared.'"
"That's not playing the game the right way. They were advanced and willing to go above and beyond to win."

THEY were advanced and willing to go above and beyond. He's no longer an ASSTRO anymore, he was but then he went to the Tigers before being traded to the Oakland A's so now he can just SNITCH about it and that makes everything okay. All is forgiven....I guess in his mind. This is just him bringing cheating to light. He was part of the problem but by raising awareness he is part of the solution. Now that he's won he wants to game to be cleaned up. Right! I'm laughing over here.

So yes, I am angry about the sign stealing just like Aaron Judge and Luis Severino are. The Yankees recent history against the Astros just becomes more painful now. It always sucks to lose, but to lose to a team that cheats just makes it feel like that "cheaters never prosper" idea applies to everyone but the ASSTROS.

The cheating makes me mad, but the fact that Fiers announces it two years later and then tries to condemn it makes him a pathetic loser in my book. He has a chip on his shoulder....and now fans and players alike have a reason to not like you, Fiers.

Congrats on your new reputation as a dirty snitch, Fiers. You earned that more than you earned your World Series ring, obviously.

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

Wednesday, November 13, 2019


Cheaters always get theirs.  The Houston Astros are cheaters.

Alex Bregman's a cheater, Jose Altuve should just give back his MVP from 2017, Justin Verlander is a cheater and everyone in that Astros front office needs to be removed.  Oh... and that World Series championship? It's a sham.

My 17 year old said it best, reading everything about this latest development involving the Astros stealing signs.  "F Altuve", "F all of them."  A huge baseball fan, and someone who is the first to give credit to players that earn it... doesn't feel that way about the Astros these days. No one should.

While stealing signs isn't illegal on the field... if you are strategically using electronics to manipulate the game and then getting that information to your players... you're cheating and heads should roll, but the top on down.  And I don't mean fines... because fines are easy to play for these rich players. I'm talking about suspensions... firings and having a World Series championship stripped.  Make it hurt.

In case you have zero idea what I'm talking about, it turns out the Astros are doing some pretty bad things.  The New York Post writes this:

"The Astros, already under investigation by commissioner Rob Manfred for conduct during an off-the-field incident last month, announced Tuesday their intention to cooperate with Major League Baseball in investigating allegations they illegally, electronically stole signs from opponents in 2017 by utilizing a center-field camera in Minute Maid Park focused on the other team’s catcher and then deploying methods — most notably relying on employees or players to bang on a trash can to signal when a breaking pitch or offspeed pitch was coming — to alert the hitter at the plate.

Given the timing of the accusations, which current A’s pitcher Mike Fiers, a member of the 2017 Astros, voiced on the record to The Athletic, the Yankees must wonder whether they were cheated out of a World Series appearance that season. Houston edged the Yankees in that American League Championship Series, winning all four games at home and losing all three at Yankee Stadium.

As Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge tweeted, above a link detailing the story, “Wait…what….?”

Another member of the 2017 Yankees, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said, 'To actually have somebody hitting a garbage can, pretty much the whole game, that’s pretty much your job, whoever is doing that. It stinks. You wish you could go back in time and figure that out earlier, because we thought we were the better team. We probably were the better team.'"

And Astros fans will say "Hey, this is an investigation, let it play out first before you start the accuse them of cheating."  Um... they cheated. Using the word investigation just makes it official, but there's definitely a problem here.

And Cashman is smart to not say too much right now, but did say this: “I don’t think it’s a technological question alone. It’s just conduct... You decide to play by the rules, or you don’t. And if you don’t, there’s consequences."

Conduct. Damn straight! And that brings me back to the punishment. When it becomes clear this happened, take the championship away... because they didn't actually win it.

Why cheat when a team like the Astros, with the talent and strength are perfectly capable of winning a championship ANYWAY? Why do players and teams... Alex Rodriguez comes to mind... when everyone knows they are talented, do these dudes think they need to have an edge to ensure they win?  Cheating is wrong.  That's one thing I teach my kids every day.  I'd rather you work and earn it, than cheat your way to the top... because with that manufactured win comes curiosity and skepticism next.  Do it right the first time.

And so yeah, the Astros cheated.  And it doesn't matter if it was 1 guy of half the team, THEY ALL DID.

Congrats to the Yankees for winning the 2017 ALCS. fair and square. And to quote my kid when referencing the Astros... "F all of them."


Tuesday, November 12, 2019


Hopefully Brian Cashman will agree.

I think last year if there was a need for an extra arm, which there was... picking up a guy like Zack Wheeler would have made a lot of sense.  But now, in this offseason it should be all about Gerrit Cole, Madison Bumgarner and Stephen Strasburg.

And so, the fact that's Randy Miller would write the word "surprisingly" when suggesting the Yanks are not on the suitor list for Wheeler this offseason is ridiculous. Randy... the Yankees need to think BIGGER!

He writes:

"The Yankees reportedly showed interest in Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler before this past season’s July 31 trade deadline. The price tag for the Yankees – and everyone else – was too high, so Wheeler finished out his walk year with the Mets. 

Before 5 p.m. Thursday, Wheeler almost certainly will join the free agent market because he has until then to reject the Mets’ $17.8 million qualifying offer for 2020, which is a near guarantee. the Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels and San Diego Padres “are among the teams showing interest in Wheeler during the early days of free agency.” 

Surprisingly, the Yankees weren’t listed among the early suitors because their No. 1 offseason priority is believed to be starting pitching."


Madison Bumgarner is one of the best pitchers in baseball. He's a free agent and the Yankees have money.  Stephen Strasburg? Yup, he just won with the Nationals, he's a boss, he's a free agent and yes, the Yankees have money.

Gerrit Cole... he doesn't want to be in Houston, CC Sabathia is trying to lure this guy to New York, the dude's a gamer, he's a free agent, AND THE YANKEES HAVE MONEY.

But yeah, let's go with injury-riddled Zack Wheeler and limp through 2020 with he and J.A. Happ.  Makes sense... SAID NO ONE EVER.

I can't stand bad stories.

Bottom line, the Yankees need to go big on 1 starter. You do that, we get Domingo German back,  you have Luis Severino, Tanaka... we have something pretty substantial.  Just saying, we don't need to duct tape it together anymore.  We have the offense, we just need 1 more significant starter. Bottom line.

That's how I feel at least.

Monday, November 11, 2019


Balance is a key word for me this winter. The Yankees have some additions to make in order to make improvements on this team. The Yankees will shop for more balance in the starting rotation, but that's not the only balance they need. The Yankees have had a potent offense for the last three years but relied on righty dominated lineups. The Yankees may lack even more left handed bats this season unless they make a change.

Last season Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner and Didi Gregorius took the majority of the Yankees' lefty plate appearances and things next season could look very different. The Yankees are likely to re-sign Gardner, they are already talking about another deal. But Hicks and Didi are much more complicated scenarios. Since Hicks needed Tommy John surgery he will likely miss a few months of the season, and Didi did not get a qualifying offer from the Yankees so he may not be back at all.

So if Hicks misses extensive time and Didi doesn't come back the Yankees only have five other left handed bats on the 40-man roster....and technically I would say four because Jacoby Ellsbury just doesn't count. Honestly, Greg Bird may not count either because he could be non-tendered, then the Yankees have Mike Ford and Tyler Wade. The Yankees still have Mike Tauchman, who is the closest option to a regular player in that group.

So the Yankees have a lack of left handed hitters and Didi is available. The Yankees could bring him back, maybe. The Yankees don't need him since they could just play Gleyber Torres at shortstop but the Yankees could look to bring him back for that left handed bat. There isn't a big market out there for Didi so the Yankees could get him back at a more affordable price. Looking ahead, the Reds and the Brewers are the teams in most need of a shortstop but they don't have a lot of payroll to spend and they also have other options available in their own farm systems and other free agents out there that won't cost as much as Didi.

On paper, there is still a mutual interest between the Yankees and Didi. The Yankees righty-heavy lineup could be an advantage to an opposing manager with a strong bullpen that can maneuver through the Yankees lineup with a good righty specialist. It's always a strategic possibility anyway.

Could Didi's left handed bat bring him back home to the Yankees after all? Left handed bats are valuable. The question is, will the Yankees value his left handed bat more than any other team? Only time will tell.

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

Sunday, November 10, 2019


Source: USA Today

Labor Day moves straight to Halloween and Halloween moves straight to Christmas. That appears to be the way things are, but there is just so much happening in between that if you don't pay attention, you will miss the good stuff. 

Keeping up with the off season is just like that...keeping up with it, making sure you don't lose it before it's gone.  We know that the stove is heating up and there are so many prediction scorching the headlines. Behind the scenes, it's anyone's game.  And whisking or wishing it away before some major moves are completed, is just not acceptable.  I am not counting down to Spring Training until I have had my Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas presents delivered.

Source: Matt Kartozian/USA TODAY Sports

Gerrit "Cole’s agent, Scott Boras, said in a text message on Saturday that he would address the media at the GM meetings. That address will not only focus on Cole and the Yankees, but on a handful of other starters in Boras’ stable who have hit the open market," reported the New York Post. Washington Nationals pitcher and World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg, Atlanta Braves Dallas Keuchel and Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu are all free agents represented by Boras.  Boras will be speaking about all of them and expectations of them during the upcoming GM Meetings.

Last winter we made some key signings before the official start of spring training in February.  We actually traded for James Paxton in November right around Thanksgiving and signed J.A. Happ in early December before Christmas.

Source: NY Post

"Though Hal Steinbrenner recently said the Yankees had a “very good rotation” as 2020 approaches, they will no doubt be looking at adding to it in the coming months," reports the Post.  And quite frankly, they better.  Keep up with the off season, Yankee brass and don't let the months escape you before you start counting down to pitchers and catchers.  The Yankees have some work to do before then and that does include the strength and conditioning of their key fixtures now who better be taking care of themselves.  Stay sharp fans and keep an eye on what's going to happen in the next few weeks.  We are just getting started and let's be hopeful that we see two aces making their way to us before December 31st.

Saturday, November 9, 2019


When Matt Blake was hired by the Yankees to be the new pitching coach, some Yankee fans went bananas.  I guess they all wanted David Cone because he was a name that they can recognize.  He's also very smart and a perfect fit for the Yankees clubhouse. But for whatever reason, the Yankees thought that Matt Blake was a better candidate.  By the way... Matt Blake is a GREAT hire.

Now weirdos are out there blasting this guy, I guess because they have no idea who he is.  But trust me, it's a great move.

The New York Post writes of Blake:

"Blake was perhaps a name not heard of outside of those familiar with the inner-workings of the Indians and others who knew his reputation in New England, where the Holy Cross alumnus had come to be thought of as something of a “pitching guru,” according to his old college coach, Craig Najarian. 

Just four years ago, Blake was a pitching coach at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School near Boston, where he was also the owner and founder of Elite Pitching Development and the pitching coordinator at Cressey Sports Performance, a program that has worked with the likes of Noah Syndergaard, Max Scherzer and Curt Schilling, among others.

'He’s ahead of his time,’ said Kirk Fredericks, who brought Blake on as his pitching coach at Lincoln-Sudbury about a decade ago.'"

And Sweeny Murti writes:

"Who is he? Part of the new breed. ...Pitching Coordinator at Cressey Sports Performance, a factory similar to Driveline. And Driveline, coincidentally, is where the Yankees found Sam Briend who they named Director of Pitching earlier this year. Someone who has worked with Blake told me he is

'extremely smart on the analytic side but doesn’t have much actual coaching experience. That might be the challenge, but it might not. He’s easy going, but very smart.'”

And isn't this what we want? Larry Rothschild, God love him, was there too long.  There needed to be a change. Plus, good for the Padres, they just hired him to do the same role.

And sure, it wasn't Coney, but whatever... give Blake a chance.

I like this move a lot.

Friday, November 8, 2019


The post-season blues are starting to set in. However, a lot needs to be done during this downtime. With GM meetings approaching, let's make a wish list of what the Yankees need to flourish in 2020.

1. Spend money on starting pitching.

Source: Sports Illustrated

There are a ton of free-agent options that the Yankees can pursue such as Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, Zack Wheeler, and Madison Bumgarner.

CC Sabathia has been chatting to Cole about going to New York.

"Me and Gerrit Cole have spoken at length many times about me pitching as a Yankee as a West Coast Guy," Sabathia said. "If you give [him] enough money, he's going to want to come here. I am speaking from experience."

2. Re-sign Brett Gardner.

Source: NY Daily News

Even though Gardner is a free agent, I cannot see him leaving the Yankees. Last season he hit .251/.325/.503 with a career-high 28 home runs and 10 stolen bases. Plus, the outfield needs help with Giancarlo Stanton being injured for most of the season, and Aaron Hicks getting Tommy John surgery.

“I don’t think there’s any question as to what his capabilities are,” GM Brian Cashman told reporters. “He’s tremendous on both sides of the ball, offensively and defensively, including playing center field.”

3. Figure out a deal with Didi Gregorius?

Source: 12up

With no qualifying offer to Didi, is it the end of him in the Bronx? As sad as it is to say, the Yankees would be okay without Didi. Gleyber Torres can take over shortstop, problem solved. But, it would be sad to see Didi go.

With an already solid team, the one thing that is most important this post-season is pitching. Let's hope these meetings build the foundation for number 28.

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

Thursday, November 7, 2019


Brett Gardner had a great season and proved to be a leader in that Yankee clubhouse. I think bat banging is totally fucking childish, but that's his thing. Whatever works to spark solid team energy I guess.

The latest with Gardner is that the Yankees and he are trying to work something out... especially with Aaron Hicks out because of Tommy John surgery for next season.  By the way, if that dude was hurting, why the hell are they even using Hicks this past ALCS? I found that ridiculous, but whatever.

Here's the news on Gardy from Mark Feinsand:

We will see what happens and if anything does, we will let you know here on BYB. No question though, it appears the Yanks need Gardy back at this point.

Stay tuned.


Sometimes you just need to rant. It's why this website was created after all....this all started with a rant. Some of you have been here ever since. You keep coming back (thank you!) so here we are almost a decade later, so why change now? I guess we can call this sticking with what has worked for us.

So I am going to rant. What am I going to rant about? DJ LeMahieu and The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA), because they made a mistake. I never complain about the writers. In fact, I don't think I have ever mentioned them before. But this time, I really think they are flat out wrong.

On Monday I was working out at the gym with my husband when I got an alert pop up on my phone. Awards season is here, and I get excited about that. But this time I wasn't excited, I was mad. The American League MVP award candidates are: Mike Trout, Alex Bregman and the Athletics’ Marcus Semien.

COME AGAIN? No DJ LeMahieu? But....Marcus Semien makes the cut?! I admittedly blurted out "Are you shitting me?!" How on earth is Semien a finalist but LeMahieu gets SNUBBED? Yes, I am calling it a snub. Nothing against Semien but, that's just crazy.

Look at this season, LeMahieu is a big reason WHY the Yankees were so successful. We weren't quite sure how he was going to fit on the roster or how effective he would be transitioning to the AL East and he surprised us all. He was the Yankees MVP. Thanks to a boatload of injuries, he went from utility man to a starring role. He finished the season with 26 home runs (his previous career high was 15) and drove in 102 runs AND was fourth in the AL with a .327 BA. Oh and he was an All-Star! 

We all know Trout is Trout....he's a beast and we all know this. He's "the best player in baseball" and hit a career best 45 home runs this season despite hitting the Injured List. Bregman also hit 41 home runs, had 112 RBIs, and helped his team get to the World Series. I get his nomination. I don't get Semien's nomination beyond his stats. Sure he played in all 162 games and had 33 home runs but....MVP finalist?! Come on. LeMahieu's batting average was 42 points higher (.327 BA), he had 10 more RBI's (102) but because he didn't play in all 162 games and hit 7 fewer home runs than Semien he isn't nominated?

Has the BBWAA lost their minds? Is this the "if you hit less than 30 home runs you do not qualify" type of club? The award is called the Most Valuable Player. What additional value did Semien give to the A's that LeMahieu didn't give to the Yankees? The A's finished second in their division and lost the Wild Card game, the Yankees won their division and made it to the American League Championship series. That's value, folks!

The BBWAA doesn't understand what "valuable" means in the context of this award. Maybe when they understand they will all at least be voting for the same thing. Even if LeMahieu wasn't THE MVP this season he earned the nomination. He was SNUBBED plain and simple and the BBWAA got this one completely wrong.

 The MVP that won't be LeMahieu will be announced November 14th....we'll have to wait and see who wins. Okay, rant over. I feel a little better. Sort of.

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

Wednesday, November 6, 2019


Source: Los Angeles Times

I read this headline in the NY Post on Tuesday, and it made my blood boil: "Zack Wheeler would be Yankees’ perfect Gerrit Cole fallback" Seriously, this is where we are?  The Yankees' brass aren't going out there with gloves up ready for a battle.  They are already ready to settle.

Look...the Yankees don't need second or third best.  They need aces and yes, that is plural.  This team has come too close too many times to settle.  And headlines like the one in the Post only set the wrong tone for this year's offseason purchases.

Source: ESPN

"Wheeler’s agent B.B. Abbott will be at the general managers’ meetings next week, and you can bet on Brian Cashman’s group being among those to meet with Abbott and discuss its interest in Wheeler, whom the Yankees have long liked and tried to acquire last July when the Mets contemplated trading him," reported the Post.  Listen, Wheeler is a fine pitcher and with a good defense behind him, he could be a great pitcher.  If it is Wheeler and Gerrit Cole or Wheeler and Stephen Strasburg, then okay, I could be up for that.  But Wheeler and...crickets, now that is simply unacceptable.

Source: Twitter

CC Sabathia's vote for Gerrit Cole could not be clearer as he spoke about Cole's fit for the team in a recent podcast with Ryan Ruocco on R2C2 is UNINTERRUPTED.

“Me and Gerrit Cole have spoken at length many times about me pitching as a Yankee as a West Coast Guy,” Sabathia said. “This is crazy, this is shaping out… like the same offseason I had.” The Yankees already have missed out twice on Cole, who went 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA with Houston last season. They failed to sign Cole after drafting him the same year Sabathia signed, and then were outbid by the Astros, who acquired Cole from Pittsburgh in 2018," reported the NY Post.

Cole and...would be just fine.  And if Cole is a good fit as it appears he would be, then he can take on a leadership role along with an ace role.  Let's make it happen, Cashman.  Let's not lose out for a third time and settle for someone second best.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019


That's what I want... but we're not there yet. In fact, right now all we know is that he interviewed for the gig.

Several publications are talking about it. We'll go with CBS Sports who credits Jack Curry of YES with the first report. No question Jack was first with it... Cone and him just wrote a book together... it's kind of a no brainer.

"The New York Yankees have interviewed retired pitcher and current YES Network analyst David Cone for the club's vacant pitching job, according to YES Network's Jack Curry. New York fired Larry Rothschild at the end of October. Rothschild, 65, had been the Yankees pitching coach since 2011. 

Cone met with Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, manager Aaron Boone and other members of the club's baseball operations department for several hours last week, Curry added."

I really want Coney in the Yankees clubhouse.

By the way, buy Curry and Cone's book... it's called FULL COUNT.

As far as the pitching coach gig... stay tuned...


It could end up being my dream come true.  Don Mattingly and Thurman Munson, both going to the Hall of Fame.  It could happen, along with Derek Jeter in 2020.  That is pretty outstanding.  Wow! writes this:

"Mattingly and Munson are among the 10 finalists to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame via the Modern Baseball Era ballot. Jeter, meanwhile, will be on the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot for the first time in 2020. 

Jeter, known simply as 'The Captain' and later 'Mr. November,' figures to be a sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famer. The Yankees' shortstop was a 14-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion during his 20-year career, spent entirely with the Yankees. 

Mattingly racked up plenty of honors of his own during his 14-year career with the Yankees from 1982-95. A six-time All-Star and nine-time Gold Glove winner, 'Donnie Baseball' was also named the 1985 AL MVP and finished as the runner-up in '86. New York retired Mattingly's No. 23 in 1997. 

As for Munson, he was another player who spent his entire career with the Yankees. A first-round pick in the 1968 MLB Draft, Munson was later named the 1970 AL Rookie of the Year. He went on to win the '76 AL MVP Award before helping guide the Yankees to back-to-back World Series titles in '77 and '78."

Look, everyone knows Jeter's getting in. That's not news.

What is news is the idea that players like Munson and Mattingly have a legit chance now.

Let's hope.