Wednesday, October 31, 2012


A small story but a story just the same. The New York Yankees have decided to return Brad Meyers to the Washington Nationals.  He was a Rule 5 draft pick.  Meyers spend 2012 on the Disabled List with a shoulder injury. You can read more about it in the Washington Times, HERE.

Buh Bye.
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Well, according to Jon Heyman of and now several others who've checked it out, Rafael Soriano, the Yankees closer this season will in fact opt out of his contract with the New York Yankees.  You can read the full report HERE.

Heyman writes: "Rafael Soriano will opt out of the final year of his Yankees contract Wednesday, but that doesn't mean it's the end of his Yankees career. 

Assuming Soriano does opt out, as has been expected for several weeks, the Yankees will counter by making him the $13.3-million qualifying offer by Friday's deadline, setting the stage for what could be an interesting multiyear negotiation.

Soriano's current three-year, $35-million contract calls for him to make $14 million in 2013, but if he opts out, he gets $1.5 million, which combined with the $13.3-million qualifying offer would guarantee him at least $14.8 million. So that would be an $800,000 raise."
Now if fairness, if you the average Yankee fan were venture to guess what Soriano would do, you would probably come to this conclusion too. I mean, look, I need to be honest here...Soriano would be a fool to NOT opt-out. He came in saving the Yankees season after the world didn't think anyone could temporarily take the reigns of Mariano Rivera.  David Robertson couldn't do it... Soriano could, and did...terrific too. You have to love that.  I believe that Soriano wants a 3 year deal somewhere to be a closer on top club with a chance to win it all, but there is always that chance the Yankees throw some dough at him if in fact we find out Mariano Rivera decides to retire, read HERE...that in itself is devastating... stay tuned with this story.

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Look, this is silly, but keep reading, maybe it could make alittle sense.

People are down on Alex Rodriguez... really down on him.  There was plenty of chatter on Twitter during the playoffs that Alex needed to get traded, he needed to be a permanent designated hitter. That his days were numbered in New York and he should be traded to the Miami Marlins.  We even heard that from this point forward, Alex will no longer hit against righty pitching, read HERE. There was also a story yesterday that said that Joe Girardi reached out to Alex Rodriguez, the first time since the postseason when Joe pulled him out of the lineup, to see if ARod was "OK", read HERE. For the record, I don't think that a story about a manager calling a player is actually a story, but whatever.   The point is, once again in the postseason, Alex Rodriguez is a no show and once again, questions are raised about him.
Look, my feeling is Alex isn't going anywhere. He's staying put in the Bronx, but maybe the real question needs to be, "Should Alex be the full-time 3rd baseman for the Yankees anymore?" My feeling is he should, especially if Eric Chavez was to come back as a backup to 3rd again.  Chavez fills that backup role brilliantly, when he doesn't get hurt, of course.
But what if Eric Chavez decides that he doesn't want to come back? And what if the Yankees are truly worried about the hitting of Alex Rodriguez against right handed pitching and maybe him breaking down as the years go on.  If Kevin Youklis became available on the free agent market, like it appears he will be, would you try and snag him?

It's being reported that the White Sox have decided that they will not pick up the Kevin Youkilis option for 2013, worth $13 million, read HERE. Now, sure, the White Sox will re-approach Youk and see if they can work out another deal, a cheaper deal and try and bring him back, but the guy will no doubt be in demand and in turn, it could drive up the price.

The Yankees have a few bucks and clearly hitting became the ultimate problem by the time the postseason rolled around for the Yanks.  If someone like Youk became available, and the Yankees could land him at a decent dollar and IF there was a way that it could work between Alex AND Kevin Youkilis into the Yankee lineup understanding everything about Alex and the possible retirement of Eric Chavez... do you go for it? I think I may. There is one big factor though... would Youk go for it. Would Youk want to play every day at third and accept that from another club or would he want to be part of the Yankees and work along side Alex, rather than against him.  Bottom line... stranger things have happened. 

Comment, let me know what you would do.

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It’s that time of year again ladies & gentlemen! As soon as Miguel Cabrera froze on an 89 mph fastball right down the middle from Giants’ closer Sergio Romo, the off-season had officially begun around Major League Baseball. Gotta love it!

With so many questions the Yankees have, you can argue that this is the biggest off-season since the off-season leading up to 2009. So, without wasting any more time, here’s BYB’s first installment of free agent and trade rumors leading up to the 2013 campaign. I'll have quite a few of these, so as you read them, share them, let's get the conversation going.

Shin Soo Choo: With Nick Swisher all but gone, one of the questions the Yankees have is who will play right field. In the free agent market, there are guys like Josh Hamilton, BJ Upton, Michael Bourn, Shane Victorino, Cody Ross, Torii Hunter, and many more. Those players are nice, but for my money Shin Soo Choo makes the most sense, though unlike the names mentioned, Choo would have to be traded for, but it’s worth it.

Choo currently has one year left before he hits free agency after next year, so theoretically it won’t take a king’s ransom to acquire him. He’s a Scott Boras client, so things could get tricky in trying to extend his contract if New York acquires him, but anything is possible. Either way, Choo would be a perfect Nick Swisher replacement. He’s a very underrated, five-tool type of player. The 30-year-old batted .283/.373/.441 with 16 homers and 21 stolen bases in 686 plate appearances. He also has a cannon arm and plays a solid right field. You may be wondering “What about Ichiro?” but don’t. I have a plan where the Yankees can have both Ichiro and Choo in their 2013 outfield. I’ll elaborate in another post for another day about Choo. Look for it.  Oh and by the way, read BYB's piece about Casey's thoughts on right field too in SWISHER VS. ICHRIO: THE RIGHT FIELD DEBATE.

Anibal Sanchez: I know starting pitching wasn’t a problem in the postseason, It was actually a huge strength, but you’d be foolish to not try to upgrade, and Anibal Sanchez would do just that. Sanchez is coming off a season in which he pitched to a 3.86 ERA in 31 starts for the Miami Marlins and the Detroit Tigers. He’s been a rock over the last three seasons, pitching to an even 3.70 ERA in that span while logging at least 195 innings each season. Like Choo, I’ll have a separate post just for Sanchez. Stay tuned.

Scott Hairston: Another hole the Yankees will need to fill is a power righty bat off the bench. After a strong 2011, Andruw Jones crapped out in 2012 and because of it he’s been shown the door (at least so we think). Scott Hairston would be a great addition to fill Jones’ void. Hairston mashed left-handed pitching last season batting .286/.317/.550 with 11 homers in 199 PA’s. However, after a strong 2012 with the Mets, batting .263/.299/.504 in 134 games, Hairston may be looking for a full-time role, but we’ll see about that. Hairston isn’t the only candidate to replace Andruw Jones as the power righty off the bench, so I’ll have a separate post highlighting some other candidates.

--Jesse Schindler, BYB Lead Staff Writer
Follow me on Twitter @SchindlerJesse

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    Tuesday, October 30, 2012


    It almost sounds like a player is “turning tricks” when they enter the world of free agency.  They go out there, hot prospects for any team, peddling for a good deal- seemingly a better one than they have back home.  

    According to the Wall Street Journal article “Baseball Free Agency Dies of Neglect”, players have many opportunities throughout their career to demand more and more money as their value increases.  As young players come to the majors, they earn raises either through negotiation or arbitration. Then, after six years of service, they become eligible for one of the most potentially lucrative opportunities in sports: free agency.” 

    The antithesis of free agency was the Reserve Clause- deemed as “indentured servitude” by Bruce Lowitt of the St. Petersburg Times in an article (HERE) back in October of 1999.  The Reserve Clause was “a paragraph in each player's contract that allowed a baseball team to keep him indefinitely until he was sold, traded or released. It was part of baseball's antitrust exemption and allowed the team to renew his contract the following year even if the player refused to sign,” stated the article entitled “Free-agency era opens in baseball.”  This clause was challenged in 1969 and free agency came about a few years later- quickly becoming a fantastic money opportunity for players in major league baseball, an organization with no salary cap. 
    Ironically, Jim “Catfish”Hunter was signed to the Yankees back in the 70’s because of a breach in contract that led to free agency.  

    But what happens when teams, even those in big markets with high revenue sharing, cannot afford their players- those entering the free agency market?  I mean, if teams like the Yankees can’t afford to deal out the dough to entice their players to stay, what about teams like the Diamondbacks and the Marlins and the Brewers?  They certainly don’t have that extra cash lying around.  
    And this year, there are well over 200 free agents with some expected to sign with their teams, extending their contracts and yet others, left to shop.  The Yankees have several top names of their own… Curtis Granderson, Russell Martin, Nick Swisher, Raul Ibanez, Andruw Jones, Mariano Rivera, Hiroki Kuroda, Rafael Soriano, and of course Ichiro Suzuki.  But who to keep and who to let go?  Well, if you go by post-season alone, you keep Ibanez, Ichiro and Kuroda and let the others go.  But in reality, the Yankees will most likely also hold on to Cano and Rivera- their home-grown players from the farm system.  They may keep Soriano, but there are other relief pitchers out there- 70 to be exact including Detroit’s Jose Valverde and Cincinnati’s Ryan Madson.  
     There are some catchers up for grabs too, catchers that hit with success and a heck of a lot more muscle than Russell Martin- guys like Ronny Paulino of Baltimore and hotter prospect Mike Napoli of Texas.  
     Hey folks, Orioles third-baseman Mark Reynolds is available too... just saying.  When it comes down to it, the off season is about building up the team, using the money wisely and shopping with the same keen eye as Black Friday strategists who not only need a bargain but know exactly what brand to look for and where.  And as the Yankees look to shy away from a luxury tax because of its high payroll year after year, they will continue to be money wise and I hope not dollar foolish as they work the world of free agency on the road to 28.

    --Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Opinion Columnist
    Twitter: @suzieprof

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    In the world of the Yankees and exercising 2013 options of some of their players...the Yankees exercised the 2013 options of some of their players... or something.

    David Aardsma, whom I call "the Animal", Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano will all be back, the Yanks picked up their options.

    (In Photo: Aardsma, Joba Chamberlain)
    • David Aardsma: The Yankees signed Aardsma and the goal was to get him up and running officially in 2013.  Remember he was coming off Tommy John surgery.  Aardsma pitched 1 inning in 2012, but that wasn't the goal. The goal was 2013.  Next year Aardsma will make $500,000. I can't wait for this guy!

    • Curtis Granderson: Granderson is make $15 million next season.  Truth be told, Granderson was terrible in the postseason but he has been a solid player for the Yankees and I still want him to stick around even after this option was picked up.  His power is great. He's fielding is as well and the only thing I'm concerned about with Granderson is his strikeouts.  He struck out 169 times in 2011 and 195 times in 2012. He needs to work on that.

    • Robinson Cano: Robbie Cano, don't you know that his postseason number are not the real numbers of Cano?  I know it and I forgive him. Cano is the future of the Yankees and he's only 30.  Next season he will make $15 million. Look for Cano to demand big money at the end of next season and look for him to make a huge deal with the me, it's coming...  and he's staying forever.

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    Monday, October 29, 2012


    We're taking a breather from BYB just because priorities are in order.  I'm sending this out to say, stay safe. We'll resume Bleeding Yankee Blue when we see fit but no one can take chances right now on the East Coast.
    I just wanted to share this picture that I found online of rain coming into New York City and the water rising. It's nuts.  More rain will come and wind will make it worse. There will be death, there will be outages and the worst thing we can do is panic. 

    Be smart and don't think you can just handle alittle wind, because it's not alittle wind, it's a hurricane. If you have kids, protect them.  Be cautious but be strong.

    I leave you with a tune from Bruce Springsteen from back in the day... 4th of July (Sandy)... that freakin' bitch Sandy is here...

    Good luck.

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    I have always been a fan of Nick Swisher.  I thought the energy he brought to the Yankees changed the corporate image. We became looser in the clubhouse and when we needed to win, we usually did, with a smile. Life was good for a while, but all that changed when he got his feeling hurt. Many fans that aren’t the bleacher creatures don’t understand why I’m annoyed at Nick Swisher for his comments toward fans.  If you live under a rock, read HEY NICK SWISHER... IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU!  BYB broke it down for you.  Need more?  Here’s his quote: "It hurts... Sometimes, I'm a sensitive guy... I'm one of those guys, you give me a hug and I run through a wall for you... It's tough, it's really tough.''

    (In Photo: The Bleacher Creatures)
    Now on the surface, it’s his opinion that the fans were “tough” on him.  My take is simple, the Bleacher Creatures represent every fan in Yankee Stadium, and many of us sitting on our couches who don’t take a trip to the Bronx.  They are a symbol of the ultimate Yankee fan.  Without the Bleacher Creatures, there is a different feel to Yankee Stadium.  That being said, it’s not about that as much as it is on him turning on the fans.  I won’t get into a heated rant about this, but I’ll just simply say, when it comes to the debate about Nick Swisher or Ichiro Suzuki and who will man right field in 2013… my decision has been made… It’s Ichiro, Nick’s time is up.
    Nick had 4 great years in the Bronx. We love the guy, but turning on a fan is like a dog turning on his owner.  We pay for him to play. Our hard earned money goes into his pocket.  We defend him to the press and to anti-Yankee fans if he hits a slump in the season, but if you turn and bite the hand that feeds you, we dump you off at the pound.  Plain and Simple thinking. Now, in this case, the pound is a multi-year deal with another team most likely for Nick who will experience his first Free Agency ever in his career. Nick will move on and doesn’t care about the New York fans anymore, he never did, he just cared about his image and now it’s gone, so he’s gone and he’ll find new fans to love him. So, to me, that’s a no brainer, go to the guy who’s a hell of a lot cheaper and a 10 time gold glover… Ichiro.

    Suzuki is the ultimate baseball player. He has amazing bat control and came alive when he came to the Bronx.  It was clear to many of us and a ton of Seattle Mariners fans that Ichiro was going through the motions in Seattle.  He knew that team was doomed in 2012 and with his contract being up at the end of the season, it make a hellava lot of sense to cut him loose, to a contender of course.
    I was thrilled when Ichiro was traded to the Yanks.  I was the only blog out there that wrote about the perfect marriage that could be made between Ichiro and the Yankees…IN JUNE... read ICHIRO IN PINSTRIPES? ANYTHING'S POSSIBLE.  I received emails and some tweets from low level sports writers telling me that I was stirring the pot and I had no authority to be “writing crap.  I hold grudges, so, I’ll retaliate on those dim bulbs when the time is right…they know who they are.  But the point is…I was right.  I didn’t need to be in a clubhouse, I didn’t need an “unnamed source.” I went with a nugget I knew everyone would ignore….quite honestly, it fit the Yankees mold perfectly…Veteran help by the trade deadline that will help the Yankees win.  Ichiro was that player and 2 days before the trade took place in Seattle, I wrote ? and was ignored, until I wasn’t and the trade went down.

    There is nothing NOT to like about this Ichiro trade and now that the season is over, it makes sense to me that Nick Swisher’s tenure is finished and Ichiro should fill the role; He’s cheaper, he’s a hell of a lot more talented with the glove and he’s an icon in baseball around the world.  Plus, he wants to be here, which for many is half the battle.  Trust me, if Ichiro can make it in New York, he can make it anywhere.  

    Sign him Cashman, he’s a terrific alternative and you can always gain the homers Swisher used to supply in another bat on the free agent pile… go cheap or go home… right Cash?

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    Just so everyone knows.  The Giants have swept the Tigers in the World Series!

    Life is long until Pitchers and Catchers report?

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    Sunday, October 28, 2012


    Joel Sherman had a good piece in the New York Post yesterday.  It involved Melky Cabrera and the fact that the New York Mets could target him this offseason. It makes sense, he could be helpful.  

    Sherman writes: "The Mets need outfielders and don’t have a ton of money to address their severe needs there. So if they could bag Cabrera as corner outfield insurance against Jason Bay and Lucas Duda, it could make sense, especially if they are unable to retain Scott Hairston. Probably at his worst, Cabrera would be a motivated fourth outfielder who always could hit righties well, with the possibility he is more than that if any of the improvements of the past two years are real." Read HERE.

    He goes on to say that the Yankees never considered Melky Cabrera to be a negative force in the world of Robinson Cano, writing: "Yankees officials never viewed Cabrera as a negative influence on Robinson Cano, as some outside the organization did." I am one "outside of the organization." It's a nugget I'll expand on.
    This is my take and you can disagree and I respect that; Sure, Yankee officials aren't going to look like they dislike a player publically, why would they?  I believe they saw possible trouble brewing with Melky, after all, Melky and Cano were the best of friends. As far as I know, they still are.

    I even laugh when I think about Melky cranking out that home run in the All-Star game and as he circled  the bases and stuck his hand out and Cano just grinned. They're buds!  Look, I know from a very good friend who lived in the same building as Robbie and Melky in Edgewater when they first game to the Bronx.  They had a very very good time while they were there, let's just put it that way.
    In the end though, the Yankees saw mad potential in Robinson Cano and the idea of a "trouble maker" bringing Cano down may have hurt their investment. So, in the spirit of upgrading the franchise, they flipped him to the Atlanta Braves for Javier Vasquez.  It looked like a legitimate business deal, after all, the Yankees needed pitching, so it all worked out. Once he was gone, Cano could blossom...and he did.

    Now sure, the Yankees did offer a minor league deal the Melky in 2010 after the season ended. But you know how minor league contracts go with the Yankees.  9 times out of 10, those players are usually released...i.e. Russell Branyan, Jack Cust.

    I don't ever see Melky coming back to the Yankees.  As Sherman writes of why the Yanks may not bite on Melky after this season when he's a free agent, "Cano ended up being smeared with allegations this season because of the association, so the Yankees might be hesitant to reunite the pair."
    Now, in the end, as I've stated in MELKY CABRERA OFF WORLD SERIES ROSTER SENDS A MESSAGE, once this season ends, Melky has a clean slate with me, so does he deserve to get a fair shake with the Yankees and any other team? Damn right.  But the Yankees reuniting with Melky? Well, let's just say I never see it happening and it's probably better for everyone that way.

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    Hurricane Sandy is about to nail up in the Tri-State area.  There is no other way to put this...don't be a hero.  If you are worried about getting to work, trust me, so is everyone else, take you're time tomorrow. If you're worried about leaving your family behind and concerned you may not be able to get to them if you're away from home, just use your head.

    This storm is serious, there is no question about it.  There are high powered winds coming, a lot rain coming and leaves on the trees make it even more destructive. It means the moisture just sits on those branches and they're bound to fall. We will lose power.

    If BYB goes away the next few days, it's temporary and you know why. But this is the most important part of this; trust your gut and listen to what your heart tells you.  Sure, we all need to go to work to provide for our families but at the end of the day, you never want to leave the people you love the most stranded because you need to make an extra buck.  Just be smart, that's all I'm saying.

    If you have power and you want to read to take your mind off of stuff. I've randomly collected 11 BYB posts from the past 2 years for you to read.  Enjoy...

    TWO WORDS: DEREK JETER: September 30, 2012

    MY SON HAS THAT POSADA FIRE: July 21, 2012 


    YANKEES 2012: IT IS WHAT IT IS...: Oct 21, 2012





    WE'LL ALWAYS BE TEAM POSADA:  March 22, 2012

    SHAME ON SKIP BAYLESS: August 23, 2012


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    When the Yankees signed Francisco Cervelli in 2008, it was to a Major league contract. He was supposed to be Jorge Posada’s backup and it was assumed he would take over as everyday catcher when Posada could no longer hold the position. But a few things have happened since then and now, one has to wonder what is next for Cervelli, because it's clear to many Cervelli fans and Yankee fans alike, Cervelli's days on the Yankees appear to be numbered.
    One thing is obviously clear, the Yankees do not trust Cervelli’s ability enough to give him that starting catcher position. In other words, he's not in the Yankees future plans. This was made even more obvious when he was sent down the day before the 2012 season began. It’s true, his defensive skills leave a lot to be desired, that is why in 2011, Russell Martin won out as starting everyday catcher. But many of us are still bothered by the way the Yankees handled the Cervelli situation.  He had a pretty decent Spring, the hunger and heart was there, but then without warning, Chris Stewart was traded to New York and started as Martin's backup.  Cervelli, shocked, went to the minors.  We had a detailed opinion on that in WHY'S CERVELLI'S THE ODD MAN OUT.
    But what's next for the Yankees? Russell Martin goes into free agency this season and unless the asking price is right, chances are the Yankees won’t bring him back. Let’s face it, while Martin is excellent defensively, he is just an average hitting catcher. Truth be told, he pitching staff loves him, but we need a catcher that can at least hit .250.
    I do believe that we have been spoiled by Jorge Posada, sometimes you just assume every catch has that same ability. It makes you appreciate Posada so much more.

    True, the Yankees still have Chris Stewart. His hitting isn’t much better than Martin’s though and he is only slightly worst defensively, yet, a smart catcher. It is entirely possible that the Yankees attempt to trade Stewart for a righty hitter and bring Cervelli in as back-up catcher. But I'll tell you... I'm just not sure if Cervelli's in the Yankee future plans, but I hope he is.

    Look for a piece on BYB soon on some catchers that could be available for a catching upgrade... the free agent market will be interesting...

    --Erica Morales, BYB Writer
    Twitter: @e_morales1804

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    Baseball and life run the same way for me. I don't know what it is, but forever I saw the similarities and I see them to this day.

    You buy a new home, it's like winning the World Series...the American dream.  It's the ultimate goal for any baseball team. Then you improve it, just like a team, you rebuild and make the club better and the next year, in life, maybe you do home improvements too and you hit a milestone, another championship...or maybe an addition on your home with a man cave. You see the thread, right?
    Teamwork will bring success on your club and my wife and I juggle a ton of personalities in our house so we have a happy home. Wins bring happiness in baseball, positive reinforcement brings happiness in my house.

    If my kid fails his spelling test, it's like he struck out in the 9th...and so on and so forth. I'm a baseball nerd, but I'm also a dad and it all comes together like this.

    Since BYB began, it's become a beast I can't control. I've brought in smart writers and I've built a safe house here for the ultimate Yankee fan. You don't have to agree with us, but 9 times out of 10, you do. You don't want to hear the negative, but if I need to bring it to you, I will. And truth be told, you keep coming back and we've built writing personalities that you look for daily. That's BYB, the others don't do that. I never wanted a blog, I wanted a website. I've never been a true fan of the"blog" unless I was constantly able to read new stuff daily. That being said, some of the blogs that got me interested in doing this in the first place are awesome... Lisa, Rob... you know I appreciate you guys.

    I received an interesting note from a friend the other day, a reader and Yankee fanatic. And something she wrote stuck me..."We want you back." Apparently - haven't been writing as much lately.  I get it, but I never left. You know when you'll know if I left?  If you wake up one morning and the same story from Tuesday was my top story...and it's Sunday. If I never updated BYB, it would be evident, I left.
    (In Photo: Sergio Mitre)
    But the spirit of BYB started with me and my buddy Sergio Mitre, read WHY LAST NIGHT WAS IMPORTANT. And as long as I'm happy, you will always have daily content. Why? Because I know your looking for it, we raised the bar.

    I'm passionate about my team, I love to write and not a day goes by that I didn't write something on BYB. My head is constantly thinking about ideas that you will enjoy and our writers do the same. It's a job, yet, we all have our real life, our real job. 

    Truth be told, there comes a time in life that a full balance is in order. In other words, having our great writers write, while I take a breather is OK... I'll take the help when I can get it.

    Because at the end of the day, you guys are like family and I want to keep you reading, but if my kid wants to go play baseball...guess what I'm doing?  If were planning a trip to Florida, guess where I'm going?  My point is, we supply content, we make you laugh, we make you think, and we even yell here at a family. But truth be told, I have a family that was around way before BYB.  I'm doing my best. You can't fault me for that.

    Am I mad by reading "We want you back?" Not at all. I'm rejuvenated. I'm inspired. I'm happy. Everyone loves to be wanted. I sure do. But balance in life is so important, for everyone...I could write for you for days, with no break, I have a ton of ideas, trust me... but I won't let my family fail, just like I won't let BYB fail. Balance, it's a baseball thing, it's a life thing. I hope you get where I'm coming from.

    OK, I'm don't with my rant. Someone make me eggs... Over medium.

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