Tuesday, February 9, 2016

CUBAN SENSATION WANTS TO PLAY FOR THE YANKEES


Not sure if any of you know 31 year old Yulieski Gourriel, but he defected from Cuba.  According to many sources, now that he has, he has big dreams of playing for the New York Yankees.

Lou DiPietro of YESNetwork.com writes:


Gourriel "...has his sights set on joining Major League Baseball…and the Yankees may be his top target...

...back in 2015, while talking about the possibility of playing Major League Baseball, Yulieski Gourriel told Yahoo! that it is "the dream of all players to play at the maximum level baseball in all the world," and he also said that he desired to join the Yankees so he could play alongside his favorite player, Alex Rodriguez."

What does it all mean? I mean, who DOESN'T want to play for the New York Yankees.  Well, we will have to see.


Gourriel plays 3rd and can play 2nd base, and has played in Cuba for 15 seasons.  DiPietro writes that Gourriel "...has hit a combined .333 with 245 home runs and 999 RBI." Those stats are with Cuba and with Japan Nippon Professional Baseball. DiPietro also says he just doesn't see the Yankees as a fit, and you know what? He may be right.

I just needed to bring this to your attention because with all this talk about Chase Headley and whether or not he's capable anymore... the idea of Gourriel in pinstripes is definitely intriguing.

We'll keep an eye on this for you. More to come...



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MASAHIRO TANAKA THROWS OFF A MOUND


Many of you may have forgotten, but Masahiro Tanaka had a bone spur in his elbow and had surgery to remove it.  At the time, the Yankees said it was no biggie, and it probably wasn't. Anyway, today he threw off the mound for the first time since that surgery.

NJ.com Ryan Hatch reports "The team said Tanaka's bone spur injury stems from when he pitched in Japan, and was unrelated to his partially torn ligament two seasons ago."  


Whatever the case, he threw and the outcome was good.  Tanaka threw in New York where his rehab is continuing.  He's on schedule and there is nothing to be concerned about.


Life goes on. Besides, pitchers and catchers report on February 18th.  Let's get excited.

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YANKEES & CUBS OPEN FIRE!



When you're talking spring training, everybody talks predictions and excitement over the players returning from the offseason, how will the new acquisitions pan out. One of the most overlooked things about this time of year is how the rivalries heat up. Everybody's record is 0-0, and every fan is laying claim to the prediction that this is the year for their team and the trash talking reaches fever pitch. It's like Alec Baldwin told John Krasinski a few years ago, "Go ahead. Celebrate in April. We'll dance in October."


That said, we have reached new heights because apparently teams' Twitter accounts aren't immune from the rivalry bug. Yesterday, the Yankees and the Cubs got into it on the popular social media site that started with an innocent tweet from a fan about how the Yankees Twitter account was better than the Cubs. Then this happened:


Not to be outdone, the Yankees responded with a Derek Jeter "Wow" picture. Which got the Cubs to return fire with a Joe Maddon "That's right." Maybe it was the fact that there's no love lost between Joe Maddon and the Yankees (think Elliot Johnson sliding into home and breaking Francisco Cervelli's wrist in spring training back in 08). So the Yankees fired this off that brought a whole lot of media attention.


Okay, maybe it was a bit much. Like the John Krasinski's response ("We will kill you in October!") I have to admit, I thought it was hysterical. It was the online equivalent of benches clearing. Grown adults managing these accounts throwing these barbs at one another, it was the kind of contest I remember when I was in grade school. It might not win any maturity awards, but these sparring matches are part of the fun! They are a critical component of the fabric of baseball in society.


Eventually, a cease-fire was called, and both sides went back to their corners. Everybody went back to being polite, but not before a few hundred retweets, likes, replies, and taunts from both sides. Yup, we're almost back to playing baseball. As for the Chicago Cubs, here's a trivia question. When Babe Ruth hit his "called shot home run", against whom did he hit it? That's right. We will see you in October!




--Ike Dimitriadis, 
BYB Senior Staff Writer
Twitter: @KingAgamemnon



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CAM NEWTON'S REACTION WAS EMOTIONAL & UNDERSTANDABLE


Let me start by saying that I do not want to justify Cam Newton's actions. Walking out on a post game press conference probably wasn't the best option. What I am saying is that I do not buy into all the negativity that surrounded his actions, and I do not agree with the character assassination that he has been a target of as a result.

There's so much that people don't want to consider. First being that post game interviews are incredibly redundant. If you watch enough sports, and enough post game interviews, you can probably guess which series of questions would be asked on any given day. For the losing team, it adds to the stress and negative emotions.

Then consider the post game interview setting. ESPN posted a video of the interview with Cam. He is seated at the table, giving short yet direct responses to the questions asked to him. You can clearly hear Chris Harris of the Broncos discussing what the game plan had been. It was set up so that both teams shared a single space for the post game interview, and the only divider was a black curtain. Personally, I find the setting incredibly unprofessional. There is no reason why the opposing team should be heard while you conduct a post game interview. It's disrespectful to the person you are interviewing. Regardless of the win or loss, it's just a less than ideal setting.


Even before this incident people have called Cam arrogant and cocky. Over a dance? Because suddenly he is the only player in the history of the NFL to celebrate his wins? Let's focus on the fact that he walked out on the post game interview, and completely ignore the fact that he congratulated Peyton Manning with a huge smile. "I've been on that side of it," Manning said of Cam. "It's tough, and it's not an easy pill to swallow. But he was very nice to me and I appreciated that." But that's arrogance, right?


It's so much easier to vilify him than to attempt to understand the thought process. I'm sorry, was Manning vilified in 2010 when he walked off the field without so much as acknowledging the New Orleans Saints players after the Colts lost to them 37 - 17? No... that was passion. He was upset, and he allowed his emotions to make the call. Completely different from what Cam did... except it's the exact same thing! Funny that the same passion one player is praised and respected for, is what makes another cocky.


Oh but his responses were short, and he had an attitude. I'm sorry, how many post-game interviews have you watched? Which athlete, when interviewed after a loss, is verbose and boisterous? I'll wait... Oh, what was that? None? Yea... that's what I thought you'd say. Even Mariano Rivera, who is arguably the most humble athlete I have ever watched, was curt with his responses after a loss. And let's face it, Derek Jeter was no picnic to interview after a loss either. That's not exclusive to Cam.

He's incredibly talented, proof of which came in the form of being named NFL MVP, and going into the Super Bowl having helped his team to a 19 - 1 season. No one can deny that he is a phenomenal player. He also pretty much wears his emotions on his sleeve. When he is happy, he celebrates. He sings and dances and enjoys himself. Why then did you expect his disappointment to be quiet and reserved? He busted his ass this season. He did so much more than what was expected from him. And then he lost on the big stage. Hell yes, that's disappointing. If he hadn't shown any emotions, I would question his passion for the game.

Again, him walking out of the interview probably wasn't a great call. But it is completely understandable. You can attempt to demonize his character for it and call him names, but who hasn't been so disappointed by a loss that they haven't needed to walk away? Emotions were running high. He was upset, angry, maybe even a little sad. He reacted. Knee jerk move, yes. But it does not make him the monster people want to paint him out to be.




--Erica Morales BYB Senior Writer 
Twitter: @e_morales1804



 

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Monday, February 8, 2016

CLAY RAPADA IS NOW A PITCHING COACH!


This is a BYB Exclusive and that's because Clay Rapada is a stand up guy and knows we're not in this baseball business to rip on players and be obnoxious.  As I've said many times here, we respect the players, the teams and we provide honest and sometimes fun information for our audience.  Former Yankee Clay Rapada knows this.  That's why I have scoop on our pal Clay.


Clay has been hired for an assistant pitching coach job with the San Francisco Giants Low A club.  You will not see this anywhere else folks for the moment at least. So when Matt Eddy of Baseball America comes out with this story tomorrow and MLB Trade Rumors reports that it was Matt Eddy with the scoop (Remember GIVING CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE?), you can quickly remind them that they're wrong.  It was BYB. And I'm joking about MLB Trade Rumors.  They are professionals and they corrected the record last time.  Thanks again Jeff Todd.


Clay's last major league team was the Cleveland Indians in 2013.  His last minor league club was the Sacramento River Cats where he had a 2.84 ERA in 46 games.  He also played 3 games in the Winter Venezuelan League. Both of those teams were last season.  The dude just keeps going.  Now however, he's taken a coaching gig with the Giants in their minor league system. I have tremendous respect for this Cat and his drive and dedication to the game.


Shout out to Clay, our friend!  Thanks for thinking of us and thanks for always being so approachable.  In this world there are regular folks, a-holes and then there's the "good ones".  You my friend are one of the good ones and we appreciate you very much!

Best of luck to you in your coaching gig! Keep kicking ass. Congratulations!

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