Monday, May 23, 2022

LIKE THE "JACKIE" STORY OR NOT, IF YOU'RE IN MEDIA, YOU HAVE TO DISCUSS IT!


The story is ridiculous. I broke down the entire thing in ANALYSIS: DONALDSON AIMS TO MENTALLY BREAK PLAYERS... BUT THAT'S ABOUT IT.

When you got a guy like Tim Anderson saying he was "disrespected" for the name of a hero he anointed himself as, Jackie Robinson, you can't suddenly have your feelings hurt when else someone calls you it.  My opinion.


But these days in society, life is no longer about razzing and joking and ripping. It's about feelings... and it sucks. The world's gone soft.

Everyone these days has feelings and everyone's sensitive.  And the day Tim Anderson was called "Jackie" was the day he ran into a guy that was just that Big Oaf. That Bull in a China shop. I mean, think about Josh Donaldson for a moment. He is the poster boy for giving players mental breakdowns with his constant razzing. He is the finger in your eye and the guy that will put you on display for the world to see because he loves to cause trouble.  And the other day he met his match with the "feelings police" and Tim Anderson. 

Interpret "Jackie" however you want, but no one liked it in Chicago... many didn't in New York, and MLB? They were forced to "investigate" because that's what we do now.   All that said, if you are a media person or a baseball person, you may not wanna talk about it, but you gotta.


Today more fallout. Donaldson received a suspension from the MLB.  The Chicago Tribune writes:

"Donaldson received a one-game suspension and undisclosed fine Monday for what Major League Baseball described as “inappropriate comments” made to Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson during Saturday’s game at Yankee Stadium.

“There is no dispute over what was said on the field,” Michael Hill, MLB’s senior vice president for on-field operations, said in a statement. “Regardless of Mr. Donaldson’s intent, the comment he directed toward Mr. Anderson was disrespectful and in poor judgment..."

It is what it is, and everyone can now move on, I guess.  But remember this the next time you think you're being funny or clever or sarcastic. You can't do that anymore. In fact... don't even talk.  

And speaking of not talking, as I stated before, right now as ridiculous as it is, it's the hottest story out there. Media will talk about it even though they don't want to, and sports guys and baseball people should too.  It's the way the media is. Just like this Johnny Depp trial. You may not love it, but if you're a show that covers the courtroom, you're doing it wall to wall and most likely if you like that stuff, you're watching... it's everywhere. 



Paul O'Neill was supposed to be on with Brandon Tierney and Tiki Barber to talk about his book. And because the story is still white hot, they were going to ask about Donaldson. Well apparently, O'Neill didn't want anything to do with that.


“We were supposed to have him on right now and he is on hold, OK,” said Tierney, who listed O’Neill as his second favorite all-time Yankee after Don Mattingly.

“He has a new book coming out, called, ‘Swing and a Hit.’ And Jack Curry wrote it, along with Paul. We were told and Tiki, you don’t even know this because I was going through this while you were finishing up your thought on the air. We were told we can not ask anything about Donaldson and Anderson.

“I said, ‘We can’t do the interview if that is the case.’ I said, ‘Please tell Paul, we will navigate this responsibly. We will not belabor it. But I can’t have Paul O’Neill on the show after we spent an hour and 35 minutes talking about Tim Anderson and Josh Donaldson and not ask him about what transpired. That sucks..."

It does suck. 

Look, O'Neill's a legend. No one better for me, but stories like this need opinions from everyone. Next week? No. Now when it's hot? For sure.  If Jack Curry were on, he'd answer the questions.  Alot of people would.  You may feel icky about it, you might not want to throw anyone under the bus but if the question was asked, at least say "No comment", or "I wasn't there, I don't know what I can really say about it."  No one is bigger than a media question about the hottest story of the past 24 hours... No one. 

And the be honest, as a blogger and journalist, I think it was a great move by Tierney to cancel Paulie.  We'll all still read the book, we love the O'Neill, but media is where we formulate decisions and new ideas, and clearly Paulie didn't want any part of it.

Look, at the end the day, the story is stupid. And the punishment? Weird. To quote Keith McPherson on MLB Network today....  

IT JUST WENT FROM BAD TO WORSE FOR DEIVI GARCIA


The Yankees aren't admitting this yet but, they are worried about Deivi Garcia and so am I. Garcia used to be the Yankees second-best pitching prospect and he's in a downward spiral and barely cracked the top 30. He couldn't wait for 2021 to come to an end but his 2022 start so far is nothing to feel great about.

We got a short, encouraging glimpse of Garcia in Spring Training but it was short lived. I was hopeful that he would carry that with him into the regular season. As bad as his 2021 start was, this year looks even worse and he better turn it around fast otherwise some new kids are knocking on the door of the 40-man roster.


The season is young but he has a bloated 9.90 ERA in six starts with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders down in Triple-A. In 20 innings he has allowed 22 earned runs on 27 hits and walked 16 batters. He's quickly losing ground to guys like JP Sears and Hayden Wesneski, who isn't on the Yankees 40-man roster yet but he's making the Yankees think long and hard about that. If Wesneski continues to impress, Garcia is going to find himself left behind.

I hope Garcia can pull himself out of this. He's still 23 so he's young and I think he can be saved, however I already said ANALYTICS FAILED DEIVI GACIA AND NOW THERE IS PROOF! The Yankees have some other kids that are starting to climb the rankings and Garcia is freefalling. I think the Yankees are to blame for a lot of that because....the Yankees haven't done well developing young talent. They look at numbers spit out of a computer and try to tinker with these younger kids like they are a science experiment. Not to mention Matt Blake and Aaron Boone are just brainless morons.


But Garcia is in a race against time. He may be young enough, but some of these other kids pitching well are older than him and proving they are already closer to that big league opportunity. They may outpitch him for a big league opportunity and that would suck. I like Garcia, I've always pushed for him....but time may not be on his side anymore.

I hope Garcia can pull it together quickly. We always want to see the kid that we follow for a long time make it to the show and be successful. I still hope that happens, but I'm worried about him. He doesn't have a lot of reputable coaches behind him to guide him....and history has proven this. 


I want to see the Garcia from Spring Training come back again....please!


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


Sunday, May 22, 2022

CAN CLAY HOLMES STEAL CLOSER ROLE FROM CHAPMAN?

Source: Associated Press

It is a pleasure to watch the Yankees over the last few weeks. They are scoring runs. They are swinging the bat well. Their defense has been spot on, including their pitching. My only anxiety is when I see Aroldis Chapman warming up in the pen. Chapman seemingly has picked up where he left off from last season—unable to focus when he puts a runner on first then loading up the bases with walks. He throws hard but when he is not on, he loses games the Yankees should have won. Yet, on the flip side, when I see cool and calm Clay Holmes take the mound in a challenging situation, I see someone who is ready, focused and unfazed by anything other than the batter in front of him. He is already making a difference in his secondary closer role, but what if he was the closer. Can Clay Holmes steal the closer role from Chapman?


“I think in a lot of ways, he’s simplified things,” Boone said. “We talk about intelligence and he’s a smart guy that understands all the tools available to pitchers these days, how to take that stuff and how to apply it and how to benefit from it. Some guys get overwhelmed by it. Some guys don’t apply it the right way. I feel he’s done all that," reported NJ.com. Boone is referring to the work that Holmes has put into his pitching, which is paying off in a big way for the right hander. 

This season, Clay Holmes has just been stellar. In fact, he’s been one of the most consistent relievers in baseball going 4-0 with an 0.44 ERA. He also has one of the nastiest pitches in the sport— 96-to-98 mph slider. I have been incredibly impressed with his presence when he comes into the game, which as a set up man, is often a situation with guys on base threatening to score. He has command and poise, staring down hitters and performing his craft with great accuracy and precision. 

Source: Sports Illustrated

"A problem for opposing hitters, Holmes might be stealing the Yankees’ closer job from Aroldis Chapman, who had a couple of bad slumps last season and recently has fallen into another. Chapman is a free agent after the season and no lock to return, while Holmes, 29, has two more years of team control. Thus a switch in roles this year for Holmes could last at least a couple of years," wrote NJ.com

Source: NY Post

The transformation of Holmes is similar to what we are seeing in his counterpart in the starting rotation, Nestor Cortes. Ironically, Holmes saved Cortes's game in Saturday's 7-5 win over the White Sox. Essentially,  Holmes went from a .5.57 ERA when he was with the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2018-21 to virtually unhittable with the Yankees thanks to tweaks to his mechanics that have kept the walks out of his stats and built more confidence to just mix up his stuff, including his lethal sinker.

Source: Sports Illustrated

Holmes will likely see more action with Yankee bullpen ace Chad Green on the IL. And as he steps in more regularly, he will build even more confidence, which is all part of the package of a closing pitcher or for any pitcher for that matter. This is an area where Chapman has really suffered, hurting his performance and his dependability out of the pen.

Source: MLB.com

Can Clay Holmes steal the closer role? Yes. That may very well be the plan with Chapman likely exiting next season. If Holmes can stay healthy and can keep dealing his nasty stuff, we may very well see him in more and more closing stints this season, setting him up for a great future as the regular closer and potentially an All Star this season. 




--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Senior Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof


ANALYSIS: DONALDSON AIMS TO MENTALLY BREAK PLAYERS... BUT THAT'S ABOUT IT


Look, it really doesn't matter what I say though, because everyone has an opinion about Josh Donaldson's "comment" to Tim Anderson today, which started a brawl between the White Sox and Yankees.  Donaldson called Anderson "Jackie". Anderson said it was "disrespectful". Those are facts.  

Was Donaldson's ribbing on Anderson obnoxious? 1000%.  Guys on the baseball field razz each other and knowing that Anderson and Donaldson had a past already, it would make it much easier for one of them to give the other more razzing in this series.  It just so happens that Donaldson didn't think before he spoke today. And now? Well... the whole Twitter verse has gone fucking crazy.

Now people are going to read this post on BYB and form opinions about me.  Don't.  I don't know you guys and I'm not about to go reading your twitter and judging you. That would be dumb.  All I am trying to do is cut through this and understand it... not just the Donaldson, Anderson thing, but all of it.  But let's start there...

Tim Anderson is quoted as saying this in an article in 2019:


"I kind of feel like today's Jackie Robinson... That's huge to say. But it's cool, man, because he changed the game, and I feel like I'm getting to a point to where I need to change the game."

Now reading that quote as a 50-year-old man, I see a hungry, excited ballplayer that doesn't realize in what capacity that statement means. It's immature in my opinion.  

Think about this... Tim Anderson was 26 years old when he said that.  If you think about the struggle, the hardship, the racism, the death threats, the survival mode that Jackie Robinson had to go through in his lifetime in this country, there is literally no comparing him in the 40's when it comes to Tim Anderson playing baseball now. Yes, racism still exists, but playing in the major leagues as a black exists now too.  



But look, if Anderson feels this way about changing the game at 26 years old, I root for that... but what does that mean?  Does it mean showing his ability on the field? In 2019 he batted over .330... I was rooting hard for this guy, I still am. He's incredibly talented.  But "change the game". Again, what does that mean?

Now since that quote, it was stated today the Josh Donaldson and Tim had a thing.  They joked about it.  Here's what Donaldson said:

So, I guess now we need to think about this further. Josh suggests they've joked about it before.  Do you know that? Do I? No idea. No one knows.  

Here's what I do know. This beef between Tim Anderson and Josh Donaldson first started on Friday May 13. That was how this all began.  The Sporting News writes:

"In the first inning of their second meeting, Anderson was sent back to third base by catcher Jose Trevino's throw. As Anderson was getting back, Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson applied a hard tag that knocked Anderson off the bag, and also apparently drove his knee into Anderson's arm. The third-base umpire immediately spotted the move and called time, ending the play there and allowing to get their bearings."



Was Donaldson kind of being a bully? Probably. Was he trying to get a rise out of Anderson? I think so. Was it racist? I say no, but that's my opinion.  But let me tell you something. I've seen plenty of baseball over the years from High School to the pros, and every once in a while, there's some asshole on the field that wants to get someone revved up. And I firmly believe that day it was Donaldson.

But the Sporting News goes on:



"What followed was a strange, slow saunter onto the field by both sides. Neither one seemed to know what it was trying to achieve. Anderson and Donaldson both seemed to say that things were fine, but some wires apparently got crossed. The situation on the field calmed down quickly and Anderson and Donaldson appeared to be OK with each other afterward.

Donaldson gave his viewpoint after the game..."


This is the first time Donaldson uses the phrasing "not intentionally".  At the time no one is thinking anything other than what Josh is suggesting, two competitive guys competing. OK fine. 

Today was another round of Anderson v. Donaldson. This time it was different.  This time Josh Donaldson wants to continue the ball breaking. I mean after all, since the last time the two teams met, there appears to be no bad blood at all. And do, Donaldson being the instigator decides to get under Anderson's skin again and thinks back to 2019, and calls Anderson "Jackie". 




"Josh Donaldson said Saturday night that he called White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson “Jackie” during that afternoon’s game in New York, leading to tension on the field and a benches-clearing situation..."

Donaldson claimed he was trying to 'defuse' the on-field tension. But my opinion is he was razzing once again, because if you read the timeline, the tension wasn't really existent, was it?  But what followed is what's now in play... how the word Jackie is being interpreted.
Now read that quote: 

“It was a disrespectful comment...I don’t play like that. I don’t really play at all. I wasn’t really bothering anybody today, but he made the comment, and it was disrespectful, and I don’t think it was called for. It was unnecessary.... "

But this is what's not being reported. After Anderson says that there's more:

Reporter: That was when you guys crossed paths at shortstop there at the end of the third?

Tim Anderson: Yeah, but that happened in the first. The first time he got on. You know and I spared him that time and then it happened again."



So, what does this tell me? Well, a few things. For one, Donaldson is just a pain in the ass. He was a pain in the ass with Gerrit Cole and now he's moved on to Tim Anderson. 

I love his competitive nature. I love that he can rev up a clubhouse. But I've played with guys like this and I've ignored people like this, but yes, I do know they exist. Donaldson is annoying. Donaldson will get in your head. Donaldson is looking for a way to get you off your game.  Donaldson is obnoxious, and ladies and gentlemen, let me also state that Donaldson is playing his brand of baseball.  This is just the way he is.  He will beat you down mentally as a tool and strategy to try and take your mind out of the game.   This is clear tactic, and reading that second conversation between the reporter and Anderson it makes sense. He kept doing it to Anderson... it got on Anderson's nerves.

Now, I'm a white analyst giving you my opinion of a white Donaldson razzing a black Tim Anderson.  I have no skin in this game, pardon the pun. I am merely trying to break this down. It's the way my mind works.  It is my opinion that Donaldson is more of a dumb jock than a racist ballplayer. Do I know this for a fact? No.  Do I see how Tim Anderson could take today's "Jackie" razzing? Absolutely I get what Tim is saying. All I can suggest based on Josh's behavior is that he is just one of those guys that likes to stick his finger in your eye because he knows baseball is a very mental game.

And that brings me back to the context of this. As I posted earlier, Josh said he was saying it because Tim called himself "Today's Jackie Robinson."  Does he mean that? I think so. Did he mean for it to be racist? I personally do not.

Donaldson has made a public apology. 

He said "I apologize, it's not something I wanted to do", meaning, he didn't do it intentionally. But let' not sugar coat it... he was still trying to F with Tim. That's clear.


Now let's see if Tim Anderson responds.  

Anderson is a top-notch guy. He's intense. I believe for the better of the game though, he and Donaldson will hash it out and be done with this once and for all.  I think Donaldson has learned a valuable lesson... to keep his annoying mouth shut. I think he has learned that you can't razz everyone because some players don't like jokes when they're competing.  And you know what else I think? I think this whole thing is blown out of proportion because Anderson's been frustrated with the Sox losing to the Yanks so often.  

What I don't like is that it's way too easy to call someone a racist.  We know nothing about Donaldson other than he plays ball. We see all these people on Twitter fighting about who's racist and who isn't. I literally asked a ton of questions tonight on Twitter trying to understand all sides of this. It's not easy. And don't worry... it happened to me too:


Too often people like to accuse without knowing anything. It's all about one side stories and headlines. No one researches, no one reads and no one actually thinks. I don't know if Josh Donaldson meant to be racist, but I suspect he didn't. I don't know if Tim Anderson doesn't want to be teased or if he really had a problem with being called Jackie after he already suggested he wanted to be him.  

I do know that being razzed continually while your team's under .500 can make some ballplayers pretty unhappy, and I suspect that's where Tim Anderson is right now.

Let me finally state that I have no bad feelings toward anyone. This was an exercise that I really wanted to dig into because everyone was going crazy on Twitter, and I needed to form my own opinion on it.  

Am I right? Maybe. Am I wrong? Maybe. 
But at least I thought it through and that's all that matters.

I hope these guys can get past this, I really do.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

DJ LEMAHIEU CONTINUES TO DAZZLE

 Quick note.


It was the Yankees to beat the White Sox today in what was a game that was won because of a grand slam by DJ LeMahieu.

But DJ is one of the most non-flashy guys out there. In fact, he comes in to play the game as hard as he can, because it's his job and its business. My guess, DJ isn't "tight" with anyone in that clubhouse, but yet, friendly and respectful to all his teammates.  You can tell.  I just love the guy. He's a hard worker, he's a dynamic hitter and leads with his abilities, and probably not his voice and that's just fine with me because it's working.

Here's today's grand slam:

And after that he was asked about hitting his grand slam on the same day as his 10th anniversary of service in the MLB:

Love this guy! 

Today was a big day for the Yankees and DJ's grand slam was overshadowed by this continued feud between Tim Anderson and Josh Donaldson.  Too bad, but nice win by the Yankees!


Friday, May 20, 2022

RARE RIZZO EJECTION PROVES HE'S LOCKED IN, NOT ANGRY


I love baseball because there are guys that understand the feel of the game so well, they will call out anyone who they know is wrong just to establish they are correct, and the wrong guy is just blowing it... especially in a televised game where video proves it!

Rizzo got ejected yesterday. Not because he was being disrespectful, but because he was right.  Fansided's Scott Rogust wrote:

"During an at-bat in the top of the eighth inning, Rizzo watched as two low pitches thrown by Joey Krehbiel were called strikes by home plate umpire Manny Gonzalez. The pitch was thrown in a same general area during Giancarlo Stanton's at-bat immediately afterwards, and it was called a ball.

After noise was heard in the dugout, Gonzalez called for an ejection, and it was none other than Rizzo."

Watch the video:

But it's what bothers me about Scott Rogust's article is the headline and accusation that Rizzo is a hot head.

"Watch: Rare Anthony Rizzo ejection proves he has an angry side"

Rizzo isn't angry. He's a true ballplayer. Rizzo is passionate. Rizzo is locked in.  Any team would love and appreciate a guy like that in their clubhouse. It's guys like that who make a team better.  Rizzo isn't there for himself, he is there for the team. Sure, Rizzo lost 2 pitches because he knew those pitches were balls, but he didn't get truly fired up until he realized the umpire was just plain inconsistent.  When it comes to sports, we need umps and calls to be right. If those pitches came to Rizzo in the first inning and then that happened to Stanton in the 8th, this conversation isn't had. But it was back-to-back. I mean give me a break.

Anger is NOT what Rizzo is. Passion is Rizzo... Fansided and Rogust got this one wrong.  Who wouldn't want passion on a Yankee team like this?

Thursday, May 19, 2022

HEY BELTRAN - QUIT CRYING FROM THE BOOTH!


Carlos Beltran is back, or trying to get back to a job in baseball that he actually wants. For now he has to be satisfied with calling the game from the broadcast booth while I am very unsatisfied with him on my tv screen. This is just a stepping stone though for what comes next. He just isn't admitting that.

Although, Beltran says he's "not sure," you can read more HERE. Who is really buying that though? Not me. Not from Mr. Cheater himself. It's all just an act and he wants everyone to believe in his words and his broadcasting 'talent.' Here's what he wants everyone to believe:

"Honestly, I’m taking this step-by-step," Beltran said of his future in the game. "I think if I show interest, there are gonna be opportunities. Right now, I’m satisfied with what I’m doing. I want to give [broadcasting] a shot and see where it goes. … But I might want to really pursue being back [in the dugout]. I have to make a decision and decide what I want. Right now, I don’t really know. But I love being around baseball."


Translation: I know there will be interest, but I need to buy some time. Until then, this is how I keep myself relevant. I want to get back in the dugout, I want that jersey on my back. I remember how it felt when I was introduced as manager of the Mets. I just need to wait a little while longer to get what I really want.

Beltran still feels singled out from the 2017 ASSTROS cheating scandal and he really wishes we would all stop reminding him about it.
"I don’t really want to get deep into that. I would not go anywhere with that. I hope people have seen how I feel about how everything played out and the person I am. What happened, everyone knows what happened. It was a team. The fact I was in trouble [as the only player], that’s the hard part. But I’ve got to move forward."

Translation: I'm not going to talk about this anymore. This was done by the entire team, not just me. I have done my time and served my suspension. I was singled out and I just want to everyone to stop talking about it.

At the end of this awful YES Network broadcasting experiment there will be another managing opportunity for crying Beltran. Everyone else in this scandal got a second chance and he will too. He has no skills in the booth at all, so if he wants to stay in baseball what else is he going to do? Some stupid team is going to take a chance. Until then....I count down the days until I no longer have to hear his babbling nonsense. THAT truly can't come soon enough.



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

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

"I WISH I WAS DJ LEMAHIEU"


Source: NJ.com

I remember when the Yankees gave DJ LeMahieu his payday. I was all for it. He carried this team, despite their injuries, subpar defense and inability to hit with runners in scoring position. Those days seem so long ago as the Yankees continue to tear up the American League with the best record in baseball. Of course one of the top contributors to this team's success is LeMahieu and one of the worst has to be Joey Gallo. In a recent interview Gallo addressed the regular boos he hears with each at bat. And guess what he said? 

Source: NJ.com

“This is what happens all the time when you’re slumping,” Gallo said, glancing at his locker neighbor. “I wish I was DJ LeMahieu. I don’t get how he hits the ball so much. A lot of times, I wish I was a contact hitter, but I’m playing the hand that I was dealt,” reported NJ.com. That's pretty blunt, reflective, but surely blunt. Not that he is wrong. He has never been a career baller, but honestly LeMahieu had his most success in his career right here in New York.

"As expected, he’s healthy and doing exactly what the Yankees hoped he’d do when they initially signed him as a free agent. (Coming into last night's game) LeMahieu has played 32 games, split among second, third and first. And in his 132 plate appearances, he has a .758 OPS," reported The New York Post

Source: NY Post

 Gallo on the other hand has performed far beyond expectations since replacing Brett Gardner in left field. "Gallo says he avoids looking up at scoreboards because his average usually is among the lowest of any player who gets regular at-bats. He has hit as high as .210 just once since reaching the big leagues in 2015, finished below .200 two seasons in a row, and 32 games into this season he is hitting .191, thanks to a recent surge. Yankees fans, frustrated by the strikeouts, have booed him regularly," reported NJ.com. Hence provoking Gallo to answer to his boos with a reality check—he is no LeMahieu.

"A 6-foot-5, 250-pounder, Gallo was a big kid who always swung hard and for the fences. Growing up in Las Vegas, he hit a lot of long home runs, but when you combine a big strike zone and a long swing, there will be strikeouts. Gallo said he often has attempted to alter his swing and his approach at the plate in hopes of sacrificing a little power for more contact," reported NJ.com.

Source: NY Post

With the team winning, Gallo's lack of contribution at the plate is been mostly overlooked. If the Yankees were falling fiercely, there would be more of a spotlight on the left fielder. Still, the front office has a lot of hope in Gallo and his ability to perform at a higher level than what we are currently seeing.

“He’s a really talented player,” Cashman said. “He has a chance every time he’s at the plate to change whatever’s happened prior. The fact that we’re winning our games as much as we have, there’s a lot of gas in that tank in terms of contribution that I think is still there for us to be had," reported NJ.com

Gallo I have a piece of advice for you—Don't let your ice cream melt counting someone else's sprinkles. Don't give the excuse that you are not DJ LeMahieu, so clearly you can't hit for average. Do something about it. Hit against the shift. Change your batting stance. Don't try to kill the ball every time you step into the batter's box. Hit ground balls. Do something. Hell, everyone wishes they were DJ LeMahieu. But you're not. Be you and make something happen. 




--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Senior Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof


Tuesday, May 17, 2022

A RIDICULOUSLY SUBJECTIVE & SKEWED TOP 5 MLB PLAYERS LIST JUST CAME OUT...


Baseball is built on fandom and the players are there because they are talented. And picking guys as "top" guys is usually based on popularity, who's hot, who's not and once again... the fans.

Ben Verlander came out with a top 5 MLB players list today. I don't understand why we are hanging on every word Ben Verlander says but we are.  I mean, what are his credentials? He's Justin Verlander's younger brother. He played baseball. OK... and then what?  My point is why is he important? But this isn't actually about Ben. DON'T TROLL HIM. He's a good dude, has great ideas, he's a good-looking guy, smart.  

But to put his name on a "TOP 5 MLB Players" list is to just get this guy trolled and that's not fair to Ben. Why? Because look at the list FOX is getting behind.


First off, are these the Top 5 MLB Players of the Decade? Of the season? Of the week? Why do you ask? Here's why.  

Mike Trout may be the best player in baseball since he got into the pros. That's a fact. Bryce Harper had a great week last week, is he in the Top 5?  And we all know Cody Bellinger is a total gamer even though he's batting .202. What about him? Should he have been considered? And let's even go further as a baseball AND Yankee fan...


When you're talking the most meaningful hits with games on the line, bottom line is this year, at this moment, it's Aaron Judge! Hands down. 

Judge SHOULD be #1.  But you want to know why Ohtani is #1? Because MLB props this guy up because he's a two way player. But you know what? There should be more two ways in the Major Leagues. Here's the problem high schools and colleges make players 'pitchers only' or players and they don't have a choice. And so, by the time they get to the Majors they don't get to choose to be a two way. But Shohei Ohtani is an international player, signed a big contract and he was able to demand what he wanted.  And now, because of that, he's beloved.  But look at his numbers...


Ohtani is a .257 hitter this year. And pitching? His ERA is 2.78 and a 3-2 record this year. Strikeouts? 46 in 6 games. HARDLY THE BEST.

You know who's better? Several pitchers, but Max Scherzer is 4-1 with a 2.66 ERA and 55 strikeouts. 

And what about Justin Verlander? 5-1 with a 1.38 ERA? Those numbers alone move Ohtani down the list, maybe even knock him off the list. And what's worse is Justin was ignored. Why? Because Ben Verlander can't pick Justin because they're brothers.  And that's the ONLY reason, but we all know that Verlander is better than Ohtani.

Look, I in no way want to give Ben Verlander a hard time. But lists like this one are clearly political and strategic and orchestrated and silly.  And the biggest word? Subjective, especially if you're a baseball fan, because we all have lists.  

If we're making lists, here's my 19-year old's list, who, by the way, has no credentials other than he plays college ball and loves the game. 

1. Aaron Judge

2. Manny Machado

3. Mike Trout

4. Nolan Arenado

5. Rafael Devers

And by the way... YOU WILL HAVE DIFFERENT PICKS. That's my point... backing a list that is so skewed is madness.

And I'm curious... what's your list? If you're on Twitter, RT and list your top 5. I'd love to see it.

Monday, May 16, 2022

NASTY NESTOR GETS HIGH PRAISE FROM AN MLB LEGEND


And rightfully so, he deserves it. Nestor Cortes is the real deal. When it's his turn to start I am counting down the hours and minutes until game time. I haven't been this excited about a pitcher since Andy Pettitte was on the mound. He's finally getting the recognition he deserves....

There are no other words to describe what we saw yesterday other than "nasty" because it's true. He makes it look easy and he leaves everyone watching in complete awe. Nestor looks like an ace out there. No offense to Gerrit Cole at all, he just looks dialed in.

Nestor gave the performance I was hoping we'd see after a disappointing loss on Saturday. He retired 15 straight batters from the first inning until the sixth, and he got 13 swings and misses. He didn't give up a run until an eighth inning solo home run and only gave up three hits and walked no one. He's the steady and consistent gamer that the Yankees have needed for a long time. He's the guy that gets the job done and takes pride in it without the huge salary. He's the savior we have been waiting for. 

Aaron Boone knows how good Nestor was and called his outing "special" but Boone's comments aren't surprising, we all know what we saw was amazing. Boone's comments may not be interesting but someone else gave Nestor some high praise HERE.


Leave it to Pete Caldera to find the real interesting nuggets. It's nice to hear high praise from a legend like Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez who was able to recognize Nestor's strengths and encourage him to be true to the pitcher he is.

"I saw a lot of me in (Cortes)," said El Duque. "His work ethic, his professionalism – going about his craft when few people believed in him. When I saw that, I said, ‘I’ve got to get behind this guy.’ (Because) we have a similar pitching philosophy – you don’t have to throw 95-plus-mph to get batters out."

He was in Nestor's corner and helped him get to where he is now. His journey to the big leagues may not have been as fast as he wanted, but he's learned a lot to help him be successful now that he is here. I can't wait to see what else Nestor does this year.

So far, he's just plain NASTY!



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