Saturday, November 30, 2019


There's a nice little nugget out there as far as getting some lefty pitching is concerned. It features Alex Wood and the New York Yankees. And so, we were curious to read about it.  Here's the story from The Runner Sports:

"Hitting the free agent market is a 28-year-old left hander from North Carolina: His Name? Alex Wood. Being a starting pitcher AND relief pitcher, he’s a very unique type of talent in this free agent class... 

Wood is a rarity nowadays, rarely do you see a pitcher be used as a reliever and a long-inning starter. He is effective out of the bullpen and effective as a starter too, posting great career ERA numbers in both roles: As a Starter: 3.40 ERA As a Reliever: 2.70 ERA With his above-average ERA as a starter, he’d be able to be relied upon as a starter in the Bronx. 

He’d fit in nicely behind Luis Severino, James Paxton, and any big name the Yankees potentially want to put in the starting rotation. However, his ability to be a very viable option out of the bullpen in long relief adds a myriad of pitching combinations. "

I love this idea by Ryan Garcia at Runner Sports! Anyway. I just wanted to share this with you. I think it makes a lot of sense.

Let's GO!

Thursday, November 28, 2019


First and foremost everyone.....HAPPY THANKSGIVING! We hope you enjoy your day with friends and family but before you sit down to your Thanksgiving meal here are some rumors to start your day. Politics may be frowned upon at the dinner table, but baseball rumors should be encouraged, right?

1. Yankees keeping tabs on Miguel Andujar and Didi Gregorius (

IF the Yankees are going to trade Andujar they expect a big haul in return. Andujar is just one one season removed from the AL Rookie of the Year runner-up and the Yankees will use that to justify the asking price. Even with Andujar's defensive concerns, he can hit and could still develop over time. The Yankees do not feel pressured to trade him. They can carry him into Spring training and wait to see what happens once the season starts.

So why aren't the Yankees aggressively trying to re-sign Didi? Maybe, it's part of a master plan to spend the money on Gerrit Cole instead. If it is, maybe it makes sense. But if it isn't....wouldn't it make more sense to try and get him back so you can keep Gleyber Torres at second base? He wouldn't be a bad shortstop, but it may not be his best position. This would also allow DJ LeMahieu to stay in that super utility role that the Yankees truly needed last season. Oh that and....he can also play first base which is another problem the Yankees need to solve. Getting Didi back may be more beneficial then anyone realizes at this point.

2. Contradicting Gerrit Cole theories ( and again)

Interesting enough, has two writers with two different perspectives, it will be interesting to see if either one turn out to be accurate. There is still that "general industry perception" that Cole wants to play for a west coast team. The Yankees are still in on Cole, even though the Yankees believe there is a good possibility that Cole signs with the Angels. There is also speculation that the Angels are willing to "go bonkers" and "spend whatever it takes" to sign Cole.

On the other hand, a bold prediction was made Yesterday that Cole will ultimately choose the Yankees over his west coast preference and sign an eight year $290 million deal with the Yankees.  Will Hal Steinbrenner actually open up his wallet and spend that kind of dough? More importantly, will the Angels actually spend that kind of money? Historically, they aren't big spenders and they did just commit a lot of money to the Mike Trout extension. We'll see if either of these teams will "go bonkers" and pony up for Cole.

3. Yankees not favorites for Zack Wheeler? (

I don't know that many of us would be disappointed to hear this but....The White Sox and the Twins are rumored to be favorites for Wheeler. The Yankees need pitching, but maybe they are realizing that they don't NEED Wheeler.

4. Madison Bumgarner not interested in playing for an American League team? (

This isn't a new rumor, exactly. We've even reported before that Bumgarner hinted that he preferred the National League but now we know the supposed "favorite teams" are the Braves, the Padres, and the Diamondbacks. If these teams are the favorites would he sign with the Braves to be closer to his North Carolina home? Or maybe, there's another team out there that we don't know about.

Just a little more food for thought as you dig into your turkey, stuffing or pumpkin pie today. The rumor mill doesn't stop for holidays like neither do we. Enjoy your Thanksgiving everyone, and if you are going out shopping after your feast, you are one brave soul.

--Jeana Bellezza-Ochoa
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @NYPrincessj

Wednesday, November 27, 2019


Source: NY Post

Austin Romine has been a fixture of continuity for the Yankees since coming up through the ranks with their farm teams beginning in 2011.  That same year, he made his major league debut in the Bronx in September.  And since then, he has been a part of the Yankees in some way, contributing when needed, and evolving into one of the best back up catchers in baseball.  But with free agency staring him in the face, the question becomes, can Austin Romine take on a starting catcher role somewhere else?

"Catcher Travis d’Arnaud bagging a two-year deal for $16 million from the Braves will help Austin Romine no matter where he lands," reported the NY Post.  But d'Arnaud has been a starting catcher for several clubs at this point.  Romine has played for one team all these years as a back up.  Could Romine be the Nick Foles of baseball?

Source: USA Today

"A talent evaluator believes the Yankees should find a way to hold onto Romine, whose toughness, pitch calling, ball blocking and clubhouse presence would be missed," reported the Post.  And with Gary Sanchez falling to injury multiple times a season over the last couple of years, would losing Romine expose a real weakness in the Yankee clubhouse?  This weakness is more than just that the backup would like be Kyle Higashioka who has hit .164 for his partial seasons over the last three years.  It is that the Yankees can't count on Sanchez to be healthy and quite frankly, be at the top of his game when it comes to both his offense and defense.

Source: Elite Sports New York

"In the past two years Romine has played in 149 games, hit 18 homers, drove in 77 runs, batted .262 and posted a .730 OPS," reported the Post.  Losing him is more than just that though.  He contributes leadership and a positive mindset to the team.  Losing him, is like losing a foundation to a house.  And that is not something the Yankees should give up.

Here's hoping that the Yankees at least pay Romine what he is worth on the free agency market, which could be close to or more than what d'Arnaud is getting.  He should be getting much more than 1.8 million, which is what he earned this year.  Let's hope the Yankees do the right thing here.  We need Romine.  It is just that simple.

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof

Monday, November 25, 2019


We are all watching as the Gerrit Cole sweepstakes rolls on. He's at the top of a lot of holiday wish lists this Winter but he's going to cost a pretty penny and he's definitely in the driver's seat. We can sit and wonder if he wants his final destination to be with the Yankees, but reports from over the weekend didn't sound so encouraging.

According to George King at the New York Post, the Yankees are not considered to be an early favorite but this isn't new to anyone. King even said that could change by December or January but who knows. It's all a part of the rumor game that we know too well. But what if the Yankees aren't the favorites or what if the Yankees balk at the asking price?

Maybe they are, and in fact maybe several teams are. According to Jayson Stark of The Athletic, as many as 14 teams have called and asked about Cole Hamels over the past few days. Stark even said aside from Cole, Hamels might be the most sought after starter right now. I'm guessing he just happened to forget Stephen Strasburg somehow? Strange. I'm sure Zack Wheeler disagrees too since he's supposed to be highly sought after. Not by me, I have no interest but that's what the media continues to say.

At any rate, Hamels is getting a lot of attention. He's past his prime but, he has proven he can still pitch and he is a short term, more reasonably priced option who is looking for a job. The Cubs did not extend him a qualifying offer, so he can sign with any team and he won't be tied to a draft pick. All of these factors make him an attractive option for a team looking for pitching.

"I'll go every year. I'll prove myself. I don't mind having my back against the wall. I think I perform better like that anyway. It just keeps me more accountable," Hamels recently said HERE.

Hey, at least he has the right attitude. He also said he wants an opportunity with a team that are going to be postseason contenders. You can't blame the guy, he wants another ring and the Yankees have been close for a while now, he could be a difference maker. In 2019 he went 7-7, with a 3.81 ERA after rushing back from a strained oblique in July which hurt him. In his last 16 starts before his injury he had a 2.66 ERA and only 79 hits allowed in 94.2 innings pitched.

So are there really 14 teams interested and could the Yankees be one of them? Who knows, but it will be interesting to watch and see how the pitching market continues to unfold. Will the Yankees make a strong offer? We need the pitching, and I'm confident Brian Cashman is going to make the right moves.

--Jeana Bellezza-Ochoa
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @NYPrincessj

Sunday, November 24, 2019


The New York Yankees are making major changes to their coaching staff this year.  With Larry Rothschild moving on from the Yankees this year to make way for more "increasing incorporation of analytics and biomechanics," the Yankees make another bold move to include a double-masters degree hitting coach that packs a powerful punch.  Oh, and did I mention, she is a woman?

Source: NY Times

32-year-old Rachel Balkovec will take hitting to a whole new level as the "first woman hired as a full-time hitting coach by a big-league team."  She signed with the club earlier this month, and will report to spring training on February 1st in Tampa.  She will work across the Yankee organization and could be in the Bronx in 2020.

According to the New York Times, "Club officials said they had hired Balkovec based on qualifications — including two master’s degrees in the science of human movement and experience at several minor league clubs — that were a natural fit with the coaching crew being assembled for next season."  

Balkovec broke into the baseball business back in 2014, when she was hired by the St. Louis Cardinals as the full-time minor league strength and conditioning coordinator and the first female strength and conditioning position in major league-affiliated baseball. But the road to career baseball was not easy for her, despite her years of experience playing catcher at Creighton University and New Mexico softball teams and her educational background.

"Being a woman has always been the biggest obstacle to her success, she said. After her messages were not answered when she initially applied for strength and conditioning jobs in baseball, she changed her first name on her résumé and applications to “Rae” from “Rachel.” Then the phone started ringing.

Once the door was ajar, Balkovec helped St. Louis and later the Houston Astros improve their hitting across the minor leagues.  The opportunity to come the Yankees stemmed from her work with Yankee hitting coordinator Dillon Lawson when they both were with the Astros organization in 2016.

“It’s an easy answer to why we chose Rachel for this role,” said the Yankees hitting coordinator, Dillon Lawson. “She’s a good hitting coach, and a good coach, period,” reported the Times' Lindsay Berra.

Balkovec brings a much needed modern spin to the Yankees after working at Driveline Baseball, a data-driven performance training center in Washington State, since August.  Her research on eye tracking for hitters and hip movement for pitchers will add tremendous value and currency to a team that desperately needs to elevate itself from a legacy team with 27 championships to a modern day dynasty.  I'm so elated for Rachel and as a female educator, director and journalist, I am excited to see how she will lift the Yankees hitters to new heights in 2020.

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof


That little Jose Altuve dude isn't as adorable anymore these days, is he? That's because he's a cheater.

Looks like everyone is piling on the Astros and for good reason. That's because everyone can see that what they did, and yes, there is no "accusation" here, they did it, is considered actual cheating.  It's not sign stealing. It's sign stealing with a twist.  They need to be punished severely.

Now Fay Vincent is getting into the mix. I love this story so much.

The Pittsburgh Gazette here, and Fay writes this, giving many historic examples.  Guess what? The Astros are a big part of corroding the integrity of the game. They need to be punished severely:

"I do not know the full story of the Astros' alleged sign-stealing or what the defense to the allegations might be. Thus, I begin with that disclaimer. But one thing I do know is that sometimes the lessons of baseball mean drawing solid distinctions. cheating casts a shadow over one of the most famous moments in all of sports. 

In the 1951 National League playoff game between the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers, according to a 2001 Wall Street Journal article in which several Giants players finally came clean, the Giants used a telescope perched in their center-field clubhouse at the Polo Grounds to steal the opposing catcher's signals. 

"...when physical steps are taken — whether it's a team using a telescope or video camera in center field, or a pitcher using Vaseline (Gaylord Perry) or an emery board (Joe Niekro) to alter the surface of the ball — the sport descends into cheating. "

"When A. Bartlett Giamatti was the National League president — before he became MLB commissioner in 1988 — he confronted the issue of what the punishment should be for scuffing a baseball. Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Kevin Gross in 1987 was caught with sandpaper attached to his glove, presumably for roughing up the ball, which can dramatically alter the way pitches move.
Giamatti seized the case to make a serious point. Mr. Gross received a 10-day suspension..."

'Cheating has always been considered destructive of the essence of a contest designed to declare a winner,' he wrote. 'Cheating corrodes the integrity of any game.'"

Fay is one of the most respected baseball men out there.  If you can't take his word for it, you're delusional.

Manfred isn't in a tough spot here.  This is a slam dunk.  Crush the Astros. Take everything away from them.  No 10 game suspension. No fine. Ban these players for life, fire the coaching staff, remove the Astros front office. It's over.

Friday, November 22, 2019


Didi Gregorius is still a free agent, and the Yankees should get moving and sign him. One talent evaluator predicted that Gregorius would eventually receive a three-year deal.

“When he came back, there was enough there to believe he could return to the player he was before he was injured,’’ a scout said of Gregorius, who hit .268 with a career-high 27 homers, 86 RBIs and posted a .829 OPS in 2018 before blowing out his elbow in the ALDS.

Source: ClutchPoints

If the fan-favorite had not gotten hurt, he could've been looking at a bigger deal.

During the GM meetings, Brian Cashman seemed open to the idea of Didi coming back to the Bronx. 

“[Gregorius] has been a great player for us,’’ Cashman said. “He’s a free agent now. There’s competition for his services. We’ll continue to engage and see if we can continue the relationship or not. I can’t predict it.”

Source: New York Post

If a deal is struck, it will most likely be for less than the $17.8m annual figure the Yankees already declined. However, if the Yankees do decide to let Gregorius go, Aaron Boone could slide over Gleyber Torres from second base to shortstop and DJ LeMahieu from first base to second base next season. 

What do you think the best move is? Splurge and get back Didi? Or move around the infield?

--Missy O'Rourke
BYB Contributor
Twitter: @missy_orourke

Thursday, November 21, 2019


It's the end of an era, guys.....more like, the end of an ERROR! Yes, it has finally happened, after this post we never have to talk about Jacoby Ellsbury in a Yankee uniform EVER again. Thank goodness! Christmas has come early this year.

The Yankees had until 8pm yesterday to set their 40-man roster and had some tough decisions to make. Multiple sources reported just minutes after the deadline passed that the Yankees released Ellsbury, but the New York Post's George King and Ken Davidoff were the first to report the suspected rumor earlier in the day, read more HERE.

So, what about the rest of his contract? Unfortunately, cutting the 36-year-old Ellsbury means the Yankees will eat the remaining $26 million on his contract AND it will count towards the luxury tax for 2020 but it opens up other opportunities in the outfield. He hasn't played since the 2017 ALCS anyway, and his last season at $21 million was not going to be covered by insurance so there was no reason to keep him. Time to give his spot to someone else.

Ellsbury wasn't the only move the Yankees made last night. The Yankees also DFA'd Greg Bird and left-hander Nestor Cortes Jr. and added seven players to the 40-man roster including outfielder Estevan Florial and right hander Deivi Garcia. It was time for the Yankees to make these moves. Bird will likely sign with someone else, and if he does I wish him luck. He's always had potential, but we never got to see enough of it thanks to the injuries.

So now, we can FINALLY stop updating about Ellsbury. He's gone. Now we can remember him for the BUST that he was. He was one of the Yankees worst signings of all time and possibly one of the worst in baseball history for that matter. Now he gets to join the ranks of other terrible contracts including the five years and $20 million the Yankees gave Japanese pitcher Kei Igawa, which didn’t even include the $26-million posting fee. There's also Carl Pavano and his $39.95 million over four years and his 5.00 ERA over 25 starts. And don't forget about Kevin Brown and his 10-6 record with a 4.09 ERA. Near the end of the 2004 season he punched a wall in frustration injuring his hand and
his meltdown in the 2004 ALCS.

Good riddance, Ellsbury. Now it is time to make moves that make sense and improve this team. There's no more room for dead weight. I'm glad we no longer have to talk about this guy. Onward and upward, folks!

--Jeana Bellezza-Ochoa
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @NYPrincessj

Wednesday, November 20, 2019


Jim Crane, the owner of the Houston Astros just made a pretty profound statement. No, he didn't speak to reporters about the sign stealing scandal.  The statement he made was to avoid it entirely.  You know what that makes him? The King of these Cheating Loser Astros.


The New York Post has this:

"About 20 bigwigs from major-league teams wore orange vests and hard hats here in a hotel lobby Wednesday morning, preparing for their field trip to the Rangers’ new ballpark, Globe Life Field, next door. Astros owner Jim Crane didn’t ask to keep his hard hat. He might live to regret that.

Crane, encountering a small group of reporters Wednesday, politely declined to take questions. 

“If you want to talk about baseball, I’ll talk about baseball,” he said. “What else do you want to talk about? Any other issues…” 

At that juncture, an off-duty police officer working for the hotel escorted Crane out of the scrum."

Cheater. Avoider. Loser.

The Astros are in serious trouble.

Another day has gone by and not a single member of the Astros organization has denied or defended any of their actions. This means guilt folks.  And the fact that Head Loser Crane can't address the media only means one thing to me... it started at the top. He's in on it folks or knows for a fact that it happened.

All these guys need to be wiped out of the Astros front office.  Heads need to roll in that Astros clubhouse.

Firings need to happen on the Astros coaching staff. The stripping of the 2017 World Series Championship MUST happen... and as far as banning the players of the Houston Astros from baseball for life... I'd be OK with that too.

They did it to Shoeless Joe Jackson. They did it to Pete Rose.  This Astros sign stealing scandal is a MAJOR VIOLATION OF MLB RULES.

I think it was Matt Silverman, Rays President who said it best:

“We don’t cheat... Nothing will change that.”

You cannot say that about the Houston Astros.


Source: AP

The Yankees are going to add starting pitching.  That is a given.  I mean, really this time, this year, they will add a stud starter.  And if that stud is Gerrit Cole, awesome!  But what if I told you that the rumblings are that J.A. Happ could be part of the deal to get Cole.  I kid you not...

According to a story late yesterday in the New York Post, "One outside executive who believed the Yankees would go for Cole if they could clear salary suggested that the Yankees would try to attach a desirable second piece to Happ and trade him to a starter-hungry team such as the Angels or White Sox, who would not mind the risk of the 2021 option vesting. For example, tie Luis Cessa or a pitching prospect to Happ."

Source: AP

Wow that would be excellent.  Happ has lived up to the expectations the team had for him when they picked him up back in 2018.  "Much of his 2019 season was rocky, as he allowed a career-high 34 homers while going 12-8 with a 4.91 ERA over 30 starts plus a five-inning relief outing in his regular-season final," reported  He was not part of the starting rotation in the post season and was not expected to be there.  He is a class act and well educated, but he has not performed at the level the Yankees needed him to this season.

Gerrit Cole would be an incredible addition to the Yankees, forming a starting nucleus of James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino.  It has not been determined if or when Domingo German will return and if he does, what level his contribution will be for the 2020 rotation.  For Happ, who knows, if he will be part of the package to get Cole or if he will finish out his contract with the Yankees.  But, it is encouraging to read that he could be in the mix to get Cole and that the Yankees will do what it takes to ensure he falls back in love with the team he rooted for as a kid.

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof

Tuesday, November 19, 2019


The silence from the Astros and everyone in their front office is very telling. It tells me that they realize now that there is no excuse for the way they behaved. You want to figure out pitch selection as a player and reveal your findings to a teammate, you can do that.  That's on the level.  You wanna be smug, brazen and come up with plots to use electronic devices and slick maneuvering to become a dominant force in your league? You better make sure it's legal.  Otherwise it's against the rules and there should be harsh punishments for it.  Like being banned from baseball. That's at the top of my list.  What a bunch of assholes.

Yup, I'm rooting for it.  I want the punishment to be so severe for this team that it scares the living shit out of everyone in baseball.  I want players to not be allowed to play the game on a professional level again. I want the Astros championship to be stripped from them.

I want reporters lined up outside of AJ Hinch's house for months after he sat at a press conference back in 2018 and acted like his team was on the straight and narrow and challenged haters to come clean and "not to be anonymous and use your name when accusing" his team of wrongdoing.

Mike Fiers is my hero.  AJ Hinch forgot that players don't stay on teams for decades anymore.  He lost his game of chicken against Fiers and I love it.  God I hate liars. Have you figured that out yet?

The latest is this. ESPN has the story:

Manfred called the allegations of technology-driven sign-stealing by the Astros "the most serious matter." 

He said "it relates to the integrity of the sport" and promised "a really, really thorough investigation." "I'm not going to speculate on what the appropriate discipline is," Manfred said. "That depends on how the facts are established at the end of the investigation. The general warning I issued to the clubs, I stand by. It certainly could be all of those [past disciplinary actions], but my authority under the major league constitution would be broader than those things as well." 

Manfred said he does not have a timeline for the investigation, but "I certainly would hope that we would be done before we start playing baseball again." Any allegations that relate to a rule violation that could affect the outcome of a game or games is the most serious matter," Manfred said. "It relates to the integrity of the sport. In terms of where we are, we have a very active -- what is going to be a really, really thorough investigation ongoing. But beyond that, I can't tell you how close we are to done."

Hmm. Integrity.

A big, important word when it comes to humanity.  If you have none, how do you get through life as a well respected, person? You can't be trusted if you don't have integrity. The Astros team was fun to watch until this dark cloud came over them. Now they are just pathetic.

And here's the biggest part of it.  It probably didn't start with the players themselves.  It started with their front office.  The Astros brass.  THEY SHOULD ALL BE WIPED OUT.  They have failed their fans. No doubt they dragged their team into something so unethical it needs to be addressed HARD!

And the team's not innocent either. They are all adults. They know the rules... they know right from wrong, but they also felt protected by the people that pay them... Astros brass and they went along with it, because it helped them.

But this goes back to the silence.  No one in the Astros organization has said a thing about this.  Not a denial, not an apology. Nothing.  And that usually means something...

They are caught.

The Houston Astros are a disgrace to the sport.  Guys like Pete Rose should be out there barking and complaining if things do not get handled harshly for this terrible team of losers.

And this is a test for the commissioner. Manfred can finally redeem himself as not being a terrible commissioner and actually do something noble here. He needs to crush this team. Make the punishment as harsh as possible. Make this team an example. No fines... make it really hurt.  Ban someone, fire many of them... and act like you actually care about saving the game of baseball.

Because we do enough with steroids... but not enough for something like this... and we should, we really should.

Do it Manfred. Do it.


Nice little nugget here.

While there has been plenty of talk that Didi Gregorius's days in the Bronx are pretty much done, many have moved on to a guy like Francisco Lindor and the idea of a trade with the Cleveland Indians.  While no one knows if this will actually happen, there is another guy that is coming to light. has this, originally reported by Richard Justice of

"...there’s another All-Star shortstop who could be available on the trade market: Los Angeles Dodgers’ Corey Seager.’s Richard Justice lists nine stars who could be on the move this winter. One of them is Seager, and among the possibly landing spots listed are the Yankees.

The Dodgers under Andrew Friedman have resisted trading their best young players. Now, after another disappointing October, industry speculation is that he’d like a different look in 2020. 

Seager is 25, has a career .853 OPS and is two years from free agency. If the Dodgers make him available, teams would line up to make an offer."

Look, it's too early to get into all of this. It's rumor, but it's interesting to see this new name suddenly floated. We shall see.

20% Off at with code YANKEEBLUE2017