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Saturday, April 30, 2011

WHY SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE

Sometimes Cashman reminds me of the tortoise in the old Tortoise and the Hare story teaching every child about life. He really does, especially after this winter after Lee decided he was afraid to play in New York.With Phil Hughes "maybe" being on the shelf this year with "maybe" Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, many suspect "maybe" Cashman will push the panic button and go get a starting pitcher. (The latest on Hughes is HERE.) According to Cash, that's not the case.

Says Cashman: "There's no starting pitching to go find. Everything we have to deal with is right here in front of us."I get it. Who's out there that we can get? Yes, we long for the days of King Felix in pinstripes, but that may be the big name for the trade deadline. If you're talking about right now, names like Colon, Garcia and Millwood dare I say Carlos Silva have been snatched up already, by us. Guess what? They were the best of the free agent market after Lee and we got them.

So, let me be frank, we need to stop the bitching and stick with what we got. Yes, Yankees fans are used to the here and now and "We can do anything we want." But the harsh reality is, Cliff Lee changed that for Cashman and the Yankees. So now we hate Cliff Lee. So, how do we get back at him? Beat him down with our Bomber bats next time he's scheduled to pitch against us. Or, how's this for a winning scenerio; A Game 7 World Series in Philadelphia this fall. Our Yankee bats could unleash a hit attack to send Lee a message as we go on to win our 28th championship. That, may I suggest, would be the greatest payback of 2011

But back to my point. Cashman is taking things slow. If we learned anything so far, we learned the Yankees put trust in rusty veterans and were getting back on our "cheap" investments. When someone becomes available, Cash will snatch them up. For now though, we stick with what we have...and we should.

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MOVING FORWARD...

On September 9, 1968, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Bernabe Williams-Figueroa was born. We know and love him as Bernie Williams, #51, or simply, “Bern”.

As a child growing up in Puerto Rico, Bernie cut his teeth in sports in baseball and track. He was a medalist in track and field at the age of 15, which explains his grace and speed around the baseball diamond. As he grew, his skills developed, and eventually, on July 7, 1991, Bernie took the field as the New York Yankees Center Fielder.

Throughout the span of his 15-year career in pinstripes, Bernie’s batting average was .297, having hit 287 home runs and 1,257 RBIs. He won four Gold Gloves, a Silver Slugger Award, and was on the American League All-Star team five times. He was named the ALCS MVP in 1996, and is the proud owner of four World Series Championship rings.
With such a resume, it’s hard to believe that the New York Yankees brass allowed Bernie’s contract to expire in 2006. He was left in limbo for the entire off-season that year, when he was finally offered an invitation to Spring Training as a non-roster invitee; however, the Yankees wouldn’t guarantee him a spot on the 40 man roster. A little stung by this less-than-promising offer, Bernie politely said “No thanks”, and, without missing a beat, began moving forward.

Luckily for the world, not only is Bernie a fabulous athlete, he is also an accomplished musician. Trained at a very young age in classical guitar, Bernie’s playing breathes new life to a perfect blend of classical, jazz, and Latin music. He signed with Paul McCartney’s publishing company soon and recorded his first album, “The Journey Within”.In 2009, his album “Moving Forward” was nominated for a Latin Grammy award, and featured the collaborative efforts of many musicians, including Bruce Springsteen and Jon Secada. Bernie Williams’ music provides the perfect soundtrack to complement his outstanding career, and also helped give a soulful goodbye to the original Yankee Stadium during its closing ceremonies, when he played his music for fans during the final game played there in 2008.In July of 2011, Bernie’s first book, “Rhythms of the Game”, will be available to readers everywhere. It truly seems that for Bernie Williams, there are no endings, just new chapters. With everything he does, he is always “moving forward”.



--Christy Lee, BYB Staff Writer



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Friday, April 29, 2011

WHY STRANDED RUNS NEED TO SCORE

So it wasn't exactly Freddy Garcia's night, he struggled early on and gave up some runs. Guess what, sometimes pitchers do that and that's why you have a team behind you. You're teams job, or in Garcia's case, the Yankees need to get those runs back, plain and simple. Look, Freddy settled in and did OK, he gave up 3 runs, the problem was the Yankees couldn't come back. You want to blame Freddy for that? Don't. Stranding men on base has nothing to do with Garcia. It does have everything to do with the Yankees offense.

The Yankees had huge opportunities to score, yet, they ended up leaving 11 men on base. Many have said early on that the home run could hurt the Yankees long term. That appears to be happening right now because stranding 11 men on base in 1 game is not a good thing. Look, the homer is awesome and Cano had a few tonight... that's great, but they need to have clutch hits with men on base to get runs on the board. They're not doing it enough and I want them too, because at the end of the day, that's baseball.(photo: Getty)
Like I said, Cano looked amazing and you have to get excited watching him play as well as he does. He's in the batter's box and he looks so natural. He's very talented and I know this is his year for the MVP or batting title or something special.

Ricky Romero pitched well tonight for the Jays and he's a very good pitcher. Give him credit and give the Blue Jays pitching credit as a whole, they kept the Yankees to 3 runs and that big inning in the 8th could have been much much bigger with the bases loaded if the Yankees were able to hit solid. The Jeter strikeout showed me age tonight, sadly. I never like to criticize the Captain, but it was clear to me he was sluggish. The Swisher ground out just deflated me. I smelled pie for a bried moment... and then it was gone.

What can you say, the Blue Jays won fair and square tonight, but I'll preach what I always preach... the Series, win the Series and you make the playoffs.

Final Score tonight Blue Jays 5 - Yankees 3. Tomorrow we come back and win one.

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WHY BASEBALL IS A GAME OF RISK AND REWARD

(photo: US Presswire)
You know, it's funny, as soon as the New York Yankees were spurned by Cliff Lee and Andy Pettitte hung it up, Brian Cashman had to do something, and quick. Most of the marquee starting pitching names were all signed and there were a few low risk veterans available, by the names of Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia, and Kevin Millwood. At the time, we had no idea what we'd get, so low risk was what we called them, but they were veterans who knew how to pitch so we threw Colon and Garcia into the mix in Spring training and let them loose with kids like Ivan Nova. Mission? Compete for the 4th and 5th spots... the Yankees had nothing to lose.In the end of Spring and the beginning of the season, Bartolo Colon had and has proven to everyone that he had the heart and talent to be part of the Yankees rotation, especially with Hughes struggling. Freddy Garcia was named 5th starter when the season began and his veteran experience has paid off so far. As far as Millwood is concerned, in his most recent minor league start last night, he was shelled for six earned runs over just two innings. Hardball Talk has written that with that horrendous start at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the Yankee and Millwood could part ways. Read it HERE. Millwood has a clause in his contract that allows him to opt out on May 1st. There is a suggestion that the Yanks may just cut ties.

The point is, the Yankees have taken chance on low risk pitching and some have developed into high rewards. While it's never really been the Yankee way, Cashman looks good, and he should, he's saving money and he's guys a chance and they are taking advantage of that chance any way they can. Let's just hope these guys continue their journey to victory and don't break down. As Casey says, it will be the story of 2011. Let's hope so.



--Will Cohen, BYB Staff Writer



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SWISHER & JOBA EXCHANGE TEXTS

Joba: bro. U started hitting! yeah lol

Swisher:
f u bro ;)


Joba:
doing radio interviews distracted you haha


Swisher
: No. i was waiting for soriano to not let up runs, then i'd hit


Joba
: yeah right? Haha he's alright


Swisher
: dudes angry


Joba:
yeah had a hilarious joke about hughes arm and sori just starred at me when I gave the punchline


Swish
: what??


Joba
: even hughes laughed


Swish:
no personality


Joba:
he's ok, adjusting


Swish:
we should pie him lol


Joba:
HAHA he'd punch u


Swish:
fo sho


Joba:
but seriously, r u out of the slump now???


Swish:
damn i hope so lol


Joba
: wonder y u sucked?


Swish
: shut up dude


Joba
: ur thinking about hollywood bro haha


Swish
: I like being a rock star tru dat ;)


Joba
: yeah


Swish
: but love ny and bballs my passion


Joba:
I hear u.


Swish
: ill hit homers again, started last night!


Joba
: u'r dreaming of hosting snl!!


Swish:
that would rock dog!


Joba:
jeet did it


Swish:
yeah


Joba:
I watched it, I was in 8th grade hahaha


Swish
: hilarious


Joba
: ill get sori to not be a tight ass if u break out of the slump


Swish
: deal bro


Joba:
deal


Swish:
ur $


Joba
: I know


Swish
: what a dick!!! Lol


Joba:
;) later dog


(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)


By the way, check out Bronx Goblin for the latest funny stuff HERE. It's about Mariano and it's funny.

Also, Check out Bomber Boulevard. Terrific Yankee Blog.


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Thursday, April 28, 2011

WHY CC MONSTER'S IN HIS RHYTHM

(photo: Getty)
CC Monster was amazing tonight and he's in his rhythm now so the wins will keep on coming. Tonight he pitched 7 innings, had 6 strikeouts and gave up 3 runs, none earned. I'll take that all day long. We're going to see more domination from our ace now. He needed do his normal April ritual and now that he has, he's about to get great. So far this season, CC's ERA is 2.25. Beautiful.(photo: Getty)
Don't look now, but Brett Gardner's got 3 home runs this season and if you think it's just luck, think again. When I wrote WHY MECHANICS FIX WILL GET GARDY RIGHT, it had everything to do with Kevin Long discussing Gardner not using his lower body in the batter's box. Guess what, he is now. I don't think it was meant for him to hit homeruns every game, but it was important so Gardner got swinging again, and he is. Nice looking out Kevin Long.

Nick Swisher
homered and had four RBI's tonight. Thank God this guy broke his slump.
Swisher hit tonight's homer after 76 at-bats this season. That's long and Kay was even speaking about how Swish was alittle upset he hadn't hit one in a while. So good for him, hopefully he'll get on track now.(photo: Daily News)
Give some credit to Eduardo Nunez who played short tonight and gave Jeet a day off. He had 2 hits, one was a double and 1 was an infield grounder he beat out for a hit. The best part of that was his speed. Batting from the right side, sometimes there is extra time added on to your sprint to first. Not for Nunez, he was lightening. Great hustle. Nunez and Gardner scored three runs apiece, by the way.

Granderson tripled tonight and, Alex had a double... the hitting was hot tonight and the Yankees with the help of their veteran CC Monster did what they were supposed to do, win and split the Series 2-2. If you can't win the Series, you tie it, especially if it's a 4 game Series. You got to love our Yankees right now.

Final Score: Yankees 12 - White Sox 3. Yankees Win... Thhhheeeee Yaaaaannnkkkeeeeess Wiiinnn!!

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BEFORE MARIANO, THERE WAS DUREN

"I would not admire hitting against Ryne Duren, because if he ever hit you in the head you might be in the past tense."‬ --Casey Stengel
(Photo: UPI)
For anyone that who loves watching an intimidating reliever come out of the bullpen to shut down the enemy, you would have to appreciate Ryne Duren.

Yup, way before Goose Gossage or Mariano Rivera's Enter Sandman run to the mound was even invented, there was Ryne Duren, a fastball pitcher that would scare damage the opposing batters hopes of a base hit... and it all started with his entrance.
Duren had an amazing fastball and he was the perfect fit for Casey Stengel and the New York Yankees. As intimidating as he was, Duren had a nerdy appearance to him. Coke bottle glasses and he just didn't look like a tough guy...but he was and opposing team knew that if they got alittle too comfortable in the batter's box, they'd probably get one under the chin.

Duren's time with the Yankees started in 1957. Duren, Pisoni, and Harry Simpson were traded to the Yanks for Billy Martin, Ralph Terry, Woodie Held, and Bob Martyn, who went to the Kansas City Athletics.

Duren was the true showman. Like a stated earlier, part of what made Duren so unique was his entrance from the bullpen. When Stengel needed Duren, he'd hop the fence and begin a very slow walk to the mound. Duren always had his warm up jacket covering his pitching arm. It didn't matter if it was 49 or 99 degrees, he'd be wearing it.

When he warmed up, the first pitch was always wild and high past the catcher's head but as the warm ups continued, the fastballs eventually settled consistantly in the catcher's mitt.

‪Duren was with the Yankees from 1957 to 1961. During that time he had an ERA of 2.75, has 43 saves and 243 strikeouts. During his career, Duren was a 3 time all-star. In 1959, his ERA was 1.88, the best of his career.‬In 1961, he was traded to the Los Angeles Angels. From there he bounced around going to the Phillies, then the Reds in 1964. His final team was the Washington Senators.

So, the next time you see Mariano do his intimidating Sandman entrance, remember, history repeats itself and while Ryne Duren didn't have all the bells and whistles Rivera has, he was probably one of the most intimidating pitchers during his tenure in the Bronx.

A trailblazer, a true showman, a Yankee pitcher that should never be forgotten. Ryne Duren may have passed away this past January, but his legend truly lives on.

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WHY I HAVE A PETTITTE THEORY

(photo: Getty)
Bob Klapisch, a well respected sports writer seems to get me steamed almost every morning. After all, it's his job and he gets me reading. Yesterday's headline in the Bergen Record "NO DODGING THIS MOUND OF TROUBLE: After CC, not much to depend on". Come on Bob. Seriously?

Ok, Yes, I'm a Yankee fan, I believe in my Yankees, that's probably why I get pissed. Reading on, there are some interesting points about the Yankees rotation and what follows in the bullpen, say RaSo for instance, but ultimately, the Yankees have this hand of cards to work with and while CC is our ace, there are lots of promising things happening. It's funny, so many have been praising the Yankees for going cheap and getting back big rewards with Colon and Garcia. No question, We have no idea when they'll breakdown and Hughes is the Mystery man right now, but the last thing I need after those first 2 losses to Chicago is to open the paper to see Klapisch tell me the Yankee's World is falling apart. My God, we won last night and everything's fine. He sounds like a Red Sox fan, pissed and angry after a few missteps.

Look,we're the New York Yankees, believe it or not, we're allowed to lose a game. We win more anyway.

So, what needs to happen? Well, for starters, our starters need to go 7 consistently. Colon went 8 last night, and I'm loving it. Then, we need to get Soriano right. If it means beating the attitude out of him, do it boys. I wrote WHY A BAD ATTITUDE IS POISON back in February and I stand by it. Soriano has one. Soriano, ironically lost the game for New York last night. To me, he should be hugging it out and taking lumps. In fact, I'd like to knock the chip off his shoulder and remind him the Bronx will eat him alive and kick him out on his ass if he doesn't follow suit. But, the reality is, we have him and he's talented, he just needs to get right. Clearly he doesn't read BYB, because he's not following the Pyramid of Pitching Dominance. With mechanic analysis comes confidence, when the confidence comes, any doubt leaves and focus takes over. RaSo, follow the pyramid, shut up and pitch and all your troubles will go away. Hey, maybe people will even like you.Nick Swisher. My boy's slumping hard, no doubt we miss his bat and if he can snap out of it, we will be back on track. I tend to think that Swisher is much more productive in the 2 hole and I am hoping someone sneaks into Girardi's office, breaks out the binder, and changes the lineup card. I think it can jump start him. Anyone agree?

Posada, yes, he's older, but his bat is still there. He's hitting home runs, which I'll never turn away, but baseball's about more than home runs. Jorge will get there, but it's about studying and talking it out with Long. Be patient freaks, Jorge will snap out if it. He has too much heart to let it slip away.

Back to Pitching. No doubt I like what I see, many disagree though. AJ and CC are making me happy and the vets Colon and Garcia are humming along, so far. It's the story of the Yankees season if it lasts. Ivan Nova is still learning and that takes time, but he's improved and he has the positive big brother AJ helping him along.

So, Bob Klapisch...what are you talking about? Are you suggesting we go pick up a pitcher? That's understandable, especially with Phil Hughes season possibly over. Besides, there's plenty of theories floating out there, such as trading the farm for Felix Hernandez or even getting Andy Pettitte back. Um.. Yeah, that's right, I dropped Pettitte's name. I'm not afraid to. Why? Because the reality is Andy Pettitte is not sitting on his couch with his hand in his pants watching highlights from the 1998 World Series. No, no. Andy Pettitte is training. And many suggest, Andy Pettitte will be back this year. Will it make all the rotation fears go away? Alittle, but more importantly, Yankeeland will be overjoyed and an overjoyed Yankee base brings the best out of the Yankees. (photo: Getty)
Look, the reality is we have a bunch of veterans mixed in with some pitching youth. Hell, we may even see Millwood or Silva this year. It's a great combination for winning a championship. Then, if you bring back a mentor and leader like Pettitte, your world just got brighter. Do you really think it's over for Andy? I used to, but I'm not so sure anymore. What would happen if the pitching we had right now lasted until June and we kept on top the AL East or at worst 2 games out of first. A Pettitte addition would bring us over the top and take us to the playoffs. Interesting theory, I like it and Ladies and Gentlemen, it's not mine, but it's out there and it is possible. Google Pettitte, you'll see what the fans are talking about. There's one thing I know about rumors, they are usually true. Let's hope so, that, my friends would be a wonderful reunion in the Bronx.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

WHY HUGHES MAY BE DONE

Looking at Girardi's eyes tonight when asked about Phil Hughes said it all. Yes, he chose his words wisely but let's be clear, Joe Girardi has never been straight with the media about any injury that has come the Yankees way, serious or not. Hell, I'm not even sure I believe him when he says Tex has a sore shoulder. I worry it could be something more. But, back to what I meant to write about... Phil Hughes.

This kid is a gamer and this kid had the best season as a starter in his career last year and right now, it seems as though everything is about to change for the worse. Yes, I'm jumping the gun, but the reality is, you never want to hear that a player is going to a "specialist". Just like you never want to hear that a player is going to see Dr. Andrews, because if they do, it usually means surgery.Hughes is about to go visit Dr. William Thompson in St. Louis for something that Girardi said Hughes "May or may not have." Sure Joe... sure. It's called Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and in a nutshell, The overhead movement of the arm changes the orientation of the clavicle (collar bone) in such a manner that it may compress the brachial plexus (the nerve bundle the leads into the arm from the neck) and/or the subclavian artery and vein against the first rib.

Different occupations have people that have been bothered by this injury, one of which being baseball pitchers. You can read about the treatment, according to Wikipedia: "About 10 to 15% of patients undergo surgical decompression following an appropriate trial of conservative therapy, most often specific physical therapy directed towards the treatment of thoracic outlet syndrome, and usually lasting between 6 and 12 months. Surgical treatment may include removal of anomalous muscles, removal of the native anterior and/or middle scalene muscles, removal of the first rib or, if present, a cervical rib, or neurolysis (removal of fibrous tissue from the brachial plexus). Surgical treatment for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome does have serious life long risk. A good number of individuals suffer moderate to severe post operative complications and worsening or returning of symptoms post first rib resection. This unfortunate portion of this patient population is often left out of most articles and abandoned by the TOS medical community."

Did your eyes gloss over? Mine did. Point is IF Hughes has this, recovery takes while if surgery is needed, that my friends is a serious blow the rotation, plus this poor kid is down for the count again and that's a blow to everything he's accomplished. It just sucks. Tell me what you think? Should the Yankees have acted sooner or did they do the right thing in handling Phil Hughes "dead arm" issue? I want to hear from you, comment, please.

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WHY WE HAVE OUR SECOND ACE

(Photo: Ron Antonelli/Daily News)
CC Monster was always my guy and still is, but with a confident ace usually others will follow. Enter Bartolo Colon, a pitcher who was once dominant in his prime, but THIS is not his prime, this is PAST his prime and to make it sound even more horrific, Colon didn't even pitch last year. So why in the world did Mr. Colon just pitch 8 innings of shutout baseball against the Chicago White Sox? The Pyramid of Pitching Dominance, that's how. Confidence. Bartolo Colon is a new man and Yankeeland is glad.

It worked out great tonight, Robinson Cano put us ahead early, a 3 run home run in the bottom of the first inning and that was Colon's cushion. It was perfect too because through those eight innings, even though Colon looked and felt strong firing fastballs at 95 mph, there were moments where the bases were full of White Sox. It didn't seem the matter, Colon had the heart and drive to get out of trouble. Nothing makes me prouder than to watch an underdog shine in tough moments and Bartolo Colon did that tonight. He could very possibly be channelling his inner ace again and if he can continue on this journey and not break down, it will be the best investment the New York Yankees have made this year. Clearly the player of this game tonight is Bartolo Colon.(photo: Getty)
Mariano Rivera got his 8th save of the season and he looked like Mo, thank goodness. Now, if we can only get a streak going and get the Three Headed Monster back into a rhtymn again, we'll be humming through May. That's what we need, a streak. Not 3 games, I'm talking 10 games where it's click, click, click and everything's working for us. We can do it, we just have to get there.

Final Score tonight, Yankees 3 - White Sox 1. Congrats Bartolo, you pitched like a star. Keep it up Dr. Chunky...I only say that with love.

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WHY WE'LL LOVE SWITCH PITCHER VENDITTE

Glove on, glove off. Glove on, glove off. Left hand, right hand. Left hand, right hand.

No, I’m not misquoting The Karate Kid, I’m talking about Pat Venditte, the Yankees’ minor league switch pitcher. No, not switch hitter. S
witch pitcher. That is, he throw with both his right hand and left hand. This isn’t Wonderland, this is Earth, and this kid is a professional baseball player who can throw with both hands. In case you can’t grasp how weird this is, I’ll put it in perspective: the only player in Major League history to do this is Greg A. Harris of the Texas Rangers (and other teams, including the Yankees for 1 second.)


Being a switch hitter is much more common, but like any oddity, it involves a very specific incident in which one decides that they want to do something outside the realm of normalcy. So, how did Venditte decide to be a switch pitcher? He didn’t. It was all his dad’s idea. When Pat was only 3 years old, his father noticed he was good at throwing with both hands, so from that day on he had little Pat use both hands. It may have just been a gut feeling, but his dad had a feeling that this kid was going to do something special. Being the only switch pitcher in professional baseball? I’d say that’s something very special.If you know anything about baseball, you know why this is a big deal. No matter which side the opposing batter hits from, you have the edge. Like a switch hitter, Venditte switches handedness on the fly to gain the advantage. Switching is a bit trickier than just taking a couple steps like a
hitter though, Venditte has to use a custom made 6-fingered glove. The ease with which he switches caused quite a dilemma the first time he matched up against a switch hitter. He and Ralph Henriquez comically switched hands for a few minutes before a long discussion over the
unwritten rule was had. Watch the hilarious situation of Venditte and Henriquez HERE. They ultimately allowed Venditte to have the advantage and he then struck Henriquez out. This prompted a new rule, nicknamed “The Pat Venditte Rule,” to be written.

The big question is: How good is this guy? I could probably throw with both hands too if I tried, but would I be effective? Not so much. Venditte though is pretty damn good. Through 5 Minor League seasons, he has a 1.98 ERA. Granted he definitely needs more time to develop; his ERA
so far in AA is a 9.00. His stuff is pretty good, with his right hand he throws a fastball that hangs between 87 and 93, a curve ball with good movement, and a good change-up, with his left he sidearms a nasty slider, a low-80s fastball, and a pretty good change. However before we consider him a possibility to break into the majors he’ll need to become a bit overpowering. If he makes it, he could be as popular as Derek Jeter. Fans will scream for him to come out of the pen if only for entertainment value. He’s got a ways to go, but everyone should be pulling for this little freak of nature to make it in the big leagues. It will be alot of fun to watch.



--Grant Cederquist, BYB Staff Writer

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WHY WE NEED A HEALTHY HUGHES BACK

The way the Yankees are handling Phil Hughes is really shocking to me. Why? Because this is the Golden Boy of the franchise. They took very good care of Hughes for a long time. They gave him innings limits, they babied him if he had a blister. Now, the kids been pitching for a few years and there is a "dead arm" issue and my question is, why didn't they give this kid an MRI weeks ago? Yes, it's true, Hughes is experiencing no pain, and that's usually a reason you get and MRI, but all I'm saying is, at least rule it out. What would it hurt? Yes, anti-inflammatory drugs may help, bullpen sessions could help, long toss could help, but an MRI may have been the smartest thing they could have done weeks ago. At least if they didn't find anything, they could have crossed it off the list. Instead, Hughes still feels like his arm is "lifeless" and to me, that's a major red flag, especially on April 27th. Put this in perspective...this has been going on for a month, or longer if you factor in Spring training. That's no episode at this point, that's a problem.

Why are the Yankees handling Hughes this way? It's odd. Now, he had 4 hours of testing yesterday including a body scan and more tests are expected today. The other tests were two MRI’s and reports are the Yanks were concerned about a non-structural issue, such as an aneurysm. Look, I'm very happy about then looking into to all this now, but, we could have been way ahead of this if they reacted sooner.Then I got to thinking about innings and workload. Seems obvious, I know, but I remember Verducci talking on MLB this winter about workload and young pitchers and how the following year, they struggle. Could it be that Tom Verducci was right? Verducci did stress they don't bounce back because of the increase in innings the year before and Hughes definitely increased from 2009 to 2010. Could his arm have just gone into shock? What is it?

Hopefully we get an idea of what is wrong soon. As far as I'm concerned, Hughes is still my Golden Boy and the last thing I want is for the Yanks to have drug their feet on something that could have possibly been fixed weeks ago. It's terrible and they could have potentially damaged his kid's career. I'm being alittle dramatic but really, am I? He's describing his arm as "lifeless". He's said after a bullpen of 10 pitches that he felt as though he threw 100. Come on. Let's hope this gets pinpointed soon, or Golden Boy could be put on the shelf and nobody, I mean NOBODY wants that.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

WHY LILLIBRIDGE BEAT THE YANKEES

If you told me the Yankees were going to lose tonight, I'd tell you just wait until the ninth. In the ninth, the table was set and everything looked to be going in the direction of pie... except one White Sock in his first appearance in right field changed all that... 2 times. More on that in a moment.(photo: AP)
The Yankees were ahead at one point and you really need to appreciate what Gavin Floyd did for the White Sox because he pitched well, so the runs were to a mimumum. No doubt the Yanks were trying to score and when we had the lead, I really didn't expect to lose this one. But, one thing's for sure, the Three Headed Monster, if not in sync, really can't get it together lately. Am I concerned? Not yet, but get back to me.

Rafael Soriano is a pitcher with a chip on his shoulder. His body language is unusually annoying to me. I just want him to do his job like he did on the Rays. Do I like him...personally, I'd probably hate him, but he IS a gamer and he threw 2 bad pitches tonight. One hit a batter and 2, he gave up that homer to Konerko to put the Sox ahead. That I don't like.

So, is Soriano adjusting? Is he sensing dislike from the fans? Does he not want to be here? Nothing is clear to me yet, but I do sense that Soriano is either hampered by something or tired or annoyed. That's all I got, I can't figure it out.

I like the Yankee highlights, again, homers galore and while that's ok, I'd like to see Gardner hit and run the bases more rather than solo homering. Odd to see, but I'll take the run. The problem with Gardner lately is he can't get on base. That's a problem.

(photo: AP)
Ivan Nova looked good tonight. There were plenty of jams and he worked through them and I like that he was able to do that. Nova got to the 7th inning and that was great because he was able to get to the bullpen later in the game rather than the normal 6 innings most of the starters are giving us. Resting those bullpen guys helps sometimes.

The ninth inning was definitely pie time, I was convinced. Men on first and second, 1 out and A-Rod was up. Game over right? Ok... who the hell is Brent Lillibridge and why did he make that amazing catch to the wall that would have easily scored 2 runs if it hit the wall instead of Lillibridge's glove. And when Cano came up after that catch and looped into right, I was convinced AGAIN that we'd be having pie tonight. Ok... seriously Lillibridge, beautiful catch to end the game. You really impressed me, but it doesn't mean I'm happy. I'm not, my guys lost.

Final Score tonight, White Sox 3 - Yankees 2.

Blah Blah Blah, I hate when we lose.

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WHY MUSSINA MAY BE THE UNLUCKIEST YANKEE EVER

During Mike Mussina's time as a New York Yankee, 2001 to 2008, he had many great memories. He pitched in the must win game 3 of the 2001 ALDS, aka, the "Flip Play" game, in which he pitched seven shutout innings in a 1-0 victory. In game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, he made his first career relief appearance in which he pitched three shutout innings to set up the dramatics in the eighth inning against Pedro Martinez, and the 11th inning with Aaron Boone's walk-off home run. But, during his time with the Yankees, Mike Mussina has had more than his fair share of unlucky fortunes.

Mike Mussina signed with the Yankees from the Baltimore Orioles just after the 2000 season to join a stacked rotation with Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, and Orlando Hernandez. Mussina went just 11-15 in 2000 with the Orioles, but had a solid 3.79 ERA. He lead the American League in innings pitched with 237.2, thus earning a six year $88 million deal with the Yanks.
But, the unlucky fortunes started on a Sunday night in September against the Red Sox in his first year with the Yankees. He retired the first 26 batters, and while getting ahead 0-2 against pinch hitter Carl Everett for the final out of a perfect game, Everett blooped the next pitch into left center field, thus ending Moose's perfect game bid.

Another one of Mussina's unlucky fortunes came in 2002. In September, Mussina had five starts left in the season and he was stuck on 16 wins. He went three straight outings without earning a win in which he went eight, seven, and seven innings, respectively, while allowing two, one, and zero earned runs. As a result, he went 0-2, while winning his final two starts of the season putting his total to 18. But, if he would have gotten wins in two of those three previous outings, he would have won 20 games for the first time in his career, something he's only done once, in his final game and season in 2008.

His misfortunes really spanned through his tenure as a Yankee as he did not win a World Series championship either. Like I stated, he came on board in 2000 and retired after the 2008 season ended. In 2009, the Yankees won the World Series. Moose retired 1 year too early.Many can make a very good argument that Mussina should be in the Hall of Fame. I believe he should make the Hall of Fame, but that's a debate for another time. Either way, Mike Mussina, pitched some quality years in New York, but deserved more. Maybe a ring, maybe that perfect game, maybe another 20 win season or a no-hitter. Who knows, one thing is for sure though... he may be the unluckiest Yankee pitcher ever. That being said, we salute you Moose. We salute you.


--Jesse Schindler, BYB Staff Writer




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WHY MY YANKEES ARE CLICKING

There's something to be said about the way a team operates together and for the New York Yankees, lately, the formula is being executed perfectly.

This April start looks great so far, minus yesterday's loss to the White Sox. Players that aren't hitting are usually being picked up by players who are. The long ball is exciting to watch, especially if it's happening at the right time, and it is. Plus, the pitching has been a truly pleasant surprise, despite hiccups by Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova.When things were in a holding pattern during the winter, what were the biggest concerns...do you remember? Well, for starters, everyone was down on Joba and everyone had written off AJ. Patience and Yankee fans don't mix and at the time, say December, we were all over these guys without giving them the opportunity to work out the kinks. Luckily, the Zen Master Larry Rothschild showed up and found some mechanical flaws that Dave Eiland or even the pitchers themselves didn't see. That right there reinvented Joba and AJ and so far, so good.Garcia and Colon. Sounds like a law firm, but it's not. We signed these two to minor league deals and bitched about why we needed these "losers" in the first place. Remember? Clearly, these two veterans are not losers and they are proving it every appearance they make. It's a story in the making if these guys can push this hard still say, come September, and right now, they are really demonstrating pride and heart every time they're handed the ball.

You need to give Tony Pena credit when it comes to Colon. He managed Colon in the Dominican Winter League and saw something he liked...heart. He knew Colon had something left and begged the Yanks to give him a shot. They did and life is good right now. Pena, a former catcher himself, is truly a baseball man, and he's respected in all of baseball. It was a good move the Yankees made and thank God for Pena.The Captain. It was evident to the New York sports media that Jeter was an old man and they just used words like "sad" and "pathetic" when describing our guy. These are the same sports media that praised him before 2010. Like I've stated so many times...shame on them. No one in New York ever factors in a slump. Automatically it's assumed that all sports athletes are Supermen and their stats stick and stay with them, no matter what. Derek Jeter needs more respect, not from the fans, we love him, but from the New York sports media that wrote this guy off. Fact: Jeter will decline over time. Not a Fact: he's done. Back off the Cap.
Russell Martin. At the time, I was thrilled about Martin coming to the Bronx, but there were a ton of question marks and Cashman was under pressure to explain himself. Why would we sign an injury prone catcher? That was the question. Well, no one expected Russell Martin to look like a leader on the Yankees. He is. He appears to have needed a scenery change and the hits keep coming. Let's not forget that he's also learning a whole new pitching staff which he's done so fr with ease. It's a True Hollywood Story if he keeps this up. Cashman deserves a lot of credit here. I call it Cashman's "Diamond in the Rough". Martin, much like Swisher was in 2009, is a surprise...for the better.

The Good Lord is looking out for my New York Yankees and things are clicking. Yes, there are some minor concerns, when are there not? But right now the Yankees have something real good. A mix of great veterans and youngsters that will keep the line moving as we get to another World Championship. I can already smell it.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

WHY HE'LL ALWAYS BE OUR WARRIOR

Every time someone mentions Paul O’Neill, my mind instantly goes back to the 1st day of November, 2001. During what would be his final game, a World Series game, The Warrior tipped his cap to over 50,000 Yankees fans that literally stopped the game, chanting his name over and over again. One of the most memorable moments in baseball history, not because of the love and respect that fans showed a player, but because of the love and respect that #21 showed us. As he exited the field at Yankee Stadium for the last time, he was, and is, far from forgotten.

This October game was no ordinary fall day. Less than one month earlier, New York City fell victim to the first attack ever waged on American soil. The city was physically and emotionally devastated. Baseball games were cancelled for a few weeks, and people all around world watched when America’s game resumed. Frightened and battered, New York City opened its boundaries, and now, the whole world was proclaiming their love for New York. Paul O’Neill, a Yankees legend, was not only the hero of the Bronx, but now, he belonged to the world. When he left the game that day in October, it symbolized of the end of an era for New York. It was now a different time, a different city, and a different world.The Warrior isn’t knocking over water coolers in the dugout anymore. He is now announcing games on behalf of the team that made him a legend. His calm approach to announcing is very different from the passionate expressions that we were used to seeing while he played each game. Nonetheless, he grows even closer in our hearts, as he jokes about his enormous appetite, the fact that his wife hides his trophies on him, or the razzing he gets from his kids. This legend is a human being, and he never lets us down. He may be the guy that everyone likes to make fun of in the broadcast booth, but we will never forget that Paul O’Neill was no one to be reckoned with when you faced him on the field. There are not many players that could have made the seamless transition from player to broadcaster, but Paul O’Neill did, once again proving that he is a winner, whatever he chooses to do.

If I close my eyes, I can still hear it. November 1, 2001. Paul O’Neill…Paul O’Neill...Paul O’Neill... the day a legend left the field, for higher ground, but not too far away from home. Just a few rows up and away from home plate.



--Christy Lee, BYB Staff Writer




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