Saturday, February 28, 2015


You never see him sweat.

Garrett Jones has a job with the Yankees and knows his role. But more importantly, it's about consistency and hard work and with that, he knows he'll have to never stop. He'll keep working to get at bats and keep playing time.  That's OK with him... and I'm positive about that. He loves this game and I know he's damn happy to be in New York.

Brendan Kuty of has a decent nugget about G-man.  Jones said:

"'I'm just excited to get a fresh start and get back to doing what I know I can do...'

Kuty writes:

"...perhaps more than anything, the Yankees might need Jones, a lefty swinger, to take designated hitter at bats against right-handed pitchers... If that happens, however, it will be at the expense of one of the game's greatest -- and most tainted -- players: A-Rod.

 'Yeah, I've sat back a little bit (and thought about it),' Jones said. 'We're going to be -- for at-bats -- in a competition.'    He also said he respects Rodriguez's skills: 'When he's healthy, he's one of the best.'

But, Jones said, 'in a perfect world,' both he and A-Rod are swinging the bat well and helping the Yankees win.

'That's what it comes down to,' Jones said. 'When he's getting his opportunity, he'll do his thing. And when I'm getting my opportunity, I'm going to do what I do. In a perfect world, we're both swinging the beat well and we're both in their on a regular basis.'"

This is business for Jones and it's gotta be a business. But here's what I like the most; Besides him being a hard worker, Jones doesn't see obstacles... he sees opportunity.  In a business like baseball, or even in life, you can't look at an obstacle and think, 'I can't do this'. You need to power through it.  ARod, in a sense could be considered an obstacle, or, that at least that's what Kuty wants you to believe.  But to Jones, ARod is a teammate, and to him, he knows he and ARod need to work together toward a common goal to win.

Jones has his head on straight.  I've always admired his dedication to the game in Pittsburgh and in Miami.

Kudos Jones. Bravo!  I am happy to have you in New York. Keep fighting my friend.

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Not sure if anyone realized but the Yankees had Photo Day yesterday.  I wanted to share some of the pictures of the guys.  This one features some of the kids... gotta love this view. Because it means baseball is here finally.

If you live in the Tri-State area, February has been way too cold and constant snow. So this is refreshing.

Enjoy this...

Tomorrow we'll show you some of the veterans! Baseball season is ladies and gentlemen!


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Baseball is a game we love to play, and for those blessed enough to play it well the sport can be parlayed into a fruitful career venture.  Yet, every once in a while we are reminded that sports are merely sports, and in the overall spectrum of things just a small part of life.

Such has been the case this past week with the news that Josh Hamilton of the Los Angeles Angels admitted to MLB that he suffered a setback in his battle with addictions that have haunted him.  To his credit, Hamilton didn’t wait for a failed test or for a YouTube video to go viral.  Instead, he was one of few and far between that stood up and insisted on being accountable for his actions.  The rumor making its way around social media is that the fallen Angel will be suspended for 25 games.
Even though I am a lifelong, die hard New York Yankees fan, I’ve always admired Hamilton – and not just because he helped me to three fantasy baseball championships. 

I had heard about his early battles with drug and alcohol addiction and how they robbed him of the early part of his career (he was suspended from 2003 – 2005) and watched him hit the ground running upon his return. 

I read how in Texas he surrounded himself with support and turned to his faith in finding a source of strength on a daily basis.  I loved how he played the game – an endless display of wearing his heart on his sleeve in going full tilt down a baseline or laying out to make an otherwise impossible catch.

Many in New York will remember his incredible performance in the home run derby at Yankee Stadium.  In spite of the fact that he wasn’t one of ours, we chanted his name repeatedly as he launched ball after ball deep into the right field seats.  Josh Hamilton was at the peak of his game.
Over the last couple of years Hamilton has battled one injury after another, and as I write this article he is recovering from shoulder surgery.  It is the price a player like Josh must pay simply because of the way he plays – sacrificing the body for the good of reaching base or robbing a hitter of a certain double.

Only, the drawback is that those injuries add up and the body no longer performs the way it once could.  Suddenly the player is a step slower and the batting average drops while opponents’ outs turn into hits.  It weighs on the psyche of someone like Hamilton and obviously opens the door back up to the demons that lie within.
Many may look at Hamilton’s transgressions as just another spoiled, rich athlete who can’t handle his fame.  Only, to me this one is different.  As I pointed out, Hamilton has never shied away from admitting his problems.  He doesn’t hide behind lie after lie like so many former and recent stars do.  He recognizes his weaknesses and genuinely wants to fix them.  Having been a fan of his, I know how deeply he cares for his family and how much he values his faith.

Yes, he has a rich contract, but he’s used his own monies to create things like the Triple Play Ministries Foundation as well as an orphanage in Uganda.  He has a wife and four daughters.  In short, he has a life outside of baseball that is bigger – and frankly more important than – the sport.
In an article by Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Roy Silver – a close friend and mentor of Hamilton’s – says he thinks Josh should retire. 
"It seems like he's struggling with things. When you've been given three, four and five chances, and it's still not working, it's best to say, "This is it.'

"His life isn't over, but his baseball career should be.''

Ultimately, the decision on what happens going forward is all Hamilton’s.  Only he knows what it will take to battle the disease (yes, these addictions to alcohol and cocaine are a disease) during a long baseball season.  It’s not something he’ll need to fight week-to-week.  It’s a moment-by-moment battle that will last the rest of his life and will be littered with temptations every step of the way.  I, for one, would understand if he didn’t want baseball as an added distraction.

The best part of Josh Hamilton is that, unlike others he’s willing to admit that he’s one of us.  He’s human, and has human flaws.  He more than welcomes his accountability for those flaws.   In this day of half-hearted apologies in front of cameras or in the published media, Hamilton instead simply admits to his setbacks and gets to work on correcting them.
Yes, this year I’ll be rooting for my Yankees to get back into the post-season, but I’ll be rooting even harder for Josh Hamilton to get his life back in order.
After all, baseball is just a game that in the context of life is just a small part.


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


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Friday, February 27, 2015


With Spring Training being upon, Bleeding Yankee Blue is continuing this series, highlighting the kids that are vying for a coveted spot on the major league roster. We are going over their respective backgrounds – how they have been playing, their strengths, their weaknesses, and what to look for.

Luis Severino is a 21-year old right-handed pitcher who is coming up through the Yankees’ farm system. He started last year with the Charleston RiverDogs, achieving a 2.79 ERA and 9.3 K/9 over 14 starts. He moved on to the Tampa Yankees, where he continued to impress. Four starts, a 1.31 ERA, 28 strikeouts over 20+ innings, and he was sent up to the Double-A Trenton Thunder. He finished the season there, continuing his remarkable productivity, to the tune of a 2.52 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 25 innings over 6 starts.

Severino threw his first bullpen session in Spring Training this past weekend, and all the coaches and scouts came out to watch. He has three strong pitches that he can deliver. His best pitch is his fastball, which he can throw in the mid-90’s. He can mix in an off-speed pitch in the mid-80’s with decent control. Finally, he has a good slider in the mid-80’s, but the scouting reports say that he has work to do to control it. Severino should be able to dominate hitters with that mix of pitches, and the strikeout ratios speak for themselves.

The limitation on Severino is clearly the pitch count. He works within a pitch limit in his outings, not going very far into games. This spring, the Yankees will be looking to see how long he can work and how durable his arm is. So, while we have stats on his pitch velocity and strikeout ratios, we do not yet know how his arm strength holds up deep into games.

Most reports have Severino as a top prospect for the Yankees, likely seeing some major league action sometime in the middle of the upcoming season. With the Yankees’ starting rotation being what it is, he may see an opportunity for a spot-start. Likely, he will be a September call-up and get some time there. Either way, he will be a key player in the Yankees’ plans for late 2015 and going into 2016.

--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
Twitter: @KingAgamemnon
My blog is: Shots from Murderer's Row

Be Read. Get Known.

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This is very cool. It's a recording of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, audio only, doing alittle comedy.

It's funny, I've talked to kids in my own town right around baseball season each year about guys like Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. Some of the kids are as old as 11, and when I mention Babe Ruth, they'll say stuff, like "Wait... was he real?"  With Lou, many are more unfamiliar with him, only that he died from a disease.

These Yankees were truly larger than life in their time, and for as long as I can remember, great card companies like Topps continue to bring Babe and Lou's history and legacy to kids and adults everywhere. 

The problem with kids of today, compared to say, kids like me in the 70's and 80's... is that kids don't collect cards like they used to.  I mean, Topps does it's best to keep people informed of the all time greats, but it's a different time, filled with multiple spring sports and video games these days.  I guess what I'm trying to say is, it's a much different world, and sometimes the greats are forgotten. And that brings me back to this comedy routine. Rare finds like this are terrific. 

We've heard Babe speak in old tapes, but I don't remember every really hearing Lou Gehrig other than his final speech to Yankee Stadium.  That was sad... this is comedy.

Anyway, if you have 5 minutes, check this out.  And share it... keep the history of the Babe and Lou Gehrig going. 

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According to YES Network's Yankees Hot Stove, Mark Teixeira always looks to reinvent himself in some way during the off season.  One year he decided to overdo it with the amount of early swings he took, which eventually took its toll on his wrist.  Last year, he did a little broadcasting stint called Foul Territory.  This year, he is gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free and he feels brand new.

"Teixeira, who turns 35 in April, hasn't played more than 123 games since that 2011 season but thinks that with his new diet he will cut down on the inflammation in his body. He said he will use the diet, which consists of no bread and a lot of buffalo meat, the rest of his playing career. He said he reconfigured his body, adding 13 pounds of muscle, while losing fat," reports this week.  YES Network Hot Stove put it this way, "The Yankees don't care what Teixeira eats; they just want him to hit more balls over the fence."  What if I said, going gluten-free could actually help him do that.

According to an article in the Washington Post, "Nutritionally speaking, gluten is useless,” according to Alessio Fasano, director of the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children. “It doesn’t do anything for us,” he says. “For the [first] 99.9 percent of our human evolution, our species has been gluten-free.” The protein entered our diets only about 10,000 years ago, when our ancestors began domesticating crops, he says. As a result, our bodies don’t contain the digestive enzymes to break it down. Eating a lot of gluten is akin to “asking your GI system to do an impossible mission: to digest something that’s not digestible,” says Fasano, a pediatric gastroenterologist.

I have been 95% gluten-free since June and the after effects are amazing.  I sleep better, run better and I have more energy.  It has helped my running splits, my endurance and my metabolism.  

"After gaining a reputation of being unpredictable, prone to sickness and even out of shape — something that commentators often blamed on asthma — Djokovic went gluten-free in 2010. The next year, he won 10 tennis titles, three Grand Slam events and 43 consecutive matches. He’s now ranked No. 1 in the world by the Association of Tennis Professionals. “My life had changed because I had begun to eat the right foods for my body, in the way that my body demanded,” he writes.

So, will changing his diet really help Mark Teixeira perform at a higher level? "If everything is working as it should, then your immune system can ‘clean up’ those undigested fragments of gluten, and everything is fine. But eliminating gluten frees the body from this dead-end mission, allowing it to focus on carrying oxygen to the muscles. This, some theorize, is why eliminating gluten may boost athletic performance."  According to ESPN, "Teixeira's belief in his new diet and renewed weightlifting program makes him believe that he can stay fully healthy for the first time since 2011. If he does, Teixeira thinks he can be a 30-homer and 100-RBI player again."

I really hope that Teixeira's new health regiment helps him and it's not just another one of his stints to reinvent himself.  We really need him to hit and to bring an energy burst to our team.  If he sticks with it, going gluten-free can positively affect your life.  Stay with it, Mark.  I'm with you!

--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer

BYB Hot Stove Columnist
Twitter: @suzieprof

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With Spring Training getting under way, and Alex Rodriguez making his much 'anticipated' return to the Yankees, we're going to be hearing a lot more about him. If only briefly. Broadcasters will be weighing in on their opinions of his performance and everything else.  It's unavoidable. Suzyn Waldman, radio broadcaster, and voice of the Yankees, already spoke up, and gave a rather unpopular opinion, the New York Daily News reports.

"I find him impossible to dislike. I'm not defending him. I think what he did was stupid more than anything else. I know he's lied. He's made every wrong decision. He says things and does things and you just want to say 'Why?' I also know you can't go wrong for dumping on Alex. This is what it's become. What's he supposed to do?"

I know what you're thinking. It's easy to dislike ARod. He lied, and cheated and has made many mistakes. And, hey, you're totally entitled to your opinion. But I think Waldman's comments are a little deeper. How many of you dislike ARod? Now how many of you actually know ARod? And before you tell me you don't have to know someone to dislike them, think of all the times your were unfairly judged by someone who didn't know you. Didn't feel so nice, did it?

Waldman knows the man. She knows a side of him not presented to us by the media. And she isn't the only person that has ever said something positive about him. His teammates always say that he is a good person to be around in the club house. Just the other day, Mark Teixeira told the New York Post  "Alex is a great teammate. Ask anyone that's played with Alex."

And let's not pretend that this hatred started with steroids. It didn't and we all know it. ARod was always judged unfairly. Some trace it back to the deal that took him from Seattle to Texas. I happen to think it started with the Rookie of the Year race between he and Derek Jeter, but that's my opinion. People want to throw stones at ARod for having gone to Texas "for the money," but Seattle didn't want him. They had no intentions of resigning him. What was he supposed to do? Let's not pretend that he was washed up. He was an incredible talent, and any team that signed him back then would have gained the best short stop in the game.

Look, say what you will about Waldman, but the lady knows her stuff. The bottom line here is that a lot of that hatred is media generated. Sure, ARod has done some stuff that is cringe worthy, and doesn't at all help to curb the media, but it gets a bit ridiculous. I mean, they printed a story attempting to destroy his character that was dedicated to his hygiene routine! And people ate it up!

Hey, if you dislike ARod, rock the hell on! If you are a die hard ARod enthusiast, more power to you. But let's remember one thing... You do not know him personally. You may dislike, or like, what he has done within the game. But let's not pretending he is the Anti-Christ. You don't know him from a hole in the wall, but the people who do know him have only ever said positive things about him.

When it is all said and done, the greatest tragedy is that no one knows him, yet he remains so utterly hated by so many. It must be a lonely existence.

--Erica Morales BYB Senior Writer 
Twitter: @e_morales1804

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Thursday, February 26, 2015


Um... that's an actual headline from a reputable news source.  That's the Associated Press.  Seriously. Here it is:

A-Rod Hugs and Works out With Headley

Then they did something brilliant. They have a picture of the 2 of them post hug, but just enough so their hands are on each other to prove that it happened. 

OK, why?

It goes back to a piece that I read on Hardball Talk today.  Craig Calcaterra wrote: "I love the A-Rod insanity, obviously. More, please! But man, if it was my job to exclusively cover the New York Yankees, I feel like maybe I’d have been able to find some other angle by now."

Calcaterra's 10% right by the way. That was based off of a Bob Nightengale Tweet:
ARod insanity.  There is literally no news unless it's ARod news and guess what, ARod hugging a teammate is NOT ACTUALLY news.

I mean, am I taking crazy pills or something? By now everyone realizes that Alex Rodriguez is back in pinstripes and unless the guy literally murders someone or gets in trouble for taking PEDs again, the guys playing for us for the next 3 years.  By the way, ARod took BP today and fielded and who knows what else and he did it with his teammates.... but no, the hugging of a player that took his spot in the Yankees infield is news.

That was AP... again, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS... I guess journalism went out the window.

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This time of the year there isn’t much to watch on the sports front.  I have my Rangers, but other than that it’s the PBA, figure skating and college hoops…which normally have my full attention, but my beloved alma mater, Syracuse University, isn’t a great squad and are under a self imposed post season ban.  Things are slow to say the least.

The bright flicker in the distance however is the return of Yankee baseball.  Pitchers and catchers have reported and now all player are in Tampa and hope springs eternal…or something like that.  As of late the news from Tampa has been lousy at best.  Hal didn’t want to buck up from a Moncada and so he will now, “Pahk his cah in the Hahvad yahd.”  ARod returned and it went over like a lead balloon.  I feel for Alex.  He broke the rules, paid the price and will go on paying the price.  He is in a can’t win spot, and for a guy like that it has to be Hell on earth.

Aside from Rodriguez return to the diamond the other stories have been about CC’s weight, his deteriorating knee and whether he can actually pitch at all any longer.  We are all concerned about Tanaka and his elbow.  We worry that young Nate will be a hard throwing bust and if “Mikey Pine tar” will simply break like a three-week-old Christmas toy. Nova?

I don’t even want to guess. It’s not like he was a shut down ace before he went under the knife.  Ivan is a serviceable, at times, 4th or 5th starter with a two-cent head…it’s just my call…I root for him, but haven’t been blown away.

Recently I caught a Rockumentary on the 80’s glam metal group Quiet Riot.  They were never my cup of tea, but I am a sucker for these types of rock n roll hard luck stories.  Anyway, in a nutshell “Quiet Riot: Well Now You’re Here, There’s No Way Back” chronicles the story of the band from it’s glory days playing arenas to now playing state fairs with only one original band member.  These guys have had more members come and go then the Red Sox have had shortstops since Nomar.  The group’s founder and lead singer died of an overdose leaving his drummer to pick up the pieces and try to make the band work again.  It’s sad to be honest.  They spend every waking moment trying to find a guy who can sing like their late front man…no dice.  The fans turn out, but are utterly disappointed to see that the band they once loved is a struggling knockoff of the original.  They are trying to bring back a sound and feeling that no longer exists…I started to see a glaring similarity between Quiet Riot and the New York Yankees.

The Yanks are doing the same thing.  They are trying to put a new coat of polish on older players and work under the delusion that simply tweaking parts here and there will bring them back to the World Series.  It’s a plan for failure.

CC, Tex, ARod…they were a part of the 2009 title…but it’s 2015! 

And to be honest their prime was long ago at this point.  I won’t believe Tex will be better.  HE WON’T BE! CC is 300lbs and pitching on a knee that's held together like the Leg Lamp in “A Christmas Story”.  And Alex…he’ll be 40, hasn’t played much in two years and…well, you know the truth. No juice, no numbers.

The Yankees signed Stephen Drew and Chis Capuano…there is 10 million right there.  It was reported that Moncada wanted just 2 million more on the offer the Bombers presented.  Hal, let me break it down.  You DO NOT spend millions on stopgap players only to lose out on gifted, young stars that could become mainstays. Read WHAT'S RISKY ABOUT A 19 YEAR OLD STUD?

(In Photo: Shane MacGowan)
This Yankee team is playing state fairs with once great players who can’t remember their hit songs.  One of my musical idols, Shane MacGowan of the Pogues, once said, “We weren’t the same band anymore and should have called it a day.”  What he meant was it wasn’t the same.  It was tired and old and had lost its way.  He felt rather than put out second-rate records and sorry tours that they should have gone their separate ways and done something else.

I wish Shane O were running the Yankees.  It’s time to let go of the past and build something new.  Do you feel the noise, Yankee brass?  That’s the fans banging their heads…they’ve heard enough and want a new sound with new players.

**Here are two for Hal and Cash…**

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

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