Thursday, October 31, 2013


In true Halloween spirit, we're talking about the scariest stuff in baseball.

Not zombies! Well, not technically. For the past few weeks, I have been writing about Alex Rodriguez, and all the legal hum going on around him. I have always said Bud Selig made this into a witch hunt against him. It's almost as if Selig, and the MLB thought that ARod would be an easy target because of his media history. People like to dislike ARod, so they publicly crucify him, get people on their side, and then they will see that Selig, and the MLB mean business. It is ARod, after all. He couldn't be that difficult to beat down.

Well, ARod had another idea. ARod decided that he has had enough of being everyone's favorite kicking post, and he decided to fight back. Andrew Marchand released a piece today (HERE) where ARod made a statement, and well, he swung for the fences with this one.

"I am deeply troubled by my team's investigative findings with respect to the MLB's conduct. How can the gross, ongoing misconduct of the MLB investigations division not be relevant to my suspension, when my suspension supposedly results directly from that division's work?"

Okay, ARod, I see where you are coming from. And he makes a valid point. A good amount of those 211 games stem from obstruction to the investigation. So why does his supposed obstruction result in suspension, and the MLB's not matter? But that isn't the end of the statement. Not by far.

"It is sad that Commissioner Selig once again is turning a blind eye, knowing that crimes are being committed under his regime. I have 100% faith in my legal team. To be sure, this fight is necessary to protect me, but it is also serves the interest of the next 18-year-old coming into the league, to be sure he doesn't step into the house of horrors that I am being forced to walk through."

It is clear that ARod is ready for a fight. This statement went right for the balls. He basically said everything that fans of baseball have been wondering for a very long time. Just yesterday the MVP award was handed to a known steroid user. And even before that there was Bonds, Sosa and a long list of others. So why is the MLB leading such a witch hunt against ARod? Why pretend to be heroes, when in reality, the MLB and Selig are a huge part of why this problem exist in the first place?

The legal proceedings against the MLB start on November 7th, but there is no telling how long they will last. The arbitration hearings resume once again on November 18th. These statements do not prove Arod's innocence or guilt, but they do prove that ARod will come out swinging. He is done being the scapegoat. And I honestly cannot say I blame him. Your move, Selig.

--Erica Morales BYB Senior Writer
Twitter: @e_morales1804

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For the first time in my life... I watched an opposing team celebrate on the field after winning the World Series.  I sit here annoyed, uncomfortable and irritated. The Red Sox won the World Series and I cannot believe what I'm seeing.  Now, I have to to tell you, the love fest with the media and the Red Sox is amped up and annoying!  I heard it in Joe Buck's voice the entire playoffs. I read the articles, like for instance,  USA Today, the same paper that published my story titled THE JETER EFFECT, write about some 97 year old woman in Boston named Helen McGonagle who, the last time she saw the Red Sox win in Boston was when she was 2. 

(In Photo: Helen McGonagle)
Now, look at this poor woman and tell me that they aren't exploited her for the mere purpose of trying to advance their love fest with the Red Sox... it makes me angry.   I mean, winning away or home... does it really matter at this point? The Sox have won 3 times in 10 years... it doesn't matter if they win in Africa... they still win.

I think about the season, about last season and I'm just lost.  The Red Sox played for a guy last year they had no respect for.  Bobby Valentine, or, Uncle Rico and they stunk up the joint.  But when John Farrell showed up, they went from last to first and made things happen.  It's interesting actually.  Many of the guys the Yankees were looking at, the Red Sox were as well.  But the Sox made the moves and we went on the cheap.  That literally was the difference, not to mention the fact that the Sox love Farrell... it's good to be loved, ain't it?

The Sox had 2 guys in the heart of the "chicken and beer" scandal in Jon Lester and John Lackey... but that didn't matter to the media. They look like heroes in the media.  There were accusations of doctoring the baseball in the World Series by Lester, and obvious offense... but it was ignored. 

Vaseline anyone?

They had a guy who's been accused of using PEDs in David Ortiz.  He even showed up on a 2003 list that wasn't supposed to be made public, but was. Yet he's in the clear and hits well in this year's post-season and Alex Rodriguez is crucified!  I tweeted about it tonight:

The media loves the Red Sox, and the fact that Bud Selig is out there presenting the MVP award to Ortiz, yet, this is the same commissioner going after ARod for PEDs use is not only outrageous... it's a fire-able offense.  I mean, can anyone fire Bud Selig? There is clearly a double standard here.  If MLB was smart, they would have kept Selig in a cage until the celebration was over.  Trust me, BYB will be writing more about this outrageous situation... I just can't figure it out.

Now hand it to the Red Sox, they had a balanced club this season. They did good and yes, there's jealousy... I'm a Yankees fan.  You need to tip your cap as horrible as that sounds, that's good sportsmanship and for us Yankee fans, it's the right thing to do. The season's over.... that's all she wrote.  As John Sterling would say... that's baseball Susan... that's baseball.

For all you Yankee fans... think big.  Be bigger than the rest. Understand the importance of this victory. They did it for Boston. In a year of terrorism at the Boston Marathon, it was important for them and I got that.  I was torn because I understood what they were fighting for. I understood why the Sox were fighting so hard, because we were there in New York in 2001 after 9-11 and our Yankees did our best... but we fell short in the World Series.  When we did, we as Americans still rallied and we survived.  In a strange way, I wanted the same for Boston.  I wanted them to lose the series, but I wanted Boston Strong to live on.  Call me human... but call me a baseball fan... it's a difficult feeling to grasp... but I know as Yankee fans... you get it.

I have plenty of friends that are Red Sox fans. They will razz me big time tomorrow, just like I did when Aaron Boone crushed their dreams.  Again, that's baseball.  As fans of this great game, it's a give and take and right now, us Yankee fans are taking. Accept it, it's where we're at.

Tonight, I know what's happening.  Cashman's cell rang about an hour ago.  Hank was pissed and he told Brian exactly just how pissed he was.  Hal then called, and told him that the Yankees "have work to do."  Hey Yankee fans, use this Red Sox victory as a way to motivate you.  I know the Yankees are.  We were humiliated.  We had a team the Steinbrenners rolled the dice on and they were buying time. They hoped their picks would work, but they didn't.  In 2013, we finished in 4th... to you and me, that unacceptable. For Yankee brass... well, they've been exposed and trust me when I tell you... the Yankees are about to go big. Big like they did in 2009.  Big... like as in "I will not be overshadowed by the Red Sox" Big.

Tip your cap to the Sox today, as much as you hate them, as much as you're jealous... tip it... that's baseball, that's respect. Respect for this great game. But know this... it starts all over in 2014... and I'll be in the front row with you... watching a brand new Yankees club...

Go Yankees.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013


It seems everyone is taking a hit in the Alex Rodriguez saga. If you have ever batted an eyelash in his direction, you are probably on the list of people going down.

The latest is a court suit filed by MLB against his former PR rep, Michael Sitrick. According to Andrew Marchand for ESPN (HERE) "MLB has filed a petition in Manhattan Supreme Court that clams Sitrick has declined to hand over documents baseball believes ARod or people close to him gathered for the apparent purpose of preventing MLB from obtaining those records and from uncovering evidence of Rodriguez's use and possession of prohibited substances." 

ARod and his camp, who have already denied allegations that he purchased these stolen documents, once again went on record this week. Joseph Tacopina released the following statement:

"As we have said all a log, Alex has never bought any document related to Biogenesis, and he has repeatedly turned down offers from various individuals who approached him about buying them. Alex unequivocally denies having exposed any players. This is MLB's desperate cry for help. What happened to the 'overwhelming mountain' of evidence against Alex? Having now rested its case against Alex, this effort makes clear to the world that MLB doesn't have what they said they have. What is perhaps most shocking-- and the best evidence of their desperation-- is that MLB would do this during the World Series." 

Tacopina makes a valid point. Did not the MLB say they had enough evidence against ARod to ban him from baseball for life? When Rob Manfred admitted to paying for stolen documents, the MLB said it was a moot point, since they had enough evidence against ARod, even if they couldn't use those documents.

The MLB of course fired back with their own statement.

"We continue to be at a loss to explain how Mr. Tacopina can take the position that his client has done nothing wrong. First, it was Mr. Rodriguez did not use drugs. Now, it is he did not obstruct the investigation. Those statements are simply and demonstrably inaccurate. The action we took yesterday was necessitated by continuing efforts y Mr. Rodriguez's lawyers to engage in a purposeful coverup."

The bottom line here is that these arbitration hearings are supposed to determine the fate of ARod's 211 game suspension, and both sides are making it a circus! Frankly, fans are sick and tired of it. Do whatever you have to do legally, but for the love of baseball, stop the madness! The fact is that some of us are actually paying attention to the World Series. That takes precedence over this ARod stuff. And all of this is exhausting. It's become the equivalent of a school yard fight between the two sides.

The hearings should begin again on November 18th. The MLB has rested it's case against ARod, so now it is up to Tacopina, and the rest of the legal team to build their case for ARod.

--Erica Morales BYB Senior Writer
Twitter: @e_morales1804

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Regular readers of BYB weren’t surprised by an article by ESPN’s Mark Simon talking about Josh Johnson. That’s because we talked about it last month in Pitching Fits. He weighs the pros and cons on Johnson, but ultimately here’s what Simon says:

"The verdict: Johnson is going to be one of the most intriguing free agents this winter because of the combination of tantalizing potential and legitimate risk. He probably makes the most sense for a team looking to go bargain-hunting.

The Yankees have enough resources that they don’t need to invest in a pitcher of this nature. They can pursue pitchers with a bit more performance certainty.

Let someone else roll the dice on Johnson. Our call is to pass.”

(In Photo: BYB "Friend", Mark Simon)
Just like we said to do. Johnson is too injury prone and has had a disastrous run these last couple of seasons. Not to mention how many bad puns about his name Yankee fans would then have to endure. Intentional or not.

Johnson with two balls. Oh, he was shafted by that call! Here’s the pitching coach to pump Johnson up. He’s put on a seminal performance tonight, real spurts of energy. Johnson will have to suck it up to squelch this uprising. Let’s see if he can pull it out!

You have to figure a "Johnson Joke" drinking game would quickly catch on. I mean I am not even trying here, you think the announcers will be able to resist? Yankee fans will be dying of liver failure by May.

And just imagine the chaos should the Yankees get Chien Ming Wang! Only thing worse would be signing a guy named Tommy Testicles or something. May as well bring back The Yankee Dandy if that happens.

So anyway, thank you, Mr. Simon, for reporting something we mentioned last month. If ESPN starts running articles about baseball action figures next, I will call shenanigans.

That kind of thing can get you kicked right in the Johnson...or something.

Chad R. MacDonald
BYB Features Writer
Facebook: New York Yankees the Home of Champions
My Blog: ChadRants

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With Mariano Rivera retiring there are mixed feelings about David Robertson being handed the keys as the new closer. I have 3 words for you... "Go for it!"

It's time.  The table is set.  I'll keep using cliches at this point if you'd like. The fact of the matter is, DRob has been terrific for us, and while he always seems to come in with guys on base, or even making it alittle dramatic allowing a hit or walk here and there... there is a reason why we call him Houdini... He gets out of the inning! 

I know what your thinking... you don't want that kind of pressure as a fan.  You want automatic, much like Mariano Rivera was... a 1, 2, 3 inning.  Let me break it to you.  DRob is not Mariano Rivera. In fact, no one is.  David does it his way and his way is to make you squirm. But don't get it twisted... the guy had control... he knows what he's doing. He's doing him, not Mo. Respect it. Trust me, he can handle the closer role and will adapt his way.

You don't think that new occupancy is on his mind? It will be all winter. Shoot for the stars DRob!  Look, this is how I see it... David's home grown. David's earned it.  He's one of ours and much like Mo, or Jeet or Posada or Andy... we need to get our guys the best shot first.  Sure, if a guy like Rafael Soriano becomes available, maybe we do that instead because of "closer experience", but DRob should be given an opportunity to fight for that closer role fair and square. Plus, we did the Soriano thing already... it worked, and he left.

DRob in 2013 had a 2.04 ERA in 70 games and 3 saves... I mean are you kidding me? How do you not like that? Now, I know, it's different being a setup guy and being a closer, but the goal is still simple... get the guy out and get out of the inning.  Remember... Mo used to be a set up guy.  It's my estimation DRob can handle it fine.

The stage is set.  The space is available... time for DRob to take it. 

Don't agree? Tell me why? But more importantly, tell me who you want in that role, I'd love to hear from you.

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So, Scott Williams a Facebook Bleeding Yankee Blue reader was checking out our piece titled THE IMPORTANCE OF BRENDAN RYAN. Basically it's a piece about how good Ryan is defensively and I'd like to retain him in 2014.  Scott agreed, but asked me this:

Now, life goes pretty fast and in this crazy Yankee world, you tend to forget little details.  I went back and wanted to find out what the hell happened to Luis Cruz. I mean, I knew the guy was signed by the Yankees, but then he got hurt... like everyone else on the Yanks, but where the hell did he go?

Well, this is what we know...

After the Yankees signed Cruz, he was a good soldier, but like I stated earlier, he got hurt... He sprained his knee, read HERE. Shortly after that, the Yankees DFA'd Cruz to make room for Mark Reynolds.  This was in August.

Then, 3 days later, he was released by the Yanks.

His location is unknown, but I would hope the dude's doing OK. I'm sure he is.

So Scott... this post is for you. Enjoy it.

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013


So, we all can agree that when Kevin Youkilis is healthy, he's productive, but he's usually hurt more than he's not.  We all saw that when he was with the Red Sox and it really didn't surprise anyone when he came to the Yankees and was hurt and eventually out for the remainder of the season with a back injury.  Youk was a bust in pinstripes, and it sucked, but whatever.

Now the word is Kevin Youkilis is fully healthy and he's ready to see what teams out there are willing to roll the dice on him in the free agent market. Come on bro... seriously?   According to the New York Daily News, "Kevin Youkilis’ 2013 season with the Yankees was wrecked by back surgery, but the infielder will be back in the free agent market this winter with no physical issues, his agent says.

'He’s fine,' said Joe Bick, Youkilis’ representative. 'Had the Yankees made it to the postseason, there’s a pretty good chance he would’ve been ready to play... He shouldn’t have any issues whatsoever going forward. It’s a normal off-season; just try to figure out where he’s playing.'”

Look, the Yankees learned their lesson. That's at least that's what I think.  Let Youk walk away. Do NOT engage him on coming back to the Bronx in another 1 year deal!  We signed Youk because ARod was hurt, and this off-season we should either look at a younger guy, like Chase Headley or we should try keeping Eduardo Nunez there instead. Nunie could turn out to be a pretty decent 3rd baseman.  I wrote about Nunez in THE IMPORTANCE OF BRENDAN RYAN this morning.  Read it.

I'm satisfied with our Youkilis experiment... it didn't work out... we move on.

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With Derek Jeter kind of a question mark next season, meaning, we really need to see if he can come back from all his injury 100%, one has to think clearly about what to do about a backup at Shortstop.  Let me be frank... I don't want Eduardo Nunez there. I want to re-sign Brendan Ryan. 

First let me say, I like Nunez, he's grown on me, but it would almost be more fitting to put him at third base, filling in for Alex Rodriguez than making him the back up shortstop for Jeter.  It's my opinion that the experiment just ain't working.  Sure, there have been flashes of greatness for Nunie in the field this past season. But for my money, I like Ryan's energy, and I'll take that.  Plus, we could use him at 2nd base if needed or even third... and let's be honest, the guy loves being in New York and would probably catch if we needed him too.  I kid of course, but it's my opinion that when a guy comes to New York and wants to be there and shows that energy and excitement, you need to cater to those attributes... after all, those types of players will work hard for you and hopefully will provide results.

Last season Brendan Ryan hit .220 with the Yankees.  He had 1 home run. Don't forget, he came over from the Mariners late in the season.  That average and power is not why we signed him. We signed him for his defense. Granted, he can hit decent, but his best season was back in 2009 with the St. Louis Cardinals when he batted .298.  He can run for you too which is a nice tool to have.  But again, it's the defense that I like from this kid.    Read about it in a brilliant piece by Ryan Divish at Baseball Prospectus.

Sure, there are targets out there this off-season... Clint Barmes is there for instance... but Ryan's a better option in my opinion... I say do it Yanks... re-sign the kid.  He's 31 and he's will to run through a brick wall for you!

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My son recently went to a baseball tournament with his club.  12 kids with big dreams and a pretty decent ability to play. They stood on a field at 7:30 in the morning taking infield practice Saturday morning… the sun was just peaking through the trees and it was 32 degrees. 

The kids had on sweatshirts, newly drawn eye black on their faces… Eye of the Tiger blared on the field on a radio supplied by one of the coaches.  If you saw it, it would bring a tear to your eye… it was like a film.  If it was your kid out there… you’d be proud.  

These kids have had a tough road this fall.  Nothing’s easy in baseball.  Lord knows, it’s a game of failure and this club has failed more than they’ve achieved… but one thing happened this weekend as they embarked on a new tournament… they were becoming a team.

Game 1 was a blow out and they almost looked lost in the field.  But every time a player came in after a pop up or ground out, the team was at the dugout entrance with their heads high, hands up, slapping helmets and high-fiving.  At that moment… the outs didn’t matter… they were starting to bond.

I know… you don’t get it if you don’t have a child that plays competitive sports.  But every parent that was out in the stands in the freezing cold that morning did get it.  Sure, they wanted a win for their kids… but something was happening… the kids genuinely liked each other and loved playing with one another.  When they started to lose, they also felt for each other and tried their best to pick each other up.  At one point, I watched 3 players come up and 3 players strike out in the same inning, but each time they stepped into the box and until the last out, the dugout was on their feet pushing and praying for their teammate to get a hit. They wanted the win sure… but it was bigger. It was a support system and they learned it on their own. Sure, it’s probably almost too sophisticated for kids that age to think that way, but they were doing it, even if they didn’t realize it.

Game 2 was a tough fight and with it, there was hitting, run scoring, there were cheers and over all, the play was better than the previous game.  You almost couldn’t blame them for being alittle sluggish at this point though, they’d been on the field since early in the morning.  Some of the kids were yawning by 2 o’clock, but every pitch their heads were up and they were engaged.  There was yelling from the first baseman, “Two outs! Plays to first!  At some points, the infield would be in to stop a run scoring, or, there were passed balls. But eventually, they’d get out of the inning.   Hitting started to become difficult for them.  That’s what happens in competitive ball.  Sometimes the other club just plays better. Soon enough, the game ended with another loss. The parents looked sad. The players looked upset, until one of the kids said, “A must win tomorrow!” under his breath. They packed up their stuff, and knew we had to win on Sunday.  No one talked about the games after that. No heads were down… the kids were professionals now.  It was a job and if they failed… they knew it. Individually, it would have been hard to swallow. As a team, they stood tall… win or lose.  As I watched them walking off the field with their big bags of equipment, they were smiling.  They patted each other on the shoulder, they even laughed alittle.  The parents were distraught.  Again, anyone who has a child knows… sometimes you want it more than the kid.  But the bond was clear. Sure, winning mattered, but they were forming a bond no one could take away.

Sunday afternoon was a different day.  Yesterday never happened. The team had showed up ready to play. More eye black and more confidence than the day before.  “This is unbelieveable”, I said to a parent. “They want it,” he said back to me… “They want this more than anything, but they’ll never show their true feelings… that’s a ballplayer, and I think it's cool.” He said.

We had to win that Sunday afternoon.  The parents were in the stands wanting to see a huge victory.  More relatives showed up than the day before… this was big.  The pregame workout was incredible. Lose Yourself by Eminem was loud and every word meant something.  The kids never smiled… they were giving knuckles to each other, stoic… talking each other up and while tired… their mission was clear.  The bonding was big right now.  One of the kids, my son stepped up to catch a few innings because the night before one of the catchers got sick and couldn’t play.  The coach put his arm around him, looked him in the eye… “Thank you…have fun kid!” I was proud of that.

They took the field and looked dynamic.  Coming to the plate, they were ready to hit, but almost too aggressive, and it was a 1, 2, 3 inning. We took the field again and played well and got out of the inning.  When we came up to the plate a second time, it was a different group of kids and a fresh confidence… and we scratched out 2 on good old fashioned run manufacturing.  It was brilliant actually.  Then… there were a few snags… a few errors, misplays, but they kept their heads high, never showing fear and distraction.  Our coach walked to the mound, only to be told by the pitcher they “wanted 1 more batter!” The coach backed up, hands raised and said, “Ok… Ok!  He walked back to me and put his hand on my shoulder… “I love that!  2 pitches later though, a 3 run home run over the fence.  It was a great pitch, but it was a great hit too… that’s baseball.

It took the wind out of our sails… but something happened… this team… this little team that wanted it so bad rallied behind that pitcher and did their best to fight back.  They tried, they battled, they fought hard… but it wasn’t enough… we lost. We were going home.  

No individual was blame for this lost tournament.  They all were and they were OK with it.  Why you ask? Well, it’s hard to explain frankly.  Everyone wants to win, and those kids wanted it more than anyone this past weekend, but the bonding, the support and the experience was a helluva lot more important than any trophy or medal… they felt for each other, they liked each other and they tried their best… as a team. This is baseball and there is always another team that may have that little extra to pull ahead.  That happened.

We’ll get’um next time”, someone said. “When’s the next game?,” another kid asked.  “Can we have practice now?” another kid said.  We looked at them in disbelief… and we smirked. It could have been worse… they could have been crying, upset and wanting to quit… but  they were hungry for more.   And for those 48 hours… for them… being a team was better than winning.

I had to share this story with you, it's true, and it's absolutely sweet.  I don’t know, maybe because I’m in my 40’s and feel like I thought I’ve seen everything.  These kids taught me something this past weekend though... I haven’t seen nothing yet.  I learned something new this weekend… even kids can teach adults... winning isn't everything... friendships last a lifetime... that's baseball too.

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Monday, October 28, 2013


Now, we've been hearing about Chase Headley every offseason and trade deadline for the past 3 years when it comes to the Yankees interest in him.  That's not new. There have been various reports, or "headlines" should I say, suggesting that the Yankees have Chase Headley on their radar.  I can't confirm it, many can't. In fact, if you read through Joel Sherman of the New York Post's piece, there is a blurb about Headley and the Yankees in it and it's quite detailed.  In fact, it's the best analysis of what is going on inside the San Diego Padres Camp when it comes to Chase.  But trust me, if you just read the "Headley on the Yankees radar" headline... you will miss it.

Here's what Sherman actually DID say about Headley and the Yankees:

"The Padres recently completed organizational meetings in Arizona and came away believing they will retain Chase Headley in his walk year rather than trade him. San Diego will listen to offers for the switch-hitting third baseman, who has been on the Yankees’ radar.

The Padres will listen if teams are interested. But San Diego believes it is more in a win-now mode and will deal him only for cost-effective players ready for the majors now or close to the majors. Padres officials feel, because of that, the Yanks are not a match. This is one of the problems of having an unproductive farm system — not only are you not feeding the big league team useful parts, but those parts do not exist for trades."

So, breaking it down as a blogger... and choosing to read what you want to read and write about, the Yankees like Headley.  Sure, maybe they do, but it's clear, the Padres aren't very interested in trading him to the Yankees. In fact, as Sherman says, "Padres officials feel... the Yanks are not a match."

Boom... stay tuned.

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If you thought the Yankees would have an easy offseason signing top players to field a better team in 2014... think again.

The latest report is that the Chicago Cubs will go hard to sign Masahiro Tanaka.  According to's Phil Rogers, "Tanaka, according to Major League Baseball sources, has become a top priority for Cubs’ owner Tom Ricketts and his baseball group, headed by Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. He is expected to be offered up for the posting process by the Golden Eagles after the Japan Series, and the Cubs will bid heavily on it.  So too will all of baseball’s biggest spenders, with the Yankees, Red Sox and Rangers among the teams most frequently mentioned as having interest. The Blue Jays, Mariners, Dodgers and maybe another half dozen teams are also following Tanaka closely."

So, where's Brian Cashman? Anyone know? Is he in Tampa for "meetings?" I picture him like in a scene from any 70's cop movie where he's in the Captain's office waiting for the cash so he can make a drop with a briefcase of money.  The trouble is, we don't want the red tape... we want him to take the briefcase and make the offer.

Look... Yankeeland wants to know the Yankees are serious this time!  Last offseason, we all called them out but Hal swore we put a top team on the field.  We of course knew they didn't and that was the result..fourth place.

If the Yankees are serious and are worried about losing a Yankee fan base, they better step it up.  I don't know much about Tanaka, except for what I read. But I also know the propoganda about how good Tanaka is isn't coming from Yankee brass... it's coming from several high level media reports from around the globe. They aren't feeding off of each other to make Tanaka bigger than he is...  It's legit, he's real good.  We can't wait. If we're going to roll the dice... we need to roll it.

Don't drag your feet Brian... do it!

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Sunday, October 27, 2013


I have seen unusual plays in my life, but last night's ending of the World Series Game 3 with the Cardinals winning on an obstruction call takes the cake!  Oddly, or maybe not so much... the first thing that came to my mind was "Babe Ruth."  This morning, I was joined by fellow BYB writer Suzie Pinstripe who tweeted this:
We were not alone... Ruth's name came to many people minds! Look, obstruction on the play was clear last night and in my opinion, but really I didn't notice until the throw came home and until the home plate umpire pointed it out. It looked like Allen Craig just tripped. I wasn't paying close enough attention to him because the moment was all too exciting.  But there he was coming home and there was the throw and upon the tag at home, I saw... "Safe! Jim Joyce made the obstruction call, and while the man has been off his game for some time now with lousy calls, I think he actually got that one right.

Around this time of year, strange thing happen.  The Red Sox once came back to beat the Yankees 4 straight after being down 3.  There have been dropped "easy" pop ups... and Jeffrey Maier just happened to be in the right place at the right time at one time in Yankee history.

Lord knows momentum changes from game to game. But it's my opinion that this obstruction play is a big blow to the Red Sox, and while 1 moment will hurt them, know this... they won't roll over. I sure helps though.

I love this great game and yes, I'd be brain dead if I didn't think about Babe Ruth on that play last night.  I believe in symbolism.  I believe that certain things, certain plays happen for a reason.  I also believe that Babe Ruth was in St. Louis last night... because it's unbelievable how that play came down.

He wasn't wearing his Yankee  He was wearing his Sox uniform to taunt them. And it was the Ruth ghost, sitting in the stands looking angry. He was looking at the field, and as the Cardinals pulled out there unusual win, he said out loud, but not heard by anyone in the overjoyed crowd... "Hey Red Sox... you should have never traded me. I'm coming to get ya... you miss me yet?"

Again... I believe in great plays, baseball irony and symbolism.  It's happened over the entire history of baseball.  There are records that will never be broken... only to 1 day, be broken.  There are teams that are never expected to make it to the World Series... only to make it, and sometimes win it.  And there is symbolism in baseball. Moments. Flickers... that make you  think back to the ghosts of the past.  The great names, the great stories... and the great spirits that still linger in this great game.  I believe... I mean I TRULY BELIEVE that the Babe was in St. Louis last night.... and I'll hold onto that moment... because I'm a Yankee fan.

Enjoy your Sunday everyone... and Go Cardinals! Ride that Moment... 2 to go. 

Today... the Babe is a Cardinals fan!

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Are we turning into a bunch of wimps? Seriously. I am a baseball fan, not a football fan, not a hockey fan, but a baseball fan.  While baseball is a lot of waiting around, you teach your players very early on to be moving on any and every play. You back up third base on a throw to 3rd if you’re the left fielder. The second baseman should back up the pitcher in case there’s an over throw from the catcher to the pitcher, and if you have an opportunity to steal, even home plate, you go in hard, and if someone gets in your way, you barrel through them to get to the base.  That’s baseball. It's always has been that way.

Now, Major League Baseball is considering changing that, and yes, I get the safety reasons for why, but it will literally change everything about the catcher's role of protecting his territory…home plate.

Erica Morales, one of our top writers here at Bleeding Yankee Blue wrote a great piece Tuesday in reference to the “no more collision” idea in Major League Baseball.  If you haven’t seen it yet, I suggest you do. Read I GUESS CATCHERS CAN'T PROTECT THE PLATE ANYMORE? It’s spot on and we had a ton of feedback because of it.  The bottom line here is, Players need to play.

What would happen if Thurman Munson was told about this ban when he was playing? He’d probably tell Major League Baseball to “shove it.”  You can’t take the warrior out of a ball player. He would probably never change his approach, still waiting for the runner, still happy to try and hammer him back as he was attempting to run through his “zone.”  It’s what a catcher does… it’s a 1 on 1 battle that could literally change the momentum of the game. That 1 run can be crucial and the catcher knows that.  That also goes for the runner.

I remember reading a few years ago that Jorge Posada considered home plate "his" territory.  Then I remember seeing the picture Laura Posada posted on her Instagram of Jorge behind home plate, preparing his territory for battle.  

A catcher's role is critical and that’s why catchers become successful managers. They know more than many on the field.  But they also know that, much like a goalie in hockey or soccer, that if someone gets through them, they could blow the game.

While baseball isn’t about the viciousness that football is, it’s still important to play hard.  If you are standing on third with an opportunity to score gracefully, like maybe Ichiro in the ALDS last year against Matt Wieters and the Orioles, then do it.  After all, Ichiro can maneuver smoothly.  He’s tiny and he’s not busting past Wieters who looks like a wall in comparison, so you do it your way… I respect that.  

But do you ever think that Jackie Robinson was worried about hurting Yogi Berra? Do you think that David Ross saw a person when he rammed through Alex Avila? No, he saw the goal… get there, get home... win.
I’m not a mean spirited person, I don’t like when players get hurt.  But ironically, Avila did the exact same thing to Russell Martin in the ALCS in 2012 and no one said a thing.

Pete Rose ripped through Ray Fosse… it’s the game, and while it may not always be pretty, and while players sometimes get hurt… that’s what the player signed up for.  Catchers aren’t wimps… that’s why they’re catchers. 

Major League Baseball needs to stop acting like the dictator and start acting like Major League Baseball.  You want to protect the player? Come up with protect gear for pitchers so they don’t get concussions if they get whacked in the head on a comebacker.  Maybe enforce a stricter steroids fine instead of the one that’s currently NOT working.  Don’t strip the balls from the greatest sport on earth.  Players come to play… not to be told that they “can’t play hard.” 

This isn’t tee ball… this is the pros… can we get back to it please?

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Change is in the air. In case you missed it, the Yankees are already making moves starting with the dismissal of Dana Cavalea. Nothing calls for a fast change like a disappointing season in Yankeeland. Failure isn't an option here. If you can't help the team win then someone else will. The team couldn't stay healthy, so Cavalea is gone. Now....what about the hitting?

No disrespect to Kevin Long but he should be a little worried. Cavalea was released after one catastrophically bad season, but Kevin Long has had a few consecutive years now with bad results. Next year is going to be tough. We need to stay healthy with an old lineup and we need to hit. We haven't been able to do either of those consistently....let alone together. Maybe new coaches for both of these will help get things going. So, who is out there?

Paul O'Neill anyone? We have been spoiled as fans. We had him during our dynasty years and now he is in the broadcast booth with YES network and he is a fan favorite, but what about seeing him back on the field as a coach? He was an important part of all of those championship years and he was an important leader in the clubhouse. Before the days of the Derek Jeter we know today, he was mentoring him as a rookie. If anyone can mentor players in New York and help them improve, it's him. He knows how to perform under the bright lights, and I think he would make a great coach.

If I could have things my way, Jorge Posada would be back in pinstripes as a coach right now. Part of me feels selffish to even think about that considering how right now he just wants that time with his amazing wife Laura Posada and their beautiful children. He sacrificed a lot over the years that we watched him play for us. He retired on his terms to be with his family but I still miss him on that field. I miss his intensity and his leadership. I think about how Joe Girardi passed on his knowledge to him years ago....and in my head I can see him doing the same thing to a young rookie. His passion and intensity are missed....and not only that Jorge was one hell of a hitter and could teach the next generation of bombers a thing or two. I will continue to hold onto this idea as some sort of pipedream because a girl can dream.

What about Tino Martinez? It was a bumpy ride for him down in Miami. None of us will really know what was or wasn't said to those players and in that clubhouse but obviously there was some sort of disconnect. Maybe the chemistry just wasn't there. But there certainly was chemistry in the Bronx for all those years. I look back at 2003 and am still amazed at his 34 home runs and 113 RBI's. Tino knew how to hit and he was clutch. Maybe he just didn't click with the younger kids down in Miami, but Yankee stadium is different. We all love and adore Tino, and I think in the right environment he could be a good hitting coach.

There's always the idea of Dante Bichette, too. He was a good hitter, and he has such a Passion for the sport. I remember when he agreed to be the hitting coach for the Colorado Rockies, a lot of people down in Arizona were buzzing about it. He was a reason to go watch the Rockies in Spring Training. As much as he has enjoyed his time in Colorado, he decided to walk away from the job in September, read that HERE. Bichette already has connections with the Yankees. His son Dante Bichette, Jr is in the Yankee farm system, so it could happen, right? It's a nice idea, but if he walked away because he was missing too much time with his family in Florida I am not counting on that idea.

Last but not least, there is always Don Mattingly. Who doesn't like Donny baseball? It's been a rough season for him. After almost being fired early in the season he managed to get the Dodgers to the postseason. Earlier this week there was talk about him not wanting to return to LA, but on Wednesday it was reported HERE that the Dodgers and Mattingly have agreed that he will stay in LA until he at least finishes his contract through next season. It would be nice to have Mattingly back in the Bronx, but it doesn't look like he is ready to give up his management gig anytime soon. It's still nice to think about a possible reunion though.

It will be interesting to see what changes are made in the next few weeks. I am having flashbacks of 2008 in my head right now. We may not go out and sign a bunch of new players, but maybe we will make some important coaching changes. Was there anyone on our list that interests you? Tell us what you think.

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


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