Sunday, March 31, 2013


So, just when you thought Clay Rapada would start the season on the disabled list, it's been revealed that the Yankees have in fact decided to designate him for assignment to make room for first baseman Lyle Overbay.  You can read about it HERE from Andy McCullough of the Star Ledger.

According to McCullough, "The team had intended to start the season with Rapada on the disabled list. Instead, he’ll likely be claimed and head elsewhere.

The Yankees released their final roster on Sunday, with few surprise. The final three spots belonged to outfielder Brennan Boesch, reliever Cody Eppley and reliever Adam Warren. Warren will likely return to Triple A once Phil Hughes comes off the disabled list after two starts. Warren figures to serve as the long man until then."

Rapada tweeted this after he was notified:

 I agree with McCullough when he said Rapada could be claimed and go elsewhere. Clay's a good pitcher and I liked him in our pen, but he's right, baseball is a business. I'm impressed with his tweet and I wish the guy well... even though his Twitter Avatar is him posing with Hello Kitty. I can look past that... he was a good Yankee.

Good Luck Clay, wherever you wind up.

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I just wanted to mention that we lost a Yankee great. Bob Turley died of liver cancer on Saturday at the age of 82.

In 1958, Bob Turley won the American League Cy Young as well as being the Yankees World Series MVP.  He played 8 years with the Yankees, from  1955 to 1962.  While with the Yanks, he had a 82-52 record with a 3.62 ERA.

The New York Daily News (HERE) had an interesting nugget I wanted to share with you.  According to the Daily News: "Turley’s post-baseball career was actually far more successful than his playing one. He made a fortune as an independent life insurance salesman in Atlanta. 'When I make a decision, it’s my own,' he said in a 1975 interview. 'I don’t rely on anyone else. I sink or swim by myself. It’s like a pitcher shaking off a catcher. There’s no going back on yourself.'"

You gotta love that mentality of Turley.  Rest in peace Bob... rest in peace.

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"1. New York Yankees finish last in AL East.

It hasn’t happened in 22 years, since the Yankees finished 67-95 and seven games in back of the Milwaukee Brewers, but the Yankees could very easily go from first in 2012 to worst in 2013. And, with the American League’s largest payroll, there is additional pressure to win in addition to their own high standards of success."

That quote comes from Jim Bowden of ESPN in a piece titled 10 bold predictions for 2013 season, HERE. Let me state that I hate when ESPN commentators or writers use the word "prediction" when talking about the Yankees.  They might as well call it a "guess."  They like to diminish anything Yankeeland does and even if they seem complimentary at times, they always have a backhanded comment to follow.  It's the nature of ESPN, and we've learned to live with it... but it ain't right. This is also my opinion and observation of course... you may disagree.

Truth is, if you're a Yankee fan, you have to believe, no matter who's on the field.  If you want a better idea of what we mean, read Rudy Lauren's piece from earlier today on BYB, titled THE YANKEES HAVE WHAT IT TAKES IN 2013, and don't fall into the trap of predicting anything before a first pitch is thrown. Why? Because, if Jim Bowden's wrong, he just comes out and says "What, it was a prediction?" and he moves on. But if he's right... he gets to say... "Oh look at me, I got that right, I'm amazing... ESPN, pay me more!"  I like Jim Bowden, he's smart. He says smart stuff... but this one is just super silly stuff. You know what I mean? For the record, guys like Ian O'Connor do it right over at ESPN and he doesn't fall into that black hole.

Let's call the whole thing what it is... a guess.  Yeah, and we call these people baseball experts.

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We're all familiar with the expression "things look good on paper." I'm sure you heard that a million times. Well, in this case what seems to be on the Yankees paper may not seem so bad!  I know to many out there we look like we are headed down a long road come Monday when we open the 2013 season against Boston Red Sox. They don't look that good either, but that's another post for another day. 

The question becomes... Can the Yankees make the playoffs? The truth is... it's very possible. Yes, I say that knowingly we are starting the season with very important players to the line up that are on the DL.  But, this is not the time to count out our Boys... far from it folks. It's something we should be used to every year. Think about it... We weren't supposed to win the division last year either!  The Red Sox were favored to win the AL East and more, but we all know how that went.

We can go back to 1996 too. We had no shot then, but we proved the experts wrong that year. I remember the famous final catch by Charlie Hayes that sealed the deal. Truth be told, you can't predict baseball. No team has ever been handed the commissioner's trophy for making blockbuster moves in the off-season. That's a valid point... remember that.  If they did, there would be a motorcade in Toronto right now.  It's like that old cliche, "It's why you play the games." It's true and it's all 162 of them to be exact.  It's not going to be the last time that so-called "baseball experts" have the Yankees pinned to dwell the cellar in the standings. Another good point... and very true.

The Manager: We need to remember who commandeers the ship, the skipper Joe Girardi. I know, some can be objective to his managerial style. I heard it all. The binder remarks, the "over managing" strategy.  But are we forgetting that with the exception of 2008, we have made the postseason every year since. 2009. We have won our 27th title. In 2010 and 2012, we got as far as the ALCS under his tenure. Look, he doesn't have it easy when it comes to running this team, but it's my opinion that he did a heck of a job last year, and while he faces the same challenges now, he will find a way to hold this team together all the way through it. It's what good managers do. He has been a big part of the Yankees playoff hopes all this time, but hey, we only notice what the 9 players on the field are doing. Right?

The Pitching: Now comes the pitching part. I think our pitching is somewhat overlooked in all this. Why? Simple...because we are known as the "Bronx Bombers", not the "Bronx Chuckers". Our rotation isn't in bad shape. I feel confident with the ball being handed to CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, Ivan Nova and David Phelps. We've seen what they can do. They give us quality starts and keep us in games and do their best maintaining damage control. Same with the pen. Remember the bridge to Mariano that was Ramiro Mendoza, Mike Stanton and Jeff Nelson? Yeah, that seems so long ago, but we've always maintained the bridge and have always been successful.  Remember Joba Chamberlain, DRob and Rafael Soriano?  My point is, our bullpen can be solid, and I"ll will take my chances.

The Offense: Our offense is where we can really get concerned. In 2012, the Yankees hit a total of 245 home runs. Curtis Granderson was responsible for 43 of them. Mark Teixeira 24, and Alex Rodriguez with 18. With the 3 of them on the DL, you would think the strategy changes greatly for us to score runs in 2013. You're right, it does. To do that the "small ball" game has to come into play and it has to work! We all saw that there was an issue with RISP last year. We hope to see that at least fixed this year. Sure, we won 95 games, but we would have seen 100 + wins if there were less "ducks on the pond."  I know I'm crossing my fingers, but the line up going into this season isn't what we're normally used to. You know what? It doesn't matter, we'll find a way and I still have faith in my team. They will do what they can to put runs on the board.

The Division: It's clear that the Yankees play in the toughest division in all of baseball. Looking back to the off season, knowing the moves Toronto made, it won't be easy.  But, we've learned that anything can happen in baseball. Remember the Phillies getting Cliff Lee in 2011? The media said it was over, the Phillies were the best in baseball.  Wasn't true. It was the St Louis Cardinals that year.

I look at the run Baltimore had last year. Buck Showalter firing up his guys to win with a group of misfits...and it worked.  There's Tampa Bay, who has the pitching with David Price as the ace of the rotation and Fernando Rodney in the closer spot.  But can they be the offensive threat they used to be? Maybe... or maybe not.
Boston, much like New York, made small moves.  They picked up Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, Jonny Gomes, and Ryan Dempster. They come into 2013 with many question marks as well. But with newly added manager John Farrell, a guy very well-liked in Boston, this could be a guy who can help patch up cracks in their roster. To me, the division is up for grabs, but I'll put money on our guys! I have confidence.

So, with everything I've written, the question still remains. Can the Yankees make the playoffs in 2013? Of course they can.  We all start 0-0 on April 1st, and I know this team can come together to be a contender much like any other team in the league!  We've been down this road before and many times we've seen this ball club overcome adversity. 

Guys like Kevin Youkilis, Vernon Wells, Travis Hafner, Brennan Boesch have a chance to be a big part of it. And you know what? I really don't think they want to waste that opportunity, do you?

Opening Day is tomorrow... Let's get ready to PLAY BALL!

-- Rudy Laurens, BYB Writer
Facebook: House of Champions

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Look we all know what Spring and Easter means.  As the Easter Bunny says in Rise of the Guardians, Easter is a new beginning.  It's new life and when it comes to baseball, it's the beginning of a new season; Spring, Easter and tomorrow is Opening Day.  I'll be attending church with my family this morning and then having some family time today... no Little League, no work, just some food and family on a gorgeous day in the Northeast.

So today let's keep it light on BYB, laugh alittle, gawk alittle.  Here's Kate Upton in an Easter video.  It's funny, it's sexy... and it's a new beginning.

We'll have more stories later as we gear up for Yankees Opening Day so look for it. For now, enjoy this...

Happy Easter to all our Bleeding Yankee Blue readers.  You're the best, you always have been. Thank you.

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Saturday, March 30, 2013


Baseball is a business.  Sometimes when players play, they don't make the club and sometimes they do.   That's just life, but one thing you can't do, and this goes for everyone, is give up on yourself. 

Enter David Aardsma, who, I call "a class act."  This is a guy that had to recover from Tommy John surgery and came all the way back to try and make the New York Yankees.  The Yankees saw potential when they signed an injured Aardsma and when that happened, no doubt Aardsma felt wanted and rejuvenated and swore to himself he would never give up.

He gave his all this Spring, but it wasn't enough according to the Yankees and he was designated for assignment and Shawn Kelley, his Yankee teammate for the moment took his place, read HERE
(In Photo: Shawn Kelley)
Now the hardest thing to do in that situation is be generous. What I mean is, you smile, you give a high-five  to the guys that made it, even though you are in shocked it wasn't you!  Now they move on and you now need to pack up your things and leave.  But like I said, Aardsma's all right in my book...he's a class act  He tweeted this last night:

He could have just went home and never said anything publicly... he didn't. 

It's bittersweet.  You gotta feel bad for the guy, or any player that comes so close but doesn't achieve his goal... but that's not the only thing I'm talking about here. I'm talking about not giving up.  I loved Aardma's second tweet just as much as his first. "Some of the best things to happen to my career have come from this same exact position, can't control anything but to #keepworking"  Never give up... keep working... a life lesson... know it and live it.

I tip my cap. You're all right in my book Animal, you were fun to watch and I know I'll see you in the Bigs again soon... good luck.

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Can’t believe I am quoting Men at Work but I am.  "Who can it be knocking at my door? Stay away, don’t come around here no more…"  Yes, it’s crazy and yes it’s true, but the injury door is flying open every five minutes, so I have to once again take a sip from the confidence potion and start thinking about our future pitching staff. 

(In Photo: Manny Banuelos)
Manny Banuelos, Jose Campos, Michael Pineda, Chien-Ming Wang, David Phelps and Ivan Nova- a motley crew of Pinstripers in training.  Senior ESPN baseball writer Keith Law ranks Yankee farm system 10th in the league.  Incidentally, according to Law’s 100 top prospects, catcher Gary Sanchez is ranked 18th and three of our outfield prospects are also ranked.  But what about pitching?  Who’s going to be the 5th starter, frankly who is going to take Phil Hughes’ spot, at least temporarily?  

(In Photo: Vidal Nuno)
Who will the Yankees bring up periodically to fill in Clay Rapada in the bullpen and perhaps get some real time mentoring with Mo?  Lots of questions and lots of speculation, but let’s take a closer look at our farm system pitching prospects who may make a trip to the Bronx this year and perhaps stay for a while making way for some interesting combinations in 2014. 

Now I have to throw out one disclaimer- I am always about the farm prospects and I fight for their opportunity in my tweets and posts quite often, but I would like to say that I am slightly disgusted that the Yankees did not pick up former Cardinal pitcher now Brewer Kyle Lohse. (Read about Lohse HERE.) 

He would have made a solid addition to our club.  Again, it was not to be and Scott Boras got his man 33 million for three years with Milwaukee.  Maybe next time Brian Cashman- story of our lives this off-season. 

Onto the our farm prospects- Coming off of Tommy John surgery, Manny Banuelos was once thought of as next big pitcher for the Yankees.  But as we all know, nothing is a guarantee.  Banuelos is optimistic throwing three days a week now and is holding onto his dream to pitch for the major league club. Every time I throw, it feels better,” said Banuelos, who will remain in Tampa for the rest of the year with an eye on pitching in 2014,” according to a New York Times article published last month.  The Yankees have protected their young pitching prospect by keeping him on the 40-man spring training roster.  There is still a lot of hope for him.  

His buddy, 6 foot 8 pitcher Dellin Betances is also fighting for a spot in the show.  “Betances will start this season in Class AAA, a litmus test of no small significance after he took what Cashman described as “a radical step back” last season. Larry Rothschild, the Yankees’ pitching coach, said Betances shortened his stride over the winter with the goal of making his delivery more consistent. “Being that tall, sometimes it takes time,” Rothschild said.”  Cashman is watching closely at his two stinging B’s and hopes to see some progress from both of them this year. 

(In Photo: Jose Campos)
Jose Campos, the added player in the Michael Pineda deal last season could be make good on a deal that many are calling sour grapes.  RHP Campos could be a Mariano Rivera in the making with his continuity and efficiency.  He is slated as a starter but he may have some possibilities beyond that post.  Unfortunately, because of injury, he will start the season with Charleston and look to move up to Double A Trenton sometime this season.  If he stays healthy and makes progress this season, we could see him late next season or in 2015. 

Finally, Michael Pineda- almost scared to utter his name as I am as sleepless as you when I think of Jesus Montero in Seattle.  What is going on with this guy?  There’s not much to tell.  Cashman keeps feeding us some little lines about him throwing off of the mound now and his velocity is coming back.  According to the New York Times article (HERE) Yankees Practice Patience With Pineda’s Return, the Yankees are hopeful that Pineda will begin a rehab assignment in June.  Since that blockbuster deal, the Yankees have gotten nothing out of Pineda, who turned 24 last month. Last year he reported to camp 20 pounds overweight and wrecked his shoulder. Surgery ended his season before he threw a single major league pitch. A drunken-driving arrest in Tampa last August, after the police pulled over Pineda’s Nissan S.U.V. at 2:35 a.m. with the headlights off, hardly endeared him to Yankees management,” states, the Times.  The Yankees believe that investing in Pineda is the right thing to do based on great comebacks from injured pitchers like Curt Schilling and Chris Carpenter.  God, I hope they are right.  But I am not holding my breath.  

 I like what I see coming out of Trenton this year who by the way announced their starters for the season just this week.  And Scranton has the organization’s pitcher of the year in Mark Montgomery who we may very well see this season.  Keep an eye out for him!

Lots to anticipate this spring for pitching and sure we have our veteran staff but don’t give up on David Phelps, Ivan Nova and anyone of these rookies- we may see the likes of Montgomery, Zach Nuding (Trentonian HERE) and maybe even Betances this season.  Hopefully, anyone of these guys will knock on the clubhouse door with something to prove this season- might just be what we need to keep the Yankees in it this year!

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

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Reading Jeff Seidel of (HERE), you'd think all is right in the world when it comes to Mark Teixeira and the recovery from his wrist injury.  Here are some quotes from Tex:

"May 1 is eight weeks; if you tell me it's 10 weeks, my goal is eight weeks... We'll see how it goes. We have a few, kind of, milestones you've got to hit, and then once you hit those, you can go onto the next one and hopefully progress to where I'm playing games in eight weeks."

"I can't try to be a hero... Until this is healed, I can't just start swinging and hope that swinging makes it feel better. I just have to be smart with it. It's not something I'm going to play through."

Also, let's not forget there is a possibility of season-ending surgery. That being said, Tex sounds positive and Yankeeland needed to hear it from Mark directly.

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Friday, March 29, 2013


Alittle news you should know about.

The Yankees have designated David Aardsma for assignment.  Bummer. I like the guy.  Andy McCullough of the Star Ledger tweeted that nugget alittle while ago, HERE.  Joe Girardi said Aardsma "really didn't fit", as far as the bullpen is concerned.  You gotta feel for Aardsma, he's one of the good guys!

Next... and this is obvious...the Yankees read Bleeding Yankee Blue.  Why you ask? Because they brought back David Adams and re-signed him to a minor league deal, according to Sweeny Murti, read HERE. Jeana Bellezza wrote a piece titled FIRST BRANDON LAIRD, NOW DAVID ADAMS last week. In it, she was furious with the move to release him.  This, in turn, got the pressure on Brian Cashman and now... David Adams is re-signed... I kid about the chain of events, but truth be told, I'm glad he's back.

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Listening to Michael Kay today, I was shocked.  Look, I love Kay. I love Don La Greca and as far as I'm concerned, they do one of the best radio shows out there.  Kay speaks almost too, too "Doom and Gloom" for me though when it comes to the Yanks, but I still love to listen.  I thought maybe after his had his baby, things would soften with this guy.  He speaks his mind though and that's why he's successful.  So, what am I talking about? This...

Today when he was going over payroll and salaries for the Major League teams, brought to us every year by the Associated Press (HERE), he rattled off how the Yankee are yet again the highest in payroll and right behind them are the Dodgers. 

(Here's the top 5 list of that list)
  • New York Yankees $228,995,945
  • Los Angeles Dodgers $216,302,909
  • Philadelphia Phillies $159,578,214
  • Boston Red Sox $158,967,286
  • Detroit Tigers $149,046,844
He then got real... saying to Yankee fans directly that he heard all the complaining about what the Yankees should have spent and that we didn't spend enough and yet, the Yankees are still the highest in payroll.  He then said something foolish... "You should be ashamed of yourselves."  That was directed at me, at you and at every Yankee fan... but I don't understand why.  Kay didn't think it through this time and it's disappointing. He shouldn't have said that, because it makes no sense. 

My take on this is simple. Yankees fans wanted the Yankees to spend and we don't care if it's $228,995,945 or $328,995,945, we just want the best guys we can get.  He then suggested "What ya gonna do... go out and get Prince Fielder?" I'm paraphrasing on that quote, but quite simply, the answer to that question... is YES! Again, as a fan, I want the best and biggest dudes possible.

Look, Yankee fans want who we want.  That's what Yankee fans have always enjoyed about the George Steinbrenner era.  We liked when George just made a move and got a top free agent.  Sure, some of them didn't pan out, but what was Kay talking about? Sure, Yankee fans didn't think we spent  Why you talking trash bro?

As fans, we want the best team we can get, be it Prince Fielder or Randy Johnson, Vernon Wells or Wayne Tolleson... if they we think we can win with those guys, we ask and chat and complain until we get them.  It doesn't matter what the salary is... SPEND. And for the record, we've been saying that for months.  You know what $228,995,945 means to Yankees fans? Nothing Kay... nothing.

So, before you suggest that we should be ashamed of ourselves... you better check yo self before you wreck yo self...  I still love ya though, but you got this one wrong. And that's from a fan perspective, not a "Radio personality" perspective...

Go Yanks!

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This is why Sports writers aren't Yankee fans... because they just don't get it.

You want to say something provocative and then just move on? Write a column.  I say that for certain writers who clearly want to cause a stir.   The other day I wrote a piece titled THE YANKEES NEVER QUIT & NEITHER DO YOU. In it, I was clearly making a point that, if you just go out and read whatever the sports guys put out there, certain ones at least, you will not get the full story.  With that, I was clear that you needed to read all sides, and if that included reading the Yankees "root" sites, Bleeding Yankee Blue, Yankees Fans Unite, or true journalists who bring you the entire story, like Pete Caldera of the Bergen Record, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, Marc Carig, Mark Feinsand, etc... you will see what's really going on in Yankeeland.  You'll also see a flair that keeps you coming back.

Enter a headline that came out late last night that will make every New York Yankee fan angry just days before Opening day.  Yankees should trade Mariano Rivera and Robinson Cano is the headline.  That's right... you read that correctly.  It's by a guy named Tom Van Riper.  I like him and I've read him but he got me in the door and now I'm aggravated.

Now look, let's put this in perspective.  This piece is about money and rebuilding and it's from Forbes and I understand what he's saying about the whole process of baseball, but there is one important part of this piece that is not being told.  Yankee fans and the Yankees do NOT part with icons... and it doesn't matter if they're in last place or first place... believe it or not, Yankees fans DO come first. More on that statement in a moment... but back to Van Riper...

He writes: "’s time for the Yankees to look ahead. How do you do that? By dealing your best assets to reload the talent base.  Robinson Cano might be the best player in the major leagues right now. But he’s also 30, and heading to free agency next fall represented by Scott Boras, who will no doubt be looking for a deal that pays his client well over $100 million until his 40th birthday, give or take.  That means the Yankees are faced with the age old problem that they and so many other teams have historically succumbed to: watching a player put up his best years in his 20s, and then paying him huge money afterward as his production declines...

As for Rivera, last season proved that the Yankees don’t particularly need him. With a deep stable of bullpen arms, holding leads after eight innings – Rivera’s only job – isn’t a big problem. And if the team doesn’t contend strongly, the extra one or two wins that Rivera gives them make no real difference anyway."

We don't need him? That's what I don't understand. I mean, sure, Rafael Soriano fit the bill when we needed him last season, but it's not about NEED as much as it is about WANT.  We love our guys... Van Riper is missing this.

Now, we can all get on board with the "looking ahead" part, but the Yankees are the Yankees for a reason.  We love players who contribute. We love players that do great things, and with it, it's clear that Van Riper doesn't get our side of it and probably never will. 

No, The Yankees won't ever trade Mariano Rivera.  They will most likely re-sign Robinson Cano because to them, while we may need "young", the Yankee brass knows that half the reason we fans come to the stadium every year is because of those guys.  We come to the stadium because we love 38 year old Derek Jeter and 40 year old Andy Pettitte.  They are Yankees that never die and because of them, we fans never give up. In short, we love them and will never part with them.

So yeah, Van Riper's a smart guy with his breakdown, but how smart can you really be if you don't get the Yankee fan side of this scenario?  Sure it's about money, but when it comes to the New York Yankees... it's about the love of our team and our wonderful Mariano and Jeet and Cano and Pettitte. 

And look, I get this too.... a lot of Yankee fans can't stand the Steinbrenners.  I however, am not in that category. Why you ask? Because running a team ain't easy, but one thing I do know is they believe in tradition and they want to please the fans because it they didn't, they'd pull a Jeffrey Loria.  So yeah, our players may be old and sure, we may save a few bucks if we were to unload them... but in the end, they're ours, they're Yankees, they're icons and they're champions... and that's something Van Riper will never understand.

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The Yankees need to resign Robinson Cano! Wait, wait... I'm getting ahead of myself.

If you are a frequent reader of BYB, you know I am a huge fan of the World Baseball Classic. This year, I followed the WBC closely with a special interest in the Dominican Republic. I wanted to see how well Tony Pena managed such a talented team, but more than that, I wanted to see how well Cano played.

To say that Cano did phenomenally would be a gross understatement. At one point, he was hitting near .600. I believe the euphemism that best describes his performance would be "beast mode."

Now, back to my original point. The Yankees need to resign Cano. Now possibly. Okay, I'm a little more realistic than that but, as soon as possible if not sooner.

I've written about Cano, Boras, the Yankees and his contract before. I have always said that the Yankees should wait until the end of the season to handle this, but I've changed my mind. My argument has always been that they should let Cano play so they can pay him his true worth. If this WBC doesn't show what he is capable of, than I don't know what else will.

Cano managed a .469 BA during the tournament. If David Wright was Captain America, Cano was The Human Torch, because he was on fire. Okay, I'm a bit of a geek, sorry. But it is true nonetheless. It was near impossible to turn on MLB Network without hearing about Cano's incredible performance. Not only was his hitting amazing, he displayed his leadership skills impeccably. In the end, it earned him the WBC MVP and helped bring the Championship to the Dominican Republic.

Cano proved that he is a serious threat in the batters box. He has the most fluid, natural swing in baseball and also one of the deadliest. Pitchers would rather walk him and take their chances on whoever hits after him, than pitch to him. And now we know he has the ability to be a leader in the clubhouse.

After the WBC, there is no doubt in my mind that Cano will have no problem making his payday. If it will be with the Yankees, they will have to loosen their purse strings a little and possibly be willing to let go of the budget restraint. Of course, Cano and Boras may have to be willing to negotiate a more reasonable contract as well. The thing is, if the Yankees don't resign him, another team will. Possibly the Dodgers since they are the new big spenders.

Look, I am a huge fan of Cano's. I write about him frequently. I want him in pinstripes. More than that, I don't want to have to play against him. His bat is a threat and frankly, I'd rather have that kind of power on our side, not against us. With this being his contract year, other teams have taken notice and interest has been piqued. The Robinson Cano train is moving right along, and the Yankees need to punch their tickets for this ride.

--Erica Morales, BYB Writer
Twitter: @e_morales1804

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It's funny how things change over time. In 2011 we had a surplus of catching and we had the depth that other teams dreamed of. Now it is two years later and we don't have that big name catcher anymore and our prospects aren't ready. We also don't have our former top prospect, Jesus Montero. I don't like to look back and wonder about what could have been because it's done. Normally we wouldn't do that here....but in this case we are going to.

We wanted to know who you would bring back to the Bronx if you could go back in a time machine and change history. Considering all of the drama we have had related to out catching situation I wasn't surprised to see that Montero won the poll we made with 31 votes, you can read the rest of the results in BYB READERS WANT JESUS MONTERO BACK if you missed it. It really makes you wonder if he was still with the Yankees how the starting catcher race would look like right now. What role would Francisco Cervelli have? Or would Chris Stewart even be here?

Obviously, the starting  catching position is on everyones mind. If Montero was still here, would he be our starting catcher? Some say that he "can't catch" and maybe he isn't the best catcher out there, but he did pretty good for the Mariners last year. Montero did well offensively, but we always knew that was not a concern for him. In 515 at bats, Montero  had a .260BA and drove in 62 runs and hit 15 home runs. Considering that the Mariners have been starving for offense in recent years that is a huge help for their team. When the Mariners traded for him they were more interested in his bat than his defensive skills, he gave the team an offensive upgrade and he was a big contributor.

Defensively, Montero still needs some work but until he gets more time behind the plate no one will ever know if he can be a good catcher. Last year Montero caught in 56 games for the Mariners. It was probably a big adjustment for him. On paper, his 54 stolen bases allowed look troubling, and so does the 17% caught stealing rate but that could come in time. The stats didn't give him a Rookie of the Year award but he was durable for the team. The life of a catcher isn't easy, you get banged up a lot. So for him to be productive as a DH and a part time catcher was good for his development. Maybe he can expand on that in 2013, it will at least be interesting to watch.

There is a lot to like about Montero, we can see why a lot of people voted for him. I can't help but wonder how Montero would contribute to our team if he was still here. If he were here, maybe he would give some added confidence in our offense considering a lot of our big bats are not playing right now. No disrespect to Cervelli or Stewart, but they don't have the same kind of pop that he does. I think back to September of 2011 games where he hit his first home runs in the same game and then in a different game was just a triple short of the cycle. He had several highlights in a short amount of time here.

Maybe Montero would have excelled in New York, but since we can't go back in time I guess we will never know. For now we can sit and watch and see what happens for him in 2013. You guys definitely have the catching situation on the brain. Maybe your opinion has changed about the trade, maybe you like it and and maybe you don't. Either way, Montero's contributions have not been forgotten. If you could have a "re-do" would you bring him back? Comment and let us know!

--Jeana Bellezza, BYB Writer and Editor
Twitter: @NyPrincessJ

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Thursday, March 28, 2013


Juan Rivera had a good run this spring hitting .305. Juan Rivera is a nice guy and Juan Rivera could have been put on the 40 man roster by the Yankees, but according to Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News (HERE), the Yankees chose to release Juan Rivera instead.

Look, it's business. The real story on why this happened is easy to understand. Trust me, as a fan, you can understand why Rivera was released. The biggest thing was Juan Rivera was not a true first baseman and Lyle Overbay is, and has better experience there. Rivera was the square in a round hole at first base for the Yankees.  Overbay is round... you know what I mean?

Also, you need to understand that signing Vernon Wells pretty much starts to eliminate a spot for Rivera in the outfield as well. I mean, how many outfielders can the Yankees actually have? We already have Vernon, Ichiro Suzuki and Brett Gardner. Then, Ben Francisco, who is solid. You also have Thomas Neal  who I believe will be with us in our minor league system and Brennan Boesch can play the outfield too.  I just don't know if we really need more.
 (In Photo: Ronnier Mustelier)
And, if we did, then we'll call up Melky Mesa or Ronnier Mustelier. In a nutshell, what seemed like a sure thing for Juan Rivera turned into a guy underwater breathing out a straw. He's was suffocating and eventually got snuffed out with the Yankees last minute moves in acquiring Wells and Overbay.

I like Rivera and he did well for us, but it's clear the Yankees have other plans and the timing worked out when first baseman Lyle Overbay showed up.  Rivera ended up losing out to lack of experience at first and overcrowding in the outfield, that's it!  One thing that sucks is Rivera put in his time. Unfortunately though, he ran out of time and with Ben Francisco and Lyle Overbay making the club, again... Juan Rivera is replaceable.

I wish Rivera the best. The timing was wrong, but he'll land on his feet somewhere. Unfortunately there won't be a sequel to the "Juan Rivera is a Yankee" flick anytime soon.

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