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Friday, October 24, 2014

BETANCES: THE FUTURE OF YANKEE CLOSERS?


At the end of the 2013 season, the question on everyone's mind was "who will be our closer?" After Mariano Rivera retired, he left some impossibly huge shoes to fill. Admittedly, Yankees fans have been spoiled for years. Rivera finished his career with 652 saves. A record in the MLB. So when 2014 season came around, he had big expectation for whoever stepped in to fill the role.


I'll give David Robertson huge respect. He finished the season with 39 saves, with only 5 blown saves. His 88.6 save percentage is seriously impressive. Despite much of his Houdini like magic tricks, loading up the bases before getting the final out, he managed to really pull through, and had an impressive season. We couldn't possibly ask for more of him. The question now is will Robertson be returning to the Yankees? I like Robertson. I'd like to see him back in pinstripes, in the Bronx. But, if he doesn't, there is always Dellin Betances.


I have been singing Betances' praises since Spring Training. Back then, people told me I was projecting, and foolish. It was too soon to tell. Still, I called Betances the new home town hero, and he performed just as I expected he would. His 1.40 ERA and 22 holds were an incredible addition to the bullpen. He set up Robertson nicely all season. He is an incredibly talented young man, with a lot to offer the team.


It reminds me a lot of the days when Rivera set-up for John Wetteland. I liked Wetteland, and he was a great closer for us. His 1996 season, he gave the Yankees 43 saves, a 91.5 save percentage.


The one two combination of Rivera and Wetteland was impeccable. Much like the one two combination of Betances and Robertson was this season.

Again, I like Robertson. I want him to continue with the Yankees. But I know that there is a possibility he will not return. And while it will make me sad to see him go, I know that Betances, if given the opportunity with continue to flourish. No, I do not expect him to be the next Rivera. There is, after all, only one Sandman, and to compare the two would be unfair to what Rivera has done, and what Betances will do. But I do expect him to be great. It is my opinion that he is the future of Yankee closers. And if this season is any indication of how that will play out for us, I say that we are in good hands. After all, he IS our Hometown Hero.



--Erica Morales BYB Senior Writer 
Twitter: @e_morales1804

 


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Thursday, October 23, 2014

KEVIN LONG NOW WORKS FOR THE METS


Well look, you knew Kevin Long wasn't going to be out of a job long.  Over all, he is a decent hitting coach. The problem with Long in my opinion was the hitters either didn't trust him or the veterans didn't want to listen to him.  He couldn't change stale routines and offer constructive advice that would translate to wins.  It's my opinion that he became too close to these guys.  He almost seemed like he was one of the players and not an instructor.  Again, that's my take, you may have yours.


The news is he is now the hitting coach for the New York Mets.  According to Hardball Talk, "Kevin Long has signed on with the Mets to fill the same role.

For the majority of Long’s tenure the Yankees had one of the elite offenses in baseball and overall from 2007-2014 they scored MLB’s second-most runs, but the lineup fell apart during the past two seasons due to aging and injuries."


Look, there were positive reviews.  Chris Young loved him when he came from the Mets batting .205 and suddenly he was a spark plug on the Yankees.  You could give Long alittle credit there, but I'd also give some credit to a change of scenery and the willingness to try anything to improve on Young's part.


And don't forget... Curtis Granderson was reinvented by Long and he did some good things for the Yanks when he figured his swing out.  I gave credit to Long when that happened... after all, I'm not a hater.

But that's the news... Long is with the Mets, and we Yankee fans are still wondering... who will the Yankee hitting coach be?


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A STARTING ROTATION I CAN GET ON BOARD WITH


Not sure if you guys read Doug Williams of YESNetwork.com.  He and Lou DiPietro do a good job.  But Doug made me smile today.

He has a piece out called What the Yankees rotation should look like in 2015 and in it, he writes the following:


"1. Masahiro Tanaka





It's no secret that any season that doesn't include October baseball is considered a failure in the Bronx. But given the injuries to the Yankees' rotation in 2014, it's a miracle that they were even playing relevant baseball in September."

All true, and very interesting, isn't it? Here's my take:


There is no question that the Yankees need 1 power arm in the rotation in 2015.  Jon Lester is my top choice, but will money do the talking or will he stay loyal to the Red Sox and go back?  There's been a ton of chatter that he would.

You also have to consider a gamer like Max Scherzer who will no doubt expect a pay day.  Here's the difference though... If I'm the Yankees, I go hard to get the lefty.  Lester needs to be paid what he wants. We need to keep him from going back to the Red Sox, and we need that Lefty to couple with Sabathia in the rotation.


Williams mentions Pineda as the #3. I love that idea. Pineda has proved he's a big game pitcher, without pine tar.  Sabathia as the number 4 guy works wonders for this rotation, but is probably a shot to his ego and I get that.  But ultimately, CC would make the most of it and probably doesn't care about being #4 in the rotation... he cares about winning and if this rotation works with him 4th, so be it.


Brandon McCarthy MUST be signed.  He's great and was a breath of fresh air last season.  Between he and Shane Greene and Chris Capuano... they did a helluva job when none of us expected it.


Sure, you're asking about Greene, David Phelps and Ivan Nova, right?   Well, this is what I think will happen.  As much as I love Phelps in the starting role, he may need to take a relief role if we snatched up Lester.  It's nothing personal, I like him... it's business.


As far as Shane Greene goes, there is no question he was great for us, but they may have to send him back down just to call him back up if someone needs rest or gets hurt.  As far as Ivan Nova goes, well, Tommy John Surgery is serious, and yes, he'll recover fine, but will he be back to normal come the Spring? How much time will he need?  We don't know... we'll have to see.

Anyway, I just wanted to point out a great piece by Williams, and alot of questions answered with that rotation. 

So, let me ask you? How do you like it? Do you agree? Comment.

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GIRARDI & BICHETTE EXCHANGE TEXTS


Girardi: "D. What's up pal" 

Bichette: " Hey Joe. How is everything." 

Girardi: "we're good. hows the family doing?"

Bichette: "we're good. tough break on Chili huh? I didn't him taking the job in Boston"

Girardi: "Yeah. I thought we offered him a nice opportunity in New York."

Bichette: "and what happened to Magadan?"


Girardi: "Funny you should say that. Hey you wanna get dinner? You. me... Brian Cashman?"

Bichette: "Oh no, you're crazy! Mariana is going to kill you!"

Girardi: "What? What did I do?"


Bichette: "I know what you're doing joe. lol.  Im home this season. I wanna work with Dante and Bo alittle before I even think about getting back in the game."

Girardi: "You got the wrong idea. A nice dinner with Cash. A steak, maybe a glass of red. We just want to see what you're thinking!"

Bichette: "Joe, you know me, I love you like a brother. But i'm home for now"


Girardi: "Remember those days in Colorado? We had a pretty great time."

Bichette: "Yup. the best."

Girardi: "we had the best time and we were the leaders of that club. Gotta get the flame back. Gotta get the band back together."

Bichette: "I KNEW IT. you're killing me Joe. KILLING ME

Girardi: "All I'm asking is you sit down at the table with me and Cashman. Mariana is of course invited.  In fact, I'll bring my wife as well. It will be like old times"

Bichette: "Except cashman's there offering me a job! dont get on Marianas bad side, she will literally kick your ass."

Girardi: "Lets have a dialog and then if nothing pans out, we keep it like this and at chritsmas Uncle Joe brings your family some nice gifts. lol"

Bichette: "Just dinner. No promises."

Girardi: "No promises... but we need a hitting coach and I'm the one who asked the Yanks to pass on Magadan.  Dont make me look bad."

Bichette: "Oh your bad dude. I'm going to get heat for this. tell me when and where. TALK ONLY

Girardi: "OK. Ill text you later."

Bichette: "Oh boy."

(NOTE: THESE ARE FAKE TEXT EXCHANGES. THIS IS ME USING HUMOR AND MAKING A GUESS OF HOW THE PEOPLE INVOLVED WOULD SPEAK TO EACH OTHER VIA TEXT. THERE IS NOTHING REAL ABOUT THIS. IT IS DONE STRICTLY FOR LAUGHS. ENJOY)





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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

SILENCE ON A HITTING COACH COULD MEAN TINO


Yankees Universe is still waiting on the front office’s decision on the hitting coach decision. After the Boston Red Sox grabbed Chili Davis off the market, and second thoughts on Dave Magadan, the pool of candidates has grown wide open. When the Yankees first let Kevin Long go, rumors swirled, and Tino Martinez was near the top of the list. Bob Klapisch reported, days after the Long firing, the Tino was not in consideration. Now that plans A and B have gone up in smoke, who knows?


Having had some experience at the position with the Florida Marlins, and the love fest this past season with the Yankees and his new plaque in Monument Park, Tino seems like a good fit. There is good reason to give him serious consideration. He has a long history of hitting well with the Yankees, and with keeping players accountable.


While we do not condone everything he did that caused his exit from the Marlins organization, it would be good to see some fire in the Yankees clubhouse. His record of accountability is well-known, chewing fellow players out for not running hard down the baseline or not going all out in the field. After the 2014 season, I think we are all a little tired of seeing the hitters lacking drive. Tino's personality may be the perfect fit.


Expect the Yankees to make an announcement in the next few days, and we will see how the new coaches shape up. If the Yankees are smart, Tino should at least get a call back.



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


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THE SABATHIAS PUSH TO THE TOP!

Finally, a great article on CC Sabathia, minus the fat jokes.  CC is almost at 100%. That comes from our pal, Pete Caldera of the Bergen Record.



"Three months after his season-ending right knee surgery, Sabathia feels “pretty much back to 100 percent’’ and ready to resume a 32-start, 200-inning workload in next year’s Yankees rotation. 

'My only goal is to stay healthy and get back to that – eating up innings and being able to start every fifth day,’ Sabathia said Tuesday afternoon at a midtown Manhattan book signing. 


Great job as always Pete, finding the nuggets that the others ignore. And great news for a guy in Sabathia, a man that has a lot of money still coming his way and at least 3 more years with the New York Yankees. I've stated all along that you get CC right again, he will deliver. I believe that, many don't. I don't listen to the doubters on this one... neither does CC.

If the big lug comes back healthy, which is expected, and he can give us a 15 win season, I'd say it's a nice comeback.  Do that the next 3 years, and hopefully another championship and CC was definitely worth his contract, no question.


Oh, and you're wondering about the book signing Caldera mentioned? CC has a children's book out titled "CC Claus, A Baseball Christmas Story." I'm not kidding.

And what's Amber up to, you're wondering? Only the New York City Marathon!  Holla!  Read the Bergen Record's piece on her HERE.  We love this woman at BYB!


As Kara Yorio writes, "Amber Sabathia was lying in bed "doing nothing" at the beginning of the summer when she got the text from friend Allison Rosenberg, who was out for a run. Rosenberg wrote that she would be passing by Sabathia's house in about 10 minutes. 

Sabathia had already signed up to run the New York City Marathon to raise money for the PitCCh In Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by her and her husband, Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia, that benefits inner-city youth. The marathon was four months away, though, and Amber Sabathia thought she had plenty of time to prepare. She wasn't planning on starting that day." 


Amber will be leading a team to run in the marathon. Amazing and good luck to Amber.

Big things happening for the Sabathia family! We appreciate them and are inspired by them at BYB.

Go hard guys!

Oh and be sure to check out 2 posts about the Sabathias that we here at BYB are proud of:
A SABATHIA MOMENT WE'LL NEVER FORGET
CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR: INTERVIEW WITH THE SABATHIAS

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