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Thursday, June 30, 2011

WHY THE STREAK'S ALIVE


(Photo: AP)

CC Monster was the best I’ve seen him and the energy that Cervelli gave behind the plate just made the day electric with the win today at the stadium. The Yankees swept the Milwaukee Brewers and the Yankees did it like professionals. The clean cut New York Yankees, with the lack of facial hair and corporate image of America beat the hairy Brewers who looked sluggish. (Read WHY SCRUFF’S IN TOWN if you don’t know what I’m talking about.) Is it a sign of bigger things to come? I say yes.

Now it’s off to play the New York Mets, who as of late are no slouches and I don’t think they will be this weekend either. I’m not a Mets fan, but I’m also not a hater. I think Reyes is a God right now and I think Citi field destroyed David Wright. I also think Jason Bay was a fool to come to Flushing. That being said, The Mets are the Mets, and my Yankees, well, their job is to keep their winning streak alive and plow over those Mets, plain and simple. But let’s get back to today.

Did I mention that CC was incredible today? He was. 11 wins now this season and for sure, an All-Star pick…right? I mean he has to be at this point, doesn’t he? He pitch 7 2/3 innings and had 13 strikeouts. Plus he pitched part of a combined shutout giving up only 6 hits.

The offense broke down like this; Mark Teixeira homered, what else is new…that was his 300th of his career, way to go Tex. Robinson Cano knocked in 2 with a nice double and Francisco Cervelli had 3 hits and 2 RBI’s. FRANCISCO CERVELLI. Cisco clearly reads Bleeding Yankee Blue and read WHY IT'S CERVELLI'S END, MONTERO'S BEGINNING because it lit a fire under his ass. He had a great game today. Good for him. (By the way, for everyone who thinks I’m serious about thinking Cervelli reads Bleeding Yankee Blue, believe me, I don’t take myself that seriously. That’s sarcasm. The fact that I have to tell you that is silly, but for some reason, people confuse sarcasm with arrogance. Believe me, this is fun stuff, let’s keep it on that level. You know who you are.)

2 moments today I loved. I loved the double steal with Gardner and Swisher today in the 1st inning. That was when Cano knocked in his 2. My other favorite moment, CC Monster striking out Prince Fielder with the bases loaded. Amazing pitching performance right there.

Final Score: Yankees 5 – Brewers 0. Way to go boys, go get the Mets. I like winning streaks and I love the way you’re playing right now, keep up the great work.

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WHY AJ MAKES ME SCRATCH MY HEAD


Before the first pitch of last night’s Yanks/Brewers game I, like millions of Yankees fans, was wondering which A.J. Burnett was going to show up? Would we see $82.5 Million AJ or $82.5 Dollar A.J.? You know what watching A.J. pitch is like? It's like going to the movies! You know, that movie you can’t wait to see?! The one where the previews look amazing and you think, “I hope the movie is as great as the previews”. Well that’s A.J. You can almost tell from the opening minute of a movie whether its going to be a classic or will it drag on and disappoint. With AJ you can usually tell within the first few pitches whether he “has it” or if its going to be a long night. Luckily for us, A.J. had it last night and his performance was “Oscar” worthy! Bravo Mr. Burnett, Bravo!

He was throwing strikes! Love when A.J.has command of the strike zone. It gives him confidence and, of course, gets guys out. A.J. had it all working last night and it was a pleasure to watch. So let’s break it down: A.J.’s line looked like a pitcher who deserved his $82.5 million contract:

7.0 IP 7-hits 2-runs 2-walks 4-k’s


More impressive was how he shook off that early inning run by the Brew-crew and just pitched with command and poise. It was great to see! Hey A.J., can you save a few of those performances for Boston? Just sayin’!


Bronx Bombers offense stayed hot and it was nice to see Russell Martin contribute offensively. Martin’s 3-run shot sealed the deal and the good news is he looks like he is 100% healthy, ‘eh! My boy Jorge continuing to get it done and swing that hot bat. His month of June has been phenomenal and it looks like Jorge and the Yankees have put “Posada-gate” where it belongs, in the past!

Some other highlights from last night’s win:


  • Swish really getting his swing back -- so great to see. Lets hope he can build up his RISP avg.
  • Nunez made an outstanding dive at SS lat night to rob a base hit and on the same play delivered an off balance toss to Cano to almost turn an improbable DP. He gets so much heat for his poor defense (deservedly so) it was nice to see him contribute in the field.
  • D-Rob just doing what D-Rob does: Shutting down opponents in the 8th inning to set up the great Mariano Rivera. “All” D-Rob did was pitch the 8th giving up one hit and striking out 2 to lower his season ERA to 1.11 Yaaawnnn! J
  • Last but not least, Mo closes the door on any hope of a comeback for the Brewers with his 21st save of the season. Mo’s season ERA, 1.72!

Final Score: Yankees 5-Brewers 2.

--Mikey Blue, BYB Senior Writer
email me: DonnieBaseball2323@gmail.com



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RAPID FIRE: YANKEES TRADE RUMORS

It's getting to be that time of year again, when the hot stove turns back on for about a month as all 30 teams around the league scramble to optimize their roster before the trade deadline. There's no secret as to what the Yankees are looking for: pitching, pitching, and more pitching. Ideally they would love to pick up both a starter and reliever to solidify the rotation and fill in for Joba. No need to search all over the Internet for the latest Yankees trade rumors, here at Bleeding Yankee Blue, we've got you covered. Here is the first round of rumors:
(Photo: Getty)

  • Wandy Rodriguez: Wandy may not be the kind of half-season salary dump rental the Yankees are looking for, and he's on the wrong side of 30 years old, but Wandy would be the ideal guy to anchor a playoffs rotation. The left-handed Astros ace has pitched to the tune of an outstanding 3.21 ERA this season, thanks in part to a 2.50 ERA in the month of June. His record is 5-4, and frankly the fact that he's managed a winning record while backed by the piss poor Astros offense is a testament to his dominance. As I mentioned, he'd be anything but a rental; Wandy is signed through 2013 with a 2014 player option, but if the Yanks are looking for a long term investment and are willing to shop a good prospect or two, the Astros are definitely selling. Read it HERE.
  • Hiroki Kuroda: Kuroda is more of the rental type the Bombers are looking for. Read about it HERE. He's signed for this season and is arbitration eligible in the off season should the Yankees seek to give him an extension. Despite an ugly 5-9 record, Kuroda has been one of the more dominant pitchers in the NL, holding a 3.10 ERA (the record can be blamed on the disaster that is the Dodgers... poor Donnie Baseball). I know what you're thinking: Kuroda's cheap, only signed through this year, and is definitely being shopped….so sign him up! The only issue is his full no-trade clause, but I wouldn't imagine he'd be against spending possibly one of his last seasons (he's 36 years old) in the hunt for his first World Series ring. Jonathan Broxton could potentially be a throw in with Kuroda to sweeten the pot a little, but given the disaster he's become I wouldn't exactly welcome him with open arms. But hey Kerry Wood wasn't on fire when we got him either...
(Photo: Getty)
  • Carlos Beltran: This one is a bit puzzling. He's obviously not a pitcher, he's an outfielder, and our outfield is set with GGS. The idea was to maybe bring him on to replace Posada, but the DH problem is absolutely gone, as I wrote about earlier this month WHY HE'S STILL HERE. Swisher wasn't doing particularly well either but like Jorge, he has been blazing hot this month. The only option I see is to have him platoon with Jorge in the DH spot, but it'd be a little ridiculous to use two switch hitters in a platoon system. Beltran always wanted to be a Yankee, they just couldn't afford him before (I know, it sounds weird...), but I'm sorry to say I don't see him ever becoming one, unless he wants to be a backup for next year. Read about it HERE.
(Photo: Getty)
  • Heath Bell: Bell has been one of the more dominant closers in the game since he took over Hoffman's old job in San Diego. In 2010 he logged 47 saves to go along with a glistening 1.93 ERA. He hasn't been much worse in 2011, recording a 2.61 ERA with 19 saves. He'd be more than sufficient as a replacement for Joba, I dare say he'd even be an improvement. However, he's a fan favorite in San Diego and he's made it very clear that he wants to stay there, so there would be some hard feelings about trading him. Nevertheless, baseball is a business, and if Bell could bring in a prospect or two to make the Padres future look less miserable, they'd be foolish not to. They're obviously sellers, when you are trailing the Dodgers, there's something wrong.
  • Francisco Rodriguez: The better half of New York despises Francisco Rodriguez. He acts like he's won the World Series every time he records a save and has been sent to anger management. Still, there's no denying that he's one hell of a pitcher. K-Rod recently said that he would gladly accept a trade to the Yankees or Rays (a "contending team" as he said, backhanding the Mets). The Mets quickly followed up with a statement saying they are not looking to trade him, but come on, he's a free agent after this season and while the Mets aren't quite as awful as expected (39-39), they're in the NL East competing with the Phillies and Braves, so it seems unlikely that we'll see a Cinderella Story in the Queens. He's posted a decent 3.65 ERA and has 20 saves to his credit this season. Personally I'd explore other options, but if he's on the block, you know the Yankees will at least make an offer, serious or not.
Check back soon for more trade rumors.



--Grant Cederquist, BYB Staff Writer



--Jeana Bellezza, BYB Associate Editor



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WHY MARIANO IS A MACHINE

I realized yesterday that I barely ever give Mariano Rivera proper respect. This is a guy that came up in the Yankees farm system, took over the closer role from John Wetteland after the 1996 season and never looked back, becoming the most successful closer in Yankees and baseball history. Here is the Saves list. Click HERE. The guy clearly is a huge part of the New York Yankees and Major League baseball, yet, for some reason, when we do the recap here at BYB, I barely ever mention the guy or even give him the respect his truly deserves. It’s wrong and I apologize.

The reason probably is because Mariano Rivera is the most automatic closer I’ve ever seen. Sure, he’s slowed down a bit and he may not go 1,2,3, every game, but he does do it an awful lot, and he’s in his 40’s. He still looks the same as he did back in 1997, but more sure of himself and more dominant.

Mariano always does his job, that’s probably why I don’t write about him enough. I think in the back of my mind he's there, but I know the game is in good hands and bottom line, when he comes out, it’s a given, you know the games over.

And think about this for a second, as a little leaguer, you were always taught to never assume a game is finished, if your team had a 3 run lead, but still, with Mariano, many of us do. Usually, you never let your your mind think that way until the other team gets their last licks. You don't want to jinx it. You usually wait to celebrate after the third out. Well, Mo seemed to change that and with good reason, he's that damn good.

So, I make a vow to all of you who read Bleeding Yankee Blue. I promise to give Mariano Rivera proper respect from this point forward. For crying out loud, he’s the key to the Yankees success almost every game, right? Geez, sorry Mo, won't happen again.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

WHY HUGHES IS BACK ON THE FAST TRACK

(Photo: Rudy C. Jones)
After Phil Hughes' last shaky rehab outing last week, it is being reported that he had an "explosive" start today with the Trenton Thunder. Read USA Today HERE.

The good news is this outing today was a positive step forward. But the interesting news is I could see this positive start coming after after his previous shaky start. Why? Because I analyzed the numbers and he was much sharper today, plain and simple. Check this out; In his previous outing, 72 pitches weren't enough to even get him through 4 innings. I was looking only for small improvements that time around. I was looking for some sign that Hughes isn't a new Joba. Just some sign that the Golden Boy still has a chance. I got quite a bit more than that.
(Photo: AP)
Today, Hughes was practically untouchable. The New Hampshire batters couldn't catch up to his fastball or read his curve, and on the rare occasion, even when they made contact, it was usually fouled back or became a feeble pop out. He was perfect through 3.1 when a line drive single forced him to pitch out of the stretch for the first time. That base runner was quickly erased on a brilliant throw by Austin Romine which thwarted a steal attempt, and Hughes proceeded to retired the side quietly. The remaining 2 innings saw Hughes work himself into a little more trouble, with 2 hits and a couple of walks, but like the pro he is he worked out of trouble time and time again.

In the 7th inning, he popped up Moises Sierra to ease out of a 1st and 2nd none out jam, and he was replaced by Cory Arbiso, who allowed one inherited run to score on a ground rule double. Phil walked off to a huge applause. His final line: 88 pitches, 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 8 K

All 8 of his strikeouts were swinging and he produced 20 swings and misses overall, a huge improvement from the beginning of the season where he could hardly miss a bat. His swing and miss rate was one of the primary concerns after his early season struggles, but those appear to be past him.

Even better, that 1 earned run was hardly his fault. His 3rd hit was actually a blatantly misplayed ball by left fielder Deangelo Mack. Reggie Jackson, who was in the Trenton press booth, was quick to point out that at the major league level that ball never drops, especially not with Gold Glove worthy outfielder Brett Gardner patrolling the left side of Yankee Stadium. So if I had my way and outfielders received errors as easily as I think they should, it'd be 0 ER.

But I suppose as nice as the results are, his velocity is the big story. Phil's fastball sat between 92 and 94 for the most part, occasionally dipping to 91 but no where below that. His cutter has apparently picked up a little velocity since one scout had it sitting at 91-93 as opposed to his usual 89-91. The curve ball was as devastating as usual, low 80s with huge break. He may have thrown a change up or two, but he didn't use it enough to make it noticeable. All in all, it was vintage Hughes, he pitched like the Golden Boy we've been hearing about for so long now.

The whole Hughes saga is beginning to look exactly the same as what happened to the young Tim Lincecum and Cole Hamels. Just a drop of velocity due to Rookie year work load. Both of those guys came back better than ever and have had continued success. Expect the exact same from Phil, he should be making one more stop in AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre to get his pitch count over 100, and if that outing goes anywhere near as smoothly as today's went, you'll see him on the mound in the Bronx in about two weeks.




--Grant Cederquist, BYB Staff Writer

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WHY KINDNESS MAKES THE WORLD GO 'ROUND

Obviously we here at Bleeding Yankee Blue think that certain causes are important and should be brought to your attention. We try to do it whenever necessary and in return, we get to talk to some really interesting people. It's a neat gig.

Recently, we spoke with Yankee great Roy White about the
Runyon 5K Run to be held at Yankee Stadium on August 7th. This cause is to raise money for the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. You can read all about it in EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: ROY WHITE.

And, yesterday, we brought to your attention to High Socks for Hope, a Foundation started by David and Erin Robertson to raise money for the Tornado victims in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, David's hometown. We did what we thought was right, bring the cause to all of you, so, if you weren't aware, you would be aware now and maybe you'd send them a check and help the people in need. All we wanted to do was to be an outlet for the Robertson's. Thankfully, you all responded by reading and retweeting and discussing on Twitter and Facebook and I was overjoyed to hear from Da
vid via twitter that same day our post, EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: HIGH SOCKS FOR HOPE was released:



But, that wasn't the only thing that made me smile. Erin, David's wife sent the sweetest note in response to a piece I posted titled WHY ROBERTSON'S AN INSPIRATION. In it, I speak of my son's new hero, David Robertson. Erin's note read:

"We love your blog and think it's great that your son is so passionate about baseball. Hopefully when he is drafted in about 10 years David is still pitching for the Yankees :)"

To me, that was not only kind, it was heartfelt and I will cherish both messages for a long time. Thanks guys.

We here at Bleeding Yankee Blue just want to have alittle fun, give some statistics and give our opinion. We also want to help if we can, any way we can. Hopefully, you guys see that and will continue to enjoy us....we sure are enjoying all of you.

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: HIGH SOCKS FOR HOPE


Living on the East Coast all my life, we have the best of both worlds, we bitch about the humidity in the summer and the nasty snow in the winter. But one thing we don't have is our entire home demolished by dangerous tornadoes. Lately across the United States, there seems to be more and more destruction and more and more people are homeless because of devastating storms rolling through neighborhoods in the middle of the night taking homes, memories and lives away from all of us in just a matter of minutes.

David and Erin Robertson were personally touched by the devastation in the most recent storm that ravaged Tuscaloosa, Alabama on April 27th because Robertson grew up there. Immediately they and Kimberly Jones took a crew to the now leveled area and the look on their faces was eye opening. WATCH IT HERE. They were in shock, much like the families that were torn apart there. They did something that people only talk about doing, they are making a difference.

High Socks for Hope was started immediately, a Foundation to give aid to the people who lost everything they had in the hopes of rebuilding their lives. I get emotional just thinking about this courageous undertaking. Many celebrities want to attach their names to causes and never show up to really do a thing about it. David Robertson is a New York Yankee and pride is attached to that, but celebrity is also attached to it and he knows the importance of his fans and the power he has to bring it to every ones attention, Yankee fan or not. He and Erin are making a difference. I applaud them and I needed to reach out to ask them about it:


BYB: Tell me why High Socks for Hope was started?

David Robertson:
High Socks for Hope was started right after the tornadoes hit Alabama on April 27, 2011. Tuscaloosa is my hometown; it is where I was born and raised, went to high school and college. It is a place that will always be home. Seeing it destroyed really affected me. I knew I had to do whatever I could to help fix what had happened. My wife and I discussed several options of what to do and where to donate money, but decided we wanted to make sure we knew where it was going and that 100% of it was going toward relief efforts. We opened the "David and Erin Robertson Foundation" to start collecting donations and then the High Socks website to start raising awareness of the devastation and needs that are present. We also went to Tuscaloosa to view the damage and meet some of the people that were affected by this tragedy.

BYB: Describe your initial reaction when you saw the destruction in Tuscaloosa for the first time?

Erin Robertson: I was shocked to see the devastation. David and I had watched a lot of videos and spoke to a lot of people down there before we visited, but nothing could have prepared us for what we saw. There was debris everywhere and so many houses and buildings were destroyed. It was truly heartbreaking to see.

BYB: What is the ultimate goal of your foundation?

David Robertson: Our goal is to help as many people as possible that were affected by the tornadoes in Tuscaloosa and the surrounding areas. We haven't set any monetary goals because the needs are endless. It will take billions of dollars to fix what was damaged. Our goal is to assist those that are in the most need. There are several families that we work with that are either homeless or struggling to make ends meet, and we are working hard to get those families in a safe place and back on their feet.

BYB: How much have you been able to raise, and is there a goal mind?

Erin Robertson: We have already received several generous donations from so many friends, family members and amazing fans, but there is definitely a long way to go. It will take years to get back what the tornadoes destroyed in just minutes, but we are determined to do everything we can to help.

BYB: Will you and David be part of the rebuilding process?

Erin Robertson: David's schedule makes it difficult to travel, but we will be visiting Tuscaloosa in the off-season to help where we can and make sure all the donations are going to the right places.
BYB: If someone wants to donate to help your cause, what can they do?

David Robertson: There are several ways people can help out. If someone would like to make a tax-deductible donation, they can make checks payable to:

"The David and Erin Robertson Foundation"

and mail checks to:

Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
PO Box 770001
Cincinnati, OH 45277-0053

People can also purchase a t-shirt from Bald Vinny's store where the proceeds will go towards our fund. Or people can come to an event we host, there is one this Thursday, June 30th at the Hard Rock at Yankee Stadium.


Thank you David and Erin Robertson for taking the time to talk to us and make us aware of what we can do to help.

Please donate to the Robertson's cause and help them help others. Anything is accepted because they want to get Tuscaloosa up and running again. It will take time and it will take everyone’s help. This isn’t a Yankee thing, it’s a life thing and the idea of helping another human being in a time of need is truly heroic, although to David and Erin, that’s probably never crossed their mind. They believe in loving thy neighbor and this is by far the kindest and most important foundation out there right now. We support them at Bleeding Yankee Blue.

We will keep the High Socks for Hope info on our home page so you can donate. The address is there. Send checks to that address. Help any way you can.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

CRUSHING BREWS

(Photo: Getty)
Freddy Garcia looked real good tonight and the offense continued to click, especially Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira as they didn't give up one moment.
(Photo: Getty)
Freddy went 6 innings, gave up 8 hits and only 2 runs. He now has 7 wins. Congrats Freddy. Where's my buddy Carlos who was worried? Are you reading this buddy? We'll make you a believer yet.

For the most part, you have to really think back to the winter when everyone was freaking out about Cliff Lee going with the Phillies and all of New York was standing there like we were alone and naked. Well, Cashman had a plan, it wasn't great, but it was smart. Signing Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon cheap could very well be the greatest steals of the winter. The talent was there, we just needed to take a chance and did.

The Yankees killed Zack Greinke early like I knew they would. He went only 2 innings and gave up 7 runs. Pathetic but delightful if you are from the Bronx.(Photo: Getty)
Again, Mark Teixeira had a homer and 4 RBIs tonight. He's powering up again which means Grandy needs to get back into the home run race too. It was fun a few weeks ago between those two and then things slowed down. Well, Tex wants to read about himself in BYB because he's homering again and I love it.

Nick Swisher hit his 10th homer and an RBI double tonight, going 2-4 but the most important play for me was him chucking it into home plate to nail hairy Corey Hart at home. That kind of play is usually overshadowed by great offense, but not tonight, it was beautiful.(Photo: AP)
Granderson had a nice triple tonight and he continues to just be a lightening rod for the Yankees. He's finally found a home in New York and you have to love this guy. He's a leader.

Final Score: Yankees 12 - Brewers 2

Next game is AJ Burnett against Shawn Marcum. Marcum is 7-2 with a 2.95 ERA so it won't be easy, but I know the Yanks will play hard. They've now won 9 of 13 games against National League teams this year. Not too shabby.

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WHY SCRUFF’S IN TOWN

The Brewers are in town and to me, I automatically think about Robin Yount, Paul Moliter and the days when the Brewers were in the American League. I swear, they were. Robin Yount was such a terrific ballplayer, and had this thick mustache of blonde and wavy hair sticking out of his cap and he just looked like a Brewer, much like Corey Hart does these days with the beard. We’re talking Brewer by day, Lumberjack by night.

(In Photo: Robin Yount)

The Yankees on the other hand are the clean cut group of guys that have the tradition and pride for the pinstripes. We don’t have long hair. Players that come to New York have trimmed mustaches, shaved beards and an image that represents class. Now, I am in no way slamming the Brewers who are coming into the Bronx tonight as being shaggy and unkempt. I’m merely stating the fact that I equate the Yankees to military type thinking; you keep your locker clean, you tuck in your uniform and you groom yourself before you get out on the battlefield and try and kick the crap out of the enemy. I like it.

The Red Sox are a perfect example of players letting themselves go. Beards, long hair, scruff… to me, that’s not bad ass, that's bad hygiene. All I’m saying is the New York Yankees have pride in the pinstripes and when they lineup with their clean cut image, crisp, tucked in spotless uniforms, they are representing a universe of fans that have long cheered for their warriors all the way back to the days of Babe Ruth.

The Brewers have incredible talent and image has nothing to do with it. Rickie Weeks, Zack Grienke (see I told you he wouldn’t be a Yankee, read WHY GRIENKE WONT BE A YANKEE), Prince Fielder, son of Cecil and Corey Hart are no slouches. They can be dominant and the Yankees need both good pitching from AJ tonight as well as hotness to continue for Poe Poe and Swish. If that happens, there is no doubt the Yankees will win the series against these guys. Grienke can be beat and we have the team to do it. So let's go boys...clean shaven and all.

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YANKEE STADIUM EMPLOYEES: MLB'S FINEST

If you are a regular reader of Bleeding Yankee Blue, then you know all about my late uncle and his love for the Colorado Rockies.(Read FAMILY RIVALRY & THE LAST WORD) My sister, Amy and my mother, Kathy, share that love for the Rox, as if they were there, supporting the team through their Inaugural Season and beyond. As a tribute to my uncle who’s now been gone for a year, three generations of women in my family bought tickets to Saturday’s game to watch the Yankees vs. The Rockies. Half of us wore Yankee Blue, and the other half wore Rockies purple and black. We thought it would be a great way to observe the anniversary of my uncle’s loss, but also, a way to bond and enjoy Yankee Stadium.

Planning the trip was fairly seamless, much to my surprise; there were no worries, no fuss, as if the gods of baseball knew what we were planning and why, and nodded in approval. Then, two days before the game, a little glitch happened. My sister injured her Achilles tendon while taking out the garbage (Yes, a woman’s work is never done...) and needs crutches. We knew she’d never be able to make the walk from the Stadium train terminal, so we got her a wheelchair in the hopes that she would be more comfortable.

However, upon arrival at Yankee Stadium we were given the awful news that the seats we had were not wheelchair accessible, so we were given instructions to get into the very long ticket line, and go from there. So there I was, standing in line half an hour before the first pitch muttering words under my breath that would make Andrew “Dice” Clay blush.When I finally got to the ticket window, they told me that they couldn’t help me with an exchange because I purchased my tickets on StubHub.com. At this point, Amy had resigned herself to attempting to climb all of the way up the stairs to our terrace seats, which meant that we would likely miss 1 or 2 innings of play. A man named Anthony who worked in that department approached me in line and asked me if he could help me. He listened, nodded, and asked me to come with him. From then on, another employee with a two-way radio spoke to us, and contacted her supervisor, Aaron, who arrived in a matter of minutes with another employee named Jessica. They informed us that they had already taken care of everything, they had reserved new seats for us and they were waiting. Aaron stated that they had to be creative, but were able to get the job done quickly enough for us in order to see the game in time. He told us that Jessica would escort us to our seats, and that they would take care of everything. As Jessica brought us to our new “home”, she struck up conversation with us, asked with concern about my sister’s injury, and laughed and joked with us. She got us settled in, introduced us to the staff that worked in the area, and told us not to hesitate to ask for anything.

Honestly, we were all amazed at how our day went from a potential nightmare to being treated like VIPs. Our seats were above home plate, and we had one of the best views of the stadium. We were able to sit and enjoy the game in its entirety, thanks to Anthony, Aaron, and Jessica. I think that all too often, we don’t recognize good people and excellent customer service, even if it rarely exists anymore. These employees were kind, courteous, and after it all, we felt like they were friends. So, this piece is dedicated to our new friends at Yankee Stadium, with much gratitude for all that they did. One last thing: don’t ever let anyone tell you that people in the Bronx are tough to deal with, because the exact opposite is true.



--Christy Lee, BYB Staff Writer



--Jeana Bellezza, BYB Associate Editor



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THE RISE OF BRIAN GORDON

I like underdogs and I like when they win. I rooted for Aaron Small, I appreciate players like David Eckstein and Brett Gardner because size doesn’t matter if you have the ability and desire and I admire someone like Kirk Gibson with a limp being asked to pinch hit when the game is on the line for the Dodgers and coming through in unbelievable fashion. I am a baseball nut and when someone like Brian Gordon who’s been a journeyman in the minor leagues gets a shot in the major leagues, I latch on and root for the guy every time he chucks it in. Why? Because the odds are against him and all those others who, when people look at them, they shrug and say, “I just don’t think he can do it.” The best part is, they know they can do it and nine times out of 10, they do.(Photo: Getty)
Brian Gordon can and will be the story of the year for the Yankees if he can deliver what they need from him this year. Quality starts when needed and anything else then want from him. Yes, after 2 starts there are mixed reviews, but let’s face it, even CC has a bad game every once in a while. What we need from Gordon is enough heart to shut down the haters and attract the believers and all the while, keeping the Yankees in every game he pitches. That goes for starts and spot relief.

Look at Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia. No one and I mean NO ONE, believed in them. I must admit, I didn’t think Colon had anything. I mocked him, I admit it and now I’ve latched on too. The underdog is my weakness and I have to say, I didn’t follow my heart on that one, I chose to be a hater. I was wrong. I like being proven wrong.

I clearly learned my lesson, and when Gordon was signed and I read his resume, it was attractive to me. Gordon pitched well in his first game and struggled alittle in his second. Luckily, Girardi says there will be a third. The first game, he wasn’t given enough time to think, he just went out there and did his thing. 2 weeks before he was in the minors with probably no shot of being called up, now he’s on the biggest stage in sports and trust me, I believe this kid has what it takes. Again, not every outing will be perfect and his second outing wasn't, but the underdog in Brian Gordon will attract many if he can get the job done in any role. He’s got the experience; it doesn’t matter that it was minor league experience, he was working and if Cashman sees something in this kid, so do I.

Check out Gordon’s line: 2 Games, 10.1 IP, 12 H, 6 R, 4 SO, 3BB and a 5.23 ERA.
(Photo: Neil Miller)

Now, keep in mind, on the Bartolo Colon front, yesterday Colon pitched a simulated game he threw 60 pitched and felt fine, so the word on the street is he could be back soon. Read it HERE. If he does come back, yes I will welcome him back with opened arms, but you still have to feel for Gordon and believe in him. Cashman will too. I say keep him in the bullpen, and on the team and use him in emergency starts or a long man situation.

Latch on Ladies and Gentlemen, Gordon may be the new guy, but he’s more experienced than many pitchers out there, he just needed an outlet, and now he’s got one. If he stays on the straight and narrow and mows down the competition, it will be God damn glorious.

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WHY IT MAKES YOU THINK ABOUT FREEDOM

If this story isn't inspiring I don't know what is. Michael Kacer is a man who fought for us in Afghanistan. He's a veteran and he's a hero. So, it couldn't be more fitting for Michael to get a standing ovation and a souvenir at a Yankee game last Friday night after he caught a foul ball with his hat over the railing at the stadium. Check out the video below:



Mr. Kacer lost his arm in a rocket attack in Afghnaistan back in 2008. He caught the ball, waved to the crowd and gave the ball to his nephew Isaiah. Kacer was wearing a Achilles International shirt. That organization is a non-profit group that uses sports to help bring hope and inspiration to people with disabilities. How fitting.

According to Kacer who spoke to Fox News, "All I kept thinking was, I've gotta get this ball for my nephew."

True soldiers never do for themselves, they always do for others. A salute to Michael Kacer.

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WHY ROBERTSON'S AN INSPIRATION

My son is obsessed with baseball at 8 years old. He wants me to do drills with him when the game is over and I usually am forced to pitch him 50 baseballs a day on weekends just so he can “make contact” before he does his real full swing session. It’s unusual for an 8 year old. I am a baseball nut but this is ridiculous. Honestly though, I’m proud. He’s found something he’s good at and he’s doing this all on his own. Believe it or not, that’s a good thing. The last thing you want is your father or a coach screaming at you because you didn’t throw it into 2nd base fast enough from center or you didn’t get your glove dirty enough to scoop up a grounder. What a kid needs is direction, not criticism. He's 8, not 40. We try and teach that in my house and it seems to be working.

He started playing first base and one of the coaches told me he had great instincts. “He’s good…like Teixeira good” the coach said. I smiled and said Thanks. My kids no Teixeira, but in his mind he is, and if that works for him, to get into the mindset of being instinctive and understand how the game is played, I say go for it.

(In Photo: Bryce Harper)
My son needs to have the eye black that looks like Bryce Harper and is sure to slide at least once a game, even if he doesn’t have to. We also can’t wash the uniform on a "Win" day because that would wash away the winning streak. I guess he got that from me. “We need to keep the streak alive, make sure mom doesn’t wash my uniform.” OK, that’s definitely from me, but look, baseball is a game of failure, you have to hit a little ball with a thin bat and that’s tricky if you think about it. It's why batting .300 is real good, it's why hitting .500 is amazing. You need talent, alittle luck and alittle superstition too, right?Lately, all I hear about is David Robertson, because to my son, this guy is the cat’s meow. How else do you explain his 2nd pitching outing this past weekend, striking out 2 and getting a grounder to short for a 1,2,3 inning and a fist pump skip walking off the mound to boot. If my son needed any role model in his life, I’d say I’m OK with David Robertson. He’s a positive force on the New York Yankees and just so damn good. Plus, he's a positive person, doing things to help others for instance with High Socks for Hope, a Foundation created by he and his wife Erin to help the people in Tuscaloosa, Alabama affected by those tragic storms on April 27, 2011. It was David's hometown and now he's making a difference.

My son's about to be 9 and as I see him running out on the field with his eye black smeared all over his face and his sunflower seeds in his cheek, I wonder what the hell I created, he has a drive like nothing I’ve ever seen before. The most amazing thing is it has nothing to do with me. I just thought him the basics, I thought him that striking out alittle here and there is OK even though it stings when it happens.

I wrote WHY BASEBALL IS ALIVE AND WELL back in March. After I wrote it, Nutball Gazette sent me a comment: “Your son is Epic.I laughed at the time, but you know what? Now that I think about it, that comment stuck with me. I feel like he is too and with David Robertson as his new inspiration, I’m OK with that…I really am.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

WHY SWISHER FEELS THE LOVE

There is no doubt, the S in GGS is about to make a power run. Swisher feels more comfortable at the plate and you can see it in his eyes and in his body language. We all know Swisher’s following, including Swisher himself. He is the Bronx Elvis as BYB refers to him. I was trying to think back to a Yankee player that has been here for such a short time, yet attracted so many fans so quickly.
  • Sal Fasano: He was here for 3 minutes back in 2006, but that was more of a mustache fascination than anything else. Yes, he was supposed to be a smart catcher, but the talent never translated to the field. I feel bad even trying to compare him to Swisher, because Swisher’s on a totally different level. That being said, I dug Sal.
  • Aaron Small: Aaron had his moment in pinstripes and 10 wins later in 2005, he definitely won over the fans, but again, it wasn’t on the Swisher level.
  • Felix Heredia? OK I’m joking. It’s true, I can’t think of anyone as big as Nick.

Swisher came to New York under the radar the same year Teixeira, CC Monster and AJ Burnett came over and no one talked about the guy. I knew what he was capable of but the world was wrapped up with Tex and Co. and no one gave Swisher a thought. 3 years later, I feel like he may be more popular to the fans than the others. Why? Personality.

The WE WANT NICK SWISHER TO HOST SNL FB group is growing and you need to join that group. Just click on the link and join. Beth Hucke runs the operation and she means business. (Read our BYB EXCLUSIVE interview with Beth by clicking the link.) And why not, Nick Swisher has the energy and ability to get on Saturday Night Live and anything else he wants to do. He believes in himself and we believe in him.

The point is, Nick Swisher knows slumping too long isn’t good for business, isn’t good for the fans and isn’t good for his future in pinstripes. Plus, he wants to contribute to his team. His energy translates to the energy in Yankee Stadium. He’s hitting and we’re happy. When he’s not, we’re unhappy, it’s that simple. Finally, Nick Swisher is hitting and with it, comes the cheers and the smiles and Swish is on top of the world, that translates to us and we couldn't be happy for the guy. (Photo: Tim Farrell/Star Ledger)

One thing I noticed being a Yankee fan all my life is, when a Yankee player sucks enough, calls for “Dump him” or “bench him” get shouted from thte stands to the field. To be honest, I have never heard that about Nick Swisher, EVER. There is something about this guy; people just want him to succeed, almost as if, if he were to leave the Bronx, the clubhouse's energy would disappear with him. The energy on the field would disappear; The heart would disappear from the Yankees. It’s my opinion that no one wants this guy to leave and I would bet that if I were to ask several of you if you’d like Swisher to retire a New York Yankee, 80% of you would want it.

Energy, Heart, Grit and Swish; That’s the perfect recipe for success for Nick Swisher’s future in the Bronx. Fans love him and he loves the fans. Nick's on a hot streak and let's hope it lasts all summer and all October, because hs hot bat in the lineup can really help our New York Yankees.

Now, if we could only get Swish to RT us on Twitter, we’d be a whole lot happier. Come on Nick, @BleednYankeeBlu … hit me on the Twitter, everyone at Bleeding Yankee Blue wants you to succeed, we believe in you pal.

By the way, read other great Nick Swisher pieces here:

WHY SWISHER MAKES ME SWOON

WHY WE LOVE SWISH

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