Monday, October 31, 2016


There's a little interesting blurb out in Yankee land this week from Andrew Miller that caught a lot of attention. I can't say I understand him and think he's playing with fire a little bit. On the other hand, he's playing for a World Series title so maybe he is feeling a little invincible right now.

Miller is a good dude with some crazy talent. It still stings to think that he is gone because he is the one that I did want to hold on to more than anyone else. It's just proof that you can't always get what you want. Now that he is gone he has been talking recently and giving us an inside look on what life was like for him as a Yankee.

When Aroldis Chapman came back from his suspension he was part of the most dominating bullpens ever - the three headed monster. For fans, we always knew what his role was and how the bullpen was supposed to operate with Dellin Betances in the seventh, Miller in the eighth and Chapman in the ninth but apparently Miller needed it in writing or something.

According to multiple sources, but we will use the HERE Joe Girardi made a "mess out of the bullpen because at times he would have both Miller and Betances warming up at the same time which would make them unsure of which order they would be pitching in." Wow, that sounds like a catastrophic mess right? Warming up together must've been torture. Really? Come on, Miller I have to laugh at that one.

I can't think of a single time this season that Girardi ever used Betances before Miller. Not one. Maybe I am wrong, but again Girardi always had a formula in that binder of his and the bridge to Chapman was one of his favorites. I'm no Indians fan but I have seen Miller come out of the pen as early as the sixth inning before, and I am sure that he was sharing some bullpen space with someone else as he did. So how did Girardi "make a mess" of things by warming more than one guy up in the pen? Other teams do it too, but maybe he also needed that in writing.

Think back to once upon a time when Miller said he didn't care what role the Yankees had him in and I appreciated that. He is so talented that it shouldn't matter where he pitched because he could handle it. Baseball is not a science. We all know how unpredictable it is so a good relief pitcher needs to be ready for anything and everything....including warming up in the pen with someone else and going with the plan your manager gives you whether you agree with it or not.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter. Miller was still able to do his job no matter if Betances was sharing his space with him and he plays deep into October while the Yankees are golfing. Betances isn't in your space and Chapman isn't your teammate anymore. How about instead of making another "mess" you leave the comments about Girardi's bullpen management style alone and just turn your attention back to winning the World Series? That sounds like the better idea.

 --Jeana Bellezza, BYB Senior Writer & Editor
  Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ

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Honestly, I'm not sure I'm a fan of this guy after Tommy John surgery, but I did find this nugget and I wanted to at least bring it to your attention.

Elite Sports NY writes: "That answer is Zack Wheeler, a man who has had his comeback from Tommy John surgery derailed multiple times. In other words, a low-risk, high-reward endeavor which can ultimately grasp one of the brightest young arms in the game — if it pans out.  

Sure, luring a 26-year-old, hard-throwing, absurdly talented right-hander from a crosstown foe will not be easy. Fortunately, both sides contractually own something the other truly wants.

In Brian McCann, the Yankees have a proven veteran backstop, and capable leader, who has been forced out of starting catching duties and into a permanent DH role due to the sudden emergence of Gary Sanchez. What is lack of assurance in starting pitching for the Yanks is a constant struggle at the catching position for the Mets."

Now while I do believe that the Mets need an upgrade in catching, I'm not so sure we're getting a solid return flipping Brian McCann to Flushing for Wheeler.  Wheeler is on the mend, we're really not sure what he can offer after Tommy John.  While McCann is no longer considered the starting catcher for the New York Yankees... his veteran experience and bat would be huge for the Yankees as they move forward, and no question McCann would embrace the role as a leader on our club.

Anyway, just a small nugget, not even sure if it's that important, but I wanted to at least share it and see what ya'll thought.

Carry on.

Sunday, October 30, 2016


I'm convinced that the winner of this World Series is going to be the team that hustles the most and Friday night's game solidified that notion for me, specifically in the bottom of the 7th inning.  That's when Jorge Soler's lackadaisical jaunt to first base, after he sliced a ball into the right field corner, made me lose faith in Generation M.  I believe, and I am not alone, that his slow motion exit from the batter's box toward first kept the Chicago Cubs from tying the game at one in the bottom of the 7th.

This may be the only time Joe Buck and I could agree on something.  I texted my faithful baseball compadre, my mother, in anger, "That should have been an inside-the-park home run.  He didn't hustle down the line.  He watched the ball.  Terrible!"  He got to third, and the at bat was officially scored a triple.  But he was stranded, just like all of the other Cubs that evening.  If he had hustled, we may have had a different outcome.

Fearless Cubs Manager Joe Maddon doesn't agree with me or other members of the media and I am shocked.  In his press conference, Maddon said this about the incident as reported by NBC Chicago.  “What happens sometimes, you’ll see a guy hit a ball and their head is down they don’t even know where it is,” he said. “When he saw it, from our perspective, it was in the stands and it kind of blew back. I’m not making excuses for him but the best he could do was get to third base, anyway.”

 Really, Joe?  I was taught, by another guy ironically named Joe (my father) that you don't watch the ball after you make contact.  You take off as soon as you hit the ball and ask your coach where you hit it later on.

According to NBC Chicago, "Soler, thinking the ball was going to be foul, got a slow break out of the batter’s box, but by the time he realized the ball was going to be fair, he started sprinting and ended up on third base on the play." And to my point, had he taken off from the start, I believe he would have tied the game with one swing of the bat.  He knows Wrigley Field has very little foul territory. He's a Cub and this is his home field.  No excuse!

With every play under scrutiny between instant replay and errors and low scores, the team that hustles the most will win.  You have to be gritty, you have to persevere and you have to take every advantage that comes your way, in baseball and in life.  Since when is it OK not to hustle? 

Since never.

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

Twitter: @suzieprof

Saturday, October 29, 2016


George King III of the New York Post has a terrific piece today about Gleyber Torres and the Yankees exchange with the Cubs for him... giving away of course the dominant Aroldis Chapman.  

 Check this out:

"Torres, a 19-year-old shortstop with more tools than Mr. Goodwrench, was the headliner in the Cubs-Yankees swap. Unless everybody who has watched Torres is wrong, the 6-foot-1, 175-pound native of Caracas, Venezuela, will play in the big leagues. And many predict he will play well. 

If a small sample of eight games in the AFL can be used as a measuring stick, Torres is laying down a solid foundation. Going into Friday’s action against the Surprise Saguaros, Torres was hitting .375 (10-for-28) with three homers, seven RBIs, a 1.221 OPS and a .471 on-base percentage."

Great little nugget that can make you smile. And so, while we are all drooling and wondering about if we will get back Chapman next season after he comes a free agent with the Cubs, trust me when I tell you, guys like Torres, or even Clint Frazier and Justus Sheffield are in fact the real deal. Just look at Baseball America's list of the Yankees Top 10 prospects:

Just a good morning reminder.  The future is coming.

Friday, October 28, 2016


With all this rumor talk about Miguel Cabrera and whether or not the Yankees should get him, you almost forget about Greg Bird, right?


I'll tell you what I like, fan passion. Check out what BYB reader and Yankee fan Tom tweeted:
I hope he wasn't yelling at us when he wrote "Enough already!!" Don't shoot the messenger.

Anyway, good news out of Scottsdale at the AFL. Greg Bird is doing just fine. writes:

"The timing couldn’t be better for the Yankees, as Greg Bird is back out in the desert and it seems he has found his groove for the Scottsdale Scorpions...he is finding his stroke again. Thursday evening saw him hit his first home run of the fall. He is now 9-for-37 (just .243) but his swing looks good. It is also important to note that five of his nine hits have gone for extra bases, including Thursday’s homer. In typical Bird Dog fashion, he has walked more (eight times) than he has struck out (seven times)."

Minor League Baseball, a good site, I endorse it.

Anyway, the hope here is that with Mark Teixeira retiring and guys like Bird and Tyler Austin returning next season, we don't skip a beat, and we get younger. I like that.


You gotta appreciate Brett Gardner.  While I have always felt that he sometimes looks awkward in the outfield with his body movements, more times than not, he makes the play and I appreciate that.  Rawlings does too apparently, he was just listed as a finalist for a Gold Glove.

According to the Post and Courier:

"Rawlings released the list of finalists for its Gold Glove awards Thursday afternoon, and Gardner is one of three American League left fielders in contention...According to Rawlings, the award 'represents overall fielding excellence, and it is not an award based solely on fielding metrics and statistics, nor does it factor offensive production.'...

The 33-year-old lives in Summerville during the offseason and is competing against four-time winner Alex Gordon of the Royals and Colby Rasmus of the Astros. Winners will be announced Nov. 8. "

Tough competition, but I am confident Gardy can win this!

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Thursday, October 27, 2016


Is Detroit pricing their players to sell? It sounds to good to be true, but anything is possible I guess. The latest rumor floating around out there is that the Detroit Tigers are ready and open for business. They are waiting on offers. No one is off limits! Yup, that's one.

According to Buster Olney HERE (must be an ESPN insider) the Tigers are even willing to listen to offers on Miguel Cabrera. Yes, you read that right....he is not off limits. It looks like the Tigers have their own idea on a youth movement just like we did this year. Unfortunately for them, this one won't be quite so easy....and would it be worth trading for Cabrera?

I believe that there are pros and cons to everything in life. I usually have to write out a list to sort through it all because hey, that is the writer in me. There are some serious upsides to trading for Miguel Cabrera but there are also some deeper cons to this.

1. Production and depreciation

It is hard to deny that Cabrera is one of baseball's best hitters. Since 2005 he has a .326 BA, 401 home runs and 1379 RBI's and the thought of him reaching 3000 hits in a Yankee uniform is exciting. There is no doubt that Cabrera is crazy talented but at 33 how many more years of these stats will he have? Not only that he has a full no trade clause and could block a trade to any team. Even if he did waive it....he is owed $212 million over the next seven seasons.

We all saw Alex Rodriguez crash this season. I know it isn't the same for every player but age catches up to you fast. The Tigers would have to pay out most of that contract for it to make sense for the Yankees and their new younger vision. 

2. It's a sure thing
Or is it?

Yes, Cabrera has a track record at first. We know he can play it and we know exactly what we get. On the other hand, the Yankees have a pending competition between Greg Bird and Tyler Austin during Spring Training. Sure, Bird missed an entire season and he is still not ready to play the field full time. The rehab is still underway and we aren't sure if he is ready for this if he is healthy. There is also Austin but first base is not his full time designated position. It's always nice to have more experience but the Yankees are dedicated to the Youth Movement....why should they stop now? We should expect some bumps in the road at first this year but shouldn't we give the kids a chance especially as we rebuild? I thought that was the purpose.

3. Keep him away from the enemy!

It would definitely suck to see Cabrera traded to a division rival. One place I would hate to see him go is Boston but now that David Ortiz has retired they may want another big name to add to the team...and one that would be a current upgrade to first base. It makes sense that the Red Sox would be in on Cabrera especially since GM Dave Dombrowski came from Detroit so there is an obvious connection there. As much as this idea may suck, should the Yankees care about what moves other teams make? We are rebuilding, and we need to do what is best for us. Adding an expensive aging player over our young kids is the old Yankee way.

4. The farm is meant to be used one way or another

Sure, the idea is to use what you can and trade away what you can't for what may be more useful. A prospect is just that, a prospect and Cabrera is a proven veteran. The farm is a gamble. It always has been and it always will be. The Yankees have been quick to trade away unknowns for superstars and that is why we are where we are today.

The Yankees have worked hard to get here and it's time to see it through. Cabrera is a big name and it isn't going to take two or three mid level prospects to get him. The Tigers know that they have a topnotch player and they are going to want a lot to just let him go. It would make all of these moves we made before....pointless.

Personally, as I make my list I am finding a couple more "cons" with Cabrera than "pros" and not because I don't think he is worth it....only because it doesn't fit the new Yankee direction which is more important to the future success of this franchise.

In the end, I think like any team the Tigers will listen to anyone who calls but they have built their fan base to expect these teams stacked with big names and big money and I just don't see them moving Cabrera. He fits their philosophy and not ours anymore.

 --Jeana Bellezza, BYB Senior Writer & Editor
  Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016


The whole world has heard by now the big rant that hit the airwaves yesterday as the New York Yankees announced their new enhancements to Yankee Stadium. I'm talking about Mike Francesa, of course, and his displeasure with the changes. He sounded like he was just handed the memo while he was on the air, and just reacting to it off the top of his head. Now I have always liked Mike, so don't mistake what I'm saying as bashing the guy. I think times are changing, the Yankees are trying to make the Stadium better, and Mike is having a hard time adjusting.

The full description of the changes is kind of long, but you can read it for yourself on the Yankees' site HERE. First of all, if you heard the broadcast, you might think Mike has a problem with bars and restaurants at the Stadium. If he does, he's the only one. I've been to the restaurants and to most of the party decks. I love them. I've never seen anyone in there looking unhappy. So what's the problem? You're mad because the Yankees want to open another place to sit, eat, and drink while they enjoy the game? C'mon man.

Next, he ripped into the new Sunrun Kids Clubhouse. This I just don't get. I mean, he has three small children. Keeping the kids in their seats for 3+ hours in the hot summer sun even with the occasional bathroom and food/drink run is nearly impossible without something bad happening. Every parent knows the kids need a break, even the most die-hard. The Yankees will also have a private space for mothers who are nursing. Mike took special aim at that. In fact, he went back to talking about "breast pumps" at least 3 times. Again, I like Mike. But I remember the days when the Yankees held Briefcase Day for men 25 and over (I think it was 25, but I might be wrong). Making it a little more friendly and comfortable for women and mothers is a step in the right direction. It's about time.

Finally, Mike opened fire on what the Yankees are calling social gathering areas. They're open areas for fans to hang out. They already had a couple of those areas behind the bleachers. They're pretty nice actually. “Isn’t there a game going on during this?" Yes, there is, Mike. Some of us wouldn't mind it if we had a place to hang out with others while cheering on the Yankees. Some of us like being social and meeting people. I'm not sure what the problem is.

Since we're on the topic of social gathering, I wish they'd knock down that stupid "moat". I'm glad that all these new offerings are "accessible to all Yankee Stadium ticketed Guests". Still, nothing tells people that they're 2nd class citizens like telling them they can't hang near the people who bought the expensive tickets. It really is high time. Okay, now I'm whining!

Back to the topic at hand ...

Now I know a bunch of you are going to tell me that they're ruining the tradition of the Stadium. I hear you. I heard you at the opening of the 2009 season when you said that the Stadium didn't "feel" the same. I hear it all the time about how the Stadium feels more like a mall than a ballpark. Listen, I've been to Fenway Park (in my Yankees T-shirt, of course). Aside from the historical significance, the place is a dump. Most of the development they've done there has been outside of the ballpark in a fenced off area you're allowed to go to and still go back in the ballpark. Going there and coming back is a pain in the butt. It's hard to believe that I have to convince people of this, but having good food options and being able to get a drink while enjoying a Yankee game is a good thing. Relax. Enjoy. Change is a good thing.

One last thing. I have to say something nice about Mike Francesa. Like I said, I like the guy. I've listened to him for years. His voice is as much a part of Yankees Universe as John Sterling's home run calls and Phil Rizzuto's "Holy Cow!". I usually like what he has to say, and I always get the sense that he wants the team to do well. Maybe he had a bad day. Maybe he'll come around the next time he takes the kids to the Stadium. Regardless, this is a good thing and there's a lot of people who will appreciate it.

--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
Follow me on Twitter@KingAgamemnon

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So the pre-game show set the stage for a dramatic start to an incredible World Series that no one could have predicted back in April.  Launched by Tom Petty's iconic song, Waiting is the Hardest Part, we see our nation's oldest Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs fans jamming to what they believe is their victory anthem.  Could this be the year for Chicago or Cleveland?  You betcha!

Things got an early start in Chicago, where Harry Caray's opening before dawn. "The Rally will run from 4 a.m. until 10 a.m., with doors opening at 4 a.m. Breakfast will be available along with a special Happy Hour from 7 a.m. until 10 a.m. (when the bar can legally serve alcohol) with $1.08 Budweiser drafts," according to the legendary announcer's pub's website.  And they were there in force this morning, chanting with their W flags and cubs regalia.

As NPR reported on Tuesday, "The Indians last won a World Series in 1948, and the Cubs haven't won since 1908. Fans and sportswriters are positively buzzing with excitement."Most of us have never lived on a planet where one of those teams is the champion of the baseball world," ESPN writes. "So pardon us while we take a moment to get a vertigo prescription filled."

And although the Cubs are favored to win the series, Cleveland has overcome a number of obstacles to find their way to this year's Fall Classic.  "The Indians have developed a reputation as "a bunch of grinders," NPR's Tom Goldman says. "They've overcome injuries to key players; they've won seven of their eight games in the postseason by an average margin of just two runs, so they're not blowing people out — they're winning with pitching, timely hitting, defense, base-stealing. They're grinding."

The game did not disappoint among the cheers, jeers and drama, as Indians took Game 1, 6-0 against the Cubs.  Corey Kluber started for the Indians, who won the American League pennant in five games over the Toronto Blue Jays and had nasty stuff again last night.  The Cubs couldn't touch him, nor could they get to Andrew Miller.

Game Two of this dramatic tale is tonight at 7:08. Don't miss it!

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

Twitter: @suzieprof