Monday, April 30, 2012


Pitching wins ball games.  You know how I know that? Because it was pitching that kept a red hot Baltimore Orioles to only 1 run tonight. That and great defense. The Yankees scored 2 and that was all they needed. You have to love that.

Look, Hiroki Kuroda is the type of pitcher that you just never know what's coming.  One day he could be brilliant and the next he can't.  Today he was.  7 strong innings and he just looked terrific out there. Kuroda allowed 4 hits and 1 run and struck out 3.

David Robertson came in and struck out the 3 batters he faced.  That means Robertson is up to 16 strikeouts and 16 bucks that Bleeding Yankee Blue will throw into a pot and give to High Socks for Hope this season.  In addition, you can buy a shirt and we will also give $1 of that purchase to HSFH as well.  Buy a shirt today, it's easy, look for BUY NOW on our website and do it! And read about it HERE.

Mariano Rivera came in tonight and just shut down the Orioles ending the game on a double play.  Very dramatic and a nice win for the Yanks.

The offense and defense looked good tonight.  Eric Chavez homered and he looked quicker to me at the plate.  That's where the runs came from tonight. Derek Jeter had 1 hit tonight and his average is currently .389.

Eduardo Nunez played left field.  I have to say, I was impressed.  Look, I am a firm believer that that Nunez speed in the outfield and alittle practice with the glove, he could one day be a superstar out there.  He cannot be a superstar infielder. I don't care how much practice he has in the's not in the cards.  No, the outfield is for Nunez, I envisioned it, and I really liked him out there tonight... I think it works. Read WHY NOT MAKE NUNEZ AN OUTFIELDER? from April 16th...Boom!
One more thing, Russell Martin made a brilliant toss to Kuroda at home plate to preserve the Yankees lead in the game tonight after a wild pitch.  I love Martin as a catcher and every time I watch him, I feel like he's in the thick of it... much like Thurman Munson. I appreciate Martin there. Good play tonight!

Final Score tonight: Yankees 2 - Orioles 1.

Tomorrow, all eyes will be on Phil Hughes.  Hughes is now the lone pitcher that all of us will focus on, especially with Andy Pettitte declaring that he's ready to come up to the Yankees and "help." Read HERE.  If Hughes goes out tomorrow and lays an egg, Pettitte will for sure take his me.  Good luck Phil.

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Andy Pettitte was pitching for the Trenton Thunder today and got his tits lit up against the minor league Philadelphia Phillies.  He gave up 6 runs in 5 2/3 innings.  Am I worried? No. 

Now I was about to say, he had a bad day,  but Hardball Talk’s Craig Calcaterra had me pegged (Read HERE)….Damn you Calcaterra! He writes: “I suppose we’re gonna give this Pettitte kid the ‘everybody has a bad day’ pass for now. Especially since he didn’t walk anyone, struck out 8 and because Joe Girardi said that some of the runs were given up on ‘wind-aided’ homers.”  Well… Yeah… that’s what I was going to say.  The truth of the matter is, as a Yankee fan, we want hope.  David Phelps now replaces Freddy Garcia in the Yankees rotation and now the world will watch to see what Phil Hughes will do and if Andy is ready, then of course we want him up with the big team, right? 

Meanwhile... Andy Pettitte said this after the game: I feel I’m strong enough and ready to make my next start with (the Yanks)… I feel like I’m ready to help the team...”  That's right, Andy Pettitte has declared himself ready to play for the New York Yankees they say in Dude, Where's my Car.?.."he knows his body dude!" Read about about it HERE

The fact of the matter is there were quality pitches today for Pettitte and he felt it.  He threw 96 pitches, and he feels ready.  So, maybe he has 1 more extended spring training and then maybe we see him.  The fact of the matter is this outing was about how Pettitte felt and not about the win.  I know that sounds ridiculous, after all, you play to win, but consider Pettitte to be working his way back.   Then, once he makes it to the Bigs again, expect him to work through 6 innings, then 7, then 8, much like we saw CC Sabathia do.  You know what I mean? 

Sure, Pettitte got lit up today, but he feels good and just in time.  Now what's next? Well, we watch Phil Hughes pitch in his next outing, he's on the radar. Then, depending on that outing, we see where we fit Andy Pettitte.  Trust me though, don't get panicked about today, just feel good that Andy feels good.  That's it....Oh, and GO YANKS!

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The Yankees just navigated through arguably their toughest patch of the schedule so far this season.  Back-to-back-to-back series vs. the Red Sox, Rangers, and the Tigers was not easy but the Yanks managed to go 5-3 in that span.  Now, after beating the Tigers two-out-of-three in the Bronx, the Yanks stay home to host the first place Baltimore Orioles for a three game set.  Here are the pitching matchups…

Hiroki Kuroda vs. Jason Hammel
Kuroda makes his fifth start for the Yankees tonght. He's is 1-3 with a 4.38 ERA.  Kuroda's had two very good starts and two poor starts this year.  Last time out Kuroda got the tough-luck loss against Yu Darvish and the Rangers even though he only allowed 2 runs and pitched into the 7th inning. The main issue with Kuroda this year has been keeping the ball in the park.  Let's hope Kuroda can duplicate his performance from a few nights ago.

The Orioles send Jason Hammel to the mound tonight. Hammel, so far, has been great in his first year for the O’s. In four starts he’s 3-0 with a 1.73 ERA. The Yankees have seen Hammel before when he was with the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays from 2006-2008. The good news is Hammel has a 7.45 ERA in his career vs. the Yanks. 

Phil Hughes vs. Brian Matusz
I don’t know how many chances Phil has had as a starting pitcher over the years, but his leash has to be getting pretty short with David Phelps entering the rotation and Andy Pettitte only days away from returning.  Calling this start important for Hughes is an understatement. So far Phil is 1-3 in four starts with a 7.88 ERA.    Career vs the O's Hughes is 4-2 with a high ERA of 5.24.  A good performance Tuesday night for Hughes could go a long way for his chances at staying in the starting rotation and, would gives us fans a sigh of relief.

The O's counter with Brian Matusz.  Matusz is 2-5 in his career vs the Yanks with a 5.10 ERA.  And so far the the left hander is off to another tough start.  He enters this game with an 0-3 record and a 5.66 ERA.  He also almost averages 6 walks a game.  Good news for the Yankees who we know take tons of pitches.

Ivan Nova vs. Jake Arrieta
Ivan Nova is 3-0 in four starts with a 5.18 ERA.  His ERA really ballooned when he got knocked around by the Rangers the other day.  But, Nova has been solid for us so far this year.  He's given his team a chance in almost all of his outings and that is all you ask from your starting pitcher.  Career against the Orioles Nova is 3-0 in five starts with a 3.34 ERA, and that includes a start in Baltimore on April 9, his first of the season, in which he allowed two runs in 7 innings and picked up the win.

Jake Arrieta goes for the O’s in the final game of this three game set. The right hander is 1-2 this year with a 4.45 ERA.

Look, although the Orioles are tied for first in the AL East with the Tampa Bay Rays (14-8 record), they’re still a team the Yankees should beat at least two out of three times, considering they swept them last month.  Go Yankees!

--Jesse Schindler, BYB Lead Staff Writer
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It’s been a rough couple of weeks in Yankeeland with the surprising loss of Michael Pineda to the frustrating and ineffective starts of Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia. The Yankees needed to restore order to the rotation, and after the latest crap outing by Garcia, read HERE, it was time... and not only that... Bleeding Yankee Blue nailed it... WOW, we're good.

Yesterday the Yankees announced that Freddy Garcia will be sent to the bullpen and David Phelps, Boy Wonder as BYB refers to him, will be the new 5th starter for the New York Yankees. he will start this Thursday, read HERE.  Not to shabby.

Look, there is no denying it, the Yankees' bullpen has been a bright spot, and that has a lot to do with David Phelps. But if you've read BYB lately, and I know you have, we've been looking for a reason to get David Phelps in the starting rotation and luckily for us, it's happening.  No disrespect to Freddy Garcia, but if you can't pitch yourself out of the second inning as a starter, do you really deserve to be there? As the long man in the pen, Phelps continues to limit the damage. If Phelps continues to deliver in tough situations as a starter, then all eyes will be on Phil Hughes to step up.

It’s hard to imagine this team without Phelps. His journey in the majors has already been an impressive one, but given the struggles of some of his teammates, did he really deserve to be ONLY a long man? No way. Phelps has made six big league appearances now, and after reviewing everything I noticed a common theme: he comes in after Hughes or Freddy have a bad outing. In five of these appearances for instance, he has pitched multiple innings. Considering that David Phelps has been taking over a game when a starter can’t get the job done….why not give him a chance as a starter? It just makes sense... and time is now. Sure, it may be a risky option but we could also keep Garcia thanks.

One week ago, people thought BYB was nuts to suggest Phelps should be a starter for the Big team New York Yankees, but time changes everything and Garcia clearly needed to be relieved of his's business. Phelps has the experience to be a starter, that was what he was doing down in the minors before he made the team this past spring. The role of a long reliever was a new challenge for him and if he can come up to the big stage and succeed in a new role….why can’t he do it as a starter? He can, think about it. He went from pitching every five days to throwing on an irregular schedule and he has still been successful. The key to being a good pitcher is being able to adapt to situations, and this has been a good test for him.

I realize people may have their concerns about giving Phelps a start, but would it be wrong not to consider this given the starts we have seen from both Hughes and Freddy lately? Sure, Phelps didn’t have the greatest outings against the Red Sox or the Rangers, but he even admitted that and he made the adjustments necessary.  Phelps has a lot to offer, and if he can give the offense a good chance to get back in the game after a few innings in relief, imagine how much better our chances would be if we just had a clean start?

Bottom line,  I could not go another day watching Garcia start.  David Phelps has stepped up and David Phelps deserves a shot.  Usually I would say “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” however, something has to give here. I'm glad they gave it to the kid...hey, it can't hurt, right?

If you want some perspective on BYB's thought on Phelps, read:



--Jeana Bellezza --BYB Writer and Editor

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10. Curtain Call 

Is Curtis Granderson the Reggie Jackson of 2012? No, I don’t think so. He is Curtis “Grandeur” Granderson . A class act that is writing his very own baseball history. Three Homers in one game on April 19th….Unbelievable. So glad you are a Yankee! Read HERE.

9 Boston Globe...LOL 

I found this hilarious…The Boston Globe headline from earlier last week was "Rangers roll over Yankees." Wow I just want to know where is the article that headlines Yankees roll over the Sox?…. Just Saying. Luckily USA Today, America's paper had the headline correct in the recent rout of the Red Sox by the Yankees... "Red Sox red faced again." Gotta love that.

8. La Perfumeria Rivera

Not only do we dominate the baseball world …you now can see the beloved NY emblem on Men and Women cologne, I'm not kidding. Pitching the fragrance is Mr. Mariano Rivera. Opposing batters will now get a nice whiff when they strike out on that famous cutter. Read about it HERE.

7. Swisher Kong 

Nick Swisher was blasted by John Kruk for celebrating the come from behind win against the Red Sox. Read about it HERE. Frankly I think it’s nice to see a player pumped and enthusiastic about the game. What’s wrong with celebrating a win. I’m certain the Red Sox have done their share of celebrating themselves. It’s not like he pointed to the Sox dugout or showed poor sportsmanship. So John Kruk, we really don’t care what you think! Swish keep doing what you do because Yankee Nation loves you!

6.Remembering the House that Ruth Built

I accidentally stumbled across the New York Daily News pictures of the dismantling of the Old Yankee Stadium.  The 17 pictures in this sequence are just something else and I wanted to share them. Click HERE and you can scroll through the pictures. Damn, that building had some amazing memories.  I thought I'd share.

5. Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number 

Well Derek Jeter finally gets some respect!! Cal Ripken, Jr. acknowledges that the critics’ have been well... too critical. Read the full interview HERE, but here is Cal's quote about Jeter: "Interesting, isn't it? All the commotion that was caused last year, and the criticism that he had lost some steps, felt familiar to me in a lot of ways... Deep inside, it had to bother him. I felt for him. I thought a lot of the criticism and the momentum that was gathering was wrong. When you're in a slump, you're in a slump... But when you get to a certain age, a slump is looked at differently, like it's an indicator your career is over. He's answered that. The way he's playing, he's not slowing down at all."   The Captain has come out swinging in 2012. Yea I think being over .400 for most of April speaks for itself, doesn’t it. So, my wish is for the critics to eat Jeter Crow IS happening! Dear Brothers' Steinbrenner and Cashman... about that contract... you might want to get those pens ready for 2013!

4. The Cubs Win!


Not so fast...Did you fail to hear the blurb that says the game is so real it's unreal? The Cubs beating the Yankees is not going to happen! Ask Theo Epstein because he certainly knows it's not easy beating the Yanks. I think this trailer should have Aerosmith's Dream On playing in the background. Casey asked me to include this in the list, not because it's Yankees related, but because everyone can relate to their team winning it all.

3. Mismatch 

Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia share socks... well accidentally anyway. However the Yanks were successful during the sock switch up game so the switch will stay permanent at least for a while. I say if it works don’t change it but I do hope you at least wash them guys. Read about it HERE.

2. Go to Bat for BULLY

Unfortunately bullying has become a big issue. So the New York Yankees are going to bat for BULLY, read HERE. Jeter, Mo, ARod, Granderson and Girardi speak out against this issue. So be a friend...don't bully.

1. Kay speaks his mind...and is hilarious!

 At the Yankees Rangers game the other night, a baseball was tossed into the stands and a kid in the stands who didn't get the ball began to cry.

Michael Kay commented on it, and I need to be honest, he was hilarious with commentary of what was happening between the couple who caught the ball and the kid and his family.  Kudos to Kay. You made me laugh!

--Kate Munrow, BYB Staff Writer

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Sunday, April 29, 2012


(In Photo: David & Erin Robertson)
When we decided to sell shirts, we didn't expect ya'll to dive right in and buy them so fast...but you have and we appreciate so much.  For every shirt you purchase, we here at Bleeding Yankee Blue are giving $1 toward David and Erin Robertson's foundation, High Socks for Hope.  In addition, we will also give $1 of our BYB money for every strikeout DRob gets.  Both campaigns will take place this regular season and you guys clearly love what the Robertson's are doing for David's hometown, (Read HERE) because we have sold many more shirts than we thought we would! Thank you.

If you don't know how it works, go to our website, which you're on right now, look for Mikey Blue's dad on your left sidebar and click on BUY NOW.  If you don't have a Paypal account, just make one, it's free and secure and takes moments.  If you feel weird about it, send a check or money order to the BYB P.O. Box...the addreess is on the left side.  Just specify your size, how many you need and where to send the shirts.  We'll make sure we get them out to you right away.

Then, once you get your shirt, send a picture to us and we'll get it right up on our site! This latest one above is from Trey who wore it to the Yankees / Rangers series in Texas this past week. That's not only brave, it's bad ass!

So take a moment, buy a shirt and support both BYB and High Socks for Hope! You'll feel good doing it, I swear!

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CC Sabathia did today was Aces do, he stopped his teams bleeding and led them to victory.  Shades of Andy Pettitte if you ask me!  Sabathia went 8 innings today, only allowing 2 runs and 4 hits as the Yankees took took two out of three from the Tigers this weekend with an 6-2 win.  Sabathia's fastball and slider had Tiger hitters waving and guessing at the plate all day.  He fanned 8 Tigers today.  Very impressive and very much needed considering how this rotation is a bit shook up right now.

At the plate today my offensive star would have to be Curtis Granderson who hit his 8th home run of the year in the 4th and added 2 RBI's.  The Captain added two more hits today and his avg is once again hovering around .400.  Along with Jeter; Cano, Andruw Jones, and Eric Chavez each had a pair of hits.  All in all the Yankees banged out 11 hits. 

Thankfully the Yankees had some timely hit but once again left a ton of men on base.  Today 15 Yankee hitters were left on base.  Look, a win is a win, but they better figure out how to start getting more of these guys home because eventually it is going to bit them in the-you-know-what.

The Yankees stay home and begin a 3-game series with the Baltimore Orioles starting tomorrow night.  The Orioles come into the Bronx having won 6 of their last 7 games.  Hiroki Kuroda takes the mound and hopefully can pitch like he did in his last start vs. the Rangers; only surrendering 2 runs.

(pictured:  David Phelps)

Some other game notes:
*Nick Swisher left the game today in the 3rd inning with what looked like a hamstring strain.  Sure enough, Joe Girardi said at today's post press conference that an MRI showed Swish suffered a low grad strain.  Girardi said he would not go so far as to say Swih is going to the DL.  He said a few games is possible until they further investigate.

*Girardi said that the Yankee rotation will remain the same for now but David Phelps will indeed take Freddy Garcia's next turn.

*Jeter's infield two singles gave him 36 in April, topping the best April of his career, 35 in 2006

--Mikey Blue, BYB Senior Writer
Twitter: @MikeyBlu23

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I wanted to be more creative with a title.  I wanted to give you something that wouldn't sound so obvious...yet, something that would suggest Freddy Garcia has turned into a dud...but I can't. I'm stating the obvious...Yankee fans, we have a pitching problem and Freddy is the core of it.

When the Yankees worked out in the spring, pitchers were given an opportunity to compete for a starting role.  Clearly, guys compete for those spots and I said back then, that with a healthy Michael Pineda, there isn't a spot for Freddy Garcia.  Then Pineda got hurt and Garcia was then named the Yankees 5th starter.  Technically it was by default.  At that point, Andy Pettitte wasn't ready and Pineda hit the DL.  So yeah, when it was time to name starters, "The Chief" was available, but let's face facts, he wasn't doing anything outstanding in the Spring, not enough at least to earn him a spot on his own.  He needed help and Pineda obliged.  But now we run into another issue... just what will happen next for the Yankees and Freddy Garcia?
Earlier last week the Yankees discussed possibly skipping Garcia in the rotation, read HERE. It made sense at the time because if he missed a start, maybe he'd clear his head a bit and maybe there would be an improvement the next outing, or, maybe not.  The truth is, the Yankees considered it to maybe help kick start some reprogramming into this guy.  Then, they decided against it and yesterday he pitched like crap...again: 1.2 IP, 5 H, 6 R and 3 K and 2 BB.  

So what to do? Clearly you need to skip Freddy in the rotation.  Sure, you can have confidence and believe that a starter is in a rut and he needs to work out of it,  but if they can't pitch into the 3rd inning as a starter for the New York Yankees, sooner or later, you need to cut bait.   I have suggested for about 2 weeks now that I would not be opposed to giving David Phelps a shot.  Why? Well, because he's handled everything that's come his way so far out of the pen, and while starting is different, you really don't have much else.  To be honest, I believe long man Phelps can handle it.  And clearly Joe Girardi reads Bleeding Yankee Blue and agrees.  Here is a quote from Girardi: "Any time you have a long man, he's a candidate to be a starter...You're long man is someone who is a sixth starter all the time in the bullpen."

So, will the Yankees skip Garcia the next time around? Will they give David Phelps a shot? Stay tuned, it's getting interesting in Yankeeland, isn't it?

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Many assumed that Derek Jeter would probably hang it up after his contract ends with the Yankees after that 2013 season.  Believe me, at the time of his re-signing, Yankee brass assumed his contract and his incredible Yankee career would be over by 2013. What I mean is, Jeter's old, and it's logical to assume that he'd be on the downside of his career by then. Well, Jeter assumed they'd assume that... and Jeter made some adjustments...and just when the world doubted Derek Jeter... he wronged them again...
God Dammit I love the Captain.

But say Jeter rides this hot streak into June, or August, or say this entire season and the World Series and he never slows down throw 2013...then what? What I mean is, if the Captain continues to be hot as hell, will Jeter want to exercise his 2014 option at that point? Then what? There will be headaches for Yankee brass... because Yankee fans know that Yankee brass wants to get that payroll down... but logically, they can't exactly do that if they want to also sign Robinson Cano to a long term deal and re-sign Curtis Granderson too. See what I mean? It's a tough call, no one said being the Yankees was easy, but trust me, it's my opinion that the Yankees and Derek Jeter dig each other and while the Yanks may have thought he'd leave after 2013... Jeter is the only one who holds the answer and if he's still kicking ass, I think it's safe to say he's not going anywhere.

Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record had this nugget HERE and that's where I got the idea to write this piece: "(Jeter's) contract runs through 2013 at $17 million per, and he holds the option for what could be another $17 million in 2014, based on points earned for Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, League Championship and World Series MVP or finishing in the top six in the American League MVP voting.

Until now, team officials have assumed the captain would bow out gracefully after the ’13 season, before he turned 40, and not have to worry about paying him in ’14 when the payroll is supposed to be cut to $189 million.

Without Jeter and Mariano Rivera on the books, the Yankees have calculated they’ll have enough flexibility to afford Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson, both of whom will be free agents.

But Jeter could crash the equation by continuing to hit at elite-caliber levels. Not only does the captain want to play through 2014, he’s told friends he’d like to extend his career to age 45."

Derek Jeter playing on the Yankees until he's 45? Look, if he has figured out his hitting like he has...believe it.  Plus, that's not only something the Yankees would pass by, there's always the possibility that whispers of 4000 hits could start being heard. The Yankees love record in their uniform, would they keep Jeter around? Maybe go year to year after that? And what does it mean for Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson...2 guys the Yankees would love to ALSO keep? There will be many questions to answer, and sure, everything here is speculation, but you need to think ahead and keep this in the back of your mind.

What will a guy like Cano, who's agent is Scott Boras demand? And will the Yankees who have already shown that they are distancing themselves from Boras play his games for Cano?  How about Granderson? Would the Yanks be forced to say goodbye and perhaps move Jeter into the outfield in his 2014 season if need be? Will they just make other cuts to keep all three and continue to have great leadership on the Yankees?  Alot of questions... unfortunately, I don't have the answers... just alot of thinking going on.

Remember this post... we'll be talking about it at the end of the 2013 season... trust me.

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Saturday, April 28, 2012


A three-run rally in the bottom of the 9th today in the Bronx was still not enough to dig the Yankees out of Freddy Garcia's latest awful outing as the Detroit Tigers took game two of this three game series, 7-5.   Once again, Garcia was shaky from the start and the Tigers took advantage.  Miguel Cabrera homered and drove in three runs, and Andy Dirks hit a three-run homer in the first off Garcia and before you could blink it was 6-1.  Garcia's final line today:
1.2 IP - 5 hits - 6 ER - 2 BB - 3 K - Garcia's ERA this season is now 12.41 

Look, I could spend the rest of this recap ripping Garcia's performance today, but I am not.  He pitched bad.  He pitched really bad.  Bottom line is Yankees most likely can no longer continue to send him out on the hill.  They need to shake things up until Pettitte gets up here.  Whether that is bringing up someone from the minors or putting David Phelps in his place.  Whatever the Yankees do really could not be worse thank sending Garcia out every fifth day. And, lets keep in mind, its still April so we are far from a crisis.

As far as our offense today, other then Nick Swisher and the bottom of the 9th, we never really threatened to make this a game. Tigers starter Drew Smyly threw 6 innings and gave up just one earned run to earn his first big league win. That earned run being the first of Nick Swisher's two dingers for the day.  Speaking of Swisher, he led the Yankees at the plate going 2-4, with 2 RBI, and his homers were from opposite sides of the plate.  Granderson was the only other Yankee whos production is worth mentioning today.  Grandy also went 2-4, with 2 RBI, and a solo shot, (his 7th HR of the season), in the 7th inning.

Tomorrow we have Sabathia taking the mound to hopefully wrap up this series.  I don't know about you guys but I'll take 2-of-3 from the Tigers anytime. Once again, today's final, Tigers 7, Yanks 5.

--Mikey Blue, BYB Senior Writer
Twitter: @MikeyBlu23

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Just in case you missed last night, here is the best highlight of the game, although sadly, no pie. All this time I've begged for the Captain to get pied. Last night should have been that night! Look, maybe it was too wimpy of a win and they wanted something bigger for Jeter, I don't know, but if Nick Swisher was the guy who was supposed to take over the "pie" duties from AJ Burnett, he blew it last night. Bottom line, a wins a win and I'll take it.

Again ladies and gentlemen...Yankees won against the Tigers 7-6 last night. Good ending.

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My dad grew up a Yankees fan during some pretty incredible moments.  Not sure if you remember, but my father was an usher at Yankee stadium when he was just 15 years old and saw some good and bad teams during his time as an usher.  Sure, he was working at Yankee stadium, so in between seating guests and shaking his pocket trying to get a tip, he'd snag a few eyefuls as the Yankees took the field.  That for him was one of the good times in his life, making a few bucks as well as seeing guys like the Mick, Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford.  Read WHY MANTLE & MARIS ARE STILL INTRIGUING TODAY if you want more insight. It’s personally one of my favorite posts on BYB.

Years later, when I was a kid, I heard all about the guys my dad watched play, even long after being an usher.  But the names weren’t as familiar.  Put it this way, as a kid in New Jersey, hearing names like Bobby Richardson and Tony Kubek didn’t ring a bell.  He’d drop names like Clete Boyer and I'm sure you’d catch me yawning.  I had no idea who these guys were, I was busy watching my guys, The Gator or the Goose…or Thruman Munson.  But I remember 1 guy who I was immediately drawn too.  Not Bill Skowron, but instead... Moose Skowron. Maybe it was the name that I loved or maybe it was the way my dad would describe the way fans screamed his name when he went to the plate... MMMOOOOOSSSSEEE, but as time went on, I noticeably found that my dad clearly had a fondness of Moose, just like he did Mickey Mantle.   

Moose Skowron was a good ballplayer and a loyal Yankee and played 9 years with the Yanks.  He was never considered a mean spirited ball player like you’d hear about guys like Ty Cobb.  In fact, it was the opposite.  Couple that with me learning all about good sportsmanship at a young age, and I was drawn to this guy Moose.  I remember I went through a phase as I got older and would collect certain players until I had as many of their career cards as I could find.  I was able to snag a few Moose Skowron cards at an old coin shop when I was old enough to drive and I’d go from time to time and get whatever I could find. 
It wasn’t easy collecting the top vintage cards like Mickey Mantle or Whitey Ford because of the cost and my lack of funds, so if I could snag a Moose Skowron card from say 1961 (above) and believe me, I was a happy camper.  After all, my dad’s word was law and if Moose was the guy he liked growing up, I’d be in good company.

I remember seeing Moose Skowron at Old Timer’s day last year.  He looked old but he was still bubbly and a happy man.  I remember after I saw him interview, one of my friends texted me and told me he was sick with cancer, yet, he still showed up to Old Timer’s Day.  I was blown away by that.  He always had fight in him throughout his entire career, so hearing he was sick and still at Old Timer’s day didn’t surprise me, in fact, in a strange way, it was probably expected, he was a tough guy and never showed weakness in his entire career. 
Moose Skowron died yesterday. The first thing I did was check out my Skowron baseball collection.  The next thing I did was think about my dad telling me about the great Moose Skowron.  Yeah, it’s true, he was never considered iconic in baseball history, but he’s known by so many because of that amazing nickname.  Moose will always live on in Yankeeland.  Hopefully the Yankees do the right thing and wear an armband to remember a great Yankee, nice man and true fighter. Moose definitely deserves alittle recognition.

My prayers go out to the Skowron family, Mr. Skowron did it his way and that’s what I loved about Moose…it doesn’t get better than that.

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Now  that Michael Pineda is on a shelf until May 2013, read HERE, all eyes will now be on Jose Campos, the “other guy” the Yankees got in the trade that sent Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi to the Seattle Mariners.  Some had suggested when the Pineda/Montero trade went down, Campos was the best nugget of the whole bunch.   
It’s way to early to suggest that in my opinion, but damn can that kid pitch. In the minor leagues this season, Campos looks like this in Charleston:

3-0 / 1.23 ERA / 22.0 IP / 3 ER / 23 K / 5 BB

We’ve written about Campos quite a bit here, just so our BYB readers can keep track of this kid, because, he could be something special. If you get a chance, read WHY WE CAN'T FORGET CAMPOS & NOESI , WHY JOSE CAMPOS IS OFF TO A HOT START and WHY JOSE CAMPOS' HOT STREAK CONTINUES. If anything, it will give you a glimpse of what this kid could offer. 

Personally, I don’t see Campos coming up to the major leagues tomorrow, but remember what I suggested about Michael Pineda.  Brian Cashman sees the future, in fact, that was something that Girardi mentioned the other night and it rings true. Pineda wasn’t only for 2012…sure, if he was healthy and able to have a successful 2012, that would be a bonus. But Pineda and Campos and guys like Ivan Nova and Manny Banuelos…they guys are long term investments.  This group over time will be our rotation in 2013, 2014 and beyond.  Sure, the Yankees and Yankee fans are all about the “Now”, and this "future" stuff is new to us, but I see what the Yankees are doing, they’re trying to get the payroll down, groom these young guys and have a future of young rotation studs, led by CC Sabathia, the veteran of course.

Now, I will tell you, that doesn’t help the “right now” though.  Let’s face it, both Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia are stinking up the joint, so this is a problem, not because they’re good, but because they're terrible and the Yankees just don’t know who to drop from the rotation when someone like Andy Pettitte is ready.   
Plus, in the meantime they just have to deal with what they got and hope the offense can carry them on days when Hughes and Garcia are pitching.  If they were both great,  it would almost seem like an easier choice of elimination.  Look, right now the Yankees are in a position where they need to win.  That means they need to win with the pitching they have. If they don’t, they will in fact need to go out and find a veteran pitcher to help them get to the finish line this season, no doubt about it.  At the same time, they’ll want to keep their payroll down.  The solution, finding a veteran with 1 or maybe 2 years left on a contract this season.  No easy task, but do-able.  If they can’t find that, we need to push through with what we have and look toward the future.

I’m positive the Yankees will succeed this season, but it won’t be easy.  I feel like every year around June the other shoe drops and whatever rotation we had changes to temporary starters to just get them to limp to the All-Star break.  I remember the Sidney Ponson’s, the Tim Redding's and Darrell May’s of the world. I remember Brian Gordon last year.  Just once I’d like to be rolling in a routine, a rhythm and not have to worry about who’s going to pitch next.

Yes, Campos is the key to this Pineda trade…if he has a successful season in Charleston, Cashman will feel like a king, but only if the Yankees can piece together a solid rotation without Pineda this year...stay tuned.

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