Friday, June 5, 2020

MLB SLOW TO MAKE A STATEMENT ABOUT GEORGE FLOYD'S DEATH


There's been chaos all across America ever since George Floyd was wrongfully murdered at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.

Many people have gone to the streets or the Internet to voice their support in the fight against racism. But nine days after Floyd's death, the MLB finally broke their silence and issued a statement concerning this tragedy:


"We offer our condolences to the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and all the families that have lost loved ones due to senseless killing and injustice. To be clear, our game has zero tolerance for racism and racial injustice. The reality that the Black community lives in fear or anxiety over racial discrimination, prejudice or violence is unacceptable. Addressing this issue requires action both within our sport and society. MLB is committed to engaging our communities to invoke change. We will take the necessary time, effort and collaboration to address symptoms of systematic racism, prejudice and injustice, but will be equally as focused on the root of the problem." 


It's somewhat reassuring to see the MLB supporting the protestors in their movement against racism. This action even got the ball rolling for more leagues to address the matter, as the NHL and NBA also made statements the next day. Although, how the league plans to do about racism and prejudice inside their communities was vague in their statement.


The MLB might not even know what they plan to do right now, as they're still reeling from having to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This knowledge will probably have to wait until the league reopens from quarantine.


Some people have criticized the league for taking too long to address the event, especially with their significant history fighting discrimination with Jackie Robinson.

However, it's understandable as they might have had to take their time to figure out how to address such a sensitive matter. What matters is that they joined in the conversation against racism instead of remaining silent...finally.


Nevertheless, critics argue that the MLB didn't mention the police, let alone condemn them, in their statement. Like how those in the Minneapolis police who are guilty must be held accountable, the MLB must address the source of the problem to make a real difference.



--Anthony Orlando
BYB Contributor
Twitter: @landi52orlando


DAVID CONE'S SOLUTION TO GETTING BASEBALL BACK!


We here at Bleeding Yankee Blue LOVE David Cone.  He's a smart baseball guy.  I love that he's in the booth, but dare I say, I'd love to see him as a manager one day. He has what it takes. I've always said that.  No idea if that's in the back of his mind, but it should be.

With all this stuff going on with the baseball season being in jeopardy and now a dispute with the union, Cone has a solution, because both sides are just not budging and it's getting late early as Yogi used to say. Steve Serby of the New York Post writes:

"...the sides should meet back in the middle on an 82-game season with an expanded 14-team playoffs to get the ball rolling on a deal. 

'I would say a fair number would be somewhere in the 82-game region,' Cone said. 'If I was the commissioner that’s where I would try to start the conversation.'” 


It's reasonable and very fair. And to be honest, it's a solid solution. I mean look, we understand that Blake Snell is worried for his life and all this stuff, but it's not like he's going full contact with people on the baseball field. He's pitching... chill.

Major League Baseball will make sure everything is done right to keep these players safe, starting of course with no fans.  Then add in masks, tests, you can't go wrong.  The country needs baseball right now. We've waited long enough.


Hell, My 17 year old will be competing in Florida and Georgia in July... AND THAT'S HAPPENING. And guess what... he plays for free, and guess what, Perfect Game, the organization that runs these events is doing everything in their power to make it safe for these young players including having us parents stay away.


And College recruiters will now not be able to attend live... only watch live feeds.  If these kids can do it, Tony Clark can sack up and get these players back on the field.

Anyway... now that I'm done ranting, way to go David Cone for stepping up and being a leader in all of this! Love this guy!


By the way, book plug here for 2 of my favorite people, Coney and Jack Curry. Make sure you pick up FULL COUNT if you haven't already. A terrific read. You can get it on Amazon HERE.


Thursday, June 4, 2020

THE YANKEES BATTLE BETWEEN GOOD MORAL & GOOD BUSINESS DECISIONS


Times just keep getting tougher, unfortunately. We all keep telling ourselves that it will get better, but it's June. We are halfway through a crappy 2020 and we still have no baseball. Some of us might be getting back to work as the country starts to re-open....but some of us might not.


The Yankees released 45 minor league players across all levels of the farm system on Monday. I've heard so many arguments about it. Some say it sucks, but they get it....others have said it was a terrible moral decision to make. I get both sides....but it still sinks in the pit of my stomach. I was told on Twitter yesterday that I needed to "pick a side" but truth is, it is hard.

Argument 1: It's a business decision - and it was right for the business

It's unlikely that we will have a minor league season in 2020. We still don't have an agreement for a 2020 Major League season as the players union and owners continue to fight about it. Baseball has been planning for a reduction of minor league systems anyway, now this pandemic has expedited that idea. Teams are expected to be reduced from 162 to around 120. If you look at the list of minor league affiliations per team HERE, looking at just the American League, the AL EAST have the most minor league teams.


The Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays (!) have nine affiliate teams which is most in the division. The Yankees could easily be on the hook for losing a team, and the short-season Staten Island Yankees have been rumored to be a possible cut.

Aside from the sheer number of teams and players that the Yankees have in their minor leagues, Spring Training is a time for cuts. Obviously, we've been dealing with a pandemic so the usual cuts from Spring Training were not made.


The Yankees would've made anywhere from 20-40 cuts anyway, so in this case the cuts just come later which means they got a little more pay. Also, players will get more money from unemployment benefits covered under the CARES act then their $400/wk stipend covers.

Argument 2: Terrible Moral decision, the Yankees can afford it and should pay their people

So unemployment may pay more temporarily, but now they are left without a job and stuck in a market that has few, if any opportunities with other teams. In reality, many of these players will have to face the likelihood that their baseball careers are over. That's what hits me the hardest, some of these guys won't have their major league dreams come true and it will be time to find a new passion. Sure, a lot of us may be in the same position and that is the risk that comes with being a professional athlete, but it's still had to stomach. I can't imagine being in their shoes and working my whole life towards a goal that may not happen.


Honestly, the Yankees could afford to pay all of these guys. By cutting 45 players at a pay rate of $400/wk through August the Yankees are only saving about $230,000. That's a drop in the bucket for them. That money is what it costs for Gerrit Cole to pitch for two innings! That's a comparison that stings a little.


The Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals have figured out a way to keep all of their players so far and pay them....so the Yankees can too IF they want to. We know Hal Steinbrenner has the money. Baseball is a mess right now, but one would hope that years down the road teams are going to need the depth to continue to build.

I don't know. I am sad based on the decision but I get it. I'm listening to my heart and my brain is thinking logically at the same time. It's not a combination that makes sense for business, which is exactly what baseball is.

Where do you stand on this? Do you think the Yankees should have released so many players....or was it the best decision for the organization? Comment and tell us.



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

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

DOES AMERICA EVEN NEED BASEBALL ANYMORE?


As I moved from room to room in my house to get a little exercise in between Zoom calls, I heard a local sportscaster say that a 2020 baseball season decision is coming down to the wire.  Sigh.  I miss baseball but the arguing over salaries amidst all of the unrest we are all experiencing on the heals of the pandemic, the talk of baseball is just insignificant. Nonetheless, here are some of the latest words on the 2020 season.


According to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, "The 30-60-game season very likely won’t happen. It sounds like MLB didn’t offer this during Sunday’s virtual meeting as much as wryly mention it as a possibility that would give the players their prorated pay while not financially overextending the owners. Everyone knows how silly such a short schedule would look, especially with the decks clearing to hold a three-month regular season plus expanded playoffs in October."

This is on top of the players wanting their full prorated salary despite the shortened schedule and no spectators.  The continued tensions between owners and players continues to play out.  Players are still sore about the March Agreement, which many believe the players didn't fully understand.

Source: DAMON SCHELEUR, HUFFINGTON POST

Tony Clark, Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association shared during the Sunday meeting with Major League Baseball deputy commissioner Dan Halem  that "players were aware that the March Agreement did not resolve the issue of player salaries in a season without fans. And he said the players’ decision to accept nothing less than 100 percent of their prorated salaries was due to the risks of playing the season, not because they were promised it in the March 26 agreement,” reported the Post.

MLB owners stand to lose the most if the season does not come to fruition. On top of that, with all that has happened over the last two years with the changes to the game, the cheating, the rise in ticket prices and now the turbulence between ownership and players, baseball the sport is taking a tremendous hit.  Does America even need baseball anymore? Has it lost its relevance given the changes to our country? These are also some words to consider when we think of the 2020 season that may not happen. I can continue to be hopeful, but the reality appears to be setting in as the days continue to pass us by with no resolution in sight.



--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof




Tuesday, June 2, 2020

SEVERINO UPDATES US ON HIS RECOVERY


It's amazing how Luis Severino is still out. To me, it feels like 2 years since he had Tommy John Surgery. But it hasn't been that long.  Surgery was in February.  And Sevy? He won't be ready until the 2021 season anyway.  But that being said, he made sure he was giving an update on his recovery. I love this...

NJ.com writes:


"The two-time All-Star emailed the New York Post with an update on his rehab, and it’s clear Severino understands slow and steady wins the race. 

'I’ve been down in Tampa since the day after I had my surgery. I do arm bike, dumbbell exercises, and I just follow the routine that [trainers] Timmy [Lentych] and Alfonso [Malaguti] plan out for me. I spend an hour and half with them in the trainer’s room before I move into the gym, every day, five days a week,' Severino explained. 'Things have been progressing well. I’ve been making steady progress — lifting, doing exercises. Since three months ago — I think when I first had my surgery — I feel way better. I’m doing everything I need to do right now so that I can start throwing this summer.’"


Love this dude's work ethic and appreciate the update.  In 2021, he and Cole will really be major parts of the Yankees starting rotation, and it will be glorious.

A healthy Sevy is an amazing Sevy. Can't wait.


WE ARE STRONGER TOGETHER


I have so much love and respect for my fellow Americans walking with their fists high, sometimes arm and arm with police, sometimes chanting passionately as they stand for justice for a 46 year old man named George Floyd. He shouldn't have died. There was no reason for it. None.


But when something this sad and aggressive happens, especially now because there's video, the country goes crazy. And with good reason. A bad cop did a bad thing. A cop is supposed to protect and serve.  Officer Chauvin did not.  Instead, he kneeled on Floyd's neck for nine minutes. Today it was announced that Floyd's autopsy revealed a homicide as a result of being restrained.  The video shows it, there's no debate.

Now Chauvin's life is over. He's been fired, arrested, his wife left him... and yes, he will be charged.  The other 3 officers were fired as well and dare I say they should ALL be charged with murder.  Oh and the police chief that's supposed to be in charge? The guy who runs the police force in Minneapolis? It may not be popular to some, but last time I checked, when something goes down that's gruesome, you need to cut the head off the snake. And in this case, the Chief is the snake, and he needs to go too. Maybe not for his direct involvement, but just merely out of principal. He was the man in charge. Because the bottom line is this... you don't knee a dude's neck for 9 minutes as part of the training at the academy. That happened under his watch and no matter what, it's disgusting.


Now look, protests have been going on in this country for a long, long time, peace rallies, race protests... everything.  That's what makes America a great and important democracy.


You can speak your mind. You can march, hold up signs, yell at the man, chant as loud as you want. We allow it because this is America.  But when something like the death of George Floyd happens, immediately a race debate begins and hatred flares up.  I understand. Whenever there is tragedy, our human instinct is to blame someone. Maybe not the person who did it directly, but instead the guy in front of you with the shade of the person who did it.


But before we start to pit whites against blacks and blacks against whites, one thing needs to be understood...


No one, and I mean NO ONE with intelligence and common sense can ever, EVER think that the murder of George Floyd was good. It was horrendous and awful. In other words, me, being a white man can comprehend why it's important to have an organized protest so there's justice for Mr. Floyd's family. In fact, millions of white people do.

But this is what is ironic and almost wonderful about this America that I know and love. While history will have whites and blacks drifting apart after a tragedy like this... I'm noticing something quite the opposite.


We're coming together... and we're coming together in a big way. Seeing what these disgusting anarchists are trying to do to not only this important protest, but to the country as well, has really opened all of our eyes collectively, hasn't it?


So, while the first night's protests ended up with an infiltration and wilding of stupid teenage kids breaking windows and stealing Louis Vuitton bags out of the showroom window... something also started to happen.  Blacks and whites began bonding and sticking together. We're helping the cops weed out the trash. We're becoming unified.


I see police officers hugging protestors. I see marches with whites and blacks standing arm and arm continuing to find justice for George Floyd. I see whites and blacks fighting back against these disgusting, idiotic anarchist turds.


If anything, the destruction, fear and chaos these anarchists are trying to ensue is only bringing us all closer. Why? Well, because of a few things.

For one, the terrible atrocities of America's history are just that, history. Many American's today like me WANT change for the better. We don't want to be divided, we don't want to oppress anyone. We want unity.


And secondly, common sense knows that anarchy will only further cripple this country that has already lost 105,000 people to Coronavirus and found 3 million Americans out of work. And so, for those assholes, their timing is bad. And us black and white Americans? We just came off a 2 month country quarantine. We don't need it.   Coronavirus didn't discriminate and so we won't either. In other words, we're in this together and if that means bonding over anarchist kids, so be it. Sign me up.

These filthy anarchists, these animals are now in a situation where they have pissed off EVERYBODY.  Together we will fight back, be it knocking them out on the street, or continuing to stand tall with each other, blacks... whites, to build a better America moving forward.

Now look... I don't ever talk about race or politics... like... ever. But over the last few days, I saw a black man die and a bunch of loser teenagers who want to pop old ladies and steal their handbags while they light fires and in the middle of the street. And then... then I saw acts of kindness between both races. I was touched. I want it to continue... I know many of you do. And look, after this... America won't be perfect, but I do truly believe that America will be stronger. I think we can learn from this. We want the same things, I really believe that.

I could not sit quietly here on Bleeding Yankee Blue while my country is being destroyed. But one thing I can do is tell you all that I love my fellow neighbor, no matter what color he or she is, because for me, it's about humanity, not race. It's about love, not hate... it's about justice, not anarchy.  That's the way I was raised.

We got this… together.