Thursday, December 30, 2021


It's funny....I am standing in unfamiliar territory right now. When I am not writing about baseball, I crunch numbers all day and I manage and develop people and I freaking LOVE it. When I look for new talent and I interview people I am looking for the right personality and for someone I think is a great fit for my company. I don't even look for experience because I know I can teach someone who wants to learn and has a good attitude. It works for my business.....

But what about the Yankees? Aaron Boone says he is not worried about the lack of experience his new coaching staff has, read more HERE. But should he be worried? I am going to be honest, I'm worried. I can teach someone to do what I do because it's totally unrelated to baseball. It's not even comparing apples to's like comparing a stalk of celery to cotton candy. 

I like the addition of Eric Chavez because he has the experience and personally I have always been drawn to his personality. I think he is very likable and approachable so with his experience that can be a good combination as a coach. But this is where the experience ends! First base and infield coach Travis Chapman played one big league game before he transitioned to coaching. At least Luis Rojas has some experience coaching with the Mets in addition to his minor league service. The other three new additions have no experience.

So how does that work, exactly? How can someone with no experience playing Major League Baseball help a player improve? How can they collectively improve this team offensively and defensively? It doesn't make sense. If you don't understand the problem or even experienced yourself how are you supposed to fix it? I have no experience but maybe Boone should've picked me for an infield coach. I'd give it a try!

But seriously....this is what got to me:
"I think now we’re starting to probably follow more of an NBA/NFL model, where you have coaches that are really good at impacting players."

Why are we trying to model the NBA or NFL? That shouldn't even matter. It's just a head scratching statement but I guess it's not surprising coming from BaBoone as I like to call him. He just talks to talk and give a soundbite. Sure the Giants tried this approach and they did have 107 wins but that doesn't mean it will work for us. We are already at a disadvantage with Boone as a manager, we didn't need to add more uncertainty.

I think most people agree with this IDEA, but it doesn't apply to this team.
"Ultimately, players want to know, ‘Can you help me?’ And, ‘Are you helping me?’ " Boone said. "That ultimately is the biggest litmus test and the biggest factor. A guy that doesn’t have a big league résumé from a playing standpoint may have to earn his way a little bit more, perhaps, but once you demonstrate and show that you’re helping a player, that’s all you want. You got a short window to have a major league career. If somebody from a coaching standpoint I know is helping me and impacting me, in the end I don’t really care how I get it."

If new assistant hitting coach Casey Dykes never played in the big leagues, how is he going to help DJ LeMahieu get him out of his hitting slump? 

How is he going to help him be that productive big league hitter from 2020 again if he doesn't know how to identify if he is dropping his shoulder too much or needs to step back more in the box? There is no track record there. So again 'how can he help DJ?' and 'is he helping DJ?' I struggle with that. How can you help someone fix something that you don't have experience with?

I agree that finding the right people is the most important aspect when it comes to hiring ANYONE for a job no matter what it is. But I don't think the Yankees understand what experience is needed to be a coach for their team and to win a championship. I like the "no experience required" spirit, but when we are talking about a team in a World Series drought with some deficiencies to fix there really should be "some experience required" here. 

If this doesn't work out it will just be another thing to add to the Yankees growing list of failures.

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

Wednesday, December 29, 2021


Source: Associated Press

First of all, on top of all of my wishful 2022 resolutions, there is the elephant in the room—resolve the collective bargaining agreement so the season can start on time. Without that, none of these resolutions will mean anything because at a blink of an eye, the season will be half over before it starts. We did that drill already with 2020 only hosting 60 games across the MLB. Between COVID and the Yankees just not playing to their potential, the 2020s have not been kind to the Bronx. But here are some resolutions that I hope our current Yankees make beginning before they step foot onto a ballfield. 


1. Aaron Hicks: Commit to staying healthy. Whatever regiment you need to put in place, I hope you figure that out and make sure you listen to your body along the way. You simply cannot be effective from the bench. As points out, injuries has defined Aaron Hicks' entire career instead of great numbers, which he is capable of making. Figure out a training and fitness plan that works for you and stick with it. The Yankees need centerfield to be covered with reliability and persistence. Get after it, Hicks!

2. Aaron Judge: Be the leader you were born to be. You did it. You tied the knot. You got your teeth fixed. Now step up, sign a long term extension and take your rightful post as captain of the modern day Yankees. The Yankees need a leader. Well, they need many leaders. But Aaron Judge seems to be the most practical choice for top dog. He needs to want it. And he needs to set an example and show what hard work, a humble disposition and determination can do for you. 

Source: NY Post

3. Jonathan Loaisiga: Keep pushing forward. You have the potential to be a great closer. Loaisiga has the look and feel of a young Mariano Rivera and just needs consistent opportunities to hone his craft. The Yankees need to invest in him, support his growth and empower him to push forward. They need him. He is our future of the bullpen. Know it and own it. 

4. Brian Cashman: Make the moves to give the Yankees their shot at a modern day dynasty. As soon as the lockout lifts, Cashman needs to get after players like first baseman Matt Olson and starting pitcher Luis Castillo. And let's not forget Cashman needs to fill that middle infielder hole with a shortstop who can anchor an infield. This guy has to make plays day in and day out equaling consistent defense in the middle infield. This could be multi faceted Texas Ranger Isiah Kiner-Falefa who plays shortstop, third base and catcher. This will give the Yankees some wiggle room and even some creative juices to work with down the stretch for the Bombers. 

Source: Associated Press

5. Giancarlo Stanton: To begin the year with the end in mind. Stay healthy. Stay focused. And fight for your slot in the outfield. You are not made of glass. So fight for your gametime in the field. You are right in admitting that it is more well-rounded and wholesome for you to play the game you were born to play instead of spending half the game in the batting cages beneath the stadium waiting for your time to shine in the lineup. Fight for your rightful place in the outfield and anchor this team to victory. 

Will these resolutions come to fruition. I hope so. Even if the Yankees can make some traction and forward momentum they will be in a good position to take on their division rivals and even wreck some havoc among other tough contenders across both leagues. 2022 is always about new beginnings. Let's hope this team has a breakout season by planning for it now. 

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Senior Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof

Monday, December 27, 2021


I've been going crazy not having a the usual winter routine. There's no Hot Stove. The signings and trades are on pause thanks to the lockout and I've been going crazy. Then I realized, well I could just focus on this years Hall of Fame class and that's when it hit me like a ton of bricks.....

The most controversial and scandalous Hall of Fame ballot of my life is here. Remember when Derek Jeter received 396 out of 397 votes in his first year on the ballot? You also can't forget about guys like Mariano Rivera, Cal Ripken Jr, Ken Griffey Jr and Greg Maddux. Those were no-brainers. Those were the easy votes. Those days are gone.

Now welcome to the world of the steroid ballot era. There are 30 players on this years ballot, and nearly a third of them are tied to steroid use. Let that one sink in. You know the names forever tied to steroids: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Manny Ramirez and.....Alex Rodriguez just to name a few. Yeah, now we get to talk about A-Rod again.

It's the age old debate that will never go away. How do you weigh in on this logically? Do you vote for any of them at all? If so, how do you separate and justify the ones that you do pass through to the hall? 

A lot of baseball writers that I interact with will say that their vote is determined by baseball's timeline. It is the fine line in the sand that can't be crossed. In 2003 MLB conducted a drug survey after MLB players agreed to it in an effort to determine if a need for a firm drug policy was needed. If more than 5% of the tests came back positive then mandatory drug testing and penalties for infractions would begin in 2004. Spoiler alert....more than 5% came back positive which brought us down the road to the system MLB currently uses.

So if a player was punished or suspended after MLB implemented its drug policy after the 2004 season, that is the deciding factor for a lot of writers. That could be bad news for repeat offenders like Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez who is eligible for the first time this year.

I think Alex sabotaged himself on this one. Is it possible that he EVENTUALLY years down the road gets elected into the hall? Sure. Someone was dumb enough to vote against Jeter so I can see someone voting for Alex but that would be a real tragedy for the game.

But that's just my take on it.

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

Sunday, December 26, 2021


Source: AP

Competing for a championship means you can't wait to home grow a shortstop. You just don't have the time—you a need a team that is Series-ready when they hit the field in 2022. But is that in the cards for the Yankees given the lockout, luxury tax, paydays due for other players and needs beyond a middle infielder? Let's take a closer look at the options the Yankees have in front of them.

Source: NY Post

"The Yankees could shore up shortstop for the next generation if they give Carlos Correa more than the $325 million than Corey Seager got from the Rangers. Correa, at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, might be the best shortstop in the game not named Fernando Tatis Jr. Trevor Story would be a bit of a different question. While the bat, glove and speed are real, concerns over Story’s arm strength are loud enough to wonder whether he’d be better off at second base," reports

Then there is Aaron Judge who is due some cash in the coming year if they want to keep him in the Bronx. Not to mention, cash already on the books for Gerrit Cole and Giancarlo Stanton. But let's go back to shortstop for a minute. The Yankees have said that Anthony Volpe or Oswald Peraza could be there future at shortstop but they will take some brewing and polish before they are everyday players for the Bombers. But do the Yankees have time or even the patience to wait 'til either of these guys are game-ready?

"Volpe was tremendous in 2021, raking with Low-A Tampa before a promotion to High-A Hudson Valley. Across both levels, Volpe hit .294 (121-for-412) with 27 home runs, 113 runs scored, 86 RBI, 33 stolen bases and a 1.027 OPS over 109 games," wrote Sports Illustrated. But no major league experience. 

"Peraza, 21, is the closest to making his big-league debut of the pair, finishing out the 2021 campaign in Triple-A. Peraza played across three different levels a season ago, slashing .297/.356/.477 with a .834 OPS, 18 homers and 58 RBIs," Sports Illustrated reported. But neither seem to be ready to fill the big shoes at shortstop. And they will need grooming but veterans as well as coaching to even come close. 

Source: AP

But if the Yankees go all in on a guy like Correa or Story, what about the other holes in the team? First base, starting pitching and even centerfield? In the starting pitching arena, names like Clayton Kershaw, Carlos Rodon and Shane Bieber have been floated about. We've heard buzz around Matt Olson for first base and at centerfield? Who knows. Aaron Hicks will likely come out of the box ready to play but by June, he will be out like he always is. At least that is my prediction. The guy just can't stay healthy.

The Yankees can't seem to wait to sign a shortstop but there is a lot more to that to make this team Series-ready. Will the team really be able to make the moves to give the Bombers a fighting chance in 2022? Wish I could say for sure, yes, but the jury is still out on that. 

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Senior Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof


I'm lying... this signing is also absolutely bullshit.

Another Minor League deal and we still haven't improved the major league Yankees club, which, if you really want to think about it... it's clear the Yankees really have no intention of competing in 2022. It's pathetic.  

MLB Trade Rumors writes:

"The Yankees have signed catcher David Freitas to a minor league contract...Freitas has appeared in parts of three MLB seasons, suiting up with the Braves, Mariners and Brewers between 2017-19. The right-handed hitting backstop has only amassed a .200/.268/.288 line with one home run over 143 plate appearances at the highest level. While Freitas’ big league production has been modest, he owns a much more impressive minor league track record. Over parts of eight seasons at Triple-A, the California native sports a .322/.401/.472 line."

Call me when you sign someone that will improve the major league club, assholes. I'm literally over it.

Oh yeah, and Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 23, 2021


Thanks to Corey Seager's signing before the lockout, Carlos Correa is anxiously waiting for his turn at a big long term deal. Someone is going to throw Correa a ton of cash, and while the Yankees have been tied to Correa he may not wind up in pinstripes after all.

And I certainly wouldn't be mad at that. I've already said numerous times I hope some other team gets suckered and signs him to a big deal and maybe it happens....maybe. According to 670 The Score HERE the Cubs were in contact with Correa and had "serious interest" before the lockout. They know Seager's deal basically set the market so now Correa is expecting a 10 year deal also.

The Cubs say they have money and they are willing to spend it. They are concerned about the term of the deal, not the annual average value. They sound willing to spend big bucks on a nine year deal. But would Correa do it? That's the big question.

Hey, if the Cubs want to bust open their piggy bank and give him nine years at a hypothetical $39 million a year I am all for it. It still gives Correa more money than Seager and I'd love nothing more than to see any other team pay out the nose on a long-term expensive deal and the Yankees walk away avoiding a disaster. Do I think it will happen? No.

But we can all dream. If the Yankees really think Anthony Volpe is as "special" as they are hyping him up to be then save the money and sign someone in the short term. If the Yankees are serious about Volpe, then they will just continue to drive up Correa's price tag. If they do pursue Correa then we know the Yankees are full of crap and don't really see Volpe as part of their long term plan.

I really hope the Cubs throw a lot of money at Correa once this lockout ends and we can stop talking about Correa. Go play in the Windy City and enjoy deep dish pizza, Correa....please!

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

Wednesday, December 22, 2021


Source: New York Post

Now I don't want to start this piece saying we got second place to the New York Mets, because Eric Chavez is not a runner up. Yet, Chavez was one of the Mets managerial finalists and he didn't get the job. So the Yankees did something they have not done all off season—they actually made move. So Chavez is hired as one of two assistant hitting coaches for the 2022 season; he completes a coaching staff that includes head hitting coach Dillon Lawson and former Met manager Luis Rojas as a fielding coach. So no we didn't get Showalter but maybe we got a bit more. 

"Chavez, 44, who played third base for the Yankees, Oakland Athletics and Arizona Diamondbacks, is a six-time Gold Glove winner who reportedly was in the mix for Rojas' old job with the Mets, before they ultimately hired Showalter," reported ESPN

Chavez brings with him baseball acumen and analytics which are keys to the kingdom, not just in New York but across the baseball industry. Before retiring from the game in 2014 and coming to the Yankees as an assistant hitting coach in 2022, Chavez served under Brian Cashman as a special assignment scout and under Los Angeles Angels GM Billy Eppler as a special assistant. His years in the GM office may have served him well to develop as a leader, but can he be effective as a hitting coach?

Hitting 260 homers in a 17-year major league career, Chavez played 171 games as Alex Rodriguez’s backup at third, batting .274/.338/.445 with 18 homers and 63 RBI. He also served as manager of the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees, an Angels affiliate, in late 2018. Sounds like he could bring some spark to a team that needs a new formula for success. 

Source: Yahoo Sports

Fans and I took to Twitter after Showalter was signed by the Mets over the weekend. Many Met fans said we were sore losers and we needed to get over it. Maybe the hiring of a shiny new coaching staff headlined by Chavez is a good way to get over it. Now if they can be impactful and the players can respond with good situational hitting and hitting for average, maybe we'll have something to celebrate instead of rant. 

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Senior Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof

Monday, December 20, 2021


All I can say is "woah!" It's been a frustrating and slow offseason. The Yankees have sat back and done a lot of observing, which is never what fans want to see. I think the Yankees will make improvements to the roster, but I think it is done by trades rather than free agent signings.

You have to give something to get something good in return, even more so when it is higher valued talent. I have been salivating for the Yankees to get Matt Olson in pinstripes but it is going to cost a lot. It may cost more than what the Yankees really want to spend. This is where my "woah!" comes into play.

MLB insider Joel Sherman had an interesting trade proposal HERE but you have to be a paid subscriber to see it. His proposal includes Jasson Dominguez, Luis Gil and Chad Green for Elvis Andrus and Olson. Hence my "woah!" I mentioned before.

I believe Olson is our long term solution at first base and Andrus would be the stopgap at shortstop until  Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza are Major League ready. That all makes sense but...would trading Dominguez now be a mistake?

I know prospects are just that....prospects. They are not guaranteed to live up to their hype or even become a productive big leaguer. He may not accomplish what Matt Olson already has. It's a gamble and Dominguez is supposed to be a once in a lifetime talent. He's supposed to be the real deal, the player every single team dreams about. He's the Yankees number two prospect and ranked 17th in all of baseball. Then there's Gil who is the Yankees top-ranked pitching prospect at number four and 94th overall. Green also has his own value, he led the Yankees in appearances in the 2021 season.

I think the Yankees improvements this winter will come from trades instead of spending big bucks on free agents. I'm okay with that as long we get good pieces and if it Dominguez is part of a trade it better be a damn good superstar piece but even that I would think twice about. Actually, maybe three or four times.

If Dominguez had to be part of a trade package to get Olson or anyone else on your wish list would you do it? Comment and tell us.

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

Sunday, December 19, 2021


Source: Associated Press

The New York Mets have narrowed their managerial prospects to three finalists for 2022 and the short list includes former Yankee manager and YES analyst Buck Showalter. As of Saturday, Showalter is new Mets Manager. Now in my crazy head, I thought that the Yankees would swoop up Showalter to pair with Aaron Boone in the the clubhouse, enabling a duo like Joe Torre-Don Zimmer - a powerful winning combination that lead the Yankees to several championships. But in true fashion for the Yankees in this off season, they are too late to the table, giving yet another opportunity away to an opposing team.

"Showalter would bring a celebrity element to the position that the Mets haven’t seen since Bobby Valentine managed the team two decades ago. He also would break a string of first-timers hired by the Mets that includes Mickey Callaway, Carlos Beltran and Rojas, following Terry Collins’ departure after the 2017 season. Showalter, since leaving the Orioles following the 2018 season, has interviewed for managerial openings with the Phillies and Angels. He has kept himself visible as an analyst on MLB Network and YES," reported the New York Post.


Sigh. Do something, please, Brian Cashman. Not only were the Yankees silent during the first round of free agency, they are letting great players and now a winning manager who could serve as an incredibly, experienced baseball expert in the ear of unpolished unseasoned Boone. If we are in fact stuck with Boone, at least pair him with the likes of Showalter, please. But no, as of Saturday afternoon, Showalter is headed across town.

"Player agents who continue to believe that once baseball business is reopened, Hal Steinbrenner’s team will be among the more aggressive teams -- and in particular, might revisit conversations with the representatives of (Carlos) Correa and (Trevor) Story," reported

Source: CBS Sports

Movement on players is surely number 1. but one cannot underestimate the value of good coaching, and having a guy like Showalter interested in coming back to the dugout is just the kind of spark this team needs. Showalter certainly was not a shoe-in for the Mets job, although if you ask their newest most expensive acquisition Max Scherzer, he welcomes the likes of Showalter with open arms. So now that the Mets made their decision, the Yankees need to consider bringing in experience to parallel Boone's lack of it. 

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Senior Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof

Saturday, December 18, 2021


 Sarcasm is fun. I can't stand this team right now.

Not so big news. Jimmy Cordero is a New York Yankee. Wow. They are really doing great things, aren't they?

MLB Trade Rumors writes:

"The Yankees are in agreement on a minor league deal with reliever Jimmy Cordero... The 30-year-old is eligible to sign a minors pact by virtue of the fact that he was outrighted off the White Sox’s 40-man roster at the end of the season.

Cordero has appeared in parts of three big league seasons."

They lost me at "parts of three big league seasons."  Are these the guys we are hoping will catapult this Yankee team in 2022?

"Cordero didn’t pitch in 2021, recovering from Tommy John surgery that he had in March. It’s unclear when Cordero might be ready to pitch for the Yankees. Tommy John surgeries can typically take between 14-18 months of recovery."

This is always reassuring.

Here's how I see the 2022 Yankees. So disappointing.

Thursday, December 16, 2021


Christmas is coming fast. Yankee fans are making a list and checking it twice and the Yankees have been naughty and not nice. So far Santa Claus a.k.a Brian Cashman has not delivered Yankee fans any presents at all.

Brian Cashman already said that shortstop was an area that must be prioritized, but several shortstops went off the market before the lockout started. The Yankees have done nothing, and now one Yankee interest that is still available may also be passed over, just like the others.

Last season the Yankees tried to acquire Trevor Story at the trade deadline but had no luck. Now that the Yankees can just sign him if they want him there is some troublesome news out in the rumor mill. has the scoop HERE and it may be cause for concern:

"Most scouts believe that the 29-year-old Story would benefit from a shift to second base due to diminished arm strength. He’s dealt with elbow strains over the past few seasons and a shift to second base might reduce the overall wear and tear."

Now we have to wonder if Cashman will pass on Story just like other free agent shortstops. Story has had some injury concerns that can't be ignored. At the same time, it is easy to be swayed and take a gamble especially if you look at his impressive numbers from 2018 and 2019. If Story's arm strength really is diminishing and his future is at second base rather than shortstop the Yankees are back to their current log jam.

The Yankees moved Gleyber Torres back to second base and then we can't forget that the Yankees envisioned DJ LeMahieu at second base also, his strongest position. It's another log jam that the Yankees would create.

And a move like Story also means more money that wouldn't be used to keep Aaron Judge around, if that is what they want. So maybe a short stopgap is what Brian Cashman will do because something's gotta give. It wouldn't be too hard to upgrade shortstop from what we had with Torres so not making a move at all just won't be acceptable.

But is Story an acceptable risk? I really don't think so only because we already have too many long term deals on the books. I don't think Story is the answer....but Cashman better move fast when this lockout is finally over. 

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

Wednesday, December 15, 2021


Source: Yahoo Sports

Anthony Rizzo came to the Yankees in late 2021 to help them over the edge. But then he contracted COVID-19 and had to sit out critical games where he could have had an impact. Then it took him time to transition back to full strength. And just like that...the season was over. Now with the lockout in place, the Yankees and Rizzo have not made any decisions about him staying in the Bronx. Timing hasn't been right for Rizzo and I am not sure he will be in pinstripes this spring.

Source: Adam Hunger | AP

"It was great,” Rizzo said. “You go from playing at Wrigley Field and the Cubs to New York (and) Yankee Stadium. What more can you ask for? Getting traded from one big market to another," reported Even for a short period of time, Rizzo's excitement for baseball and for playing for another big market team added value to a very dismal ball club. The moral in the dugout was poor, chemistry equally poor but having guys like Rizzo around added charisma and spark and besides that he offers tremendous value defensively and a lefty bat in a predominantly right-handed lineup. 


According to Brendan Kuty of, "The Yankees are still interested in a potential reunion with the 32-year-old, but are also exploring other ways to shore up first base. The Yankees have talked internally about trading for A’s first baseman Matt Olson, a source told NJ Advance Media. Oakland and New York have been in contact but it’s unclear whether the sides have exchanged possible trade scenarios." 

Olson could also be valuable to the Yankees but there is something about Rizzo that makes me want to keep him in the Bronx. Playing for two big market teams and doing it with grace and professionalism tells me that he is worth holding out for, and perhaps when the lockout lifts, the Yankees should continue negotiation to keep him with the organization. 

Source: NY Times

"Rizzo immediately became a fan favorite when he went deep in each of his first two games as a Yankee. He slashed .249/.340/.428 with the Yankees and hit a home run in the AL Wild Card Game against the Boston Red Sox," reported Yahoo Sports. Plus the guy loves walking his pup Kevin in Central Park for long walks in between games. He really embraced the City. Again, that's endearing and not overlooked in the whole package the 32-year-old brings with him. 

So far timing has been against Rizzo. Starting his new team in the middle of the pandemic, and now with the lockout, Rizzo has had to navigate adversity. But he is excited to begin the next part of his career and would more than happy to do it in New York. Let's hope Brian Cashman can make things work once the lockout and lifts and we keep Rizzo in the Bronx in 2022. 

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Senior Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof
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