Thursday, May 25, 2017

HATE BRADY ALL YOU WANT, BUT HE GETS IT

(Ed Reed/NYC Mayor's Photo Office)
So let me get this straight.  When Tom Brady's in the Big Apple, he goes to Yankee Stadium with his kids and sits in the box seats out in the open where everyone and the YES cameras can see him rooting for the home team.


And when he goes out for a bite to eat and some shopping with Gisele,  he can wear his Yankee cap in plain sight of the world's paparazzi.  But the Boston-born mayor of New York City refuses to  ever allow a Yankee cap to darken the point on his dome?  And he refuses to ever set foot inside the Stadium? Really?

Yep.

Photo: New York Daily News
The Red Sox fan in Gracie Mansion thinks the Yankees and their fans should all go piss up a rope.  He said as much this week when he showed up in the Bronx for a week to basically make the entire borough and everyone in it a stage prop in his re-election campaign, setting up a faux office and pretending to conduct daily business there.

At a welcoming ceremony by the borough president, he was offered the obligatory team cap and jacket -- the same ones cheerfully accepted and proudly worn and displayed by all distinguished visitors to the Bronx, including presidents, prime ministers, queens, kings and popes. But de Blasio didn't accept it... he got whiney about it.

"Oh God. We have a situation," the mayor said as Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. unveiled the souvenirs. "Call security immediately."

Diaz would not be deterred, but de Blasio absolutely refused to wear the cap, instead agreeing to hold up half a jacket while covering his face and turning away from the camera.

He called that a "compromise."


I call it a joke. This is a guy that will march in an upcoming parade honoring someone who served time for killing and maiming innocent people with bombs, but he can't support a New York Team?  Are you kidding me?

Tell you what, Bill. When the Yankees win their World Championship and have their parade, find an excuse to be out of town that week... you're terrible. 


New England's lovely that time of year. Go root for the Sox... or the Pats.

If you do, say hi to Tom for us.

He gets it. Maybe he'll explain it to you.




 --Barry Millman
BYB Writer
Twitter: @nyyankeefanfore







THERE'S A LINE TO GET INTO THE SHOW!

Brian Cashman is rich!


The Yankees have a lot of depth, and a lot of guys that are ready or will soon be ready for the next step. Gleyber Torres made a quick jump from Double-A to Triple-A and will soon be knocking on the Bronx door (Watch out Chase Headley!) Sure, I may be fast forwarding a little bit, but the guy has talent and at this rate he could be our next third baseman. Soon, some of our other guys could be in the same situation. The Yankees haven't had this challenge in years. As Joe Girardi would say It's a good problem to have.

For years we have been pretty bad at developing positional players and when we did.....a superstar veteran was blocking them. Going forward, the possibilities are endless but Cashman may have to get extra creative. So with so much talent, how does Cashman handle it?

Photo: USA Today
Cashman answered it best HERE when he said "If a guy is ready and you can find room, you do that. If you have something that is not working on the major league level, you rearrange.
If not, you wait or trade." It's just another example of Cashman and his poker face. For years, we have traded our farm away for a big superstar to WIN NOW. Now, we are just collecting talented players no matter what position they play and I like it!

Photo: USATSI
Now the question is....with the recent promotion of Torres is Cashman preparing for a future move with Chase Headley? If you follow a lot of the media hype recently, some suggest that Headley's days in pinstripes are numbered, like THIS article. It all sounds like everything is looking up for Torres, but nothing is going Headley's way.

Or, this could also work in the Yankees favor if they are in contention by the trade deadline. The Yankees could add other pieces they need like starting pitching without giving away the top prospects which Hal Steinbrenner has already said he won't do HERE. But, considering how deep the Yankees are at certain positions they can afford to sacrifice a prospect that for us may not be a top prospect and have a roadblock in front of them but would be a top prospect for another team.


The Cubs essentially felt the same way about Torres when they gave him up for Aroldis Chapman and look how well that ended up for the Yankees.

It took a long time to get here, but finally we can agree with Cashman and say "If you have a number of guys performing at the minor league level and performing at the major league level simultaneously, you don’t complain. You smile." 

No complaints here, Cashman!




--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ





Macy's



HOCH IS FOLLOWING ME. BUCKET LIST COMPLETE


BYB is done.  We've accomplished everything. We're closing shop. It's over, we conquered everything ever that we wanted to accomplish... thanks all... (Curtain falls). 

KIDDING, take a chill pill.  I still have more to do...

Just wanted to publically thank Bryan Hoch for taking a chance and following BYB on Twitter.  He's a solid reporter, one of the best out there, and in my little world of personally liking a few really, really good writers, like Pete Caldera, Pete Abraham, Eric Boland, Ken Davidoff, Wally Matthews, Jack Curry, Bob Klapisch... Hoch is right there.


So this is a thank you.  Thanks to all those guys.  Without those writers in my life, Bleeding Yankee Blue would never have become a thing. 


We were inspired because we had an idea.  We wanted to talk about the New York Yankees... but we wanted to talk about family and life and expand to a much different audience thanstat nerds and jerks. 


 We found that audience that no one tapped into, more women than men and we are doing our best to present good and solid stories with the help of giving shout-outs to many fine reporters out there in our reporting.  To me, it's about giving back to the reporters that helped me, even if they never realized it in their own careers! Those sports reporters are important to me personally. 



We love our fans and BYB friends! All of it inspired by the great writers out there!

So thanks Bryan Hoch.

You don't happy croon like my man, Caldera too... do you?


Love Caldera! Simply the best! 

Happy Thursday!





TRACKING CUBAN LUIS ROBERT


Back in February, our fearless leader Robert Casey asked me to write up a piece about a kid from Cuba named Luis Robert. Read ANOTHER "CUBAN SENSATION" WE NEED TO HAVE for more on that.

This past weekend, Robert was finally able to sign with any team since officially being declared a free agent in April. According to the rules of international signing, a number teams would not be in contention for his services. Teams like the Yankees, Dodgers, and Red Sox among others, were only able to sign an international player to a contract of up to $300,000. You can read more about the International Signing Rules in this piece from Baseball America.

Photo: redbirddaily.com
According to this article on MLB.com, Luis is finalizing a deal with the Chicago White Sox.

"The deal is expected to be worth more than $25 million, and likely in the $26-27 million range, according to the source, and it will be the second-highest bonus for an international amateur under the current signing guidelines. Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada set the record when he signed for $31.5 million with the Red Sox in 2015."

Photo: MLB.com
With the signing of Jose Abreu in 2013 and the acquisition of Yoan Moncada this past offseason, the South Side of Chicago now has 3 of the highest touted Cuban Defectors in recent years. Fascinating!

Good Luck to Luis as he makes his way to the Majors!!!!



--Michael Carnesi
BYB Writer

Follow me on Twitter: @sevn4evr






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'GAMER' VS. 'HALF-ASSING IT'. I CHOOSE ELLSBURY!


I love when players play hard.  It shows they are determined to not only help their team win, but will sacrifice himself because he knows that somewhere in that season, his teammates will do the same for him.  It's gorgeous and tragic all in the same ball... pardon the pun.

Poor Jacoby Ellsbury.  I wish injury on no one. This is pretty sad and I hope he fully recovers... a concussion is no joke.

NJ.com has the story:



"Joe Girardi's never doubted Ellsbury's will to win, which was on display on the first pitch of Wednesday night's game at Yankee Stadium when he crashed into the center-field wall face first robbing Kansas City Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar of extra bases.

'He plays to win,' Girardi said.



Ellsbury looked out of it getting checked by head athletic trainer Steve Monahan and Girardi, but passed the initial tests (which included smelling salts) and talked his way into staying in the game.

For a few minutes."

Now look, it's scary and no joke. We as Little League coaches need to go through all the signs and what to look for and pulling kids even if we suspect there's an inkling of an issue.  Yanks did the right thing pulling him. 

Ellsbury will be out for a bit... feel better, Gamer!





Wednesday, May 24, 2017

ALL RISE: JOIN THE JUDGE'S CHAMBERS

Source: ELSA/GETTY IMAGES

I can't get enough of Aaron Judge.  I mean, I really can't.  The fact that he is so fun to watch and has a similar disposition to Derek Jeter just adds to his likability.  His gap filled smiled, his genuine attitude and his overall presence has made fans All Rise when they hear his name.  And 18 fans can do this every game now thanks to the Yankee Stadium new seating conveniently named, The Judge's Chambers.


"On Monday, the team revealed "The Judge's Chambers," a specific cheering section for the Yankee outfielder. The team added fake wood paneling around three rows of seats at the back of section 104 in right field to make it look like a jury box. The back panel details the name of the section," reported the New York Daily News.

Source: BEN WALKER/AP

Although you can't buy tickets to sit in the 'Chambers', fans can wear Judge gear and take their chances on being selected for this specialty seating. Like the humble player the newest Yankee star is, Judge expressed his excitement for the new fan experience.  "I was shocked, you know. I was surprised," Judge told the Associated Press. "I think it's going to be a pretty cool idea that the fans will like. It will be something the fans I really think will enjoy."

Source: Sports Illustrated 


Another added feature to The Judge's Chambers is the judge-garb and gavels fans will be given to cheer in this section behind Judge. " Fans sitting in the Chambers Monday will be given black robes that featured Judge's No. 99 on the back to wear during the game, though they cannot keep those. They'll receive styrofoam gavels, too, which they can take home with them"

Source: CBS Sports

Aaron Judge has been an incredible addition to this year's club.  Honoring him through this fan experience is equally incredible.  He touts 15 home runs on the season with a .321 batting average in 165 games.  Heck, I want to sit in the Judge's Chambers.  Maybe the Yankees will give me the honor in an upcoming home game this season! Wearing #99 seems just the right number for me as we pursue #28.




--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof





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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I MISS CHAPMAN & THE BIRDMAN

Photo: Getty Images
2 of the guys that I was really hoping to see and root hard for this year were Aroldis Chapman and Greg Bird.  But with them on the shelf... I can't do that.

Photo: Getty Images
I mean, luckily for us, the Yankees are winning.  Starlin Castro, Didi Gregorius and Aaron Judge are making me very happy. Don't get me wrong.  I mean, yes, I'd like to see better consistency from our pitching. The rotation makes me nervous.  I'm not the only one either. Our BYB pal Joey Moses... a Bleeding Yankee Blue fanatic and a Yankee fan to boot texted me this about our pitching the other day:


I know, many of you feel the same. That being said... I'm getting off track, aren't I?

Chapman and Bird... that's where I was going with this.  They are still injured and I want them back!  NJ.com has a good short piece about them and their progress in their rehabs.  Check this out:

Photo: Getty Images
"Bird, bothered by a right ankle bone bruise all year, has been on the disabled list since May 2. Manager Joe Girardi said reports he's received on the 24-year-old have been good since the Yankees have been on the road.

Bird started light running recently and could begin hitting soon, Girardi said...

Photo: Getty Images
Chapman has been on the disabled list since May 14 with an inflamed left rotator cuff.

He said he'd been feeling pain in the joint since at least mid-April, though he repeatedly told reporters he was fine despite occasional dips in velocity and control problems. General manager Brian Cashman said he never told the team of any issues."

Photo: Getty Images
Now, both stories are unique and to be honest, I found it interesting that Chapman didn't voice anything about pain.  It makes me alittle angry.  Now I understand wanting the ball and wanting to help contribute, but being hurt and playing doesn't help anyone.

Bird? He'll be back but I just don't see him returning any time soon.  Chapman? Well, this pain thing annoys and worries me in the same breath.  I hope it's nothing too serious... and I hope it doesn't become some kind of scandal. I really want these guys right.

Anyway... alittle update on our injured guys.  Go Yanks!


THINKING BIG ABOUT AARON JUDGE

Photo: Getty Images
I know it's early, but Aaron Judge is doing big things...and that inspires some pretty big dreams and some may even say fantasies. April's American League Rookie of the Month award was just the beginning.

It's amazing how the last week of Spring Training we weren't even sure if Judge was going to be on the big league roster. Now here we are at the end of May watching Judge sit at or near the top of the leader boards in several categories including runs scored and home runs, you can see more HERE.

(May 16, 2017 - Source: Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America)
The leader board looks impressive and when you are included on it with other big names like Mike Trout, Corey Dickerson and Evan Longoria. You have to be doing a lot of things right when you are in company with veteran hitters like that and when you look at Judge now compared to 2016 you can see that a lot has changed.

(May 13, 2017 - Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America)
Watching Judge it is easy to see that he has made a lot of adjustments to his swing. The strikeouts are down from 50% to 30% and he is not chasing pitches outside of the strike zone. He spent time in the off season working with hitting coaches Alan Cockrell and Marcus Thames and watched video of some of his favorite hitters like Miguel Cabrera and Giancarlo Stanton. Judge is very much a student of the game....and all of that hard work is paying off.

It's early but I can't even stop thinking about the great possibilities that could be ahead for Judge. Last year we had hopes that Gary Sanchez would be the 9th Yankee to become Rookie of the Year after Derek Jeter, Dave Righetti, Thurman Munson, Stan Bahnsen, Tom Tresh, Tony Kubek, Gil McDougald, and Bob Grim. This year I have high hopes for Judge.

The possibilities for Judge are endless but at the rate Judge is going my mind is running on all four cylinders and I know I am not alone. There's already talk out there of Judge and his 15 home runs playing in the home run derby this year and playing as a starter on the All Star team. It's fun to buy into the hype. We've all been waiting for this for so long. Maybe it goes even beyond a Rookie of the Year award.

(May 20, 2017 - Source: Brian Blanco/Getty Images North America)
The bigger fantasy here would be the possibility of Judge as both Rookie of the Year AND Most Valuable Player something that has only been done twice by Fred Lynn of the Red Sox in 1975 and Ichiro Suzuki of the Mariners back in 2001. Could it happen?

It's early....and it's definitely a big fantasy but there's nothing wrong with thinking big, right? After all,  the possibilities with this team are endless.




--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ





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Monday, May 22, 2017

JUDGE & TORRES MADE GIANT LEAPS SUNDAY

Photo: Chris O'Meara / Associated Press
As exciting as the newest crop of young Yankees can be between the lines, some of their patter outside them can leave a lot to be desired.

Take Aaron Judge, who is a leading contender to unseat  Joe Girardi from his long reign as the team's Crash Davis Baseball Cliche King.

Judge's latest bid for the title: Following  Sunday's Rays series finale, he was asked by reporters to assign a grade to his mind-boggling 6th-inning play that iced the razor-thin one-run winning margin.

If you haven't seen it or heard it about it, you will and for some time to come too,  I imagine.




Simply put, he sprinted toward the warning track between right and center  to intercept  a rifle shot off the bat of Evan Longoria before it landed;  leaped and airmailed his outstretched horizontal 6' 7" frame the final dozen feet or so to make up the final distance and complete the catch; and then after crash-landing into the turf calmly proceeded to double up Corey Dickerson  (who was about to round third with the tying run) off first base;  neatly erasing from the base paths what could very easily have become the tying and winning runs.

"How would I grade it?" Judge replied to the question afterward with a grin. "Good catch."


Photo: Getty Images
Good enough to help the Yankees avert a sweep. Good enough to maintain a half game division lead.

It's what you wanted, eh Aaron?

But according to Statcast, it was actually substantially better than good.  Much, much better. It had the lowest probability of being caught of any catch attempted by a Yankee outfielder this year -- and to even reach it Judge had to actually hit higher speeds and cover more ground faster -- 28.5 feet per second to be exact -- than either Ellsbury or Gardner have covered in their fastest bursts this season -- 27.3 feet per second and 26.6 feet per second, respectively.

Photo: USA Today Sports
Gardner, for one, didn't think Judge had a chance.

'I thought it was in the gap,' Gardner said. "' thought it was an RBI double, and when he dives, the double can turn into a triple. That's the difference in the ballgame. That's a tie game, and Longoria is standing on second or third with no outs.'

Judge's final burst of speed to close the gap with the ball took Longoria by surprise as well.

'I thought it was going to fall,' Longoria said. 'It just seemed like the last 10 or 15 feet, he covered a ton of ground, and, I mean, there's not much you can do other than tip your hat. It was a great play and ended up saving the game for them. … It was impressive, man. We'll be watching that one … for a while.'

That one and a bunch of others, Evan. The big guy's gonna need his own highlights DVD before this season's over.

Photo: Presswire
Meanwhile, making a newsworthy leap of a different sort Sunday was MLB's number two prospect (and number one in your Yankee hearts and prospect list) Gleyber Torres, who got promoted on Sunday to the Triple A Scranton RailRiders after just 31 games playing for the Double A Trenton Thunder.

He started the season there slow but, per Sports Illustrated's Jay Jaffe,  after missing "10 days in April due to rotator cuff tendinitis​, he made short work of Double A, hitting .273/.367/.496 with five homers and five steals in 32 games and 139 plate appearances. Four of those homers came in a five-game span earlier this week, boosting his slugging percentage from .396. Via Baseball America, Yankees farm director Gary Denbo said, “Ever since we’ve gotten him in the organization, he’s shown the ability to give quality at-bats every single day… He’s shown some power, he’s played some exceptional defense for us, his throwing has been accurate and he’s getting better and better on the base paths. So all the things that we want him to check off on the way to major league player, he’s been doing it for us.”


A natural shortstop, Torres has been getting some experience playing second base and a little at third with Didi doing well and under team control through 2020.

He played mostly second and DH in the Arizona Fall League where he won MVP honors and has five more starts at second and  six  at third in Trenton under his belt.

Tyler Wade, the RailRiders' current shortstop, is being prepped for a super-utility role so it's likely Torres will take over at his position and continue a program of alternating reps at second and third  so he can be better prepared to step in defensively in the Bronx in case of injury at any of those three infield positions.

Photo: Getty Images
Chase has been in a bit of a slump of late, but there's little chance the Yankees would bench him in favor of a rookie with little to no experience at the position and start his service clock in the bargain.  If a serious injury (or *gasp*  trade) were to befall Chase, the greater likelihood would be the hot corner would fall to Torreyes in a caretaker role until progress reports from Scranton gave Gleyber the  green light.

But that green light may come sooner than later and third base may well be Gleyber's logical long-term destination with Chase appearing to regress to his former struggles with both  lumber and leather, and his contract expiring next season, as Jaffe surmises: "Some talent evaluators have voiced concerns about Torres’s lateral range, viewing him as more likely to be an above-average defender at third or second."

Photo: New York Daily News
Brian's already said he wants to see Gleyber get to the Bigs as soon as possible, but not before showing he can perform in  Double A and Triple A first.

You can cross Double A off that to-do list. He's just a dink, a doink, a couple of dingers and a phone call away from the show now.




 --Barry Millman
BYB Writer
Twitter: @nyyankeefanfore





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