Saturday, February 28, 2015


You never see him sweat.

Garrett Jones has a job with the Yankees and knows his role. But more importantly, it's about consistency and hard work and with that, he knows he'll have to never stop. He'll keep working to get at bats and keep playing time.  That's OK with him... and I'm positive about that. He loves this game and I know he's damn happy to be in New York.

Brendan Kuty of has a decent nugget about G-man.  Jones said:

"'I'm just excited to get a fresh start and get back to doing what I know I can do...'

Kuty writes:

"...perhaps more than anything, the Yankees might need Jones, a lefty swinger, to take designated hitter at bats against right-handed pitchers... If that happens, however, it will be at the expense of one of the game's greatest -- and most tainted -- players: A-Rod.

 'Yeah, I've sat back a little bit (and thought about it),' Jones said. 'We're going to be -- for at-bats -- in a competition.'    He also said he respects Rodriguez's skills: 'When he's healthy, he's one of the best.'

But, Jones said, 'in a perfect world,' both he and A-Rod are swinging the bat well and helping the Yankees win.

'That's what it comes down to,' Jones said. 'When he's getting his opportunity, he'll do his thing. And when I'm getting my opportunity, I'm going to do what I do. In a perfect world, we're both swinging the beat well and we're both in their on a regular basis.'"

This is business for Jones and it's gotta be a business. But here's what I like the most; Besides him being a hard worker, Jones doesn't see obstacles... he sees opportunity.  In a business like baseball, or even in life, you can't look at an obstacle and think, 'I can't do this'. You need to power through it.  ARod, in a sense could be considered and obstacle, or, that at least that's what Kuty wants you to believe.  But to Jones, ARod is a teammate, and to him, he knows he and ARod need to work together toward a common goal to win. 

Jones has his head on straight.  I've always admired his dedication to the game in Pittsburgh and in Miami. 

Kudos Jones. Bravo!  I am happy to have you in New York. Keep fighting my friend.

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Not sure if anyone realized but the Yankees had Photo Day yesterday.  I wanted to share some of the pictures of the guys.  This one features some of the kids... gotta love this view. Because it means baseball is here finally.

If you live in the Tri-State area, February has been way too cold and constant snow. So this is refreshing.

Enjoy this...

Tomorrow we'll show you some of the veterans! Baseball season is ladies and gentlemen!


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Baseball is a game we love to play, and for those blessed enough to play it well the sport can be parlayed into a fruitful career venture.  Yet, every once in a while we are reminded that sports are merely sports, and in the overall spectrum of things just a small part of life.

Such has been the case this past week with the news that Josh Hamilton of the Los Angeles Angels admitted to MLB that he suffered a setback in his battle with addictions that have haunted him.  To his credit, Hamilton didn’t wait for a failed test or for a YouTube video to go viral.  Instead, he was one of few and far between that stood up and insisted on being accountable for his actions.  The rumor making its way around social media is that the fallen Angel will be suspended for 25 games.
Even though I am a lifelong, die hard New York Yankees fan, I’ve always admired Hamilton – and not just because he helped me to three fantasy baseball championships. 

I had heard about his early battles with drug and alcohol addiction and how they robbed him of the early part of his career (he was suspended from 2003 – 2005) and watched him hit the ground running upon his return. 

I read how in Texas he surrounded himself with support and turned to his faith in finding a source of strength on a daily basis.  I loved how he played the game – an endless display of wearing his heart on his sleeve in going full tilt down a baseline or laying out to make an otherwise impossible catch.

Many in New York will remember his incredible performance in the home run derby at Yankee Stadium.  In spite of the fact that he wasn’t one of ours, we chanted his name repeatedly as he launched ball after ball deep into the right field seats.  Josh Hamilton was at the peak of his game.
Over the last couple of years Hamilton has battled one injury after another, and as I write this article he is recovering from shoulder surgery.  It is the price a player like Josh must pay simply because of the way he plays – sacrificing the body for the good of reaching base or robbing a hitter of a certain double.

Only, the drawback is that those injuries add up and the body no longer performs the way it once could.  Suddenly the player is a step slower and the batting average drops while opponents’ outs turn into hits.  It weighs on the psyche of someone like Hamilton and obviously opens the door back up to the demons that lie within.
Many may look at Hamilton’s transgressions as just another spoiled, rich athlete who can’t handle his fame.  Only, to me this one is different.  As I pointed out, Hamilton has never shied away from admitting his problems.  He doesn’t hide behind lie after lie like so many former and recent stars do.  He recognizes his weaknesses and genuinely wants to fix them.  Having been a fan of his, I know how deeply he cares for his family and how much he values his faith.

Yes, he has a rich contract, but he’s used his own monies to create things like the Triple Play Ministries Foundation as well as an orphanage in Uganda.  He has a wife and four daughters.  In short, he has a life outside of baseball that is bigger – and frankly more important than – the sport.
In an article by Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Roy Silver – a close friend and mentor of Hamilton’s – says he thinks Josh should retire. 
"It seems like he's struggling with things. When you've been given three, four and five chances, and it's still not working, it's best to say, "This is it.'

"His life isn't over, but his baseball career should be.''

Ultimately, the decision on what happens going forward is all Hamilton’s.  Only he knows what it will take to battle the disease (yes, these addictions to alcohol and cocaine are a disease) during a long baseball season.  It’s not something he’ll need to fight week-to-week.  It’s a moment-by-moment battle that will last the rest of his life and will be littered with temptations every step of the way.  I, for one, would understand if he didn’t want baseball as an added distraction.

The best part of Josh Hamilton is that, unlike others he’s willing to admit that he’s one of us.  He’s human, and has human flaws.  He more than welcomes his accountability for those flaws.   In this day of half-hearted apologies in front of cameras or in the published media, Hamilton instead simply admits to his setbacks and gets to work on correcting them.
Yes, this year I’ll be rooting for my Yankees to get back into the post-season, but I’ll be rooting even harder for Josh Hamilton to get his life back in order.
After all, baseball is just a game that in the context of life is just a small part.


--Steve Skinner, BYB Senior Writer
Twitter: @oswegos1


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Friday, February 27, 2015


With Spring Training being upon, Bleeding Yankee Blue is continuing this series, highlighting the kids that are vying for a coveted spot on the major league roster. We are going over their respective backgrounds – how they have been playing, their strengths, their weaknesses, and what to look for.

Luis Severino is a 21-year old right-handed pitcher who is coming up through the Yankees’ farm system. He started last year with the Charleston RiverDogs, achieving a 2.79 ERA and 9.3 K/9 over 14 starts. He moved on to the Tampa Yankees, where he continued to impress. Four starts, a 1.31 ERA, 28 strikeouts over 20+ innings, and he was sent up to the Double-A Trenton Thunder. He finished the season there, continuing his remarkable productivity, to the tune of a 2.52 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 25 innings over 6 starts.

Severino threw his first bullpen session in Spring Training this past weekend, and all the coaches and scouts came out to watch. He has three strong pitches that he can deliver. His best pitch is his fastball, which he can throw in the mid-90’s. He can mix in an off-speed pitch in the mid-80’s with decent control. Finally, he has a good slider in the mid-80’s, but the scouting reports say that he has work to do to control it. Severino should be able to dominate hitters with that mix of pitches, and the strikeout ratios speak for themselves.

The limitation on Severino is clearly the pitch count. He works within a pitch limit in his outings, not going very far into games. This spring, the Yankees will be looking to see how long he can work and how durable his arm is. So, while we have stats on his pitch velocity and strikeout ratios, we do not yet know how his arm strength holds up deep into games.

Most reports have Severino as a top prospect for the Yankees, likely seeing some major league action sometime in the middle of the upcoming season. With the Yankees’ starting rotation being what it is, he may see an opportunity for a spot-start. Likely, he will be a September call-up and get some time there. Either way, he will be a key player in the Yankees’ plans for late 2015 and going into 2016.

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

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This is very cool. It's a recording of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, audio only, doing alittle comedy.

It's funny, I've talked to kids in my own town right around baseball season each year about guys like Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. Some of the kids are as old as 11, and when I mention Babe Ruth, they'll say stuff, like "Wait... was he real?"  With Lou, many are more unfamiliar with him, only that he died from a disease.

These Yankees were truly larger than life in their time, and for as long as I can remember, great card companies like Topps continue to bring Babe and Lou's history and legacy to kids and adults everywhere. 

The problem with kids of today, compared to say, kids like me in the 70's and 80's... is that kids don't collect cards like they used to.  I mean, Topps does it's best to keep people informed of the all time greats, but it's a different time, filled with multiple spring sports and video games these days.  I guess what I'm trying to say is, it's a much different world, and sometimes the greats are forgotten. And that brings me back to this comedy routine. Rare finds like this are terrific. 

We've heard Babe speak in old tapes, but I don't remember every really hearing Lou Gehrig other than his final speech to Yankee Stadium.  That was sad... this is comedy.

Anyway, if you have 5 minutes, check this out.  And share it... keep the history of the Babe and Lou Gehrig going. 

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