Friday, November 15, 2019

YANKS LOOK BEYOND CHEATING TO BUILD THE BEST AL TEAM!


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

MIKE FIERS: FROM CHAMPION, TO CHEATER, TO SNITCH!


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

ASSTROS!

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."

Disappointing.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

NO ONE IN YANKEELAND WANTS ZACK WHEELER...

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 NJ.com'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."

Surprisingly?


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

THE YANKEES SHOULD BE LOOKIN' FOR LEFTIES


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

DON'T TURN YOUR BACK ON THE OFF SEASON

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.