Monday, October 23, 2017

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

"I hate losing more than I love winning" - Billy Beane in Moneyball

Photo: Getty Images
And I really do. I hate the word "hate" but it's so true. I'm too competitive for my own good. In a lot of ways I think I identify with Billy Beane in Moneyball. We came so close. We were almost there, but sadly 'almost' only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades so as good as this ear was I am ready for 2018 to finish what we started. To come this close and not win it all hurts but the future is bright. As bright as it may be, there are still a lot of unknowns.

1) Are Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman coming back to the Yankees in 2018?


I think Cashman is a more obvious "YES" here. The Steinbrenner's trust him and believe in his judgment. If they didn't, we wouldn't have sold off our big assets at the end of last season. Not only that, what other GM is out there that can do what Cashman has done for this team? He has been the mastermind behind the "rebuild" phase that has paid off for us so far. I can't think of another GM that can so what Cashman has done and be as successful.

But what about Joe Girardi? Some fans really like him and some may think it is time for the Yankees to find someone new. No matter how the fans feel, the Yankees may go a different direction but not be their choice. Girardi is the third longest tenured manager since October of 2007 behind Mike Scioscia (1999, Los Angeles Angels) and Bruce Bochy (2006, San Francisco Giants). Who knows exactly what his plans are going forward but Girardi as much as he loves baseball, he is a family man. That comes first, read HERE and he may decide he is ready to be a family man. It's too soon to tell at this point but it is hard to imagine the Yankees without Girardi.

2) Should the Yankees bring CC Sabathia back?

Photo: New York Post
It seems like CC has been on the team forever now. Some fans may be ready to move on but he has been invaluable both on and off the field. He has been a consistent innings eater for the past two seasons and he has shown us he still has that competitive drive. I still think he has enough left in the tank. As the Yankees continue their rebuilding they are going to need a good veteran leader in the clubhouse and he can still be a good arm for the back of the rotation. CC says he still has unfinished business with this team. When I think about the current state of the rotation for 2018 he could still be a big asset and help guys like Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino and Sonny Gray out. If Chance Adams makes his way on the team he could be that veteran leader for another new group of young kids. CC says this is his home, and he wants to finish what he started. I am on board with giving him a one year deal, maybe an option for a second. We know he wants to stay here.

3) Will Masahiro Tanaka opt out of his deal?

Photo: MLB.com
Unlike CC, we don't know if Tanaka wants to stay he and be part of this team's future. He's been inconsistent this season but he really showed everyone that he is a postseason pitcher with a 2-1 record and a 0.90 ERA that can be trusted. Some people say his regular season stats like his wins and ERA would be a turn off for some teams. However, the free agent pitching class this season isn't very deep. Aside from Johnny Cueto, Jake Arrieta, and Yu Darvish there aren't many other attractive names out there. Who knows if another team wants to offer more money than we are paying him now or if he wants to stay with the Yankees who have a legitimate chance at winning a ring for years to come. If he wants to win he should stay but his answer was a little cold toward the media on Saturday. He sounded a little eager to find out if there were other options out there.

There is a lot to figure out now. As we move past the burn of just falling short it's time to start thinking about improving this team and making it stronger for seasons to come. Will any of these guys be a part of it going forward? I sure hope so.




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




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Sunday, October 22, 2017

THE 2017 ALMOST

Source: Getty Images

Almost...I know it's not good enough, but it's all I have.  We went further than anyone expected.  Our team was supposed to be still brewing, still growing and we weren't supposed to be ready for "prime time."  But we were...and we moved passed the Twins to win the AL Wild Card one and done, we came back from 0-2 deficit against Cleveland to take the ALDS.  We came back from an 0-2 deficit and won three at home against the Astros.  But we didn't close the deal.  We almost did.

Source: Society for American Baseball Research

"Because while it is true, the first thing we associate with the Yankees is winning – they do have more championships than any other team in North American professional sports, after all – it has always been something more than that. The Yankees, after all, didn’t start winning championships until they acquired a fellow named Babe Ruth," eloquently wrote the NY Post earlier on Saturday.  And we have a team of hard working players and young leaders who like Ruth, are born to win.  These guys are both on our team now and in the farm system.  We almost won the pennant this year but fear not, we will be back next year.


No one would have liked a Dodgers-Yankees World Series more than us here at Bleeding Yankee Blue and when I say us, I mean you too, our readers.  I never expected that the last time I would see a Dodgers-Yankees World Series would be in 1981  I thought they would play against each other forever.  It was all I knew in 1977 and 1978.  It was all I was told by my grandmother as a kid who fell in love with baseball with my first breath.


As the Baltimore Sun reported, "The biggest reason for the ratings boost is the presence of so many big-market teams with national followings. The Yankees won the American League Wild Card game, which put a huge market in play (along with Boston) for both AL Division Series while the Los Angeles and Chicago were already in play in the National League."

Source: Al Bello/Getty Images North America

The Astros-Dodgers Series won't nearly have the depth and excitement nor fan base as a Yankees-Dodgers matchup, but I have to concede my 2017 dream of a World Series to the Astros, for now.  It is hard a thing to swallow because of all of the "thumbs down" moments we've experienced in 2017.

 Source: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America

This season will be remembered as the season we found Aaron Judge or he found himself.  It will also be remembered as the team that clicked with a beautiful chemistry of veterans and rookies.  I am thankful for this team, for making my fall exciting and for giving it everything they had.  We almost did it.  We will be back in force in 2018.



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




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Saturday, October 21, 2017

THE CONFIDENCE BUILDER YANKEE FANS NEED!

Source: Al Bello/Getty Images North America
I woke up sad today, but realized that it's not over. There is a Game 7 tonight.  Many have been speculating who will win and look, there is no real way to know anything.  It's just a matter of if a player, or players feel good out there... if they don't overhype themselves, if they click, whatever it is. 

I feel confident in my team and I wanted to share a few other feelings about our New York Yankees.  At least what I'm about to share will put you at ease, and trust me, reading through all of this, I feel better now. Enjoy this Yankee fans....

Brendan Kuty of NJ.com had these comments...

Photo: Getty Images
"CC Sabathia will bring his A game. The 37-year-old has come up huge for the Yankees time and time again this postseason. He’ll do it again on Saturday, for a variety of reasons.

He’s the most experienced Yankee in elimination games this year. Twice times the Yankees have needed Sabathia with their season on the line and twice he’s come through..."

Mike O'Hara texted me this after I woke up this morning:



"We need CC to feed them some serious STFU cake tonight.  The Big Man will lead us tonight. Yankees will take this game."

I received a true Yankee fan vibe from my very good friends from Australia, Joey and Charles Moses who never disappoint me.


This is them last night. These positive vibes work, folks...Yankee fans on the other side of the world. Think about that. I love these guys! This is my extended family, and it's all because of BleedingYankeeBlue.com.

And back to Brendan Kuty at NJ.com who give us this extra positive vibe:

Source: Abbie Parr/Getty Images North America
"The bats will get to Charlie Morton. They did last time, didn’t they? In Game 3, the Yankees tagged the right-hander for seven earned runs on six hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings at Yankee Stadium.


Photo: Getty Images
It happened quickly. Morton got two outs into the second inning when the Yankees strung together a pair of hits (Starlin Castro, Aaron Hicks) and Todd Frazier rocked an opposite-field home run to immediately put him in an 3-0 hole. He got through the third inning, and then a double, a walk, a single and a hit-by-pitch later and manager A.J. Hinch was pulling him for reliever Will Harris."

BRING GAME 7 & EXPECT A WORLD SERIES!

Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America
With Justin Verlander on the mound for the Houston Astros, I was not thinking about the Yankees winning tonight. The reason was simple.  While I knew that there was always a chance that the Yankees could figure out Big V like they did Dallas Keuchel, the reality was the chances were slim... and I knew that.

Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America
Luis Severino is the man.  There is no question about it.  But he gets easily frazzled be it if he walks a batter or gives up a hit.  And while I knew that... I was hoping that he would be able to grind through the game the best he could in the hopes that Yankee adrenaline would take over and he would power through like a veteran pitcher or something.  But here's the reality, and it was proven tonight by the young New York Yankees... they are still immature.  They still aren't "seasoned" as we would like. And that's all you need to know about this game. 

Photo: Getty Images
Guys like Severino just didn't have what he needed when the Astros started to put pressure on him.  Sure, he had a no hitter going for a bit, but you knew, being in the Houston Astros house that that would eventually change.  Hell, as I said to friend and Bergen Record beat writer for the Yankees, Pete Caldera... that loudness and orange towel waving garbage drives me nutty as a fan... AND I'M HOME.
I couldn't handle the pressure in Houston, and it was clear that neither could the Yankees.

And so Game 7 is super important for the Yanks now.  Sure, the Yanks weren't even supposed to make the playoffs. We are a team in a building year, remember? But something happened this season.  We found life and we got to the playoffs... and for a while, we played hard and proved to the world that we have a team that loved playing with each other and loved to win together.


And I found it strange that after the Yankees swept the 'Stros at home in the ALCS before we went back to Houston, the mainstream media had a Yankee/Dodgers World Series preview in their publications. There were snappy headlines... there was too much fanfare for something that didn't happen yet.  As I saw that going to work yesterday, I thought, "That's a jinx, huh?"

But look, I don't really buy into the bull.  What I do know is watching the Yankees tonight, we looked good until we didn't.  That means that we were playing well, until the crowd and the Astros pitching got to us.  And one thing I can say right now is, fans in other parks change everything. 


You hear Dallas Keuchel talking about how the Yankee fans intimidated him in the Bronx. Well... don't get it twisted, the Yanks are feeling it in Houston... and so am I.


I know the Yankees are a good baseball team, but here's the reality; if the Yankees don't come in to Houston ready to grind this game out, it's over. Here's the thing though... we have CC Sabathia and company on the mound and that means that everyone is available to a point.  Look, There is a pitcher or 2 we are NOT using in the hopes that we can go to the World Series.  But we gotta go hard and we gotta be ready to play.

Photo: Getty Images
A few observations from tonight; I hated watching Gary Sanchez swing on a 3-0 pitch with 2 men on. That was stupid. It was a check swing, it wasn't even significant, and for me, that was a game changer...literally.
I thought DRob got lit up but I refuse to hammer him.  The truth is the Astros were looking for a different pitcher and have seen him enough to know what he was throwing. He got beat tonight, but I ain't mad at him. I think he's done great things for us.

Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America
Chad Green is the man. Great pitching tonight.  You have to tip your cap.  He really did well in relief for Sevy.  Give him credit and if you ever see him on the street, thank him. Seriously.

Photo: Getty Images
I tip my cap to Todd Frazier. He had a bomb, but some days you just can't get a break.  Frazier and the Yankees didn't get one. That's baseball.

Source: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images North America)
And finally CC Sabathia.  Now I love the man.  My kid loves the man.  He has been on an incredible journey from a terrific power pitcher, to reinventing himself in his personal life, and  then becoming more of a finesse pitcher.  There is nothing I would like more for CC than to win tomorrow night in Houston.  He deserves that... the Yankees do.... his family does.  But can it happen? Well, there are 3 factors...

Photo: Getty Images
1... The Yankees have to score runs.  They have to get to the Astros pitching and into their pen early. Charlie Morton is starting. If the Yankees can get into the Astros pen, they win.

2... CC and the Yankee pitching staff. Girardi said it tonight... everyone is available in the pitching staff except for a few people.  That's good.

Photo: Getty Images
3.  Turning the page.  CC Sabathia said it best tonight.  The best thing he loves about this team is the way they can "turn the page" after a loss, reset and win.  The Yankees can do it... the Yankees HAVE to do it.  Coming this far along... it just makes sense.

As my friend Alexis told me this week... a LA Dodgers fan mind you.... "I wanna see a Dodgers... Yankees World Series."

So do I.

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

DREAMING ABOUT A 2017 WORLD SERIES

Source: Abbie Parr/Getty Images North America
I can't remember the last time I was this amped up during the postseason. Sure 2009 was nice but this just feels different. Maybe it's because this team is driving everyone around me crazy after they say we can't win and then we do. It makes me smile and do my own little celebration dance. You would think that baseball fans have figured out by now that you can NEVER count the Yankees out...


Yet up until the Yankees won game 4 all of the baseball experts were still betting on Houston. Baseball analysts on FS1 were still all about Houston, even David Ortiz predicted Game 4 was going to be a "Bronx bummer" and man it feels good to say "HA! You were wrong, Papi!" Has he really forgotten in his short lived retirement gig that you can NEVER count us out? He should know better since he was our enemy for so many years. Of course, yesterday morning before the game he quickly changed his tune and thought the Yankees had game 5. I've said it before and I will say it again....I LOVE being the underdog.

Source: Jason Miller/Getty Images North America
Over the past week I have only heard about what the Yankees "CANT" do. I've heard it all from the Yankees CANT beat Corey Kluber twice  to the Yankees will choke AGAIN against Dallas Keuchel to the big powers that be in Major League Baseball have already rigged the postseason for a Dodgers-Yankees World Series because that is how they will make the most money.

Photo: Getty Images
Even if you HATE the Yankees you have to admit as a baseball fan we have risen to the challenge and YES, we are good!

Are we a young team?

Photo: Getty Images
Definitely, but just took out the World Series favorite Cleveland Indians and are one game away from eliminating the Houston Astros and heading back to the World Series. Our suspect pitching that analysts said would be our downfall has helped us get where we are and our pitching has been on point. I believe the cliche that pitching wins championships and right now our guys are playing like champions.

Photo: Getty Images
The Yankees are finally seeing the ace they have been expecting for so long in Masahiro Tanaka. He was brilliant in game three of the ALDS and last night he pitched deep into the game and was pretty smooth sailing. He pitched himself into a jam once and got out of it. THAT is the pitcher the Yankees have been looking for all season.You also can't overlook CC Sabathia either because that man has found his renewed pitching youth.

Photo: Getty Images
Speaking of youth....Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez have finally found their swings while veteran Todd Frazier has basically been in every postseason rally the Yankees have had!

Source: Mike Stobe/Getty Images North America
It's been a wild postseason ride so far. I just keep thinking that we are ONE GAME away from the World Series. This team just keeps amazing me. It's going to feel like a long off day thanks to all of the anticipation. I didn't think we would be where we are right now....but man am I happy that we are! You can't predict baseball, especially postseason baseball but I am going to continue betting on our guys.

We are coming for you, Houston....and we have our eye on the prize. Rebuilding? HA! We have been built pretty strong already. #Take17.



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




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