Friday, October 9, 2015


"I did what I thought was right every day.

Here's the problem with thinking too hard... sometimes you just need to go with your gut instead.  It is my opinion that baseball should be about the gut move, the "doing" rather than the "thinking". I mean sure, there is strategy involved and sometimes it's good the have match-ups, but gut moves are sometimes what makes this game great.

Joe Girardi spoke in front of reporters today talking about the season. While I don't really have beef with Joe, I remember many instances where he thought too much, checked out his binder instead of using his gut, and essentially blowing a game we had in the bag.  Now, I know... it's Monday morning quarterbacking... but who's to say I wasn't YELLING at the TV at the exact time he was making a foolish move?  Anyway... I digress...

Here are some quotes from Joe, post Post Season:

Defending the handling of the Yankees: ''I did what I thought was right every day...People thought that I could have done better. I understand that, and so you live with it.''

On his players:  "Were they tired? I don't know. Everyone during the course of the season is going to get physically worn down, because it's a grind.''

On not trading away prospects: "I think the organization made the right decisions not giving up blue-chip prospects just for a two-month rental...I think we made the right moves at the trade deadline. We're pleased we kept Severino, Bird, Judge..."

Girardi on not winning: "The bottom line is we didn't win and that's going to be questioned. I understand that."

On benching Jacoby Ellsbury in the Wild Card game: "As far as fence mending, that's to be determined. I guess, as I talk through things with players over the course of the winter. I had to make a decision (to play Chris Young over Ellsbury or Brett Gardner against Houston). It wasn’t an easy decision (and) it came down to a body of work during the course of the season against left-handers.’’

Out of all of what he said today, this is what I found most interesting.  Ellsbury has always liked and respected Joe Girardi.  Never has there been a bad word spoken about their relationship... but as I tweeted the night of the Wild Card game... Joe LOVES Brett Gardner.
It is my opinion that that factored into Joe's decision making during that game. Now, no one thought Gardy was going to strike out 3 times, but when there was a moment to pinch hit for Gardy after 3 K's,  Joe didn't, and instead put Ellsbury in for Chris Young after Gardy grounded out in his 4th at bat.
Who knows what would have happened... maybe nothing. But it goes back to "Gut" over strategy. Now, it's my opinion that we now have a manager that is most likely not trusted or respected by his players. Joe knows this... otherwise, who would he say it.  He was talking to Ellsbury there. He knows he blew it. When this stuff starts to happen, you need to worry as an organization.

Much like Jorge Posada and Joe... there could be more fall out as the seasons go on between Ells, Joe and who knows who else. Let's hope not.

Anyway, that was really it with Joe and his press conference. Not alot there, but yes, I did find that mend fences line very interesting.

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Although many fans are disappointed in the outcome of the very short-lived postseason, The 2015 Yankees exceeded expectations in the eyes of most people. Sure they struggled down the stretch and couldn't even put up a measly run against the Astros, but their 87 wins was more than nearly every analyst predicted.

Now, I know we are just a couple days into golf season for the Yankees players, but it's never too soon to start talking about 2016. The roster, for the most part, will likely remain unchanged heading into next spring barring a trade really. With $183 million on the payroll already, the chances of the Yankees and the Steinbrenner's being spenders this offseason is unlikely.

CC Sabathia, Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, Mark Teixeira and Jacoby Ellsbury (and their combined $103 million in salaries) are all likely completely untradeable. Sabathia actually pitched well down the stretch before entering alcohol rehab (I wish the absolute best for him) and hopefully can return to eat some innings in the back of the rotation. ARod and Tex overachieved based on predictions and can hopefully stay healthy next year and contribute some power numbers. Carlos Beltran had a bit of a rebound year but he is coming to the end of a tremendous career.

As for Ellsbury, he has not been able to stay healthy and since returning from injury midway through the season, was pathetic. I like Ellsbury and the tools he brings to a ball club but he is going to seriously have to step up his game in 2016.

All these guys will be with the club next year, as will McCann and Headley, so not much change with the big names. The pitching is younger, which I love and the Yankees have under contract or control of Tanaka, Sabathia, Nova, Pineda, Eovaldi, Warren and Severino.

Didi Gregorius grew big time over the last few months and will hopefully continue to improve. I still love that trade (as well as the one for Eovaldi). Greg Bird provided some huge hits and power production in Teixeira's absence but he appears to be a man without a spot next season, at least to begin. He needs to be in the lineup and be allowed to grow. He is the Yankees future at first base.

The one huge variable is Brett Gardner. He struggled along with Ellsbury at the top of the lineup down the stretch. Gardner is also under contract but is relatively inexpensive. He also has great speed and plays a very good outfield. He could be a trade chip, along with a pitcher like Adam Warren, Michael Pineda or a younger arm that could be moved to help solidify a hole in the lineup or rotation. I would love the right deal to fall into place and allow for Gardner to succeed and the Yankees to get a solid return.

The bullpen should be pretty solid again with Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller at the back end. That should not be a problem in terms of the Yankees having strong able arms ready to compete for a spot in the 'pen.

As we can see, us Yankees fans may have to reluctantly settle for another middle of the road season until they're able to free up some payroll with Beltran, Sabathia and Tex all becoming free agents following the 2016 season. I love and respect all three of those guys as ballplayers, but they just aren't what they used to be, especially for the money they earn!

(In photo: Jorge Mateo)
Without a big time trade or unexpected opening of the infamous Steinbrenner checkbook, we really should start looking at 2017. Aaron Judge should be Major League ready with Jorge Mateo hot on his heels. There are many players in the now talent filled minor league system who are maturing and growing as ballplayers while sitting behind a backlog of contracts and fragile vets.

As much optimism as the new season brings, I really don't expect big things until 2017. Is that to say that the Yankees can't overachieve again and make a nice playoff run? No, of course not, but the signs and symptoms aren't going to change, so how can we expect the outcome to.

Unfortunately it looks like 2016 could be more of the same for the Yankees. Unless, of course, Brian Cashman, the Steinbrenner's and the over the hill roster fool us.

A man can hope, right?

--Dan Lucia
BYB Writer
Twitter: @DManLucia


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There are certain stories that really make you consider how short life can truly be. The story of Mike Nolan is one of them.

Nolan was a left-handed pitcher in the Oakland A's minor league. He was drafted in the 18th round in 2014, and signed with the A's later that year. He was 23 years old, and his life was brought to an unfortunate and abrupt end.

On September 18th, 2015, Nolan was shot in a drive-by while in Yonkers, NY. He was standing outside of his car when the shooters opened fire, hitting him in the head and torso. He was rushed to Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx. On October 8th, Nolan was pronounced brain dead. His parents now sit beside him waiting for him to pass on. 

Life is delicate. This young man had a lifetime ahead of him. He has talent and promise, and it was robbed from him. It makes me think of how often we squander opportunities in life. In the great scheme of things, I guess the only things that matter are the opportunities we do take. The ones we make the most of. Nolan was just a kid really. I cannot wrap my mind around any act of violence, but when it claims the life of someone so young, it makes it extremely difficult for me to accept.

To Mike's parents, Jimmy and Donna Nolan, BYB extends our deepest condolences. I cannot imagine what you must be going through. We are so very sorry for your loss.  

-Erica Morales BYB Senior Writer 
Twitter: @e_morales1804

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Thursday, October 8, 2015


Every Yankee fan  has favorite players to which they paid attention during different eras in Yankees history. For some, it was a great hitter or a great pitcher, or even a great fielder. I will always be a fan of Graig Nettles, thinking of his diving stops during the 77 and 78 World Series. When I think of 2004 through 2006, one of the guys I think of is Tanyon Sturtze. I always thought he was a tough, gutsy pitcher. Maybe it was an incident involving a beaning and Jason Varitek being thrown to the ground like a rag doll. But I digress. Bleeding Yankee Blue had a chance to talk with him recently. We proudly present our exclusive interview with Tanyon Sturtze.

BYB: First, congratulations on the birth of your son Maverick. By my math, he is just over 3 weeks old. How is he doing, and how is the family adjusting?

Tanyon Sturtze: Pretty good, man. I can't believe you knew that! Everything is good, No sleep right now, of course. He's great, he's healthy, it's all we could ask for. The family is doing good, and  hopefully he starts to sleep pretty soon in the next few weeks (laughs).

BYB: You played for 7 teams: the Cubs, Rangers, White Sox, Devil Rays, Blue Jays, Dodgers, and the Yankees. Yet your Twitter profile picture has you in a Yankees jersey and your handle - @sturtze56 - pays homage to your uniform number with the Yankees. Tell us what the Yankees mean to you.

Tanyon Sturtze: Everything. That was the best time I had playing the game, obviously on the best team. It was a great group of guys I played with. I played with a lot of great guys over the years with some teams. I got to be pretty close friends with a lot of guys on the Yankees. You spend a few years there, and I think the playoffs brings everybody a little tighter. I never had that opportunity with the other teams. New York is the best. There is nothing better than there. There is nothing better than playing for the Yankees. I wouldn't know what it's like playing for the Mets, being in New York, but I know that the Yankees rule the city. We rule until someone takes it from us. It was the best time of life. I love going back there. I love doing everything for the Yankees. I do some fantasy camps for them in the winter. I do some autograph signings up in the suites. I just love going back.

BYB: We all remember the brawl between ARod and Jason Varitek and you were right in the middle of it. OK spill the beans, who did you tag in that brawl and give us the play by play from your perspective on the brawl.

Tanyon Sturtze: Well, I started that game, so I was actually sitting on the bench. They had hit Alex Rodriguez a couple of times the night before, so once they hit him again that day, we all knew he was mad from the night before. Things kind of spilled over. As I got out there, Alex was actually on the bottom getting worked over pretty good. I just grabbed the closest guy, it just happened to be Gabe Kapler. So I grabbed him and tried to get him off the pile, then it escalated to a little more than that.

It was not a problem for me because I didn't really like anybody on that team anyway at the time. Tensions were different back then. The game was different between the Yankees and the Red Sox. It was still really hot and heavy. They still hadn't beaten us until after that year. Things kind of changed and mellowed out a little bit in my opinion, with that series.

BYB: Obviously the rivalry was pretty intense in the 70's, 80's, 90's and when you were in New York. Do you think that's a good thing or a bad thing, that the rivalry has mellowed out now?

Tanyon Sturtze: I think it's a bad thing because it's always great to have hated rivals in a sport. I played in LA, and they all talked about LA/San Francisco. They didn't hold a candle to Boston/New York. 2004 was pretty heated. I mean, people were at the old Stadium at noon for a 7 o'clock game, chanting "We Hate Boston" as you walk into the clubhouse. It was pretty special. I have gone back to a couple of games now, I really don't feel like it's the same. Obviously everyone still knows it's a rivalry. But I just don't think it was as heated once they won the World Series a couple of times. I think it's calmed down a little bit. 

BYB: You grew up in Worcester, Mass - near the heart of Red Sox Nation. Were you a Red Sox fan growing up? Tell us what it was like growing up there.

Tanyon Sturtze: I was a Red Sox fan growing up. My dad used to take me to Opening Day every year. I would miss school on Opening Day. Look, any kid that grows up in New York is either a Yankees fan or a Mets fan. Listen, when you're an eight, nine-year-old kid, I mean, you guys all grew up in New York, and you're the same way. You love one team and that's just the way it is. That's where you're from and that's what you know. I always knew to go to Fenway. That's just the way it was. In high school, we'd skip school, drive down, and go to Fenway. That's just the way it is. You guys used to go to the old Yankee Stadium. That's the way we were as Boston kids and Fenway.

But once you get drafted, everything changes. You don't really have an alliance to any team anymore. You don't have any idea or control over who you're going to play for, or who you're going to get drafted by. But once I got to the Yankees, everything changed. I lost a couple of family members. They don't speak to me anymore because they are die-hard Red Sox fans. But once the fight happened, I threw out a bunch of stuff. I really despise the Red Sox. I would never become a fan of them ever again. 

BYB: Speaking of fights, what did you think of Jonathan Papelbon hitting Manny Machado and attacking Bryce Harper? Do you think his punishment should have been more severe?

Tanyon Sturtze: He's done for the rest of the year, right? I mean, I don't think there should be a deeper penalty. Listen, people fight on the same team. That happens. I know he was only there a month when he traded over there. 

Tensions always rise in the game. It's always better to do it in the clubhouse so that this doesn't happen, and that you guys don't see it, and it's not filmed. The whole world has a comment about it. It's a lot easier to go into the tunnel or the clubhouse where nobody can see, and just handle it. Listen, like I said, tensions rise throughout the course of the year between players. Stuff happens. That's just the nature of the game. If I'm in the locker room with you, listen, that's your family. You don't really have a life outside of it during the season. You're there at noon. You leave at midnight. Every day. You see your family and kids less time than you see those guys at the ballpark.

BYB: ‎Who are the one or two players, Yankees or non-Yankees, that you admired the most growing up and why?

Tanyon Sturtze: Well, I always loved Ron Guidry. Then when I got to New York, he was my pitching coach, for a year, it was the best to sit down with him. I always tried to sit with him as much as possible, listen to him talk about pitching and talk about stories. To this day, every time I see him, he's the first person I go next to. I think he's one of the greatest guys in the game. Obviously an unbelievable pitcher. I just have a great time with him and so much respect and admiration for that guy. I don't think anybody else compares except probably Derek Jeter, the way he handles himself. Guidry is such a superstar. His being such a nice guy, the way he kept on top of his game all the time is really impressive to me. He really is a Yankee legend and he's just a down-to-earth guy. Very approachable. Just a nice country boy. That's really what he is. He lives in the backwoods of Louisiana and he's a great, great guy. He's always trying to help people. I just really enjoy being around him. 

BYB: If you had your pick, which job would you want in baseball and why?

Tanyon Sturtze: If I had my pick right now, being out of the game, I mean, I retired in 2008, I'd probably go be bullpen coach with a team.  Just because I know what it's like to be down there. 

I learned from the best, which is Mariano Rivera. I think I could bring a lot to who ever is in that bullpen. To help out on preparing, on going into a game. But I'd love to be a bullpen coach for a few years before I would try to be a pitching coach. Definitely. I would never want to be a manager. No thank you. Too much pressure. Managers have a lot to do every day. I would like to be a pitching coach, but I would like to be in a role before that, before I took over as pitching coach. I love the art of pitching. I love being able to teach kids what was taught to me throughout the years. I got to be around a lot of great pitchers and pick a lot of brains. 

I lockered next to Mike Mussina for 3 years, and to listen to him talk about pitching was just ridiculous. I love that aspect of it. To be a manager or something like that, listen I know nothing about hitters. I just know ways to get them out. I wouldn't do anything outside of my comfort zone.

BYB: Do you ever read Bleeding Yankee Blue and if so, what do you think?

Tanyon Sturtze: I read it. With the baby just being born, I don't hit Twitter as much as possible. I always check out the feeds. I always see what you guys write. I think you guys do a great job. I enjoy being able to read it because if I miss something, I know I can catch up reading your stuff. I think it's a great thing you guys do. There's no better fan base than the Yankees. To be able to provide that for those guys is great. Thanks for keeping my name associated with the Yankees and I appreciate everything you guys do.

We want to thank Tanyon for taking the time to speak with  us. You're a classic baseball guy and a great guy to talk to. We wish you and your family all the best. You're now part of the BYB family... thanks!

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

Be Read. Get Known.

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One of my favorite movies of all time is How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days starring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey. In case you haven't seen it...McConaughey makes a bet with his buddies that he can make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days. At the same time Hudson, a writer, is assigned a story for the magazine that she works for and she has her own challenge of ditching a guy in 10 days. I have my own similar story....well, kind of. Let me explain.

I recently started dating a guy named Jay. He has a lot of great qualities about him. He makes me laugh, he is ambitious and is incredibly smart. He sounds great on paper so how can a girl possibly have ANYTHING to complain about? Well, unfortunately he cheers for another team and says he cannot stand the Yankees. Now do you see my problem? I have officially started to date the enemy. Unlike the movie though, I am not trying to ditch Jay.

So referencing back to the movie here Jay and I are determined to convert one another. He is determined to get me to start idolizing Mike Trout and wear Red. All I keep hearing about is how Trout is the best player in the game. The Angels got lucky because when Mark Teixeira left, the Angels drafted Trout and now he is this big superstar. Blah, blah, blah....

Also, the Angels have Albert Pujols, who is supposedly better than Teixeira and also one of the best hitters in the game because he hit 40 home runs this year. Great for Pujols, that is a fantastic accomplishment but there is no way in hell that I will ever convert to be an Angels fan, sorry Jay.

He also likes to remind me about what happened in 2002 (which I have completely blocked out and will not reference any further) and I like to counter back with how we beat him in 2009 and eventually won the World Series. See, two can play this game.

I on the other hand am determined to get this man to see things my way. I believe that there is a Yankee fan in there somewhere because the man has six Derek Jeter rookie cards, folks....six!!! I keep telling him it is a sign but he won't listen to me.

So lately, we spend our days plotting how we can convert each other. He has no chance in hell, but I on the other hand hold the upper hand here. He won't admit it and says it will never happen but I feel very confident. Maybe by the time Spring Training rolls around I can get him to trade jerseys.

I was secretly hoping that the Angels and Yankees could play each other in the playoffs. Then, we would have made a bet and when he lost, I would have bragging rights. I guess I will have to wait for that to happen until next year....maybe.

In the movie, McConaughey and Hudson go to couples counseling in false pretense to solve their problems so maybe we just need a baseball couple intervention here. I don't know what the exact answer is here except that I will NOT become an Angels fan. He has lost some points with his choice in team however, I guess he earned some serious brownie points when he actually suggested me writing this story.

So clearly, this is a power struggle. However, I will always bleed Yankee Blue, so sorry Jay! Nice try though.


--Jeana Bellezza, BYB Senior Writer and Editor
Twitter: @NyPrincessJ 

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!