Saturday, April 18, 2015

CASHMAN'S "AROD PLAN" IS UP IN FLAMES


Brian Cashman must be having a miserable April. Have you ever put together a plan with great thought and consideration and then watch it fail to the point where you start wondering if some supernatural power is out to get you? Where things that worked a million times before fail for the first time ever – galactically – and you wonder why you got out of bed in the first place?


Welcome to Brian Cashman's world. Maybe not his whole world, but certainly the part of it that deals with Alex Rodriguez. It's been reported that Cashman has been trying to get rid of Alex for a few years now. I understand his frustration. He has paid $25M+ per year for a guy that did not play 100 games two of the three years prior to last year's suspension.


Then there was that "Memorial Day" plan. Remember that bit of noise that made its way through the rumor mill this past winter? We destroyed it here on BYB. Read "YANKS TO RELEASE AROD" STORY WITH ZERO DEPTH. Allegedly, the Yankees were planning to release Alex right after Memorial Day. There was no confirmation, but who really believes that there was not at least a shred of truth to it? Remember that as of right now, there is a conspicuous absence from the Yankees Press Guide that we are four Rodriguez homers away from BonusGate, where Alex will pass Willie Mays on the all-time home runs list, the Yankees will refuse to pay his bonus, and all-out war will ensue.


The entire Memorial Day plan hinged on the assumption that with Alex being away from the game for so long, and pushing 40 years of age, there was no way he would be playing well. Poof. There goes that plan. He has been the one guy that has been hitting consistently for both average and power. Maybe with the kids coming up and veterans recovering from injuries, the team would be hitting well and they could say that they did not really need him. BOOM! Blown to smithereens! Well, he has always had a bad attitude, so the team would be better off without him. Instead, he has not made a single complaint about not playing third - the position he lost. He arrived at spring training early, in spite of the media circus surrounding his return to baseball, and put in his work. He took grounders at first, since the team might need to rest Mark Teixeira and they could use an extra bat in the DH slot. When asked to DH, he quietly picked up his bat and did what they needed him to do. Brian Cashman’s Memorial Day plan has gone completely up in flames.


Look, I am no fan of Alex Rodriguez. None of his good behavior through March and April excuses his use of PED’s, his lawsuits against MLB and the players’ union, and all his other activities that have drawn attention away from the game of baseball. Furthermore, six weeks of staying out of trouble does not guarantee what May through October will bring. Nevertheless, I cannot help but notice the stark contrast between his behavior and his reputation. Let us imagine that he lived up to the image of the self-centered egomaniac that many believe he is. He could have shown up to spring training late, with a “who cares” approach. He could have referred to last year’s lack of offense and asked, “Did you miss me?” He could have copped an attitude, saying “Hey, if you want to pay me $25M to sit here on the bench, my pleasure.” Worse, he could have gone to the media and pointed out how the Yankees cannot seem to score more than one run per game without him in the lineup. Notice that he has not done any of that. He has DH’ed when asked. He has played first when asked. He has played third when asked. He has pinch hit when asked. He has deflected baiting questions from reporters, especially when on the road, about the robust, loud boos and the fans turning their backs. He is doing EXACTLY what he is supposed to be doing. It is obvious even to a critic like me.


In a couple of weeks, Alex Rodriguez will hit career home run number 661, passing Willie Mays. If the Yankees refuse to recognize and pay, as everyone expects, Brian Cashman will have an even worse May than his April. The pettiness has gotten the attention of practically everyone in the press. You know, the people that will put “BonusGate” on the back page of every newspaper, at the top of every sports website and blog, and milk it for everything it is worth, for as long as they can make it last. Given the Yankees’ propensity for pushing an image of honor and tradition, this could spell disaster for Cashman. Being on the receiving end of criticisms labeling the Yankees as “petty” will wear on the Steinbrenners. My advice to Brian Cashman – give up the battle and win the war. Alex Rodriguez is not your problem. Not winning is your problem. Trying to duck a bonus payment just to make a point is moot when your team is in last place and all that your fans are talking about is how they expect this to be a long season. Recognize those that are doing well – including Alex – and work on fixing the rest. Then we can put these controversies to bed and get back to focusing on winning.



--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
Twitter: @KingAgamemnon
My blog is: Shots from Murderer's Row




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YOU SAY TEIXEIRA, I SAY O'HARA


Dear Mark Teixeira Fans,

I want to start by saying that I am in no way your enemy.  I like ya!  I dig your steadfast support of our newly gluten free clean up hitter.  You stand up for your guy and I respect you for it.  However, I also admire my young nieces and nephews for their die hard belief and defense of Santa Claus to those rotten kids trying to spread the insane rumor that it’s actually your Mom and Dad who put the presents under the tree on Christmas Eve!  I mean that is OUTRAGEOUS!  


Tex has 3 home runs on the young season!  He is back to his old self!  No more questions about his heart or contract!  This guy is the real deal and I’m way, way off base to even bring into question anything about Mark’s game…or new diet.  That’s your overall point yes?

Recently I was accused of whining about Teixeira.  Whining?  No, I wasn’t and am not whining.  I have been tough on Tex, there is no denying that.  I will tell you wonderful folks again that it is not personal.  I don’t know #25 at all.  How could it possibly be personal?  I have heard that he is a really nice guy and a big Mattingly fan.  That is great to hear.  There’s nothing worse than a .214 hitting jerk, am I right?  I, like all of you, was very happy to see him take those pitches over the wall during the past week.  That’s super duper stuff!  I feel for Mark having to dig and dive for what seems like EVERY routine throw from Didi.  I mean Tex is fragile!  Doesn’t Jeter’s replacement get that?


I have made mention that if Mark does in fact turn last year’s forgettable season around…or even make this one notably better, I will post an apology to him, you loyal “Texians” and his extended family.  I promise.  I will.  No question.  

I wish Mark and all of you the very best.  We are ALL Yankee fans at the end of the day.  If Tex succeeds the team benefits and who wouldn’t want that?


Now, if you’ll excuse me I need to write THE TOTALLY REAL Santa and let him know that this Christmas I want a Greg Bird jersey.


Sincerely Yours in Yankee Blue,

Michael J. O’Hara
Chairman of The Greg Bird Fan Club
The Bird’s Nest
1 161st Street & Rivera Ave
Ste. #21
Bronx, NY 10451


  
--Mike O'Hara
Senior "Features" Writer
Twitter: @mikeyoh21




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Friday, April 17, 2015

LUCKY 13 IS KILLING THE AROD HATERS


It's a tough pill to swallow if you're an ARod hater, and I get it.  I mean, the guy was a steroid user and suspended for a 162 game season.  Fans HATED him after that.  They hated him the first time he lied on ESPN with Peter Gammons, but then it got worse and you really couldn't believe that he was that stupid... but he was. 


Now however, he's walked into camp in 2015, shut his mouth and used his bat to do the talking.  He hasn't been a problem at all, knock on wood, and he appears to be a model citizen.  The biggest thing though is he's contributing to the team.  When that happens, it appears all is forgotten.  Tonight was a big night for ARod.  Not only that... the Yankees won.  Hey now.


Let's start with the pitching.  Adam Warren started and gave up 4 runs against the Rays in Tampa.  Luckily for us, the Yankees were hitting tonight. Both ARod and Stephen Drew had homers.  ARod with 2 and 4 RBIs.  Drew's solo shot came in the 4th.


But the big blow came in the 8th with the teams tied and that's when ARod singled in Brian McCann to put the Yanks in the lead.


At that point Dellin Betances was getting the win, especially after Andrew Miller came in and shut the door.  Save number 3.

ARod carried the Yankees on his back tonight.  The haters will dart for the shadows, but they secretly root for the guy.  Whatever the case... a win is a win.  And guess what? I'll take this win any day of the week.

Final: Yankees 5 - Rays 4

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SURE THE YANKEE DEFENSE IS SHODDY, BUT WHAT TO DO?


Eric Boland of Newsday has a piece out about the Yankees, their 'shoddy' defense and Brian Cashman being surprised. Really Brian?  He writes:

"Brian Cashman certainly didn't envision a 3-6 start to the season. The primary culprit, he said Thursday, is easy to pinpoint.

Pretty much everything. 

'We have fumbled, whether it's running the bases, defense, starting pitching, the bullpen,' he said by phone. 'All of it in some form or fashion has factored in the six losses.'

But one area, he said, has surprised him the most.

The Yankees have been poor defensively, committing a major league-high 11 errors entering Thursday. Nine came in the first six games."

Now, look... as fans, we're all a bit surprised.  We really didn't need an article about it, but the question is, how do you fix it?


There's been rumblings that the Yankees are high on this Braves kid, Jose Peraza. he's a second baseman, a top prospect, a ton of upside, but is it a panic move?


The names that would be included in this potential trade are Gary Sanchez, who the Yankees clearly have passed by, and Luis Severino, which, in my opinion, would be foolish. 


Look, the Yankees have 2 second baseman in the minor leagues... Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela.  It's my opinion that they really don't have much of an interest in bringing up Refsnyder, but from a fan perspective, there is so much buzz about this kid brought on BY the Yankees, I'd love to see them hand him the keys and see what happens. Logically, it wouldn't be much worse than what we have right now.  If we did that though, it would be obvious to me that Stephen Drew, who's playing well, would move to Shortstop, and Didi Gregorius would either be sent down, or benched, or what... I don't know. 


The same moves would be made if the Yankees traded for Peraza, but here's the thing about that... we'd give Severino and Sanchez away.  The move for Peraza really messes up the entire idea of raising Yankee farm hands to shine, but I guess the Yanks don't have the patience anymore. They clearly haven't had it for years.  Look, I'm not opposed to Peraza, but I just want consistency. We used to wait for things to blossom.


Remember what it was like when the Core Four came up? There were errors, there were mistakes, but they stayed with them and soon enough, things got better.  Repetition happened.  Consistency happened.  Wins happened and that's because there was no jerking around of kids up and down to the minor leagues.

They brought them up, ready or not, and they learned from the veterans and from playing daily in the Big show.  We don't have that anymore.  We go out and get Stephen Drew, who, I'm telling you... his lucks about the run out. 


We go out and get Didi Gregorius, who, I believe still has time to shine, but right now we look like we just got Ken Phelps for Jay Buhner.... Shane Greene is fantastic in Detroit.  You know what I mean?

(In Photo: Ken Phelps signed baseball)
We need to wake the F up. If Chase Headley is having alittle trouble at 3rd fielding a baseball, guess what, throw Alex Rodriguez at third alittle more.  Sure he's old, but he's been dynamite for us this season... showing up and playing and not saying anything dumb. 


You can still use Headley's bat, rotate he, Garrett Jones, ARod, Mark Teixeira between 1st, 3rd and DH and let's get things moving here! Big bats, decent fielding with this group... LET'S GO!

Look, if we're gonna try things, I'd rather do it now.  I just don't know what else to do. Do you?

I do know this... the Yankees have zero patience, and maybe that's because us fans are annoyed so quickly.  Hey, maybe it's a good thing, maybe they're listening.  I'll tell you what though... Yankee fandom is dwindling... empty seats, no faith. It's obvious and it's only April.


Hey, say what you will about the Mets, but the Mets are looking good right about now.  What does that say about the Yankees? Sure, Brass will say "We don't worry about the team across town." Sure... maybe not, but notice what they're doing.  Raising kids to play.  Sure, it took awhile for them, but things are starting to fall into place.  Why?  Patience. 

Maybe bring our own kids up. What do you say?  Bird's waiting in the wings.  Refsnyder is too.  Severino could be the next big stud... but I don't want to find that out when he's a star on the Braves.  I want him in pinstripes.   You feel me?

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APPEARING "DOUCHEY" & BEING A DOUCHEBAG ARE DIFFERENT

Calm down.  Derek Jeter is still the greatest, there is no disputing that.


I had to get something off my chest the other night in reference to Derek Jeter saying he didn't miss baseball at all.  I'm not mad at him, but I do feel as though he should have chose some better phrasing.  In short, it was weird to me.


But let's not get mixed up here ladies and gentlemen. You're better than that.  Making a comment that appears "Douchey" and being an actual Douchebag are entirely 2 different things.  Jeter's no Douchebag. Trust me.  I have complimented this man for years.


He's a role model to my kids and I've written about him constantly here on Bleeding Yankee Blue, as well as in USA Today a few years ago.  You can read JETER, BYB & LOYALTY.

I've received some pretty interesting comments in the past 24 hours. I guess many feel as though they need to defend Derek Jeter, when the reality is, there is no defending... I'm forming an opinion, not attacking anyone. No need to to come to his defense... we're on the same team, remember? Check this one out:
Oh great. Apparently I need to grow up.  Why exactly?  Did I call him a "Poopie face" or something? How about this one:


Now in fairness, me saying Jeter's comment appears "douchey" is an OPINION. Just like when Tara Adams suggested my article, JETER'S COMMENT SEEMS KIND OF "DOUCHEY", "was stupid." That's fair. Trust me, I wasn't passing it off as Hemingway, I was just making a point. There are tons of fans that don't like to hear that he doesn't miss it, because in essence, it comes off as he doesn't miss "us", after all, we were apart of his run for 19 years.


Now, I don't take this Jeter comment personally, and for the record, here's the full quote below. I was merely pointing out my thoughts.


But here's the thing, you guys need to freaking relax.  No one's attacking your golden boy here.  Jeter is still sacred, but even he can say some pretty silly things.  And yes... that's my opinion too.

Jeter's enjoying life after "work", I think we all understand that.  He should enjoy his time, I just think it should have been said alittle differently.


Whatever the case, I'll always admire Jeter. I hope he and Hannah Davis are enjoying themselves.  I mean what's not to enjoy, they have a freaking horse that talks... and sings.



Enjoy your Friday. Chill.

20% Off Derek Jeter Memorabilia at Steiner Sports, code SPORTS20


You've made BYB the fastest growing Yankees fan site in history. Now shop at the Bleeding Yankee Blue store!  Follow me on Twitter @BleednYankeeBlu and LIKE Bleeding Yankee Blue on Facebook!  Also, don't forget to check out the BYB Hub!