Wednesday, August 31, 2016


They needed to win this game against the Royals tonight and it felt like a major playoff game.  Going into extra innings again, it was intense, so much so that my kid stayed up for the whole thing again, and my wife is going to kill me tomorrow because he's going to be tired, irritated and spent and believe me... it will be my fault.

But it shouldn't be, it should be the Yankees fault, and that's a good thing to get in trouble about... that's because the Yankees are doing big things right now, and no one expected it.  They are beating good teams... they need to keep beating them!

The Yanks won 5-4 tonight.   Luis Cessa wasn't great but kept our boys in the game, and the Yankee pen, who are pretty much all new faces at this point, did tremendous. All of them doing their job, bridging to Dellin BetancesBen Heller got the win.  It was beautiful.

Starlin Castro was 3-3 and had a big night.  And the go ahead run came when Brian McCann hit a sac fly to the outfield for a tag-up and run scored.  After that, Dellin did his thing!

And now, if you look at the Wild Card race, the Yankees are suddenly 2.5 back.  And at this moment, it's August 31st with a big series about to happen against the Orioles.  We need to keep this going.

Big win... Go Yanks!

Final: Yankees 5 - Royals 4


 Bad news coming out of Yankeeland.  Ben Gamel is gone.  MLB Trade Rumors tweets:
Now this sucks because we were all pretty excited about one day seeing Gamel in pinstripes.  After all, the kid just named the International Player of the Year and he was really starting to break out. LoHud writes:

"Today, Gamel was named the Player of the Year in the International League. He was the league's top rookie last year, and this year he leads the League in runs scored (78), he's third in hits (148), fifth in stolen bases (19) and sixth in batting average (.309). He's a leadoff hitter who can play all three outfield spots, and the league's announcement of his selection notes his overwhelming consistency. His average average left-handed pitchers (.314) and right-handed pitchers (.307) is remarkably similar. Same for his batting average at home (.310) and away (.308). He hit .306 before the All-Star break, and he's hitting .314 since."

(In Photo: Jio Orozco)

In return for Gamel, the Yankees get 2.  According to MLB Trade Rumors: "Shortly after Dierkes’ report, the teams announced the trade, adding that they’re sending right-handed pitchers Jio Orozco and Juan De Paula to the Yankees in return."

So there it is, Gamel is a Mariner.  Unbelievable, huh? I guess that's the joy and sorrow of the baseball waiver wire.


Waiver Wednesday is upon us folks as MLB teams get to increase their rosters to 40.  And with that the answer to today's headline is undoubtedly yes.  According to ESPN's Buster Olney the Yankees, "have been aggressive on the waiver wire."  And with this aggression and place in the standings, they may just keep the Orioles from picking up who they need to thrust themselves into this year's post season.

"The Yankees—who are lower in the standings—have priority on waiver claims. That means that any player put on waivers—including revocable ones—must first pass through every team lower in the standings than the Orioles in order for the Orioles to be able to work out a deal," writes SB Nation.  I guess the Orioles could pick up Brian McCann, who the Yankees put on waivers earlier this month, but the Yankees could play spoilers to all the other picks.

The other way the Yankees have hurt the Orioles chances for the playoffs is their performance this weekend in the Bronx against the birds. "The weekend’s run-scoring orgy, while statistically impressive and a boost to the lineup’s confidence, nevertheless came at the expense of a terrible Orioles’ staff. They’re 13th in the American League in ERA since the All-Star break, unable to correct a flaw that just might keep them out of the playoffs," reports The Record.  

And now the Birds play first place Toronto Blue Jays coming off a losing series with the left for dead Yankees who have risen at the hand of what John Sterling is calling "The Sanchize."  "In less than a month, Yankees rookie catcher Gary Sanchez has taken over the baseball universe, getting off to one of the hottest starts in MLB history and re-energizing a fan base without much to cheer about recently. A Sanch-sation? Oh, you better believe it," writes Newsday's Laura Albanese.  

So not only have the Yankees shown a resurgence in August, they could also keep their AL East rivals from Baltimore at bay.  As reports, "...if Baltimore wants to work out a deal—something they've been known to do around this time in recent years—the Yankees are going to have something to say about it." 

--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer
BYB Hot Stove Columnist

Twitter: @suzieprof

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The Yankees should have never been in that close of a situation last night almost blowing that game. But it's the Royals and they are relentless. It was a tough game, but in the end, Jacoby Ellsbury was the star and Dellin got the win.

I'm not getting into an in-depth recap, but it was a long, long game due to the rain delay.  Thank God for Bob Lorenz and Jack Curry, because they make delays wonderful. I had to express my gratitude last night:
Jack Curry liked it... what a stand up guy!

Here are a few highlights last night:

The Yankees were up 4-1 by the bottom of the 2nd. But the Royals kept chipping away until it was tied in the bottom of the 8th.  By the 9th, it was still tied.  Then, in the 10th, Jacoby Ellsbury knocked in the winning run.  Chasen Shreve got the Save, and like I said, Dellin Betances got the Win.

Ellsbury was 4-6 with 2 RBIs.

Aaron Judge, while slowing down, cranked out a 2 run home run. The kid will be fine, I have no doubt.

Masahiro Tanaka went 5 innings, gave up just 4 hits and 2 runs. He struck out 4 and gave up a home run.

In the end, it was a squeaker, but it didn't have to be.  That being said, I'm proud of my Yankees last night.  They stayed in it knowing good and well they had to win that game.  Here's the downside; my 14 year old who should be going to bed earlier these days as school is about to happen, was up way too late.  Mainly because he's obsessed with baseball lately and loves when the Yankees play the Royals.

I drank a few too many homemade Margharitas... that's on me.
But it makes us being tired today better when the New York Yankees win.  Good work boys...good times.

Final: Yankees 5 - 4

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


The Yankees got their guys!

(In photo: Stephen Tarpley)
Outfielder Tito Polo and left handed pitcher Stephen Tarpley have been sent to New York from the Pirates to complete the trade that sent Ivan Nova to Pittsburgh.

Now don't forget, when we wrote IVAN NOVA LOOKS BETTER AS A PIRATE, we suggested that the Yanks should look at some decent Pirates prospects, including Stephen Tarpley.

(In Photo: Tito Polo)
Well, good for us, we got Tarpley.  We also got Polo, who, fellow #BYBHub writer Jon Calvagno of Notes from the Sally tweets:
It's true, John wrote:

"Polo stood out in BP, despite not being a big guy, he was putting a charge into some baseballs and showed terrific bat speed. After he hit,  he shagged fly balls in center and showed very good range seemingly gliding to the baseball, he also went back on a ball and made it look easy.

At the plate he hits with an upright closed stance, a linear swing that’s a little on the long side and utilizes an aggressive approach. Polo jumped on a Anderson Espinoza 1st pitch fastball the other night, lining the pitch into the left field corner for a double.

It was just one look but he was impressive, someone I’ll be keeping an eye on."

The Associated Press reports on Polo and Tarpley:

"Pirates have sent outfielder Tito Polo and left-hander Stephen Tarpley to the New York Yankees to complete the Aug. 1 deal in which Pittsburgh acquired right-hander Ivan Nova. In five starts with the Pirates Nova has gone 4-0 with a 2.87 ERA and one complete game. He has struck out 22 and walked one...

Polo, 22, hit .289 with 16 homers in 109 games between Class-A Bradenton and West Virginia this season and was selected as a South Atlantic League Midseason All-Star.

Tarpley, 23, was 6-4 with a 4.32 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 100 innings in 20 starts with Class-A Bradenton."

And so now the trade is complete... and that's that.


Tim Tebow did his showcase today in front of 28 Major League ball clubs.  There were mixed reviews over his talent, but for me personally, and I'm not a Tebow fan, I just appreciated him being out there trying to pursue something he loves... baseball.

Josh Peter of USA Today writes:

"Tim Tebow put on an impressive power display for a throng of major league scouts on Tuesday, but struggled against live pitching and received mixed reviews for his physical tools in a two-hour workout... 

Tebow, 29, looked less impressive during live batting practice against former major league relievers Chad Smith and David Aardsma. Smith's fastball topped out at 92 mph, and Tebow put four of Smith's first 20 pitches in play, cracking a line drive to center field that would have been the only sure hit in the bunch. He also lined two balls to shortstop and grounded to second base in displaying decent bat speed..."

Meanwhile, Jeff Passan Yahoo Sports reports that a Venezuelan Winter club has offered Tebow a contract:

"Tebow was offered a contract with a venerable winter-ball team in Venezuela, sources told Yahoo Sports, further legitimizing his efforts to transition from NFL quarterback to outfielder.Aguilas del Zulia, a five-time champion of the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League and two-time Caribbean Series winner, sent a contract to Tebow’s representation at CAA on Monday in hopes of securing him for the league filled with major leaguers and on-the-rise prospects."

We'll have to see what happens with all of this, but I gotta tell ya, many call this a dog-and-pony show. I don't. I see a guy who loves baseball and now has gone back to pursue a dream.  Call it whatever you want, but I applaud it.

Stay tuned...


Tim Tebow isn't kidding about his pursuit of making it to the major leagues. And today he will have his showcase in front of literally every major league team... including the Yankees.

The Daily News has the story:

"Can Tim Tebow overcome his long baseball layoff and show big-league teams enough to get signed to a pro contract? We’ll begin to get the answer Tuesday in Los Angeles.

That’s when the former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback will hold a showcase for scouts in which he will run the 60-yard dash, take fly balls in the outfield, throw to the bases, take regular batting practice and live BP. 

One thing seems sure about it — the sports world will be watching, along with teams such as the Yankees...

Tebow will get his chance to prove he can play in a workout that’s designed to show evaluators different skills without being able to watch the player in multiple games over time. Cuban stars have done similar showcases in recent years before being signed."

Tuesday is today!

Now... no one sees this guy doing much because he hasn't played baseball in years, but I like his balls and I love his courage and him making an effort to do this.   Bottom line, you never know if you don't try.  I say try... see what happens.

Good luck Timmy.


Do you care about Big Papi? I certainly don't.  I view the man as a selfish player, a guy that skated most of his Red Sox career under the cloud of PEDs.  In short, I guess he kisses the right ass.  Who really knows...

Now, I'm not sure how I missed this, but I did, and I wanted to bring it to your attention now at least so you can get as annoyed as I am.

Bleacher Report did a Big Papi All-Star Team of his era.  You read that correctly... they actually took the time to ask Ortiz who he would put on his 'All-Star' team.  Here's the Tweet:
I know, I threw up in my mouth too. He forgot to add Bud Selig as his commissioner... you know, the one who protected him all these years.

Any, I found the whole exercise to be ridiculous.  Never mind the fact that he didn't choose his friend Alex Rodriguez.  But the bigger question is why?  Why should anyone care about this? even expanded on it...

"Here's what the Red Sox star said about his Yankee picks: 

 Cano: "I thought Chuck Knoblauch was the one player who I thought was going to dominate that position for a long time. But once you got to see [Dustin] Pedroia and Robinson Cano play, they took that position to another level. Looking at Cano, you're looking at a third baseman playing second base with good range. He makes everything look like he's not even trying." 

Jeter: "The Captain was a champ. He was the guy you want to play for your team at shortstop for the next 20 years. He had consistency over the years. He may go down as the best shortstop of all time because he won so many championships. Winner, winner, chicken dinner. That's what it's about. To compete against Jeter was incredible. I played against him tons of times. It was a competition. You wanted to beat him, but you enjoyed watching him do his thing. There was respect."

Rivera: "He had one pitch [his cut fastball]. You knew it was coming, but it didn't make a difference." 

Interestingly, Ortiz didn't select Alex Rodriguez at either position that the the three-time AL MVP won the award at: Shortstop or third base. While Jeter's longevity at the position makes sense as the reason to pick him, Ortiz did admit that A-Rod was the better player at shortstop before making the position switch when landing in New York in 2004."

I also find it unbelievable that Papi picks Can over his own teammate  Dustin Pedroia.  Everyone knows that's wrong.

But let's be honest, this isn't Ortiz thinking hard and long about who should play were... this is Papi choosing his friends and once again getting unneeded press.  Either I'm in the minority here... or this guy is a big teddy bear.  Who knows, I just can't understand it.

Whatever the case, I missed it, I'm sorry... but now you see it.  Carry on.

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No matter how many years go by since the last time I swung a baseball bat, every spring once all the snow has melted and the grass begins to grow, I get an itch that I think most people who grew up on the diamond probably experience. By this point, clips of your favorite MLB stars casually taking part in Spring Training exhibitions have circulated all over the internet and you begin to wonder how your team is going to shape up for this year’s campaign. You begin to prepare yourself for the roller coaster of emotions that come with a 162 game season, and wonder what the chances are that your team will make a run into October, extending the joy or perhaps simply prolonging the heartbreak. And then, if you experience the same feelings I do, you immediately want to get outside and take some BP, toss the ball around, or anything to help satisfy your craving for baseball.

Truth be told, I haven’t swung a baseball bat since 2009 when I finally hung up my cleats after my freshman year of High School, and that feels like a lifetime ago already. Occasionally throughout college, my roommate and I would run outside and toss the ball around when we got that itch that all former baseball players do, but looking back on it, I am sure we both wish we had played more when we had the time. I can remember that our baseball experiences came up as a topic of discussion almost every week, no matter what was going on in our lives. We’d talk about legendary moments, the people we met along the way, and of course, the equipment that helped to bring us so many memories.

Throughout my entire baseball journey, there was only one position that I felt comfortable in; I had to be a catcher. I took pride in being a reliable backstop, and I tried my very best to embody the play of my favorite baseball player, Jorge Posada. I studied his batting stance, his tendencies, his attitude, and of course, what equipment he used. Even though it was not allowed in little league, I so badly wanted to wear the classic catcher’s mask/ helmet combination that Jorge used, just so I could whip that thing off whenever a ball was put into play like he did. 

I can remember how overjoyed I was when I got my first catcher’s mitt- a black and tan Rawling’s Jorge Posada model with his signature stamped right on the palm. I can only imagine the amount of baseballs I caught with that thing, especially because I extended its lifespan numerous times by getting it fixed at a local shoe repair shop. From the first moment I got it, rubbed it with oil, and set it in the oven to break it in to bringing it to Yankee stadium with the hope of maybe catching a foul ball, that glove contained all of my most cherished baseball memories.

And then there were my bats. Growing up, I remember having three bats- one green Easton Cyclone for little league that was reminiscent of the hulk, one uneventful grey Easton typhoon, and of course, my DeMarini Vexxum that I considered the Lamborghini of all baseball bats. Hybrid metal baseball bats became popular during my transition from little league to the standard sized fields of junior league and naturally, I envied all of my friends who had them. I am almost positive that at the start of every season, I made some pitch to my parents about how I wanted a new bat for this or that reason, only to know that I probably didn’t need one. But, somehow I got the parents to give in every couple of years and I eventually must have presented a good enough argument to land that DeMarini.  Now I wish I could sit here and write about how many memories that bat brought me, but unfortunately, I was never much of a hitter. The bat never brought me home runs, or even got me on the varsity team, but it was a significant part of my baseball experience that I will always cherish. 

Baseball is fundamental in most of the lessons I learned growing up. From showing grace in both victory and defeat, to developing an unrelenting work ethic in all that you do, baseball was always the tool my father used to help teach me life lessons, and it is how I have developed into the man I am today. There is nothing more that I want than to go back in time and toss the ball around with dad when he got home from work while he tells me to not be afraid of the ball. Though simple, those memories are the ones that mean the most to me now.

Recently you may have read that the same Lamborghini of a bat that I used growing up met it's end at the hands of Casey's son. Read GOING FULL CIRCLE. I cannot think of a more perfect conclusion to this bat’s final chapter, building priceless memories between a father and a son while developing a young man’s skills in the game we all love.  I hope that at the end of the day, what meant more was not the number of hits, home runs, or walk-offs this bat contributed to, but rather the time spent together and the memories forged around baseball.

To Casey and his son,  I sincerely hope that this bat brought both of you wonderful memories, and that whatever bat you choose next brings you even more luck and opportunities to grow together. Hold onto these times tight, and enjoy every practice, inning, and game along your baseball journey.

It is one hell of a ride. 

--Matt Skinner Contributor

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Monday, August 29, 2016


This has nothing to do with the New York Yankees or baseball in anyway. It has to do with laughter. Laughter in our lives.

I am always reminded by just how important a person should live their life and it's a simple routine, brought to us by the great Jimmy V.

"If you laugh, you think and you cry, that's a full day."

Recently in my older life, I think about that line often and I follow that routine.  It's made me a gentler soul of sorts. I read and watch Jimmy V's his speech a lot and that portion sticks with me.

I believe in laughter, I'm sensitive guy, and I probably think way too much.  But I'll tell you something, I feel healthier because of it.  I try to be kind, I try to engage folks, I love my friends and I love my family more. And most of all, through all of it, I try to keep a smile on my face.

Gene Wilder was a magnificent actor, but I was always blown away by his comedy and comedic timing.

Mel Brooks was a genius in helping to make Wilder into a person I fell in love with, but it was his collaboration with funnier men and women like Richard Pryor, Cleavon Little, Madeline Kahn that gave him the perfect balance.

There was never a racial divide when they worked together and that's because the art of laughter took priority. They were human beings trying to make a great performance. You could turn on any of these films with any type of tragedy or turmoil going on in the world and for the next few hours, you'd be lost in utter brilliance. Wars, concerns and chaos didn't matter. There was entertainment. There were smiles, laughter, and while it made you think, you understood the goal. It wasn't to insult or pit folks against each other, it was to entertain.

Gene Wilder died today, and it's sad for me personally. But the art lives on forever and it's comedy gold. Wilder was brilliant at what he and his co-comedians put together and I just needed to take a moment and mourn and smile and reflect a bit.  Emotions are running deep on this one folks, the man was a genius. We've lost another good one.

But in the end, we all know that he's back with Gilda the love of his life, and ultimately that is what he wanted eventually anyway. She was his heart and now they are reunited. 

Rest in peace friend. You've brought me much joy over the years and I will continue to watch... laugh, cry and think.

 --Robert Casey
Head Writer & Chief of
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