Tuesday, January 31, 2017


With just two weeks to go before pitchers and catchers report, is it too soon to start thinking about this year's trade deadline?

Not according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal and YES Network's A.J. Herrmann.

In Rosenthal's article "5 reasons why the MLB trade deadline will be insane" he describes a perfect storm of situations likely to impact many teams this season that could result in  wheeling and dealing at the July 31st non-waiver deadline "even more frenzied than usual." 

Among them, he lists new qualifying-offer rules, competitive imbalances,  a glut of high-profile players on one-year deals and "all of the big names that are in play but have yet to move."  

"Some executives, in fact, already are weighing whether to make additional moves this offseason, or hold their resources until summer when better players likely will be available," he wrote.

In Herrmann's piece entitled "Why the Yankees should wait until the 2017 trade deadline before making more moves" he directly references Rosenthal's  scenario and makes the case it "will play right into the Yankees' hands" to wait until the deadline to become buyers.

Photo: USA Today
"The youthful aspect of the 2017 Yankees makes it more difficult to make educated guesses about how players will perform, because the sample size of their collective experience at the Major League level is still much too small. But by the deadline, the Yankees will have gotten an ample opportunity to gauge which players appear destined to stick in the Majors, which may become trade assets, and which developing minor leaguers look poised to take a leap.

At that point, MLB clubs will be on the lookout for pieces to add, trades to make, deals to cut, and there are few GMs in the game today more adept at striking at the right opportunity than Brian Cashman. ...One of the five reasons that Rosenthal argued for this year's deadline zaniness is the fact that there are a number of teams who appear to be prime contenders for under-performing and selling. Among those teams are the Tigers, Royals, Rays, Orioles, Blue Jays, Pirates and Diamondbacks -- just to name a few -- most of which possess a number of intriguing impact players the Yankees could pursue."

Now, I'm as big a Yankee homer as you're likely to meet, and I'm always happy to drink the Kool-Aid of patience in the interest of a logical plan. 

But even I know AL Beastmates Rays, Blue Jays and Orioles are unlikely trading partners for the Yankees. 

I'd also point out that Rosenthal's piece lists the Yankees  right alongside those Herrmann lists as "prime contenders for under-performing and selling" but who Herrmann diplomatically omitted from his piece, burying their mention under the delicately worded  "just to name a few" catch-all.

Make no mistake. I'm not buying Rosenthal's idea of the Yankees as trade deadline sellers before  a single pitcher and catcher has reported to the Boss in Tampa any more than I'm buying Herrmann's notion the team should wait until the trade deadline to make more moves.

In fact, I think it's highly instructive Rosenthal's expectation is the Yankees will wait until the deadline to become out-of-contention sellers again while Herrmann, who writes for the team's de facto house organ, embraces the wait-and-see strategy with the precisely opposite objective, perhaps providing a glimpse into some team in-house thinking along those lines.

My take: The reason Brian bagged the most baby bombers for the Yankees' buck at the last trade deadline was because he zigged when the rest of the market was zagging. 

And bully for the baby bombers. I've written here before they're likely to be one of the most stacked minor league teams in history before this season is out and now they even have a cute new alternative logo to herald the historic new era everyone down in Scranton-Wilkes Barre knows is coming.

But if, as Rosenthal suggests, there will be a higher than normal number of teams offering up talent at the trade deadline and an equally higher than normal number of teams in the market to bid on them, it seems to me the best strategy to snag what the Yankees really need most -- some big hairy arms -- won't be to take a number and stand in line. It'll be to step up and make an offer in prospects that can't be refused before the line has a chance to form.

That would really show the fans, the new kids coming up this year and those coming up behind them that this team is all about winning even as it reloads. And if that causes the team's farm system to drop a few spots from its #1 ranking (or #2, depending which list you look at), so be it. Hal can still stay on schedule to meet his precious competitive balance tax threshold next year.

I mean, honestly, how many top shortstop prospects must we hoard while the pitching-starved big club passes on available, controllable blue-chip starters anyway?

Bottom line: I'm encouraged by Herrmann's reading of Rosenthal's deadline scenario as a big-game hunting opportunity for Brian rather than another prospect-picking salary dump. 

I just hope Brian doesn't wait 100 games, as both writers suggest, before he starts pulling the trigger.

 --Barry Millman
BYB Writer
Follow me on Twitter: @nyyankeefanfore

Be Read. Get Known.


(Sept. 29, 2016 - Source: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images North America)
When you look at Robinson Cano's numbers last season, and his return to good, solid baseball, you gotta wonder.  The New York Daily News writes this:

"Ex-Yankee Robinson Cano returned to dominance in 2016, belting a career-high 39 home runs, triple-slashing .298/.350/.533 and ranking sixth in all of baseball with an ESPN Wins Above Replacement of 7.3.

Cano is now three seasons into his 10-year, $240 million contract with the Mariners. And so far — with the exception of the first three months of 2015, when he battled a reported stomach illness and struggled as a result — it's worked out very well for Seattle."

(Sept. 27, 2016 - Source: Bob Levey/Getty Images North America)    
OK... fair enough, but how good has it really been for Seattle?  In 2014 they finished 3rd, 2015 they finished 4th and in 2016 they finished 2nd.  Sure, maybe there is progression there with Cano improving in 2016, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows.

(April 5, 2014 - Source: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images North America)
And yes, on the Yankees side, it didn't really work out well either yet.  Jacoby Ellsbury when healthy is good, but when is he healthy? I mean, every Yankee fan I know was yelling about that signing.  And at second base, there hasn't been a good replacement.  Stephen Drew was a mess... again... another guy Yankee fans didn't want and remember that moment we had Brian Roberts?

(Sept. 13, 2016 - Source: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America)
But here's the difference... there's movement toward improvement. The Yankees are looking future.  The Yankees have Starlin Castro, to me a clearly "temporary piece" as they wait for the youngsters.  And those youngsters are Jorge Mateo and Gleyber Torres.

Photo of Jorge Mateo: NJ.com File
Now we all know Torres is the Yankees minor league shortstop and he is in the future, but these kids are almost ready for major league play. Mateo is a second baseman, Torres could play it if the Yankee choose to go that route, but the good news is, we have pieces that can very well be dominant, maybe even better than Robinson Cano.  If Cano was in the Yankees second base spot, it's possibly we may never see those guys, and that's all I'm saying.

Photo of Gleyber Torres
Cano wanted way too much money and the Yankees turned their back on him because they didn't like the asking price and didn't think he had a lot left.  We will have to see if that move was truly smart.  But for now, us Yankee fans are excited about the future youth. 

Right now, if you need to compare teams and all they accomplished giving away Cano and getting him... the jury is still out as far as I'm concerned.

That should not sway you from NOT reading the Daily News piece.  It's HERE.  Mike Mazzeo does a great job breaking it all down.  Please check it out.

Monday, January 30, 2017


(Photo Courtesy: Robert Anderson)
Yes, I know... I promised to get you some stuff from Ty Hensley and his family after the Rays snatched him from the Yankees. Forgive me, I've been insanely busy and I haven't yet got to reach out to Ty and Marci (his mom), but I promise to get it done.

In the meantime, I wanted to share portions of a story I must of missed.  Sam Dykstra of MiLB.com has a good piece here. I'm taking portions of it for my BYB audience. Enjoy it:

"Hensley knew the Rule 5 Draft was that morning, but without an inkling that he'd be taken, the 2012 Yankees first-rounder headed out for his usual 10 a.m. workout, only to return to a cell phone quickly filling up with texts.

I found out like everyone else,' he said. 'When I started reading all those texts, I kept thinking, 'What?' Then I went downstairs, turned on the TV and thought, 'Oh wow!''...

Hensley traces a pretty straight line to his optimism.

'I think it comes down to what my parents taught me -- anything worth doing is worth working for, no matter the obstacles,' he said. 'With the hip surgery, I felt like I was going to have to have it at some point. I was always tight in the hips. But every year I've gotten further from it, I've felt better and feel like a better athlete. The arm surgeries, well, that's the bread and butter, if you're a pitcher. So I've needed my parents and that supporting cast to help me see the bright light at the end of the tunnel.' 

While the bright light for many means the Show, Hensley will take pitching on a Minor League mound as his immediate goal for 2017, and he thinks he'll succeed with the backing of a new organization that believes in him.

'I guess I haven't thought that far ahead,' he said. 'The most important thing is what I'm doing each and every day. That's the one thing you learn when you're going through this process, to take it day by day because there are too many things to think about even that way. Do that and the bigger things will come.'"

Great parents bring great drive in Ty.  We've stated it at BYB a million times.  We love this kid.  We love both he and Jake Hensley's drive and these are just great people.

This is now a big opportunity for Ty Hensley with the Rays! We wish him well.

And yes folks... I will get that interview with Ty.... as soon as I lighten my load a bit. Promise!


Small nugget but worth checking out.  The Yankees released 2 minor leaguers.

Photo of: Rafael Ordaz
According to Baseball America, the 2 guys are righty pitchers... Rafael Ordaz and Brandon Stenhouse.

Pinstriped Prospects writes of Stenhouse...

"Stenhouse, 20, was signed as an International Free Agent on January 18, 2014 and made his professional debut in 2015 with the Gulf Coast League Yankees.  He spent both the 2015 and 2016 seasons in the Gulf Coast League where he went a combined 4-2 with a 3.49 ERA striking out 44 in 38 2/3 innings of work. "

We wrote about Stenhouse back in 2014 with a piece called WITH BRANDON STENHOUSE, PASSION & HEART WINS

"...like I've written here so many times before on BYB... if you dream big, you can be big, but you can't just stop on one step... you need to push yourself and "climb the mountain".  I've often admired the guts of guys like Jorge Posada and Ty Hensley for exactly that. Anything can be accomplished, you just need to believe in yourself.  Something big happened to an Australian teen named Brandon Stenhouse.  He worked hard, believed in himself and had big dreams too. He wanted to one day pitch for the New York Yankees.  And then... something happened.  The Yankees answered the call... dreams do come true."

Now he's been released.  The road is long and sometimes hard, but if you don't try... hey, you never know.


(Dec. 3, 2016 - Source: Kimberly White/Getty Images North America)
Not literally. He won't be playing for another team and given his new gig as a special adviser I guess you could argue he never really left....but he is looking to help others who have. Watch out world, if the rumors are true Alex Rodriguez will go from baseball star to reality TV star?!

I guess I shouldn't be too surprised here but according to the New York Post HERE CNBC has chosen to run a pilot possibly called "Back in the Game" aimed to help former athletes who have gone broke adjust to their new life and get back on their feet again and ARod is going to be the great mentor. We all knew that he always liked to be in the spotlight. He was a good clubhouse guy and he knows the world of sports but....a reality TV star?

I guess I am just having a hard time seeing it. ARod as an analyst on Fox? That worked for me. He was in his element and he had chemistry with the other analysts and just looked comfortable on camera. Talking about the sport he loves so much was natural for him but this pilot that CNBC wants to pitch I just don't know.

I guess in the ultra competitive world of reality TV it is a "fresh" concept but it certainly seems to have a limited number of subjects to base the show around and who knows if any of these former stars would want to be associated. ARod may have been a good clubhouse guy for the Yankees but he still has a controversial past.

There is no doubt that ARod can help guide someone through the life of baseball but what about former Hockey stars? Tennis players or track and field stars? I have a hard time seeing exactly what he can offer. Not to mention that so far the shows seems to paint ARod as a post sports world financial planner and life coach which seems pretty far fetched. ARod caught on as an analyst and a special advisor for the Yankees. It's a narrow field of experience, I don't know how that could be expanded to athletes from other sports who are now broke.

ARod may no longer be a competing athlete himself anymore, but it looks like he isn't ready to step out of the spotlight just yet.

Who knows if the pilot goes anywhere, but if it does we will be sure to keep you posted on any more rumors.

Oh ARod.....in case you are reading this I have a good potential star for your show. I know figure skating may not be your expertise but have you considered asking Tonya Harding to be on the show? I think you should, according to all of THIS it sounds like she may be up for some mentoring.

 --Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ


Sunday, January 29, 2017


"We're gunna make it after all."

These six words have incredible significance for me and for many women journalists, business employees, entrepreneurs and even those who have chosen to switch careers and try something new.  This week we lost an American icon.  Someone who paved the way for women and self-starters all across the nation at a time when women weren't "ready" to take on the jobs of men.  We lost Mary Tyler Moore but because of her, we all got an extra dose of "spunk" and you have to love "spunk."

Mary Tyler Moore grew up in Brooklyn and slowly made her way to television.  Starting her career in commercials, she got fired after she got pregnant with her son, Richard.  Could you imagine a woman getting fired today for being pregnant?  Soon Moore would rise again and this time for good playing a single woman, who answered the question, "how will you make it on your own?" probably a million times between the years of 1970-1977, when the original The Mary Tyler Moore Show ran on CBS.  I was one of the lucky kids who sometimes snuck in to watch the show late at night with my sister on my parents' small black and white television in their bedroom while they hosted parties downstairs.  I caught every episode later on via Nick at Nite.

Source: Biography.com

"Loyal viewers who grew up watching the independent, intelligent, and perky career woman named Mary Richards always knew that she would make it after all. Younger folks who’ve only seen the show in reruns likely don’t realize just how groundbreaking The Mary Tyler Moore Show was. While some of the scenarios presented seem dated by today’s standards, the show's portrayal of how women in general, and single women in particular, were treated in the workplace—and by society—was very accurate for that time," according to Kara Kovalchik of Mental_Floss.

I write this today because I think how far we have all come in our careers, particularly women, because of Mary Richards.  She told us it was okay to stand up for ourselves and reach for the stars. When she tossed her cap up into the air in the middle of the marketplace in Minneapolis, she gave us all a pass to try something new, to go for your dreams, to not let anyone stand in your way.  So millions of women entered the journalism field, like me, like our writers here at BYB.  Men and women alike, we write together about something we love, the Yankees.

Mary inspired generations of young people to go out and make it on their own.  Mothers' of today's Yankee stars watched the show.  Mothers' of today's Baby Bombers watched the show.  Mothers' of mothers' of Yankees tuned in each week to watch Mary make history as she stood up for the American woman and paved the way for people like Erin Andrews (ESPN), Savannah Guthrie (NBC), Robin Roberts (ABC), and Katie Couric.

There's a connection between Mary and our blog too.  The strong women we follow here at BYB in Life Coach Laura Posada and Entrepreneur Amber Sabathia, they have spunk in them too.  And then there's Jeana and myself, BYB writers who write because we can.  Because we took the chance to reach out to our editor and say, "we have spunk and we can write, we want to write for BYB."

When the show's final episode aired in 1977, the show was at the top of the ratings but chose to end on top instead of continuing.  Mary had done her job and left all of us to go out and make it on our own.  She sang with her cast mates..."It's a long way to Tipperary...it's a long was to go."  We here at BYB recognize how far we have come and where we are headed in 2017, more than 40 years after the lights went off for the cast and crew of WJM-TV.  As the New Yorker Magazine suggests, "there are lots of us (Marys)" out there making their way.

And so we take a little piece of American culture with us as we continue to write stories that bring to life our Yankees, in a way that no one else can, with the backing of fans like you who keep reading.

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof


Who would have thought... my goodness.

This is a great nugget for the BYB audience. Enough to get them fired up on a Sunday morning.  Enough to make you say, "Wait... Pedro Martinez is a good guy?"

(April 7, 2016 - Source: Leon Halip/Getty Images North America)
Now truth be told, I hated Pedro when he was with the Red Sox.  His arrogance dripped and he was a very good pitcher in his time, no question. Now however, watching his commentary, he doesn't bother me at all. Turns out he doesn't bother Luis Severino either.  Sevy is looking for some help to make him dominant in 2017... and Pedro took his phone call.

NJ.com writes:

"Pitching coach Larry Rothschild blamed Severino's struggles on a bevy of problems, including poor fastball command, a loss of confidence in his changeup, a flat slider and a tendency to overthrow.

Severino said he worked on all of that in the Dominican Republic, even spending time with a Yankees nemesis.

(April 7, 2016 - Source: Leon Halip/Getty Images North America)'
'I had the honor to work with Pedro Martinez,' said Severino, who's had a relationship with the Hall of Famer since 2015.

Severino and Martinez worked together for a few days.

'We focused on mechanics,' Severino said. 'That's something Larry told me to do. My mechanics, my release point -- trying to fix it all.'

So, progress

'I'm doing very well,' he said. 'I've been throwing my bullpen and my changeup is way better than last year. My fastball location is better, too. So hopefully in spring training it'll be good.'"

Photo: Getty Images
Hey, when you need help, it doesn't matter who it is.  If you have common interest, and there's no personal bad blood between the 2 of you... you ask for help.  Sometimes you never know what will happen. 

The strangest thing in this piece?  Watching the awkwardness of the Record guys talking in their Record studio about the Yankee young guns.

I love the idea, but they are smart guys... they deserve a studio, they deserve to not have to whisper. Hey, maybe throw a tie on and run a brush through your hair. Overall though, in this day and age, I think this is a great idea. Now? I don't like it so much.

Anyway, I like that Sevy isn't too proud to reach out.  I think it shows his determination to be a winner. I like this... and I love this story. Good work NJ.com. 

Happy Sunday.


Photo: SI.com
We have turned into a nation that is too politically correct.  That being said, if something truly is offensive, like Chief Wahoo, a discussion needs to happen and maybe even action.  Rob Manfred is a guy that has done many things right since he came over to replace a pretty lame Bud Selig, and he's started a dialog about it with the Indians owner. Why now? Because the Indians will be hosting the All-Star game in 2019.

Will anything change? Who knows, but I do know this... If there was a team called the New York WOPS... I'd have an opinion, trust me.

Hardball Talk has the story:

Photo: Illustration of a much older version of Chief Wahoo
"Manfred and Indians owner Paul Dolan met to discuss Wahoo before the All-Star Game announcement. They are not talking about those conversations other than acknowledging that they occurred:

'I’m not going to speculate on what I want the end of the process to be,' Manfred when asked about Chief Wahoo after the All-Star Game announcement. 'Paul has been fantastic about engaging. We’ve had a number of conversations... I want those conversations to continue and I think we’ll produce a result that will be good for the Indians and good for baseball. But what exactly that is I don’t want to speculate.'

Photo: SI.com
If the end process is not the total elimination of Chief Wahoo, than Major League Baseball has squandered the best chance it will ever have to exert any sort of pressure on the Indians about this."

We'll keep an eye on this for you. It's very interesting.


Saturday, January 28, 2017


Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
The dude is still working, folks.  You gotta respect the grind.

Ike Davis signed a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Matt Eddy of Baseball America, the same guy who thought he got the Clay Rapada scoop before BYB a while back (Read the HERE), tweeted this:

MLB Trade Rumors wrote of Davis:

Photo: New York Post
"Davis, 29, appeared in just eight major league games in 2016, spending much of his season at the Triple-A level with the Yankees’ and Rangers’ top minor league affiliates.  The left-handed hitting Davis has a solid career slash line (.251/.351/.441) against right-handed pitching over his career, though even those numbers were on the decline over the last two seasons as Davis struggled to retain a big league job.  After an impressive start to his MLB career as the Mets’ regular first baseman, Davis has hit just .222/.327/.354 over 1058 PA since the start of the 2013 season, bouncing from the Mets to the Pirates to the A’s and last year’s brief stint with the Yankees."

Photo: AP / David Zalubowski
Well, now he gets another shot. Dodger Blue writes this:

"Assuming Davis does not make the Dodgers roster out of camp but doesn’t opt out of his deal, the 29-year-old presumably will serve as depth for Triple-A Oklahoma City and insurance if Adrian Gonzalez is lost to injury for a prolonged stretch."

Anything Dodgers, they have their finger on the pulse. I endorse them!

Anyway... Good Luck Ike.

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Friday, January 27, 2017


Photo: MiLB.com
I have a strange feeling that one day real soon Starlin Castro is gonna be out of a job at second base. Everyone loves Gleyber Torres. Everyone. In fact, in a perfect world, I'd love to see Torres get alittle more work down on the farm this season, then maybe the Yankees try and trade Chase Headley for a bag of balls and a stack of Playboys and we can move Castro over there.  I mean, I really like Castro, I don't want the guy gone. I just have a feeling that it's gonna be fast and furious for Torres. And I'm kind of excited about it.

(Photo:Cliff Welch/AP)

The New York Daily News has a terrific article siting our buddy Keith Law and I wanted to take a few portions from it for our BYB audience.  Enjoy this:

"Gleyber Torres, the Yankees’ highly touted 20-year-old infielder, came in as the No. 4 prospect in all of baseball on Keith Law’s top-100 rankings list for ESPN....

Writes Law: 'Torres is an advanced hitter at the plate with a great approach that has him going the other way well with pitches on the outer half, and he makes adjustments from one at-bat to the next like a much older player. He can square up good velocity, although his recognition of off-speed stuff still needs some work.

'Although I've had scouts question whether he'll stay at shortstop because of his build, he has a 70-grade arm and great hands, and I think he has enough lateral range that he's more likely to remain at the position than move to third. He was the second-youngest regular in the Carolina League last year and will play all of 2017 at age 20, starting in Double-A. He has the ability to pick up sliders and changeups — that's the difference between him and a promotion. He's the Yankees' new shortstop of the future, a player with All-Star upside and a very high floor because of his feel for hitting.'”

Love it.  By the way, there were 6 Yankees on that list, 5 besides Torres:

22-Blake Rutherford
27-Clint Frazier
28-James Kaprielian
44-Aaron Judge
78-Justus Sheffield

Gotta love the Yankee farm system right about now!

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