Monday, August 21, 2017

RED SOX TROLLING AIN'T OVER 'TIL IT'S OVER


If the Yankees' season series vs. the Red Sox has demonstrated anything, it's that the troll who tweets last trolls best.


Also, that with only four games remaining between the two clubs over the Labor Day weekend and five games separating them in the division, the Yanks had better pick up the pace against the rest of the league because it's not likely they'll make up that distance head-to-head.

And to paraphrase Satchel Paige, if they look back they'll find a couple of teams gaining on them in the wild card race as well. Thank goodness those messed up Mets coughed up an historic season sweep in the Subway Series or this Yankees team might be counting down magic numbers right now -- and not the good kind.


But as Brett Gardner -- the only Yankee to register a run in Sunday's Fenway finale -- optimistically pointed out:  “You can make up five games in two weeks,” implying the final Boston series could still potentially be a battle for the East.  Sure it could, Brett.

Photo: New York Daily News
Only a few small glitches to work out first; like turning around the team's biggest, hairiest bat which promptly went from MVP to punchline after the All-Star break and has been producing at a Chris Carter clip ever since.

And securing some semblance of consistent protection for him in the batting order since his former protector  Matt Holliday has alternated between hurting and  horrible for quite some time now, and Starlin Castro's hammy keeps snapping him back to the DL.


The case of the closer who couldn't, of course, has thrown all kinds of  light and heat on Joe and the efficacy of his bullpen management. And then there's Gary's incredible shrinking glove act to make one wonder how such a talented hitter and explosive arm can all be attached to the same body. Truth be told, since the trade deadline and all the new toys Brian got for this team, they're still playing 9-10 ball and the likelihood they go on a tear like they did in the first half isn't very high.


But the likelihood they could do better than they are now is still pretty good, and that prospect coupled with the possibility some other teams cool off a bit might just get them the October surprise nobody expected before the season started.

The marathon isn't a sprint quite yet.  But the clock is ticking loudly now on getting everyone's sneakers on and running in the same direction again. There's at least one nice thing about rough patches and trolls. When you're in one, the other tends to stop looking back.


The Yankees rightly didn't expect to be in the playoffs before the season started, they rightly shouldn't be expecting it now, and you can bet your Bucky Friggin' Dent bobble head nobody else is expecting it now either.

If they can bag themselves series wins against the Tigers, Mariners and Indians before they face Boston a final time and take them as well, this team could roll into September  fortified by fresh call ups and returning starters in a full-speed blitzkrieg on a division title...


And then those trolls in the Yanks' PR department would really have the final tweet.

Hey, anything is possible. I'm with Brett on this one.




--Barry Millman
BYB Writer
Follow me on Twitter: @nyyankeefanfore






THE TOE

Photo: Getty Images
Standing at 5'8", next to the likes of Dellin Betances and Aaron Judge, Ronald Torreyes looks tiny. He kind of looks out of place in the world of big men. Yet his play this year has been huge! He has really stepped up when Didi Gregorius and Starlin Castro have been on the DL. As this piece from NJ.com suggests, Torreyes has emerged into a vital player for the New York Yankees.

Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America
"Torreyes has found himself starting more often in the past five weeks after second baseman Starlin Castro went on the DL with a hamstring injury, and he also played significant time in April when shortstop Didi Gregorius was out with a shoulder injury.

The Yankees have asked a lot from the infielder, and he continues to deliver.

'You watch his defense and the little things he does,' manager Joe Girardi said. 'He's able to bunt, he's able to run. He can play anywhere in the infield. He's been big for us this year because he's filled in some pretty big roles. You lose your shortstop for four weeks, you lose Castro for four or five weeks. He's been important.'"
Source: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images North America
Ronald Torreyes shows up to the park every day ready to do whatever Girardi asks him to do. He's ready for anything, whether it be 2nd base, 3rd base, or shortstop. It doesn't matter, he is prepared to do it and gives it his all. Even when he's not in the game he is there cheering on his teammates and looks like he is having fun doing it. Because of this, he has turned into one of my favorite players.

Now in his third MLB season, Torreyes already has a career high in games at 85, where he has hit .293 with three home runs and 31 RBI. He has played second base, shortstop and third base, while also making a brief trip to right field in one game.

I find it quite amusing that in 2017 on a team full of guys that can hit bombs, Torreyes is the one that hit the first one of the 2017 season. Look, he is not a superstar or player to build a team around. Yet every team needs a player like him. The good old-fashioned grinder that can do it all. The guy that doesn't do any one thing in particular, but can do what needs to be done when called upon.





--Michael Carnesi
BYB Writer

Follow me on Twitter: @sevn4evr 





ANOTHER GREAT ONE GONE...

I am the biggest Jerry Lewis fan you will ever know.


I have his old movies with Dean Martin, have the Nutty Professor and the Patsy and watch them from time to time, laugh at loud at Cracking up like it's been seen for the first time, and I just enjoy the true essence of physical comedy and the great Jerry Lewis.


No one did it better than he.  He could take anything and make a joke out of it, and that's what I loved about Lewis.  He loved what he did for a living, and made sure the ones around him loved it too. He had passion, even until the very end.  A true leader of laughs and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Yesterday at age 91, Jerry Lewis died, and as far as I'm concerned, so did comedy.  Variety writes:

"Lewis died at his home in Las Vegas at about 9:15 a.m. Sunday morning, his agent confirmed.

For most of his career, Lewis was a complicated and sometimes polarizing figure. An undeniable comedic genius, he pursued a singular vision and commanded a rare amount of creative control over his work with Paramount Pictures and other studios. He legacy also includes more than $2.5 billion raised for the Muscular Dystrophy Association through the annual Labor Day telethon that he made an end-of-summer ritual for decades until he was relieved of the hosting job in 2011."

When I heard the news, I wasn't surprised, but I was saddened. I felt like a piece of true comedy had died with it.


Will there be a new king of comedy again one day? Maybe, sure, but that's only gonna be a spawned version of a guy like Lewis, and trust me when I tell you, it will never be the same, especially for me.

Jerry Lewis died yesterday and so did part of my childhood.  Sad day for me.  It's a sad day for the entertainment business and America.... no question about it.

Rest in peace, old friend.

No one did it better...no one. 

Thanks for the laughs.


Sunday, August 20, 2017

JUST STOP MAKING EXCUSES

Source: Sporting News

Saturday morning I took part in a radio show on @WDLC1077 with principal and author of the book The Principal: Surviving and Thriving.  The book is set to release sometime in early fall.  The theme of the interview was #MakeItHappen and the host @AndrewMarotta21 and me talked about the multiple ways we and many others we know use our resources, our experiences and just grit and resilience to grow, learn from mistakes and make things happen.  Ironically, in contrast, the Yankees lead by Manager Joe Girardi continue to make excuses for their inconsistent offense, poor performance on the mound, particularly out of the bull pen and their cluster of losses against the Red Sox and other American League opponents.  As someone who prides herself on making things happen despite the obstacles or perhaps odds against, I set out to find out what our fans and readers think about individuals who make excuses.


Middle School teacher @snydesn2 said this with regards to leadership who uses excuses for not meeting goals they set for themselves and their team, "Be a person of Now not later. Procrastination leads to excuses. Excuses only breed more excuses. Proactivity helps avoid them, reactivity leads to them."

I believe that Joe Girardi feels he is supporting his pitchers who are failing to meet their performance expectations when he excuses them continuously during his post-game press conferences.  He did this with Tyler Clippard and now he is making excuses for Aroldis Chapman whose performance goal is very clear: "Save the Game!"  Nothing more obvious about that.  Even though Girardi has decided to use Chapman "at any point" and not necessarily as a closer in his remarks before the game on Saturday, Chapman has never owned up to his poor performance leading to an ERA close to 10 against the Red Sox this season.

Source: Jim McIsaac/Getty

"Mismanagement seldom recognizes itself and unfortunately too many times finds excuses for themselves in others. Saying you've failed and finding next steps forward is a path not many peeps choose....on their own," said avid BYB reader and Healthcare PR and Marketing Communications Innovator @dougstro.  He may be onto something.  Is the Yankee management even aware how many times they make excuses for their players or for their poor performance on the field?  Maybe Joe and even Brian Cashman are just so poised to script out their comments to the media and to fans before and after each game that they are completely oblivious to how ridiculous they sound and how mismanaged they truly are.


Yankee fan and principal of a NJ elementary school @jaybilly2 shared with me the quote above and added this insight. "There is always a reason for failure. We use these reasons for growth so we don't fail again. People who use excuses aren't looking for improvement, they're looking for sympathy.  You can lose but you become a loser when you make excuses."  The Yankees aren't just losing important games, they are losing their confidence, they are losing their fans' confidence and they are losing something else, which perhaps trumps the other two: credibility.  By defending the poor behavior and performance by Chapman, dismissing it almost entirely by saying, "he needs to work out the kinks," is just not owning that he is making mistakes and he isn't reflecting on the process of his work.  When Masahiro Tanaka struggled with his control earlier in the season, he said that he was reviewing video of the games, reflecting on his form and making adjustments.  Chapman has not even had the decency to acknowledge his problems and Girardi has allowed this to happen.  This is just unacceptable...he is building a reputation for having no sense of urgency to make the changes needed to be successful.  He appears not to care at all.

Source: Source: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America

Finally, long time Yankee fan and restaurant manager @hammersiny provided this in depth reflection based on the Yankees' performance over the past couple of days against both the Mets and Boston. "The manager uses the pieces he has available.  Some of his decision-making is questionable because as fans we second guess the decision when the outcome isn't positive.  Excuses are just the result of some of these poor outcomes.  Like where was (David) Robertson on Friday night in the 7th inning? Resting?  Why can't we get a hit with bases loaded and the "meat" of the lineup is hitting?  Excuses...they gave us some exciting moments this year but they aren't winning because they lack consistency." These are observations of the games we lost that were very winnable, in fact, many times we lost in the late innings by giving away the lead and failing to get it back because of hushed bats.

Source: David Maxwell/Getty Images North America

The Yankees and in particular their skipper need to just stop making excuses and do something about these near wins and poor performances. Waiting until next week or until September to own the mistakes and do something positive with the "data" is just too late.  Ideally, the Yankees get the rest of their arsenal back and they make the decisions as far as who's playing and who's sitting and they do so using the evidence of those who are performing well and with the confidence that the players on the field are demonstrating the positive attitude we need to win.



--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @suzieprof






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Saturday, August 19, 2017

BIRDMAN IS MAKING STRIDES TO RETURN "SOON"

This is a good sign. Greg Bird is hitting home runs!


The New York Post writes that it looks as if Bird may be on his way to getting back with the New York Yankees.

"The young Yankees first baseman, who is returning from a right ankle injury, went 2-for-4 with two homers and three RBIs Friday night in his third game for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre."




Girardi was asked when he thinks Bird will come back:

'It’s really hard to say... For Greg Bird, just because he hasn’t played a lot in the last two years, it is hard to say how long it might take him to get going. Sometimes I feel young guys in those situations can get going quicker than an older player.'"

Photo: Presswire
Now, that's just Joe being cagey, because the reality is, if Bird is hitting well and feeling good, they will get him back to the Bigs soon.  You gotta feel bad for guys like Tyler Austin and Garrett Cooper, but maybe because of Bird's long absence they keep one of them up with Bird and platoon at first. 

Who knows... I'm just glad Bird is making strides.  It's exciting!