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Saturday, December 31, 2011

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO HIROYUKI NAKAJIMA?

Jon Heyman for CBS Sports says that the Yankees and Hiroyuki Nakajima's camp can't come to a common ground on a contract...but they may. The deadline is next week. Read Heyman HERE.

I never understood the Nakajima deal. The Yankees have guys that can play shortstop and they don't need him, unless, they want to trade him once they sign him. To me, this is an exercise I would rather the Yankees not waste their time with. That being said, they ARE wasting their time with it and we just need to sit and wait for it to be resolved.

Just to recap, the Yankees won the exclusive bidding with Nakajima for $2 million. Once that happened, there is a 30 day window to try and hammer out a deal. Bryan Hoch of MLB believes this will be resolved soon...read HERE. Hoch also suggests that the reason why the Yankees have not done a thing with Eric Chavez yet is because they are trying to finalize details with Nakajima. We wrote WHY WE DON'T HAVE ERIC CHAVEZ YET about all this. Check that out.

Hurry up and wait I guess... hurry up and wait.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR, 2012 & APPRECIATING MY PEERS

2011 was great for growth and friendships at Bleeding Yankee Blue, but 2012 is going to be better for so many reasons. For me personally, it will be good to turn the page. I'm done with 2011. I see big things happening in 2012; Personally, for our blog, and for you... oh and the Yankees will win #28. You can never forget that.

I can't say this enough and I won't stop saying it because it's important...
Thank you to you all.


You've helped raise our readership super fast and you seem to like us, which makes me happy. We write for you and as long as this is fun for me, Bleeding Yankee Blue will continue to crank out fun pieces as well as commentary, news, opinion and stuff about life in general. Again, right now it's fun and you make it fun and so, we continue.

I want to take a moment and give a shoutout to a few blogs that I consider friends, the bottom line is, we all are doing the same thing, some have been doing this for years and are great at it. Some of us are new at this and some are just too damn cool and for that, it's important I mention them.

Bomber Boulevard: Rasheeda Cooper and I think alike and we respect each other! You don't get that all the time from people, but we do and I'm very happy about that friendship. Thanks Coop! If you read us and don't know about Bomber Boulevard, you need to. Coop is the best and she does it her way... quality all the time... and I love it. Happy New Year Coop, thanks for a fun 2011.

Yankee Fans Unite: You guys are slick and you crank out good stuff all the time. Much respect to you. I like what you put out. Keep up the great work.

Bronx Baseball Daily: Rob runs a terrific site and he was one of the reasons why I became interested in this stuff. He has always been there for me and helped me out when I needed it. Rob, thanks man. You're one of my first blog "friends" so to speak. I appreciate your help.

Bronx Goblin: Freaking hilarious and a good site you need to check out. Every day there's something funny there. Happy New Year guys!

Sliding into Home: Greg is one of the best guys out there and his site has been one that I go to religiously. Happy New Year Pal.

The Bronx Bomber: New and fun and Geo has one of the best looking sites out there, especially is you like the Yankees and Choppers. Don't know what I mean? Check it out. We've become good friends in the blog world and I'm glad about that.

Subway Squawkers
: A quality Yankees and Mets site you need to check out. Lisa and Jon do terrific work and they need a proper shout out, so there you go.

The Charles Moses Yankees Daily: a great place for Yankee news all the time. Charles and I have become good friends and I appreciate our friendship. If you haven't checked out his Daily, you should keep it in your favorites. Charles, Happy New Year.

Again, thanks to everyone who make us keep plugging along. 2012 will be great, but only if you make it great. Thank you all!!! Happy New Year and God Bless us all.

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WHY GARZA & THE YANKEES ARE A PERFECT MATCH

Here at BYB, we've thrown around ideas for that elusive potential number two starter that the fans desperately want. We've talked about higher profile names like Yu Darvish, Gio Gonzalez, Mark Buehrle, CJ Wilson, and Edwin Jackson to lower names that won't cost as much in terms of money or prospects like Roy Oswalt, Hiroki Kuroda, Chad Billingsley, Rich Harden, etc. But, we've only briefly talked about the guy we're going to profile who happens to be a perfect fit, and that guy is Matt Garza.

Before Garza joined the Chicago Cubs in 2011, he was pretty good, but not great, during his three years with the Tampa Bay Rays. Take a look at the basic stats and the advanced stats...

2008-2010:
34-31, 3.86 ERA, 592.1 innings, 7.1 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, 1.1 HR/9, 38.9 GB%, 4.24/4.29 FIP/xFIP, 109 ERA+, 7.6 WAR

Again, good, not great, but when Garza joined the Northsider's, he really shined. Take a look...

2011:
10-10, 3.32 ERA, 198 innings, 8.95 K/9, 2.86 BB/9, 0.64 HR/9, 46.8 GB%, 2.95/3.19 FIP/xFIP, 118 ERA+, 5 WAR

Before you bring it up, don't let the deflated win total fool you, as Garza received 5.91 runs of support on average per start last year, which is basically middle of the pack (43rd highest among 94 qualifiers). If he joins the Yankees, expect a lot more run support and more wins as a result. Also looking at last year's numbers, you can see with Garza's much improved strike out, walk, and home run rates, it results in much better FIP and xFIP rates compared to years past. Expect this trend to continue if he keeps those numbers up.
Another difference that caught my eye was Garza significantly increasing his ground ball rate, which suggests he has pitched more in the lower half of the zone. And in terms of pitch selection between the two time periods, you'll see that he has matured, and by a lot. Take a look at these graphs...
(by Fangraphs)
To be honest, the difference is quite staggering, and pretty awesome too. The guy has matured by a large degree, and at age 28, I can see him becoming an elite pitcher if he keeps this up.

Now, I bet some of the Garza doubters are saying "Well, the reason he improved so much is because he was pitching in the National League." While that may be true to some extent, you have to give him the majority of the credit. Look at Garza's quality of opponents. In 2011, Garza's opponents had an average OPS of .755, which was 286th out of 707 players that threw a pitch. For comparisons sake, AJ Burnett--who pitches in the American League East--was 283rd. Check out the full list HERE. Also remember, Garza pitched in the National League Central with strong hitting teams that include the Cardinals, Reds, and Brewers who ranked 5th, 7th, and 11th, respectively, in runs scored last year.

Obviously, Garza is someone the Yankees would need to trade for in order to add him to their rotation. I'll throw out a scenario, but I'm sure it's unlikely to happen since I'm just a blogger with an opinion and not a GM like Brian Cashman or Jed Hoyer, but I say package Dellin Betances, Gary Sanchez, Adam Warren, and David Phelps for Garza.Now, of course that may sound like a lot to some, considering if all of those guys reach their potential, but try to think this one through. Betances has struggled with walk problems his entire minor league career (4.3 career BB/9), and could very well end up being a reliever, who knows. Sanchez is terrible, to say the least, thus far on defense to the point where Sanchez himself decided to not call for breaking balls while behind the plate. (Read HERE.) Also, at 18 years of age, he's still a long ways away, so anything can happen. Finally, you have Warren and Phelps. At this point, I'd say both of these guys could make a lot of major league rosters as back end starters or long men out of the 'pen, and nothing more going forward. To be frank, you have a better chance at winning the Powerball than you do with all of these prospects reaching their peak. This trade has got to be made.

We'll have to see what happens, of course, but I'm really high on Matt Garza. In fact, I've really liked this guy since the 2008 ALCS. Check this video out before you go on your way, as Garza finishes off the Red Sox in Game 7 of the 2008 ALCS and earns ALCS MVP Honors...





--Jesse Schindler, BYB Staff Writer



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WHY BYB YANKEE NOTES MAKE YOU SMILE

Just a few things you need to know about as we are just hours away from 2012.Aaron Laffey: Laffey signed a split contract with the Blue Jays. Read about it HERE. Remember Laffey, the lefty that showed up in the Bronx for a short amount of time? He did OK for us, but it was clear he wasn't going to be around long. In 11 games for the Yankees, he posted a 3.38 ERA in 10.2 innings. Good Luck to Laffey.
Darren Oliver: Gone. This lefty was signed by the Blue Jays, or at least close to it. Read HERE. This deal was a 1 year contract and a club option for 2013. Oliver is 41 and has been around, but having stability like him in the pen is important. Good for the Jays. We here at Bleeding Yankee Blue mentioned a need for a lefty like Oliver in a piece titled IF YOU TRADE FOR IT...THEY WILL COME from back in November. It's a piece that discusses how no real Free Agents are too exciting this off season, but if we had to pick, Oliver may be one we would consider.
Matt Garza: The Tigers are the latest team to jump on the Garza bandwagon. Read HERE. That makes it the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Blue Jays and the Tigers, who all have a legit shot to get him in a trade. But based on what the Yankees have done this off season, it wouldn't be in their pattern to trade for Garza. We'll have to see. Read WILL THE YANKEES TRADE FROM MATT GARZA? and a more in-depth piece on why the Yankees need Garza will be posted later today on Bleeding Yankee Blue. Look for it.

If anything happens, we'll post it on BYB, so check back.

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WHY JETER & MINKA MAY BE TOGETHER AGAIN

Yes, it's gossip, but I can't stay away from it. Sorry ladies...(Photo: Red Five Productions Copyright)
Derek Jeter and Minka Kelly were spotted together at a Paris museum. I don't know about you, but for me, this is a perfect story to post for all of you as we gear up for 2012.

No doubt with all that was going on with Jeter and his 3000th hit and Minka with her Charlie's Angels TV show that lasted 2 seconds, there just wasn't time for each other. I'm not afraid to say it, I like these 2 together. Sure, Jeter grew up in a wholesome family and Minka told Esquire magazine that her mother was a stripper (Read HERE), and that seems opposite to me, but they look good together, you really can't deny that.

Here's the story on their Paris meeting HERE. The funniest part for me is this report is based on a Pepperdine student who happened to see them together. Geez, for all we know they just met give back an apartment key or something. The Daily News writes:

"The student, Jaime Olaez, said Kelly and Jeter went unnoticed by most museum-goers while they checked out the Impressionists.

“Minka looked very pretty. She was wearing white jeans, a brown jacket, and boots,” Olaez said.

Rumors that Kelly — named Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Alive in 2010 — was in Paris first appeared on Twitter on Dec. 27, after she was seen in the Pont Royal hotel.

Rumors that she and Jeter are back together have flared up since their August breakup. In October, they were spotted together in Florida."

Look, gossip's fun so enjoy this post, but I really don't like to jump into all this... what's private's private and Jeter's the most private of them all... that's why he doesn't tweet either, by the way... just sayin'.

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Friday, December 30, 2011

WHY ANDRUW JONES IS BACK IN THE BRONX

I'll tell you why Andruw Jones is back... because he did exactly what he was supposed to do for the Yankees last season, deliver when needed and hopefully he'll continue to do it again. Jon Heyman writes about the deal HERE.

The deal for Jones is simple, it's a 1 year deal worth $2 million, plus there are incentives worth $1.4 million. Of course, Jones will need to pass a physical, unless he was playing a pickup basketball came with Aaron Boone, I think we should be OK.

I am very happy with this signing. Jones still has power and I am glad this got done. It's relatively cheap, plus we have our 4th outfielder back. While his average was low with a .247 in 77 games and he could have jacked out a few more homers than just the 13 he did (he had 190 AB's), but for the most part, he handled his role well.

Bottom line, this is a smart move for the Yanks and they can depend on Jones to get them runs and hit lefties. I'm smiling right now... you can't see it, but picture it...I look cute.

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WHAT'S UP WITH JOBA THESE DAYS?

Like many of the Yankee family I often browse the Yankee player's twitter accounts to see what they are up to. I just can't get over how cool it is that these guys tweet what they are eating, or where they are, or what movie they are watching just like you and I. I get it. I know not every player is personally tweeting all the time. I'm sure sometimes their are player's publicists that send out tweets when they are sponsoring an event or something. But for the most part, especially the younger players, these guys genuinely interact with the fans.

One of those players who stays pretty active on twitter is Joba Chamberlain (@Joba_62). He seems to be a great guy and I can see by his tweets that he tries to write back to the fans. I can only imagine just how many tweets a guy like Joba gets from fans everyday so it would be unreasonable to expect him to answer us all. But one thing I will give Joba credit for is how open and honest he has been with his elbow since the Tommy John surgery. Through his twitter account he has been updating his progress and, thank God, it's been all good news. In fact, just a couple days ago I read a tweet telling one of the fans that his "elbow is great!" That was nice to see! With all the talk about who the Yankees need in the starting rotation and now with the addition of lefty Hideki Okajima (to a minor league contract), it's easy to forget what we have waiting for us when Spring Training rolls around in just about 6 +weeks.

Although Joba probably won't be ready for game time action for the first 1/3 of 2012, it goes without saying that WHEN he does come back healthy, his presence in that bullpen can be a game changer. Bleeding Yankee Blue has written several pieces arguing how important Joba is to this team. You can read a couple of them HERE and HERE. Joba could be that one puzzle piece we often hear about that completes the Yankee puzzle. Look I'm with you all...we need another solid starter...at least one, if not two. But what happens if we don't? Let's be honest, it's getting late in the off season and we haven't really come close to improving our starting rotation, in fact, it doesn't look like we're going to. Well, to me, what that means is, our bullpen will become that much more important.

Say on average, our starting five only pitch 5 innings per start...this is just a hypothetical. If that was the case than it's obvious how important our bullpen becomes. Especially if we are leading after five innings or we are within striking distance of just a run or two where we need the bullpen to hold the opposing team where they are. Believe it or not, Joba is practically becoming a veteran out in that bullpen and will be relied on to remain consistent and lights out. That's what we need from Joba this year when he comes back: consistency and guts! That's what I think at least.

Anyway... back to the Twitter stuff. I encourage my Yankee family to jump on Twitter if you aren't already signed up and follow the Yankee players who have twitter accounts. Oh, and don't forget to follow us @BleednYankeeBlu -- Here is a list of all the current Yankees who are on Twitter as of today. If I missed any, please feel free to leave who I missed in the comment section below. Keep in mind I did not include former Yankees or minor leaguers.

YANKEE TWITTER ACCOUNTS:


--Mikey Blue, BYB Senior Writer
Email: DonnieBaseball2323@gmail.com
Twitter: @MikeyBlu23


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WILL THE YANKEES TRADE FOR MATT GARZA?

Doubtful. After what we've seen this off-season, I highly doubt the Yankees move on Matt Garza unless of course the Yankees offer guys that will not affect their day in and day out operations down on the farm.

The Cubs asking price in "incredibly high", according to David Kaplan of Comcase Sportsnet Chicago. Read his Facebook HERE. He also writes:

"...talks on Matt Garza are heating up. Lots of interest because he is under control contractually for two more season...Toronto, Yankees, Boston are all involved."

I don't know. I see the Yankees inquiring but I can't imagine they go for Garza at this point. Then again, let's not forget the friendship Brian Cashman and Theo Epstein have. Now that they don't have to be enemies, then why be enemies? Maybe there is a common ground for both to make a move, but like I mentioned in WHY THE REDDICK TRADE BRINGS OUT THE GENIUS IN CASHMAN, why would he unload top prospects now, especially if all the truly great pitchers are gone?
The latest on Garza comes from Jim Bowden from ESPN who says that the Blue Jays and Cubs are currently the teams talking about a deal. Read that HERE. So that's where we are. If anything happens, you'll be the first to know.

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WHY THIS IS MY FEEL GOOD STORY OF 2011

This has nothing to do with the New York Yankees. If you have a heart and you understand loss and family and life, well, it has to do with that. Since I've had children, I find myself getting quite emotional over something sweet my children say or do, whether it's a card they make me for Father's Day or a play they make on the field. It's almost as if to say, "They are learning to be respectful young men, they're my kids, and dammit I'm crazy about them and what they're accomplishing in life."

The point being, I cried like a little girl just a moment ago and I needed to share this story with you. 2011 for me has been a roller coaster. Sure, the Yankees didn't win it all, but it's much much bigger than that. In life, I had plenty going on in 2011 and some things didn't go my way. You cut through the B.S. as a family unit though and you get excited to turn the calender to 2012.

Enter this amazing story. In this report, which is a must watch... Steve Hartman from CBS did an amazing job reporting on a little girl named Bethany Arnold whose father has been in Iraq and she only gets to see him 2 weeks in 2 years. Read HERE. Watch below:



Again, this isn't a Yankee thing, it's a life thing and if you don't cry, you don't have a heart.

Happy New Year.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

WHY WE DON'T HAVE ERIC CHAVEZ YET

Bryan Hoch tweeted that the reason why the Yankees and Eric Chavez have not moved on a re-sign is because the Yankees won the exclusive rights to negoiate with Hiroyuki Nakajima and that has not been resolved as of yet. Read Hoch's tweet HERE.

I'm not afraid to say it... I want Eric Chavez back. The Yankees claim to have the Nakajima thing mapped out within the next week or so...read HERE. Once that is complete, I assume we move forward with Chavez. True, Chavez was once a superstar with the Oakland Athletics and dare I say, he was working his way toward the Hall of Fame if those pesky injuries didn't destroy this guy's career. That being said, Chavez continues to come back, he doesn't quit and he is still just as bad ass as he always was, the problem is he's older and still get's hurt a lot.
And while I'm on the subject of Nakajima, I didn't understand why we went for exclusive bidding rights for him. The only thing I can conclude, and this is my opinion, is that the Yanks were willing to trade him as fast as we signed him for pitching. Otherwise, I'm not sure. Buster Olney tweeted my feelings on this perfectly right HERE.

Stay tuned on this one. I feel like a few minor moves are about the happen in Yankeeland. I'll keep ya'll posted t he best I can.

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CONGRATS TO SQUEEGEE!

Just a quick note to all of you about a member of the Bleeding Yankee Blue family. Ya'll know Squeegee, the author of Clubhouse Confidential. Squeegee is one of the most honest and loyal guys out there when it comes to the Yankees. Plus, getting to know him over the past several months, he's a hell of a nice guy. Read EXCLUSIVE: CLUBHOUSE CONFIDENTIAL and BYB EXCLUSIVE: SQUEEGEE GETS REAL.Well, Squeegee and his wife Margarita gave birth to Steven Ramiro Castillo on Christmas Day. I just couldn't let this one go by. You know I love family and baseball and this is just a total feel good story. I wanted to take a moment and congratulate Squeegee and his family on their beautiful baby boy... and a future Yankee fan!The best... from your Yankee family.



--Casey




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WHY THE REDDICK TRADE BRINGS OUT THE GENIUS IN CASHMAN

I have to admit... I was jealous of the Boston Red Sox for having Josh Reddick. He was one of their young guys that really did a great job down the stretch last season when the rest of the team fell apart. He's young and a bad ass I never saw the Red Sox giving him up. To me Reddick was the future of the Red Sox and he is was very much like Jesus Montero is to the Yankees. The fact that the Boston Red Sox gave him up to the Athletics for Andrew Bailey just confirmed to me that Brian Cashman may look like he's dragging his feet and not making moves, but this is exactly the reason why he isn't pulling the trigger on Montero or Manny Banuelos or Dellin Betances... he knows they'll contribute down the road and he trusts the kids' talent. It is my opinion that if the Yankees were ever looking at Andrew Bailey and Oakland wanted someone like Jesus Montero in return, they'd hang the phone up on Billy Beane.
Josh Reddick may not be a projected Jesus Montero, but he is in fact a damn good ballplayer and for Boston to give him up is silly. Look, I know Boston is desperate for a closer, but let's face it, how much has the media propped up Daniel Bard as the future closer of the Red Sox? Here's 1 article HERE, but there are plenty. Suddenly they can't rely on that and in turn they move him to "starter" mode and pull the trigger on Andrew Bailey. Wow.... and their Golden goose in Josh Reddick is gone in a flash?

Right now, Cashman, who, while he didn't do anything this off season, looks like a genius for not giving up the kids in desperation trades. How many times was Montero and Banuelos attached to trade rumors? Plenty. While we all may not agree with it not trading them, we really have to respect what Cashman's doing. Sure, Andrew Bailey may become a dominant closer in the American League East, and it may turn out to be a great move for Boston, but immediately, I am scratching my head. Let's not forget, Bailey may also shit the bed moving from the West to the East, there's a different pressure... we just really don't know. It's times like this that I look at Cashman and want to hug it out, and thank him because I now see his vision.

Hopefully in the end, this is a better move for the Athletics than it is for Boston and we'll see Reddick stick it to the Red Sox by kicking ass in Oakland.Bottom line... It's December 29th and Jesus Montero, Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances are still in pinstripes. That means only one thing... Cashman believes in his guys... and we should believe in Brian Cashman. Because one thing he's not doing is giving up all our kids for a knee-jerk trade, and I think I like it.

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WHY THE YANKEES SNAGGED HIDEKI OKAJIMA

Look, this signing is no big secret. I've been wanting the Yankees to sign a lefty reliever for a while now and I actually wanted the Yankees to pick up Hideki Okajima earlier in the year when we could have really used him to help out Boone Logan. Read WHY I'D TAKE A CHANCE ON OKAJIMA. It was written in May... just so you know I'm not making it up.The Yankees could use some lefty relief help and I've always believed that. Boone Logan can't do it alone and I've always liked what Okajima could offer. Now, this deal the Yankees signed with Okajima is a minor league deal so he'll fight his way onto the big team, but there is no doubt he has what it takes to do that. Read about the signing HERE.
Look, I don't expect Okajima to be the savior the Yankees need as the "lefty specialist." It's clear they like Logan as their main guy and that's fine. My point is, why not have 2 lefties to contribute in the pen? Honestly, sometimes I am looking for an alternative to not using Boone Logan all of the time. And in those games where we'll need both, Hideki can face a few batters and do what he needs to do, and then interchanging him with righties and Boone as the game progresses...that's baseball. That's matching up pitching with hitting. I wouldn't put him in to go 4 innings, that's just not in the cards, especially if you look at his career numbers since coming over the to the evil Red Sox in 2007. There is no doubt he's faded, but he still has something to offer and if he's used the right way, I see him as a asset, not a liability.... Look, this is my opinion, what's yours?

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

PAUL MAHOLM: A LEFTY TO THINK ABOUT

You can check into Bleeding Yankee Blue and look at some of the names that we bring up from time to time. It may look like we’re being desperate, we’re not. We are now clear that Brian Cashman has a long term plan, in fact, we are more clear now about it than we’ve ever been. Don’t believe me? Read WHY CASHMAN HAS A LONG TERM PLAN and WHY CESPEDES IS AS DOUBTFUL AS DARVISH. We’ve made up our minds, nothing big is going to happen in Yankeeland right now. Paul Maholm may not be anything big either, but he could be…here’s why.

The big guy is 29 years old, he was stuck in dead-end Pittsburgh and he’s a lefty. The best part about Maholm is he’s improved his numbers over the last few years, plus, now he’s a free agent and the Pittsburgh Pirates, while they have Erik Bedard and Ross Ohlendorf, are not to sure they can get Maholm back to help their rotation. While he’s clearly a top rotation guy for the Pirates, he would most likely be a #4 guy in the Bronx. While it’s clear we’re not going to get any #2 rotation guys off the free agent market, or in a trade, this guy could come cheaper, compete for a high spot in the rotation and could easily be needle in the haystack of free agent dominance. Here are Maholm’s numbers in 2011:

3.66 ERA / 6-14 / 26 G / 162.1 IP / 97 SO / 50 BB

Ok, so clearly the record of 6-14 is a blemish, I wouldn’t worry about that. The important thing to know is his ERA dropped from 5.10 ERA in 2010 to 3.66 in 2011. He’s also dropped his home runs allowed down to 11. That’s important and could prove even more important in Yankee Stadium, especially having him, a lefty, face lefty batters. Sure, Maholm is no superstar, but at this point, if you aren’t going to make a move, or perhaps a cheaper one, Maholm could prove to be a creative and smart move for the Yankees. He offers stability, not all-star power and at this point, it’s not a bad idea at all. My opinion… what do you think?

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WHY THE YANKEES WILL PLAY THE HAND THEY'RE DEALT

It makes no difference who the Yankees end up with, the Yankees are the Yankees and we play with a desire, guts and alittle luck every single season. Some time we hum through a 10 game winning streak and sometimes we get swept, but it is my theory that if you play it one game at a time and win each series, you will make the playoffs and can definitely win the World Series if the focus is there.

I know, I’m preaching the the choir, but the reality is, I was looking through our BYB archive for 2010 and there was more concern than happiness. Yet, the New York Yankees won 97 games last year with the rotation we had. Pretty impressive if you think about just how inconsistent AJ Burnett was and how the mysterious "Dead Arm" issue affected Phil Hughes. Think about it, Bartolo Colon was a savior… so was the mighty Freddy Garcia.

David Robertson proved the me that he belongs with the big boys for a long long time, he’s dominant, likable and he just hates to lose, plus, he’s a great dude.

Derek Jeter proved everyone wrong who said .270 was the new .290 for Jeet. The guy fell just short of .300, plus, got his 3000th hit just happened to be a home run. The more I think about just how spectacular that is, the more I’m in awe of the Captain. There is no doubt the guy has an angel on his shoulder.

The Yankees will play with the hand they’re dealt this season, and they'll be fine. Sure, we’ll pick up a few pieces off the scrap heap, cheap, but eager contribute and sure, they’ll be guys that you wouldn’t necessarily think are New York Yankees, but then again, either was Bartolo Colon.

Look, I’m the first one to admit that I was wrong about Colon. I didn’t think he had a shot, yet, I believed Kevin Millwood did. I was wrong. I like to be wrong when it comes to my New York Yankees. That’s a good thing because it’s a true surprise when good things happen.

I believe in my Yankees and alittle bit of luck too. Sure, we can win it all in 2012, but the heart needs to be there and after reflecting on this silly Yankee off season, I’m at peace. Cashman believes in his Yankees, and I believe Cashman. I’ll tell you what, one things for sure, if Cashman’s wrong, the Steinbrenner’s will no doubt tell him he is. But going into January, I’m starting to get excited, Spring Training is closer than we think and we’ll be seeing the boys in blue real soon and let’s be honest… I can’t wait.

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WHERE IS JORGE VAZQUEZ?

During the season we spoke of a youngster the Yankees have that has enormous power and in their farm system right now. Jorge Vasquez made a name for himself in Spring Training last year and he played in Scranton-Wilkes Barre all season, kicking ass and taking names.

Vasquez can, in my opinion become a major league hitter, but there are 2 things wrong with Vasquez, he strikes out a lot and he plays a terrible field. Luckily, he’s young and those things could possibly be corrected. Here is his line last season in the minor leagues:

.262 AVG / 119 for 455 / 32 HR / 93 RBI / 166 K

Chad Jennings from LoHud spoke to Mark Newman, the Yankees Vice President of Baseball operations down in Tampa. Read it HERE. There were many names thrown around in his piece, but 2 stood out, Jorge Vazquez and Mark Prior. We’ll be writing up something on Mr. Prior soon.. you know how I love the guy.

Jennings ask Newman about a report that surfaced about Vasquez wanting to play in Japan. Read HERE. Newman responded “News to me…Still on my board…still under contract.”

I wonder if there’s any truth to the Japan report? I mean, Vasquez mashed the ball last year and maybe because of the gang we already have on the Yanks pro team, he feels like there’s no fit for him? After all, all the talk is constantly about Jesus Montero and Manny Banuelos. Look, I’m speculating, it’s not really fair, after all Newman confirmed it’s not true. There is no doubt though, I’d love to see Vasquez take some cuts in the majors in 2012, it could be fun, that’s all.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

WHY BURNETT'S THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD

I had another restless sleep last night. This time, instead of sugar plums dancing in my head or visions of a packed Times Square as the ball dropped to ring in 2012….I saw Billy Beane pointing and laughing at Yankee fans everywhere. He looked so smug standing next to his new loot he acquired after trading Gio Gonzalez away to the Nationals, it was like watching an army of evil droids that escaped from Star Wars. I started to feel a little depressed, like Yankee fans everywhere were being punished for keeping our prized farmhands. How will the Yankees ever get back on top? Then, it hit me like a ton of bricks….AJ Burnett can do it!Think about it, AJ Burnett is exactly like the “Little Engine that Could,” because he is constantly saying “I think I can….I think I can,” and he just needs someone else to believe in him! The poor guy is so misunderstood, he is the red-headed step child of the entire team and needs some love. He needs people to believe in him as he gives himself all of those crazy pep talks because that is really what will help him “keep his team in the game.” Well AJ….I believe in you! You can be my #2 any day. Sure, you may give poor Russell Martin an injury or two behind home plate as he tries to block your wild pitches…but I get what you are doing! I know you are just trying to intimidate those batters up there; it’s not a mental thing or a mechanics issue for you at all. If you miss the plate by ten feet, it’s because you want to make the players just as uncomfortable as the fans watching you are. You are a genius! I wonder why no one else on the team has adopted that philosophy or why no other team wants to inherit your $16.5 million salary? Sure, you cost a pretty penny….but your uncanny ability to be so unpredictable is worth every cent.So Cashman, I understand why you would let another pitcher slip through the cracks. I mean, who would want a young lefty that would be under team control for four more years? He’s washed up anyways, it’s not like you have a good pitching coach to help develop these pitchers. I get it….stick with AJ! At least we know what we will get out of him. Don’t worry about us, we are still staying dry here at the kiddie pool since we can’t swim in the deep end yet….

“I think YOU can….I think YOU can….I think YOU can.

(If you don't understand sarcasm, clearly you're on the wrong site.)



--Jeana Bellezza --BYB Writer and Editor



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WHY JACOBY ELLSBURY COULD BECOME A YANKEE

I’m not sure why, but right before the holiday I was thinking about the collapse of the Boston Red Sox and then that had my mind wandering to Jacoby Ellsbury. No doubt Ellsbury is a talented ballplayer, when healthy and in 2011 he proved true heart for the Red Sox, something they really lacked down the stretch. But it’s wasn’t so much the evil Sox that I was thinking about, instead it was about what happens when Ellsbury becomes a free agent.

I mean, will the timing be right for the Yankees and will they try to snatch him up to help man the outfield in the Bronx? It’s not a terribly unusual question considering it’s been done before with guys like Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens and Johnny Damon. All of those guys came to the Bronx, only to get a World Series Championship ring. Impressive. The point is, if Brian Cashman is counting his money for a rainy day anyway, what’s to say Jacoby Ellsbury wouldn’t be in his future plans with names like Felix Hernandez?

Look, love him or hate him, Ellsbury put together an MVP caliber season and was also named 2011 AL Comeback Player of the Year. Read HERE. Ellsbury's final numbers for 2011:


158 G / .321 AVG / 32 HR / 105 RBI / 39 SB

Look, the facts are clear, Ellsbury's contract with the Red Sox is almost up... and guess what? Who Jacoby Ellsbury's agent? One guess: Yep, Scott Boras. The same agent who represents Mark Teixeira and a ton of other high profile guys. Scott likes to work with the Yankees. You feel me so far?

What’s to say that once Ellsbury hits free agency after the 2014 season is complete, the Yankees won’t try and make him an offer. Or better yet, swoop in like they did with Mark Teixeria or Johnny Damon. How good would you feel again to hear a player like Jacoby Ellsbury at the press conference in a Yankee uniform say “It was clear, the Yankees wanted me more.” I love hearing that from former Red Sox guys, especially if there is talent there.

Clearly this is just a theory of mine and my opinion. It sounds silly now, but I’m not so sure it IS silly. The reality is, anything can happen and Jacoby Ellsbury on the Yankees, can in fact happen. I mean…. I know Johnny Damon was a free agent when he rode out of Boston into the Bronx and Ellsbury is under contract now, but I think for the right price, and the right timing, you just never know. Then again, I could be wrong… and that’s fine too.



--Mikey Blue, BYB Senior Writer
Email: DonnieBaseball2323@gmail.com
Twitter: @MikeyBlu23


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@BleednYankeeBlu and join the group Bleeding Yankee Blue on Facebook, just type it in.