Wednesday, September 30, 2020


Source: USATSI

All of the anticipation of Game 1 came to a rocking halt when Aaron Judge stepped up to the plate in the first inning. He hit a laser over the fence and quickly the Yankees lit things up in Cleveland, a theme that continued throughout 9 innings of play.

Despite the loud artificial crowd noise, and Cleveland's ace Shane Bieber, the Yankees dominated the Indians giving them a slight edge heading into Game 2 today. Not since April 21 of last year has Bieber allowed at least seven runs in a start and yet the Yankees were too much for him in Game 1.

Source: David Petkiewicz,

Besides Judge, Luke Voit, Gleyber Torres and veteran Brett Gardner demonstrated their force at the plate and contributed most of the runs, proving true that the team looked at this game as a clean slate and the start of a new journey.

According to CBS Sports, "Momentum may not mean anything but confidence sure does, and Cleveland is a confident team right now. They're good and they know it. The Yankees have been punched in the face a few times this year and they didn't always respond in a great way. This is their last opportunity to get up off the mat and answer the bell." Which clearly happened last night.

Source: ESPN

Also putting together a stellar performance was Yankee starter Gerrit Cole, who threw 13 strikeouts in 7 full innings. According to MLB Stats, "Gerrit Cole joins Tom Seaver (1973) as the only pitchers with 13+ Ks & 0 BBs in a postseason game." Cole was absolutely electric on the mound, keeping cool and staying locked in. 

With last night's 12-3 victory over the Tribe, the Yankees have Masahiro Tanaka on the hill tonight. Let's hope the Yankees can finish things off tonight and move on to the ALDS, ready to compete against one of their AL East rivals, either the Rays or the Jays- both proving to be a challenge to the Bombers during 2020, but with the clean slate in their mind, anything goes for the Yankees. 

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof

Tuesday, September 29, 2020


I have not been too engaged with this year's Yankee season. You could probably tell by the lack of my writing on Bleeding Yankee Blue.  

Don't get me wrong, I love my Yankees and I will be front and center when the Yankees face the Indians tonight. But the truth is, these awards, this season, the teams in the playoffs this year and I guess 2020 in general... has taken my anxiety to another level.  I'm gonna say something I never thought I'd say... It's not that fun right now.

But when it comes to the New York Yankees, I will always have a place in my heart for them.  Gerrit Cole takes the mound tonight, and Lord knows... games like this were built for Cole.  We need this win... we need it badly.

As Mike Lupica says:

"They hired him to win postseason games, and ultimately the team’s first World Series since 2009. It all starts with his start in Game 1 on Tuesday night (7 ET on ESPN), Wild Card round, Yankees against the Indians, Cole against Shane Bieber -- who was better than Cole during the regular season, because Bieber was better than everybody.

Before he even gets to October, Gerrit Cole was hired to win this game."

What happens if he loses? Well... it will sting, but that's why there are 3 games in this series.  And let's take it further. 

Let's, for argument sake say the Yankees lose this series and are eliminated from the playoffs. Will you truly be heartbroken? Will it truly matter to you in a year where the home run leader in the American League has 22 homers?  Will it really matter to you where one of the teams happens to be the Miami Marlins?  

We all love Don Mattingly, but in a full season, could the Marlins truly sustain a playoff run? I doubt it... I doubt a lot actually. 

This season is weird, strange and everything else I can think of. 

And this is another bizarre and outrageous part of the season.  Trevor Bauer put this out:

I thought, "This can't be true, can it?" Then I did my research... and he's 100% right. Yardbarker writes: 

"MLB hasn’t announced anything specific policy-wise on this. Players will be allowed to bring their families into the bubble, but the league had not clarified any rules about them attending games. Bauer seems to have been told that home players will have families attending games, but visiting families will not."

Now it is very very possible that MLB put an internal memo out there to playoff teams with this stipulation. It's a sneaky tactic and I will bet Bauer is right and that's why he has a hard-on for Rob Manfred right now. But it just goes back to my point. This whole year is bizarre. In a move to bring some normalcy to the year, both team's families should be allowed.  Jesus man.

Now there is some great news this year.  The Astros suck without a garbage can, which is terrific because it makes the idea that these guys being cheaters more accurate and amplified than before.

They all suck.

But here's the most outrageous part of this season... the Astros had a losing season... LOSING SEASON OF 29-31. But they made the playoffs.  I'm sorry, who and how can anyone get excited celebrating mediocrity like that?  How?

In the end, it's about 1 team for me... the Yankees and I do believe.  But listen to me very clearly. Will I root in this playoffs? I will.  Will I be happy they win? Sure. But does it really and truly count for me? Not really. In fact... this entire season is a joke.  And you know what's telling me that? My heart.  This season was manufactured, fake, stupid.

That doesn't take away my appreciation for the Yankee fans out there that love every minute of this season, in fact I tip my cap to you! You found a way to love this season much better than I ever could. And so, I'll be watching and reading your tweets this playoff in your honor.  But for me personally... I just don't feel it, not like I normally do anyway.  

For me... tonight's about Cole and the Yankee fans! Let's get a win!

Go Yanks!

Sunday, September 27, 2020


Source: Twitter

Regardless of what happens in today's game, one thing is for sure: it's the last one. The last regular season game in the 2020 MLB Season. Phew. As difficult as the season started with all of the pauses, possible game structures and protocols, 2020 is history. The Yankees took a beaten; physically and mentally this season and as they approach the post season, they need to be ready on both fronts if they want to advance passed the first round.

"Based on the way they bungled their way through Friday night’s activity, winning a World Series seems like a longshot. Not only didn’t the Yankees hit, they also committed four errors for the second time in three games. They have dropped five of six with two regular-season tilts remaining," reported the New York Post, prior to Saturday's 11-4 victory over the Miami Marlins.

Source: Fansided

The Yankees in one word need to play "clean" baseball for the entire post season if they are even going to come close to their dreams of achieving their 28th World Championship. Clean in the field and at the plate; ensuring runs score not left stranded on the bases, and hyping up the lineup to draw off the positive energy Luke Voit and DJ LeMahieu are demonstrating with their amazing feats this shortened season.

DJ LeMahieu went 4-for-5 with three RBIs and a run scored in the Yankees' win over the Marlins, putting himself in position to win the batting title with a .359 average heading into today's game. Luke Voit hit home run number 22, and is now leading the majors. They have been the spark of this team and the reason they are even eligible for baseball passed today.

Source: Paul J. Bereswill, N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

According to CBS Sports, "The Dodgers entered the season seen as co-favorites with the Yankees, but New York has not quite met those expectations. The Yankees, despite an up-and-down season, have clinched a playoff spot and currently sit with +600 odds to win the World Series." 

As we finish up 2020 and look ahead to the post season, let's hope for the best and pray that the Yankee team that wanted to be here so badly at the beginning of the season is the one that is on the field, playing their hearts out. If not, they will go home disappointed again and watch the rest of the post season at home. 

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof

Friday, September 25, 2020


If the Yankees want their postseason to last more than a few days, then they really need to step it up. The latest series against the Blue Jays has turned the team from the wild-card-round hosts to the wild-card-round visitors. This season has definitely been a rollercoaster ride with tons of highs and lows. However, ending on a low would not put the Yankees in a good spot to begin their postseason. 

“We obviously are going to have to play better if we’re going to advance in the postseason,” Aaron Boone said. “Hopefully [this] can springboard us into playing some clean baseball this weekend. Hopefully, get the bats going a little bit and head into the postseason.”

Another postseason concern for the Yankees would be playing most of it away from their home. It is proven the Yankees play better in Yankee Stadium, so it is a concern for the players.

“We always seem to play well at home and obviously on the road is a little more of a challenge. Playing on the road and then heading out to the West Coast hopefully [for the American League Division Series and Championship Series, it’s] definitely something we have to turn the page and try to block out. Play our best baseball no matter where we’re at,” said Brett Gardner. 

The Yankees are good enough to win and we as fans know that. However, there are a few Yankees that need to step it up for their team if they want to make it past the wildcard. 

To start off, Aaron Boone needs to get his team back into shape. They went from a 10-0 stretch of games back to the sloppiness that made us nervous to see. Boone needs to light a spark under the butts of the players and get them driven to finish off the season strong. 

Aaron Judge has hit .185 since returning from the IL with 10 strikeouts. He has not hit a home run, and only driven in one run. This is not the Judge we know and love. With only three games left in the regular season, it would be nice to see him show some resemblance of his former self. 

J.A. Happ seems most likely to pitch Game 3 of the Wild Card round for the Yankees...if they make it that far. After a rough start to the season, Happ got it together and has a 1.93 ERA in six starts. If he can continue staying hot, it could be really great for the team. Hopefully, with his past postseason experience, Happ can make it happen. 

--Missy O'Rourke
BYB Contributor

Thursday, September 24, 2020


There are two things that I really want to see happen for DJ LeMahieu, and I mean I REALLY want them for him. I wish I had control over them. Maybe if I "WILL" for them to happen enough it will manifesting destiny for him? Sounds good in theory at least.

My first wish would be for the Yankees to lock this guy up and give him the big contract that he deserves. Other teams will be happy to give it to him but, we need him here more. That could very well happen and I hope it does. We've only been talking about it for a while now....but that's just the start.

So in addition to his nice new Yankees contract that I am manifesting for him, I really want to see him get the AL batting title this year. Baseball is a team sport, and I am never one to focus on just one person but I think this is long overdue. He says he's not thinking about it (read his words HERE) but I WILL.

At the end of the day the best accomplishment is a World Series ring, and I agree with that but....I am still ticked off about last season. Hard to imagine that almost a year ago is when THE BASEBALL WRITERS SNUB LEMAHIEU! and he didn;t get the MVP consideration he deserved. We all knew Mike Trout was great, so that was a no brainer. I still can't stand that Alex Bregman the dirty cheater was included and then there was Marcus Semien. No disrespect to Marcus but....why not LeMahieu?

I still can't believe after everything he did for the Yankees last season, he wasn't even in the final three. The Yankees wouldn't have been that successful if he didn't have the year he had. He went from utility man that didn't even have a clear cut role at the beginning of the season to the Yankees most valuable player and an All-Star.

So after being snubbed last season, I want this recognition for him more than he does! So LeMahieu is in "contention" for the batting title against Tim Anderson who also deserves to be a part of that conversation. Let's face it, not many of us really thought that the White Sox were going to be on top of the AL Central and he's a big reason why. I take nothing away from his .353 batting average, and I take nothing away from his successful season so far. Anderson has been amazing and he deserves the same attention....I'm just REALLY pulling for LeMahieu.

In 2016 LeMahieu won the National League batting title when he was with the Rockies, and we would all like to see him do it again as a Yankee. He's a leader on this team and he is a spark plug for us. I want to finally see him get the recognition he deserves.

I know we always say to "Keep our eyes on the prize" and focus on our next ring but....I want him to have the World Series ring AND the batting title. That would make it even sweeter.

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

Wednesday, September 23, 2020


“That’s 2020, baby,” as Yankees Manager Aaron Boone has often said throughout the year. Now with just a few more games to go in this coronavirus shortened season, the Yankees face the postseason straight in the eyes. Will 2020 be good to the Yankees who were favorites heading into 2020? Let's take a look at their chances.

“Obviously it’s a little bit different because of no crowd, but in a lot of ways teams are built for their home ballpark,” said Boone, whose batting lineup is adept at taking advantage of the closer wall in right field in the Bronx," reported the New York Times

Source: David Butler Ii/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

The Yankees will be in one of the MLB Playoff bubbles with their fate of who they will face to be determined. The lack of time in between games will certainly impact pitching and the amount of rest the position players will receive. This may be too taxing on the Bombers who have been ridden with injuries again this season.

Source: USA Today

Yet on the bright side of things, Luke Voit and DJ LeMahieu have carried this team throughout the month of September, making the absence of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton more bearable. In addition, the starting pitching of J.A. Happ, Masahiro Tanaka and Gerrit Cole have also made an impression on this team and their ability to fight off competing offense. 

The Yankees need have the right mindset to go in and take games from opponents, create fear and dominance at the plate and be at their best to fend off any team. "Now we are getting back to being the Bronx Bombers and I don't think anyone wants to play us in the playoffs," said Luke Voit. Adam Ottavino shared this sentiment about clinching a playoff spot this weekend, "Just get your foot in the door and go from there." All the right kinds of statements the Yankees need coupled with staying healthy and focused on winning. 

Could 2020 be the year for the Yankees who have not won a World Series since 2009? They will have to get passed their AL archenemy the Tampa Bay Rays to get there. Let's hope they have enough muscle to get there and Boone's "That's 2020, baby!" will hold even more meaning for the Yankees.

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof

Monday, September 21, 2020


I have been pretty critical of Marcus Thames this season, up until the Yankees started to look like the Yankees again and got back to their winning ways.  I appreciate the history the Yankees have with him both when he was a player and since he transitioned to coaching within the organization. He's had a long run, but maybe the end is in sight.

A couple weeks ago I really started to question DO THE YANKEES HAVE THE RIGHT COACHING STAFF? and I talked a lot about pitching coach Matt Blake, but especially....Marcus Thames. I said it might be time to move on and get some new leadership, especially with the hitting coach. Maybe it still happens, but not for the same reason....

If you haven't heard, on Saturday veteran manager Ron Gardenhire abruptly announced his retirement, effective immediately. I say abruptly because he was likely going to announcement retirement at the end of the season but he did it with less than a week of the regular season left. There's been a lot of speculation in the media that his decision is due to health, read more HERE. I'm sure there is more to the story that we don't know, I just hope the rumors aren't true. He's been through a lot, including beating cancer.

So with Gardenhire's retirement announcement, there is already a "short list" of names out to replace him and there are a few obvious candidates....and also Marcus Thames, read more HERE.

Could Thames be the next manager of the Detroit Tigers? I don't know, maybe. He was a fan favorite when he played in Detroit from 2004-2009. But again, I said he's on a short list....

There are also a few other recognizable names out in the rumor mill that we will all recognize like A.J. Hinch and Alex Cora. You remember the BLACK MARKS OF BASEBALL & 2ND CHANCES? Well it's a short season so that means a much shorter punishment for these guys.

Those are names I'd rather not talk about right now because we did it enough but....they will be topical again. The Tigers will probably wait awhile to start their search because several names they are interested in will likely be stuck in postseason bubbles for the playoffs and....A.J Hinch won't be eligible to return from his suspension until AFTER the World Series.

I think of all of the managers that were "reprimanded" for their cheating Hinch is still the most likely to get a second chance. He has a winning track record (even with the cheating scandal) and the Tigers have a good core of players coming up and a tenured coach will be even more valuable to Detroit.

I've always believed that there is a team out there that is going to give Hinch another chance at managing....and maybe it is Detroit. Maybe it isn't and maybe Thames will get his shot. I'm not sure how this is all about to go down, but the next few months will be interesting for both Thames and the cheating managers.

I don't know if this is the beginning of the end of Thames or not. All I know is I am still skeptical of Thames but if one of the guys mentioned is going to a new managing gig, I hope it's him. And I also really hope that Gardenhire is okay, and can enjoy his retirement with his friends and family. He's a good man.

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

Sunday, September 20, 2020


Source:  Jim McIsaac

There is so much banter about who is responsible for the Yankees most recent surge in the standings. Let's face it, they are have been doing what we expected them to be doing when this season started. But many have said, with this shortened season, it was anyone's opportunity. The Yankees have experienced so many injuries it would be difficult for them to take charge with only 60 games on the schedule. Yet, Luke Voit has taken on the challenge and has been the most consistent Yankee, currently leading the club and baseball with 22 home runs this season. But, is Luke Voit MVP worthy?

"We’re seeing the growth of a really good hitter that’s gone to another level and is having an MVP season," Boone said Friday before the Yankees began a three-game series against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. "Hard to believe where we’d be without Luke Voit," reported Newsday.

It is hard to believe that the Yankees would have been able to battle back the way they have over the last 12 games if not for Voit and his ability to do damage at the plate. "Voit’s .646 slugging percentage ranks first in the American League (and third in MLB behind Juan Soto’s .698 and Freddie Freeman's .658). His .984 OPS ranks him sixth in the AL (teammate DJ LeMahieu leads with 1.056)," reported Newsday.

Many will argue that sure Voit is having a stand out season but no one can compare to the precision and consistency of DJ LeMahieu. He by far is the most valuable Yankee and without his ability to play every position in the infield, consistently hit in any place within the lineup and keep the cool calm demeanor in the clubhouse, the Yankees would not have even put Voit in position to contribute the way he has. 

Source: AP

"As usual, LeMahieu is leading the charge from the top spot in the Yanks' lineup. He’s hitting .405 during the winning streak, lifting his season average to .367, which is two percentage points better than White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson’s .365 for the AL lead," reported 

At the end of the day, the Yankees are demonstrating the dominance they were expected to have with the lineup that did not include Aaron Judge or Giancarlo Stanton for most the 2020 season. It has been LeMahieu and Voit holding up the fort. In my mind, they both have earned the distinction of MVP. And I hope that they continue demonstrate that distinction as the Yankees get ready to clinch a spot in the playoffs and dominate the post season. 

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof

Friday, September 18, 2020


Before I write this I am going to knock on wood as to not jinx the fact that Giancarlo Stanton might finally be back. He was activated once again on Tuesday after missing 32 games due to a strained left hamstring. Before getting injured Stanton was hitting .293 with seven RBIs and three homers, so he did start the season off strong, and looks like he will finish that way too.

Last night Stanton was on the first on the field before the first pitch getting ready with new stationary stretches that are part of a new warmup introduced to ensure he can stay healthy. This also includes a mid-game routine. It makes me happy to see him taking the injury seriously and taking steps to avoid it happening again.

He really is a valuable asset to the team. Just last night he went 4-for-5 against the Blue Jays, finishing the game just a triple short of the cycle. It was hist first four-hit game since July 23, 2018. 

"Definitely my balance and timing felt much better today than the first game I played," Stanton said. "Just gotta keep feeding off that, keep working off that and keep it rolling."

Last night's big night for Stanton was needed after doubts during his 0-for-4 performance on Tuesday night. During the bottom of the first he launched a 111.2mph line drive for an RBI single to get the night started. 

His next time at bat an almost homerun earned him a double. Then the following inning he made up for his last at bat and smashed a homerun. He wasn't the only one to do so either, four other Yankees hit homeruns to earn the Yankees a new franchise record.

Now that Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres are back as well, the Yankees are looking like a scary good team once again. 

"With all of us in there at once, it’s something special," Stanton said. "Something fun to be a part of and I’m looking forward to it. Coming together at the right time."

Not only are fans seeing the effort Stanton is making, Aaron Boone is seeing it as well. He admires the work the slugger has been doing to get back onto the field as quickly as possible while also working to prevent any future injuries.


 "What a show!" 
--Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees

Homer happy is the only way to describe the Yankees night against the Blue Jays. But the Yankees aren't just special with their power in 1 game. CBS Sports writes: "New York set a major league record for most home runs in a three-game span with 19 — three more than the previous high — and became the first team with six or more home runs in three straight games."

As far as last night goes, CBS Sports writes: 

"Brett Gardner, DJ LeMehieu and Luke Voit homered on consecutive pitches for the New York Yankees — and that was just the start of the night’s power surge...Voit’s home run was his major league-leading 20th.

Aaron Hicks struck out, and Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres followed with home runs that gave the Yankees a 9-2 lead and chased Anderson."

The Yankees would win 10-7 and how it appears our mighty Yankees are rolling winning 8 straight... the way we like it.

Don't look now...

here come the Yankees!


Not a big story, but we like to keep track of former Yankees and so that's why we're telling you this.  Looks like Greg Bird was able to latch onto a new team... the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:

"...the Phillies announced the signings of veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy and first baseman Greg Bird to minor-league contracts, and assigned them to the Lehigh Valley training site....

Bird, 27, is a familiar name to manager Joe Girardi. Once a top prospect with the Yankees, he hit 11 home runs and slugged .529 in 46 games as a rookie in 2015 while Girardi was managing in New York....But Bird missed the 2016 season after having shoulder surgery and parts of 2017 and 2018 with ankle injuries. He tore the planta fascia in his left knee last year and was released by the Yankees in November. He signed with the Texas Rangers, who designated him for assignment in August."

And there you have it... no biggie.

We wish Bird luck.

Thursday, September 17, 2020


It is hard for me not to be suspicious about Yankee injuries. I speculate a lot, but considering how bad injuries were last year and again this year...I can't help it. This is one thing I want to be WRONG about though. I really hope I am.

So Aaron Judge came back yesterday, which is good. Oh and Giancarlo Stanton and Gio Urshela are back too. We have reinforcements at just the right time, but in the mean time I am still waiting and wondering about Gleyber Torres.

Aaron Boone opted to keep Torres out of the lineup for a third straight game as he continues to nurse a sore right quad and of course we can't forget about the strained hamstring that has been ailing him at the same time.  Boone has had the same "HOPE" strategy when it has come to injuries the whole season. 

Boone "hoped" that Stanton would be back from his left hamstring sprain in "3 or four weeks" but that turned out to be just over a month. One week longer isn't a big deal but before he came back there was uncertainty if he would be back at all before the regular season. Boone's "hope" didn't work as planned.

Oh and then of course there was Judge. He missed two weeks last month, rushed his recovery and then came back for one game before going back on the Injured List with issues on the same strained calf. That wasn't too smart. Boone "hoped" to get ahead of it by putting him on the Injured List the first time....and that didn't work either.

So I don't think it is wrong to question if the injury to Torres is worse than the Yankees are telling us. Boone gave an update on Torres HERE before yesterday's game.

"Gleyber’s good," Boone said. "I just feel like probably one more day is best here. He really wanted in there (Wednesday), he really wanted in there (Tuesday) as well. But I just felt like, after consulting with the training staff and everything, one more day is best to make sure this doesn’t become an issue for us. Obviously, like many of our guys, he’s not somebody we feel like we can afford to lose a week or two away from the postseason."

Hopefully this isn't deja vu because this is what he said about Judge last month. And of course, we cannot afford to be down Torres or really anyone as we inch closer toward the postseason. I like the optimism here, but anytime I see words like "consulting with the training staff" I get a little nervous. We may have some new personnel in the training staff since last year but....we still have the same injury woes so I'm not overly confident YET.

Hopefully we see Torres in the lineup today IF he is indeed healthy like Boone says. If he does sit out four games in a row, that would suggest the opposite. I'm ready to get over the hump and have a strong finish here. We NEED it.

What do you think? Do you trust Boone is telling us the truth?

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