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Monday, October 31, 2011

WHY SABATHIA ROARS. CC'S STAYING IN THE BRONX

Man oh man, life would be so much easier if every contract was involving CC Sabathia. That big lug just makes me smile from ear to ear.

The New York Times has it here: "Sabathia, 31, agreed to a one-year extension worth $30 million for 2016 plus a vesting option for 2017 worth $25 million if he stays healthy, according to a person who had seen the terms of the agreement but was not allowed to speak publicly on the matter.

With the extension, Sabathia is guaranteed $122 million over the next five years." Read the full story HERE.

Sabathia did one of the coolest things, he announced it first on YouTube, watch it here:



I have to sit back an laugh. In this world of baseball analysts and "insiders", 80% percent of it is bunk. I may be a blogger, but I can make an educated guess just like the rest of them. The reality in this entire scenario is... and I'll bold this for you... NO ONE REALLY KNOWS ANYTHING. They can sit there and speculate or say they heard that CC will opt-out, or that the Yankees low-balled CC, or that CC doesn't really like New York, but the reality was CC Sabathia is the only one that truly knew what he wanted to do.
Like I've stated here at Bleeding Yankee Blue... CC isn't about the money. Sure, he's making millions on this deal, but what I mean simply is he meshes good with the Yankees and this was about comfort for the Sabathia family the whole time. True, his agent was smart to work in the "opt-out" into his contract, because if the past 3 years truly sucked, CC would have walked. But 1 championship and 3 postseasons later, there is something truly there between CC and the Yankees...Love. Love for the team and love for the fans and they and WE love him back. We love having CC, we want him here, and we're glad he's here.

I'm tell you this and then I'll stop patting myself on the back. I know personalities and I have good instincts. While CC and his agent kept it close to the vest until the deadline was looming, I knew CC was giving the Yankees a signal when he appeared on Anderson Cooper 2 weeks ago and I wrote about it in YANKEES RUMORS & BYB: PART 1. Sabathia didn't have to say anything and many missed it, but I got it. No major leaguer wears their uniform out of the stadium. No way. Not at a charity event, not at a speaking engagement and damn sure not on TV unless they're in a ballgame. CC was offering a signal to the Yankee brass that day. It was, "I love New York, just make me a fair offer and you have me for life."

Thank God CC Sabathia is coming back. Thank you CC, I can't wait for you to lead the charge in 2012. Now, finally, the Yankees can get down to business and build our 2012 roster. Every sigh with happiness... CC Monster is coming back to the Bronx.

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SABATHIA UPDATE

According to Buster Olney, the Yankees extension offer to CC Sabathia is for 1 year. He says if it was to for 2 years at the same salary, it would "be a no brainer."

Wally Matthews confirms that in fact the Yankees offer is in, but doesn't offer any detail like Buster does. Read Wally HERE.

The New York Daily News (HERE) says they expect CC Sabathia to opt-out of his contract and "look around." This would work in CC's favor to help drive up the Yankees price.

Stay here for more as it develops in Yankeeland.

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM BYB

I just wanted to celebrate Halloween by showing you all the Yankee rookie hazings pictures from year's past. It's a lot of fun and kind of hilarious. For example, you have to laugh your ass off looking as Joba Chamberlain as the cowardly lion. Below is a great clip of Shelley Duncan and Joba talking about dressing up...a good find.



My favorite has to be Hideki Matsui as a pimp. Enjoy it and pass this post along to friends...Let's celebrate Halloween!!Hideki Matsui. Classic pimp.
Jose Contreras. I tell you what, he pulls it off quite nicely too.
To be perfectly honest with you, the only guy besides Girardi whom I recognize is Ramiro Pena dressed as Catwoman on the right. This is pretty hilarious, you have to admit.Seeing Chien-Ming Wang and Robinson Cano dressed like cheerleaders may be my second favorite to the Matsui one. Love these pictures. I think that's the first and only time I've ever seen Wang smile.The Village people idea is OK, but someone like Brett Gardner looks cool, so should I say, he pulls it off. Juan Miranda and Francisco Cervelli are also in this photo below. Cervelli looks surprisingly comfortable in that outfit.The picture below is this year. Dellin Betances is on the left and the other tall guy with the bandanna is Andrew Brackman... Milli Vanilli. On the right side, that's Brandon Laird as Slash, and Jesus Montero next to him as MC Hammer. Then you have Austin Romine as I guess Madonna. And George Kontos is George Michael and Hector Noesi is Prince. The 80's... and they pulled it off.Please comment, we have DISQUS, it's easier than ever. Let me know what you think and follow me on Twitter @BleednYankeeBlu and join the group Bleeding Yankee Blue on Facebook, just type it in.

WHY IT'S TIME FOR ANOTHER LEFTY IN THE YANKEES PEN

Boone Logan lasted through another Yankee season and much like Joe Girardi’s fascination with Sergio Mitre in the past, I feel like he has a strange attachment to Boone Logan. Look, I’m not going to sit here and hammer Logan for 2011. I feel like the guy has good and bad moments. One thing Logan was not, was stellar. Getting out a lefty didn't really work for him, even though it was his job. I have always felt that another lefty in the Yankees bullpen would help. I've said it for a while now. Anyway, these are Logan's numbers this season:

5-3 3.46 ERA / 41.2 IP / 46 K / 13 BB / 16 ER / WHIP 1.344

I'll tell you what, and I know he’s gone, but I liked the small batch of Raul Valdes that I saw down the stretch for the Yanks. He impressed me quite a bit and I wanted to see more of the guy. In fact, I suggested he be part of the ALDS Roster. Read WHY I KNOW THE YANKEES 2011 ALDS ROSTER, I made my case there. Here are his numbers as a Yankee:

6 G / 2.70 ERA / 6.2 IP / 8 K / 2 BB / 2 ER/ WHIP 1.500

So, who’s out there that the Yankees could snatch up? Here's the list of Free Agents that could be interesting:Hideki Okajima

Brian TalletDarren Oliver

John Grabow

Dennys Reyes

Also, earlier in the year, I was even so desperate, I suggested the Yankees bring in Scott Kazmir, let him pitch to one or 2 batters every few games and train the guy to become a specialist and a reliever. I could have been a diamond in the ruff. It also could have blown up in our faces, but many starting pitchers have reinvented themselves that way and I was convinced Kazmir could have done the same. Kerry Wood did it and that guy's been to hell and back. I’m just saying, lefty pitching in the pen is important and I don’t believe 1 works, I just believe 2 helps tremendously... you can mix and match.

So, Who would you choose for the extra Yankee lefty in the pen? Comment and tell us who and why. We love to hear from you.

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

YANKEE RUMORS & BYB: PART 3

CC Sabathia: Joel Sherman believes that the offer to Sabathia would be a 5 year, $120 million dollar deal, and MLB Trade Rumors is reporting that both Cash and Sabathia's Agent are meeting this weekend. Read that HERE. Read Sherman's tweet HERE. Sherman's offer suggestion is a guess, but a good one.Robinson Cano & Nick Swisher: The Yankees announced today that they have picked up options of both Cano and Swish. Read about it HERE. Cano's option was for $14 million and was a formality. Nick Swisher's option was for $10.25 million. Things are starting to get done in Yankeeland.
Hideki Matsui: The Yankees could use a cheap yet still affective DH and Matsui may be that guy. According to MLB Trade Rumors: "The Athletics' interest in re-signing impending free agent DH Hideki Matsui is waning, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Oakland wants to get younger, according to Slusser, and Matsui, now 37, doesn't fit that bill." I'm not saying the Yankees should go old, I'm saying having Matsui in the lineup could prove smart and cheap.Carlos Beltran: Andrew McCarron says the Yankees are staying away from the bidding on Carlos Beltran now that the Yankees are picking up Nick Swisher's option. The Yankees are not interested in offering a multi-year deal to Beltran who is older and more injury prone to Nick Swisher. Read about that HERE.
CJ Wilson: This lefty is still on the Yankees radar and is the best option for the Yankees, but of course it all will fall into place if the Yankees are able too sign CC Sabathia. I don't think there is a question that the Yankees can sign CC, but of course everything will hinge on him.

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

BREAKING: NEW SABATHIA DEAL BY WEEKEND'S END?

According to Andrew Marchand HERE, both sides, CC Sabathia and the New York Yankees are looking to get a deal done by the end of the weekend. I have written extensively here on BYB giving you scenarios as well as offering confidence that CC Sabathia likes New York and wants family comfort before a gazillion dollars, because let's face it, he already has gazillion dollars. The main thing now is making sure the Sabathia family feels comfortable where they're at...NYC. I also made a leap suggesting that in an appearance on Anderson Cooper last week, CC showed up wearing a Yankee jersey and that only means one thing. It's an unspoken gesture to Yankee brass..."I want to be in the Bronx." Read WHY IT'LL BE AN OFFER SABATHIA CAN'T REFUSE. Let's face it, players don't wear their work uniform out, you know what I mean?

Now, back to Marchand's piece. He writes:

"The Yankees know that Sabathia is currently irreplaceable. In his three years with the Yankees, he has won 59 games and led them to the 2009 World Series.

If the Yankees were to finish Sabatha's contract sooner than later, it would also allow them to more smoothly execute the rest of their offseason plan."

"Sabathia's new contract is expected to top Lee's average annual salary. The question that both sides need to fully hash out comes down to the years on the contract.

It would seem likely that Sabathia would want at least a six-year deal in the $150 million-range. If he wanted to go further than that, it could force him to go test free agency and present an offer for the Yankees to match.

But Sabathia has always placed a high importance on winning. Up-and-coming teams like the Washington Nationals or the Toronto Blue Jays could make a high offer, but Sabathia has shown no willingness to want to play in either place. If a team like the Texas Rangers were to be aggressive, then Sabathia may have to consider it. The Rangers were only willing to go to six years and $120 million for Lee last year."

Stay tuned right here Ladies and Gentlemen... hopefully CC stays in the Bronx... where he belongs.

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WHAT'S A DH WORTH?

The Yankees 2012 starting lineup is mostly set. Starting around the horn we have ARod, Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano, and Mark Teixiera. The outfield is Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, and there’s an opening in right until we hear for sure that the Yankees will pick up Swisher's option. Barring any snafus, Russell Martin will probably be behind the plate again. That leaves a hole at DH.
While the early candidate seems to be Jesus Montero, I think it’s a shame that a 20 something year old is going to be pigeon-holed as a DH. Outside of Edgar Martinez, who else has made an entire career as a DH. The American League is built for the DH and teams need a strong hitter in there.

Now with the Yankees aging roster, the DH spot is heavily going to be used to rest players, therefore using Montero as your everyday DH is not going to be feasible. If Brian Cashman was smart, which we all know he is, he’d sign some much needed pitching and the DH slot will be filled by a rotating cast of characters. That's my take at least.
With that being the smart move, I’m also a firm believer that you can’t turn down a good player if the opportunity is right. The 2 biggest free agents out there are David Ortiz and Albert Pujols. I don’t care what the majority of you and most of my friends think, I would sign Papi in a heartbeat. I'd give him $12 - $14 million for the year and stick him in the 4 hole. In the new stadium, Ortiz is hitting .257, 6 HR, with 17 RBI (.316, 16HR, 35 RBI in the old stadium). I know the numbers are low, but he’s a lefty and lefties love Yankee Stadium, the ball flies out to right.

Lance Berkman has said that Pujols is better than Babe Ruth. I say prove it. If it's true, he could bash his way through history. Now Pujols is looking for a long-term deal and the Yankees have enough of those already. If he doesn’t sign here, I hope he stays in the NL.

Prince Fielder is also out there as well, but he’s in the same boat as Pujols. He wants a long-term deal and plays first base. Like Pujols, I’d take him but only if he’d take 5 years/$75 million.Maybe the solution is what Casey suggested... bringing back Hideki Matsui. (Read WHY HIDEKI MATSUI? WHY NOT? )He’s a good fit here and a fan favorite. Andy Pettitte came back home, Godzilla could too.

Finally, with all that said, the Yankees are about stars. Unless you bring in a legitimate star, the DH slot is worth no more than $5 million a year, maybe $7 million. But on this team of aging veterans, not having a full time DH thus giving them the ability to rest these guys and keep them fresh all year could turn out to be priceless.

By the way, I have a Facebook page now, click HERE to friend me.



-- Lem Allen, BYB Freelance Writer
bybcurmudgeon@gmail.com



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WHY THE CARDINALS WON THE WORLD SERIES

This St. Louis team never gave up, a mentality that the Yankees have had for a long long time, especially in their 90's run. The other night when David Freese helped the Cards come back and then walked off in grand style, it reminded my of the way things used to be done in the Bronx. I'm not saying the Yankees don't still have that spark, I'm saying it was the guys you didn't expect that always came through. Scott Brosius in 1998 comes to mind. The Cardinals deserve this one. Look, I'm a Yankee fanatic, but I'm a baseball fan first and the Cardinals did it right. Congrats to them, from Bleeding Yankee Blue.Read the full story HERE.

And now... the off season, one of my favorite times of year in baseball.

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Friday, October 28, 2011

BREAKING: YANKEES AND CASHMAN HAVE A DEAL

Jon Heyman from SI reports that Cashman and the Yankees have agreed on a deal and will make things official after the World Series. Heyman's tweet is HERE.

Hardball Talk reports: "... presumably Cashman will get a raise on his current $2 million salary after seeing Theo Epstein get a five-year, $20 million contract from the Cubs. And then he’ll get to work on keeping CC Sabathia in New York."
Read the full story HERE.

More to follow... here at Bleeding Yankee Blue.

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GAME 7: CHUCK NORRIS VS. WOODY WOODPECKER


I have to admit, although it’s not our Yankees battling for #28, it’s been a pretty good World Series. Although it’s hard to believe, someone has to win it this year, despite the fact that it should have been…could have been…the New York Yankees. I’m not bitter. I’m not angry. I’ve accepted it, and I’m no longer in denial about the facts. I don’t have to like them, but admitting to your anger is the first step in recovery. That being said, it seems as though the Rangers will take this one over the Cardinals. The answer is obvious. Why? You can’t be a team named the “Texas Rangers” and not think of the legendary Chuck Norris.


Yep. I went there. “Walker: Texas Ranger” is an American icon. I think they even named the team after him. He can find any bad guy and eliminate the most powerful and evil enemy. He can find a needle in a haystack. He laughs in the face of danger; Game Six wouldn’t have even made him flinch. He can catch a bullet in his teeth, and maybe even one of Mo’s cutters on the inside. He does karate. He has that cool mustache that never seems to look like there’s food stuck in it. He’s an infomercial God. In his movies, he always gets the hot girl. He works out with Christie Brinkley on that glide exercise machine, which looks so complicated that only Chuck can do it, and do it right. He probably could tattoo his own eyeballs. A man once asked Chuck Norris if his real name is "Charles". Chuck Norris did not respond, he simply stared at him until he exploded. He once shot a German plane down with his finger, by yelling, "Bang!" Yes, Chuck Norris should be the Rangers’ mascot; it’s only fitting that their namesake be the one that leads the battle cry. Screw the rally monkeys; we’re talking Chuck Freakin’ Norris here.


Being one strike away from the World Championship Title and blowing it doesn’t mean that these Texas Rangers have failed. 11 innings of blood, sweat and tears is nothing. Try wearing a gun belt loaded with ammunition, machine guns, and catcher’s mitts in the jungle. In “Delta Force” style, The Rangers forced another game, making it a true “cliffhanger”, just like Chuck’s movies. You can’t win your first World Series without it being a nail biter, and true to “Ranger” legend, that’s what we’ve gotten. Although the locker room was quiet and there was a lot of girlish pouting and whining, the champagne is still on ice, which means it’s getting colder, and “brainfreeze” is inevitable. Just like Chuck, no pain, no gain, baseball fans. Man up, boys.


I’m not saying the Cardinals don’t have a shot, maybe they do. But who is they’re icon? “Woody Woodpecker?” Chuck Norris would eat Woody for breakfast, and pick his teeth with his beak. I think it’s quite obvious that the team with the most bad ass icon is destined to win. The Rangers have that never-say-die edge that will bring them over the top, leaving the Cardinals stunned on their perches, molting away their feathers wishing that they had Chuck on their side.


If my theory is correct, the “Whiner: Texas Rangers” will win the World Series tonight, facing all of the hoopla and brain freeze that they can handle. Let’s hope that they do the right thing and tip their hats to the man, the myth, and the legend that led them there. Don’t give up, never say die. Perhaps they need to use this quotes from the wise Mr. Norris quote as inspiration for tonight’s game: “People whine, 'I haven't succeeded because I haven't had the breaks.' You create your own breaks.”- The Mighty Chuck Norris



--Christy Lee, BYB Staff Writer



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MAKING NICK SWISHER SWEAT

I’m not saying I’m the Amazing Kreskin yet, but you have to admit, trying to sign an extra outfielder and still pick up Nick Swisher’s option could prove lethal to Nick, unless he kicks some ass once he knows his job in pinstripes may be in jeopardy. He’ll be fighting for his life no doubt if the Yankees do what they suggested yesterday saying that Carlos Beltran is on their list this off season. Of course Scott Boras is Beltran’s agent and the Yankees and he have a decent relationship even though I personally feel like Boras has destroyed the sport with long term deals and multi-million dollar contracts that absolutely no one deserves. Yes, it’s his job and yes he does it well, but damn you Boras!

Yes, after the Yankees lost the ALDS and I was furious with Nick and ARod and Teixeira, I suggested that the Yankees should bring in a young outfield stud to help light a fire under Nick's ass after they pickup his $10.25 million option. Why? Just to give him a little competition as if to say, “We don’t need you Nick, show us what you got. Having Beltran there instead of a young stud could be even more intimidating and not only that, could cement the end to the Bronx Elvis. As I predict, if Beltran is signed, the Yankees will dangle Nick Swisher for more pitching. I'm no genius, many are saying that. No doubt Swisher’s worth a nice horse, so that can give us something, whether it’s a lefty specialist or a solid starter.

I pointed out in a piece titled WHY I TAKE SWISHER OVER BELTRAN, they had some similar seasons, and Beltran has a higher average.

  • Carlos Beltran: In 142 games, he batted .300 this season, had 22 homers, 84 RBIs and an OBP of .385
  • Nick Swisher: in 150 games, he batted .260 this season, had 23 homers, 85 RBIs and an OBP of .374

The downside to Beltran is he gets hurt a lot and he is older. Nick Swisher is 30 years old, Beltran is 34. There are definitely positives and negatives to both and I’m not suggesting we SHOULD say goodbye to Nick Swisher, I love the guy in the Yankee clubhouse, I’m merely suggesting that Nick’s days could be numbered if the Yankees definitely pursue Carlos Beltran and pick up Nick Swisher’s option, in fact, I’m not suggesting it, I’m telling you, if they get both Beltran and Swisher, Swisher will go.

Look, I don’t think my theory is too far fetched, in fact, I think it’s dead on, but it’s just one opinion and there are many scenarios that could come true here, including this being a non-story and Carlos Beltran never puts on pinstripes. We won’t know until we know, bottom line, but one thing's for sure, the Yankees are about to gear up for an interesting off-season, no doubt about it.

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FREEZE! FREESE HELPS FORCE GAME 7 FOR CARDINALS!

I have never seen a more dramatic and exciting ball game than I did last night. The full story is HERE, but The Cardinals are alive and forced a Game 7. They were down to their last out 2 times in a row and both times came back. David Freese tied it in the 9th with a 2 run triple. Josh Hamilton homered for the Rangers the following inning to make it 9-7. Then Lance Berkman tied it to make it 9-9! In the 11th, David Freese came through again to win it for the Cardinals in walk off style! It may have been the most dramatic thing I've ever seen in baseball and I'm thrilled for David Freese, he had the game of his life... that's why baseball is the greatest sport in the world. I wrote in WHY BLEEDING YANKEE BLUE PICKS THE CARDINALS because I don't care for the Rangers fans because of of the newbie's with their crisp new Rangers caps that know nothing about the game. They ruin it for all baseball fans. I want the Rangers to lose based on that alone and I hope the Cards can put them away tonight.

Great game Birds! BYB is rooting for you!

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WHY BORAS MAKES BASEBALL WORSE


The Yankees have enough on their plate… so why does Scott Boras have to call up Brian Cashman and ask about Robinson Cano’s contract now? What’s the reason besides greed? Do you really think Robinson Cano told Boras to call Cashman about erasing his options and try to renegotiate a monster contract for him RIGHT NOW? Do you? Because I don’t. If Cano really did want his agent to do that, Boras wouldn’t have came out later yesterday and told the media he was “kidding” about the Yankees reworking Cano’s contract.

I see Robinson Cano as classy, as a smart baseball man who realizes that the Yankees have a great shot at winning #28 if the Yankees sign CC Sabathia asap. Boras in my opinion brought this on on his own because he has a relationship with the Yankees and felt as though he could come and go as he pleases. Message to Boras; The love is there between Cano and the Yankees, in fact, Robbie probably doesn’t even need you around to negotiate a contract with the team whose system he came through... keep your trap shut. Cano has proven he’s a Yankee star and the Yankees love his maturity since Melky Cabrera left. Believe me, there will be no problem working out a contract when the time comes, but now clearly isn’t the time and I would even suggest that when Cano read about what Boras did, he called him and told him to fix the mess he made.

George King III discussed the Boras backtrack HERE. He also discusses the important fact that Boras also represents Carlos Beltran, Prince Fielder and Edwin Jackson, all names that have recently been connected to the Yankees "rumors" and all names the could possibly wind up in pinstripes according to many media outlets and blogs...this one included.

Look, Boras has a job to do, he does it well, and almost too well. The players with big contracts and big years have proven to be busts as of late and many teams are smartening up to the fact that if teams get locked in for a lot of jack and the player has a terrible season, they're stuck. That's why ARod walked away from Boras, because he realized his agent almost destroyed his life so he cut him loose, renegoiated with the Yankees and finalized a deal. By the way, don't think the Yankees are 100% stupid re-signing ARod. They have 1 thing in mind with Alex and that long term deal, they want him to be the all time Home Run leader in pinstripes. That's it. The problem now is, with Alex breaking down, maybe they goofed, but we won't know that until we get closer to 700.