Monday, November 30, 2015


Look, it should surprise no one that Brett Gardner's agent has come out with a statement that suggests that Brett Gardner wants to "be a Yankee for life." I know... right?  For those of you living under a rock... that just happened. has it:

"When Brett Gardner and the Yankees were discussing a contract extension in early 2014, the outfielder said he told his employer he "didn't want to go anywhere else." 

The talks resulted in a four-year, $52-million extension with a fifth-year club option that would start in 2015. And it meant Gardner would forego a possible bigger payday for immediate security at the place he wanted to stay.

Now a full year into that pact, Gardner's sentiment remains the same..."

His agent, Joe Bick said this:

"The only thing I'll say about it is that the vast majority of players have no control over what a team's front office decides to do, and Gardy — he's in that position...His desire is to be a New York Yankee for his entire career. If it works out that way, great. If not, he's going to show up and play every day."

Look, here's how I see it. Things change.  The Yankees were unimpressed with Brett Gardner's second half  in 2015 and it was bad enough to suggest that if Gardy is tradeable in the offseason, while his trade value was still decent, the Yankees should do it, especially if they can get something good on the return.

Look, the bill of goods the Yankees sold us fans on Ellsbury-Gardy patrolling our outfield for years to come soured when both players literally shit the bed at the wrong time. That speaks volumes.

Now look, it sounds harsh, and Lord knows I like Gardy and don't want to see the guy traded away, but he needs to perform when we need him to.  He's a small ball guy and we need that desperately.

While we're at it by the way, can we discuss the way he catches a ball in the outfield? Look at the picture above.  You NEVER turn your wrist coming in for a ball like that. That's basic Little League stuff. Plus, it's not exactly smooth. Lately, between these 2 guys, it's been alittle uncomfortable out there, not to mention the injuries. I'm just being honest.

Hey, I sound like I'm piling on.   I'm not.  Bottom line, this is baseball and sometimes while we may love our players staying with one team for life, that team may not find it fits their business plan.  So what I'm saying is, it's nice to know that Gardy wants to stick around the Bronx for his entire career, but it's rare these days in Yankeeland... that's the bottom line.

We'll have to see what happens with Gardy and when something DOES happen, if anything, we will report it here on BYB.

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Not a major news story here unless you like to stir the pot like most of the New York sports media and stick a finger in Yankee fans' eyes. Why? Because the Red Sox stole a Yankee player away or something. Bottom line, Chris Young was a free agent.  I never read 1 legitamate report that hinted the Yankees wanted Young back, but don't worry, we'll here that the Yankees made a "big mistake letting Young walk".

Look, the way I see this move, Chris Young had always been a decent player for the Yankees and for any team.  He just sucked on the Mets... and I blame the Mets for that. The Sox got a decent ballplayer.  making a multi-year deal for the guy? I'm not sure about that. Anyway...

Yes, the reports are true, the Red Sox signed Chris Young in what looks like a multi-year deal.  According to several sources, but we'll choose New York Post on this. Basically it's a multi-year deal for Young, pending a physical:

"Young was the rare Yankee who excelled against lefty pitching last year, posting a team-best .972 OPS against southpaws. He carries a career 1.054 OPS with 11 extra-base hits in 21 games at Fenway Park, and now gets to take aim at the Green Monster full-time.

He will probably fill a similar role for the Red Sox as he did for the Yankees — a weapon against lefties and security blanket in case of injuries."

In the end, the Yankees didn't want Young back for a multi-year deal. That's it. The Sox did, and good for the Sox, they got a good player in Young.  I like Young in the Bronx, but we all kind of knew the guy wasn't coming back. That's just the way it is.  We move on.

American Eagle 

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Could Brett Gardner wear a halo next season?  According to MLB rumors, he could be.  "The Angels and Yankees make for a good match on outfielder Brett Gardner, Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times opines (Twitter links). Though Los Angeles would rather add a slugger in left, the team also needs an OBP threat at the top of the lineup and has the asset (starting pitching) that the Yanks are after."

I say no thank you! I think if the Yankees want to trade off an outfielder for some starting pitching, why not trade Jacoby Ellsbury?  Here's why:  he seems to always have some kind of calf injury, he continually under performs and frankly, in my mind, he still plays for the Boston Red Sox.  He just does not seem to fit in with the rest of the team.  Maybe it is just me, but ever since I watched him playing center field for the Sox from the Monster seats a few years ago, he appeared very odd with the way he kept adjusting his cap and hair over and over again.  He's a pretty boy and we don't need that kind of outfielder.

Now, Gardy is gritty, he's a fan favorite and he is homegrown.  He belongs in New York and the thought of him flying across the country to wear Angel red makes me sick.  The Yankees need to appreciate what they have with Gardy and stop trying to shop him every other week.

That's the way we are starting the week here at Bleeding Yankee Blue.  Gardner stays, Ellsbury goes. Enough said.  Have a good week!

--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer
BYB Hot Stove Columnist
Twitter: @suzieprof

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Just a quick note, and I can't believe I can even report this, but I can, because it's been admitted now by the Seattle Mariners.  Eventually, and by eventually I mean soon... Robinson Cano will be moved from second base to first. That comes from the Tacoma News Tribune and Bob Dutton:
Amazing. A $24 million a year first baseman who will no longer hit home runs or rarely hit .300 in Safeco Field.

This has gotta be the worst free agent signing in Mariners history.  So glad Jay-Z made a splash with his pawn Robinson Cano.  Unbelievable.

Hope it was all worth it.  Brian Cashman may be smarter than we all think.

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Sunday, November 29, 2015


I know, it's a crazy quote, but it's an interesting nugget, ain't it?  I usually don't take stock in what Jon Heyman of has to say, but I did like the following sentence in his piece:

"NL MVP Bryce Harper looks like a future Yankee from here."

It's a float job and it will get clicks and that's what he wants and he bases it on absolutely no inside baseball.  It's just a statement to see what traction he can get on it.  I bit... DAMN YOU HEYMAN!

Here's the reality though... we've been there too.  We wrote about Harper coming to the Yankees years ago (2011) here on Bleeding Yankee Blue and all I wanted to do was re-share that story titled: WHY BRYCE HARPER COULD BE A YANKEE and share a few quotes from our piece and suggest... we see Harper on the Yankees 1 day too:

"Perhaps I'm going a little too far into the future, but while flipping through some baseball news, I happened to find this article from June 2009 from The Star Ledger, read it HERE. In it, Michael Fensom writes: "Harper says one of his dreams is to one day wear Yankees pinstripes."

Now, anytime I hear a young baseball phenom say the Yankees are his dream team, I immediately picture him in pinstripes. Bryce Harper grew up idolizing the Core Four, he celebrated the '96-'00 dynasty wins at a young age, and apparently nothing has changed in his life. There's little doubt in mind that it's only a matter of time before Bryce Harper joins the endless list of Yankees greats..."

A few can play at that game.

Carry on...

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Just a quick note because I find it incredible when athletes bitch and moan, complain and bitch and moan some more... oh yeah, and did I say complain?  Enter Jonathan Papelbon.

Papelbon is obnoxious, arrogant and a complainer.  Now normally I wouldn't care.  But like I wrote in WHEN IT COMES TO CANO, REPUTATION COMES TO MIND, a player's reputation is important among peers, among baseball execs and among us fans. Sometimes when players think they are better than everyone, they forget about their reputation and sometimes think to themselves, "Well, I'm a great player, nothing can hurt me." But here's the thing, the Phillies had trouble unloading him this year because of his antics and crappy attitude, and now that he's on the Nationals, he's pretty much been deemed "untradeable", basically because he's being alittle bitch.

Jon Heyman writes: "Of Jonathan Papelbon, one executive said, 'You can't trade him. He's untradeable.'" 

Add in Hardball Talks wording of Pap, "Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done."

But there's that word again, reputation.  And so, who wants to put up with that bullshit, no matter how good you possibly are?  I wouldn't touch Papelbon and his crappy rep in a 1000 years.  But that's just me.

We'll keep an eye on Papelbon and his ego and we'll let you know if the Nationals can ship him out.  It will be interesting. Stay tuned...

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Saturday, November 28, 2015


I’ve known the Hensley family since Ty Hensley signed with the New York Yankees in 2012.  They are wonderful people.  I'm not gonna lie though, I never really knew how Bleeding Yankee blue would be persecived by a new comer to the Yankee family.  Luckily, the Hensleys realized I was a family man like them and so, a few years later, BYB and me personally stand with Ty Hensley as he powers through obstacle after obstacle to get to his goal… standing on the mound at Yankee stadium.

Marci Hensley is a truly sweet woman and I got to know just how the Hensley family thinks through her.  She often tells me about the struggles of a ballplayer.  She lived it with her husband Mike Hensley, a minor leaguer for the Savannah Cardinals. 

Back then, it was much different. No big payouts or major bonuses. It was about signing a deal and getting a check and making ends meet and hopefully making it to the Major Leagues.  Minor League baseball life is tough, but if you love baseball, you stick with it.  I appreciated Mike’s struggle to make it and admire him very much.  I admire Marci for holding the family together.

Something happened with the Hensley’s though… in their journey, they raised 2 incredible kids.  Kids with a ton of heart and determination to do great things in their lives.

I speak to Ty’s brother Jake once in a while too.  The kid’s pretty amazing.  He plays football in Hawaii and we actually featured him here on BYB because I was so taken with not only him, but with the close bond Ty and Jake have. They are wonderful people.  Hardworking, determined, incredible.

Family is important here at BYB and Marci and I will catch up on Ty’s progress and I’ll tell her of my own son’s triumphs and failures on the baseball field.  We have a bond and that bond is family.

My son has a picture of Ty Hensley hanging in his room.  While he doesn’t ask me recently about Ty's progress, mainly because his school work has consumed him, he knows the picture's still there. Ty’s picture is a reminder of grinding it out no matter what.  My son has never been the greatest baseball player, but my son has never walked away from the game when it got hard either.   Ty’s picture is a reminder of that work ethic.  Many of my son's friends stopped playing baseball when the “field got big”as they’ll say.  Not my kid.  My kid saw it as a challenge.  See the similarities? It’s pretty neat actually.

Bonding over Family.  It’s what the Caseys and the Hensleys do. That’s because we have very similar values, we raise our kids very much alike, and we understand that sometimes winning means working hard to get there, no matter how hard it is… no matter how complicated or frustrating it is.  It’s about getting passed your obstacles and climbing that mountain.

That’s why I appreciate Ty, Jake and the Hensley family so much.  They get it… and I appreciate it.
Thanks for being such great folks. I appreciate you guys very much.

By the way, be sure to check out the other stories we've put together here as part of our BYB "Bonding over" series.  It's a way to say 'Thanks' for certain folks who has helped Bleeding Yankee Blue develop into an important Yankees / Family site.

Check these out:


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You've made BYB the fastest growing Yankees fan site in history. Now shop at the Bleeding Yankee Blue store!  Follow me on Twitter @BleednYankeeBlu and LIKE Bleeding Yankee Blue on Facebook!  Also, don't forget to check out the BYB Hub! 

Friday, November 27, 2015


As I ran my three miles on the treadmill this morning I couldn’t help but think of the things I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving and Holiday season.  It was just this past January that I had an issue with my heart, and something like that has a way of giving a person a broader perspective on existence.

So, I’ll take this time to get away from my normal squawking about the idiocy of the Brian Cashman / Joe Girardi freak show to talk a little about why I so appreciate my life.

First, let me start with Bleeding Yankee Blue.  It is the site you’ll be reading this article, so that means you either are a Yankee fan of some sort, or a masochistic Red Sox follower just keeping an eye on the enemy.  In any case, thank you for reading.  You are the reason we write, and it is your opinions and perspective that keep our fire burning.  I am so very thankful that I have the opportunity to interact with you in each article I write.

In addition to you, the fan and reader, I am thankful for my colleagues on this site.  Their words so very vividly paint the pictures of our views about the Yankees.  I’ve actually only met one of them – BYB Founder Robert Casey – but feel like all of them are family.

Each brings their own “feel” to this site, and while it likely will never happen, I picture all of us one day sitting around a Thanksgiving meal.

I can feel the pure passion of Ike and Erica in the air as they fight over the largest turkey leg, and take in the wonderful eloquence of Mike, Suzie, and Jeana while they tell us their opinions of the latest Yankee moves.

Dan and Alexis pipe in with their fact-based takes on the conversation while “Dad” Casey, sitting at the head of the table, reins it all in, giving order and direction to his “kids”.  It’s a family that doesn’t always see eye-to-eye, but that’s what makes it so great.  Conformity isn’t welcome in this family circle.  How boring would it be if we all saw, wrote, or said things the same way?  Unique perspective and style is embraced here.  Words cannot describe how humbled I am in the presence of my BYB family.  Thank you to each of them.  I hope to one day break bread with you all.

Our family does have one thing in common; the Yankees.  It is the source of the passion, eloquence and facts that we share in every article we write.  I am thankful for the guys in pinstripes.  They have been my favorite team from the moment I entered this world, and always will be.  I am thankful that the club I follow has had owners willing to lay it all on the line just to provide a winning product on the field.  Sometimes we forget how fortunate we are.  Not every franchise has owners that make their teams the number one priority.  We have owners who, in spite of some ill-advised decisions over the years, always hold their hearts in the right place.

I can’t thank the Steinbrenners enough for saving my Yankees in the 1970’s.  You came along in a nick of time to rescue them from ruins.

Last, but certainly not least, I am thankful for my family.  Without their love and support, I’d not be writing this, nor would I want to.  They are the ones who are my driving force; my fire that burns within.  They gave me the drive to bounce back from those almost surreal days in January.  Each time I step onto the treadmill, or lift a weight, I remind myself it is for them.  Each time I write something for BYB, I do it keeping in mind that they will read it.  I want to always make them proud.

Thank you Skinners, you are my past, present, and future.  You are my legacy.

I wish everyone within reach of this site the very happiest of Thanksgiving and Holiday season, with many more to come.


--Steve Skinner, BYB Senior Writer
Twitter: @oswegos1


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Sure, it’s all in the perception of an incident and how the individual handles it, but I gotta tell you, years ago I learned a valuable lesson from my old man and it stuck with me.  It has to do with reputation.

A while back I lost a friend of mine who died in a tragic accident.  I wrote ONE OF THE GREATEST GUYS I'LL EVER MISS , and with  that, I proceeded to tell you a story about me and that buddy in our college years and the antics we pulled one night that eventually laid out a short phrase that would forever be engraved in my mind:

"You can be a champion all your life, but you miss 1 commitment, you lose trust in 1 person, and the rest of your life, you lose." 

I’m 44 now and I explain the same life lesson to my kids.  Let’s keep it real… Jose Cano has never said that to Robinson Cano.

That’s quite evident to me because he left in 2013. He left for the money for a new life in Seattle and hey, good for him… I don’t fault him for that.  I do fault him for not thinking it through.  I do fault him for not realizing what a move that big would do to his reputation. There's that word again...REPUTATION.  It just looks really, really bad.

Hey, it looked bad when Alex Rodriguez did it when he signed with Texas.  It almost seemed worse when Cano did it, leaving New York behind.

Reputation is a valuable thing.  Cano destroyed his.  Sure, he may be generous, a sweet guy who does a lot for the kids and his family and all of that.  It doesn’t matter.  People view him differently now. To many, he’s selfish, self centered, arrogant, an ego-maniac… and yes, greedy.

Andy Van Slyke, a former coach for the Mariners blasted Cano last week.  Let's face it, he didn’t blast Cano as a person, as a player. He actually blasted him for his contract.  That contract, as Van Slyke tried to lay out “cost people their jobs.”  His wording to the press echoed all over baseball.

Now look, the ball players aren’t phased by any of this.  They're all trying to get their next nut.  But this is more about the perception of all of this from a former coach to the fans.  Baseball fans.  Now Cano looks bad.  Don’t be foolish… Van Slyke chose his phrasing wisely.  It was a warning shot. It’s a “You screwed a lot of guys over there in Seattle, this ones for you”, and yes, he couched it, suggesting that Cano’s a good guy.  Doesn’t matter… too late… fans already think he’s not.

I don’t see Cano coming to New York.  I don’t see the Yankees wanting him back.  I see the Yankees taking a stance of working with what they have and eventually building new franchise players, merely because the next anointed one was too stupid to realize it was him.  Cano wanted to be the king of the mountain, and he was too dumb to understand that waiting for Jeter and signing a fair contract in the Bronx would have brought him that.  Jay-Z got paid in that deal, and Cano’s standing in Seattle wondering if he got swindled by his agent.  Guess what Robbie… you did.  Sure you’re rich, but you’ll never be a leader in Seattle, you’ll never hit .300 again.  I hope it was worth it.

Don’t get me wrong… I don’t hate.  I think Cano’s one of the best. But role models need to be exactly that.  I don’t want my kid coming to me telling me he loves a player because “That dude’s getting paid.”  I want my son to come to me and tell me he loves a player because “He leads by example, works hard, provides integrity and heart on the field every day.”  Cano’s not that guy.  Sure, maybe it’s my perception. Maybe I’m disappointed in the guy.  But let me tell you something, reputation starts at home.  I often wonder if my dad was there when Cano was a kid if he would have made a dash to Seattle 2 years ago.  I would bet not. I think alittle loyalty would have played a part.

Bottom line, in my upbringing, I got the better part of the deal.  My reputation’s intact.  I wake up every day making an honest living, supporting my family and walking out there leading my example, working hard, providing integrity and heart in what I do every day.  I’m not so sure that can be said of Robinson Cano.

Hey, thanks Dad.

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Thursday, November 26, 2015


It’s that time of the year again! The Holiday Season is upon us.  Time to get together with friends and family, and celebrate the good things in life.  Baseball is still a long way off, so let’s take a breather as I bring you my “Holiday Special”.

Now, in order for this to work I need you to stroll down Memory Lane with me.  Imagine sitting in front of your television sets as little kids, getting ready to watch one of those old Rankin & Bass Claymation shows…”A Year without a Santa Claus”, “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer”, The Little Drummer Boy”…that sort of thing.  Now, go even further.  As you read this post imagine that all those mentioned are Claymation versions of themselves…here we go.

Our story opens outside the O’Hara Home on a late autumn morning.  It’s Thanksgiving Day!  People are walking the streets with smiles on their faces and songs in their hearts.  We enter the home to find the whole family gathered around the kitchen.  Drinks in hand as everyone helps with the holiday cooking and baking.  It’s sort of business as usual for this New York, Irish Catholic family…only this is no ordinary Thanksgiving.  No sir, this year the O’Hara’s are welcoming two New York Yankees to the table!  Mark Teixeira and Greg Bird are only minutes away! Everyone is beyond excited…except the one O’Hara brother who is a member of the Red Sox Nation.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is wrapping up on NBC and Santa has made his way down to Herald Square.  Suddenly there is a knock on the door.  Mike O’Hara opens the door to welcome the two visiting Bronx Bombers.  Greg Bird instantly shakes hands with everyone in the house and presents Mike’s Mom with a delicious looking, homemade Blueberry pie.  What a great kid. 

You can tell he was raised the right way.  Tex then makes his entrance…he was looking for parking.  Mark walks in carrying two large coolers and explains that he brought sugar free alternatives to eat at the Thanksgiving meal.  Mike’s Dad takes the coolers to the kitchen and welcomes the sugar-free slugger in.  There is an awkward moment as Tex is greeting everyone.  For what seems like a very long pause Tex and Mike just look at one another.  The two guys then shake hands and smile.  O’Hara tells the target of some scathing posts that he is sorry and is very happy to see him.  Tex, being the good guy he is, smiles and says, “No worries.  Thanks for having me, Mike.”

The meal gets going in a hurry.  Appetizers, salads and then the Turkey are laid out on the festively decorated table.  Everyone is making small talk.  Bird even tells a few jokes to get the room laughing.  This guy does it all.  He’s funny, polite and helpful.  Tex talks Mike’s kid brother’s ear off about how he was just planning to make a few healthy juices for Thanksgiving and that he really doesn’t get out much.  Hey, the guy isn’t Conan O’Brien, but he tries.  You gotta respect that.

Soon the time comes to carve the turkey.  It was decided weeks ago that Mark Teixeira would do the honors. Mark had a heck of a season and deserves the job. The Yankee first baseman made it look easy…much like digging out a wide throw by Chase Headley.  As Tex begins serving up slices of turkey the whole family applauds.  Tex smiles and said, “Wow, I bet that almost never happens in this house when I’m at the plate.”  Everyone laughs…except the Red Sox fan who boos and jabs, “Save it for Foul Territory.”

The meal is wonderful and O’Hara’s and Yankees alike feel that this is the best Thanksgiving ever, certainly one they’ll all never soon forget.  Mrs. O’Hara lets both Big Leaguers know that no matter what they are always welcome for the holidays.

The whole family toast their new friends and we slowly fade out…

That’s what the Holiday Season is about.  It’s a time to remember the good times and celebrate with those close to us.  It’s a time to let the bad stuff go and look to the future.  So Happy Holidays from the O’Hara Family to you and yours.

Oh, incidentally, during dessert Tex strained a few rib cage muscles passing the cheesecake from my Brother in Law to my Sister.  It looks like he’ll be out anywhere from 3 weeks to 7 months…sorry.

** Rankin & Bass should really look into making this story a yearly Holiday Special.  For now…Tell ‘em boys! Happy Holidays! **


--Mike O'Hara Senior "Features" Writer
Twitter: @mikeyoh21

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