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Thursday, May 31, 2012

DON'T MAKE MARTIN ANGRY...YOU WOULDN'T LIKE HIM ANGRY


I usually don’t have a problem with the umpires.  I know the job sucks and for the most part they handle the job great, after all, they don’t have that replay that we see on our television every night.  They go by the naked eye and they have other umpires to help him out if there are questions or concerns.  That being said, bad calls sometimes happen. I will never forget that near perfect game by Armando Galarraga a while back. 
The poor guy was denied a perfect game because the umpire just botched it.  At least Jim Joyce realized it and admitted it.

All that said, I also don’t think that disrespect among players and umpires is needed either. I hated what I saw from Roberto Alomar years ago when he literally spit on the umpire. Plus, in my mind, anytime players argue balls and strikes, well, it just can’t happen, you're bound to get booted.
That being said, I have to say, Laz Diaz last night in Anaheim was the height of belittling a ballplayer and believe it or not, if the story about what Diaz did to Russell Martin is true, I believe there needs to some type of fine enforced. You can call me ridiculous but I’ll tell you why.  The officials treat everything like they are superior, “Our call is law” and that’s all fine, they're the ump after all, but what happened to respecting human beings? Look, we all know that we need to respect the umpire, but I was curious so I looked through the rules of umpires in the MLB rules.  Rule 9.05, section C actually has a section called General Instructions of Umpires and reads "Umpires on the field should not indulge in conversation with players." There's also a sentence that reads "Be courteous, always to club officials",  you can read it HERE. Look, I'm not some detective that found the silver bullet, I'm just making a point, if the players need to respect the umpires, shouldn't Umps respect some of the rules too?  

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it had everything to do with Russell Martin “not being allowed” to throw any new balls back to the Yankee pitchers.  According to Martin, Diaz said Martin needed to “earn” the privilege. Read it HERE. I know, it sounds like a joke. Now, last time I checked, Russell Martin doesn’t work for the umpire, he works for the Yankees and “earning” privileges to me would have to do with anything involving his employer and nothing to do with the umpire.  Not only that, how does that kind of denial affect Martin’s confidence and psyche behind the plate after that? I’m sure his mind was racing thinking “What the hell is going on right now?” 
(In Photo: Laz Diaz)
Martin later said “Now thinking back, I should have shown him the gold Rawlings sign on my glove.” My response to that is simple; Sure Russell, you can do that…proving that your somebody, but this is simple thinking. This is not only human respect, it’s a double standard.  Sure players can’t disrespect umpires but let’s use the respect thing all around, both ways.  Message to Laz Diaz, your power trip was ridiculous, get over yourself.

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"WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?"

When things get frustrating, I can usually distance myself from it all...temporarily of course.  Truth be told, I write a Yankees blog and my Yankees were losing. Let's face it, I hate writing about losing, especially when it's my team doing the losing.  But that being said, I will take a moment, step back, think about other things and then get my groove again and get back into it.  “What do you want from me?” will usually come out of my mouth, like Joe Pesci describing the guy with the gray bread his mother’s painting in Goodfellas “One dog goes one way, the other dog goes the other way and the guys saying what do you want from me?" he said and that sets the tone for me, because as fans, there is really nothing we can do to "make" our team win, we just need to keep believing and root for our team...no matter what. Last night, they did win.
 
We kept rooting for our Yankees in the hopes that they can turn the series around and the season as well.  So I say, a few loses... yeah well "What do you want from me?" this is just a hiccup I thought and they won last night and life is good for the moment.

There is no doubt the Yankees have very obvious problems though, much bigger than Michael Pineda and Mariano Rivera missing the entire season.  So here I go, I’ll list what I consider real problems and feel free to comment as you see fit, after all, Bleeding Yankee Blue is a rant site as well as a fan site and we need every voice heard....just keep it clean.

Runners in Scoring Position: You got to be kidding me with this RISP situation, seriously.  The Yankees cannot get the runner over, let alone score, unless they hit a home run, do you notice that? Jack Curry from YES posted a stat on Twitter last night before our win and it was really interesting to me.  He said that since Robinson Cano's Grand Slam on May 6th, the Yankees were 1-28 with bases loaded with 4 walks, 1 HB and 3 sacrifice flies. Whoa.  That's embarrassing.  Last year BYB had a piece titled YANKS ARE DUCKS ON THE POND, ironically, it was written in the same month, May.  The Yankees couldn't move runners over then and they damn sure can't do it now.  Why? What happened to situational baseball? What happened to small ball? The Yankees have a bad habit of not moving runners over unless they're homering and usually even that’s a solo shot.  I could see if we were knocking out 3 run homers, being clutch when we needed it, but let’s face it, it’s not happening.  We are not playing situational baseball. We’re not using our heads, seeing who’s on base and where they are in regards to the outs we have or dare I say using a sacrifice hit once in a while. Just to get the base runner closer to home. It’s basic and it's baseball. Luckily, Nick Swisher did exactly that last night sacrificing the go ahead run. Can we learn from that? Damn I hope so.
Phil Hughes: Hughes stumbled out of the gate, then after a few starts recently, he appeared to have turned the corner. Then, he un-turned the corner in his last start in Anaheim. Phil Hughes has become a thorn in my side. Why? Because we all want him to be the "guy" he was hyped up as and for the love of God…it ain’t happening. I have to realize that his 18 game season is long gone, we need Hughes now, not yesterday. Now, I’m not writing off Hughes, but as I’ve stated here a ton of times, if 2012 is not Phil Hughes’ year, he should probably be alittle concerned about being shipped off.  I believe that. Sooner or later the Yankees will be forced to cut bait, after all, they've invested enough time and energy into this guy and it's clear they have got to start feeling like they've wasted too much time and energy waiting for a "sure thing" that's not going to happen.

Speed:  For everyone that has not use for Brett Gardner, I think it’s clear we’re seeing a Yankee team that’s sluggish...much more sluggish than if Brett’s speed and energy was there in the lineup every night.  I love him in our outfield and I like him on base and  I feel like it’s important that having him there assures us runs that we're not getting now with he and, dare I say, Eduardo Nunez absent.  No speed in the Yankees lineup is hurting them. If you don't agree with me, think about what Mike Trout did for the Angels the past 3 games, speed in the outfield, speed on the base paths, he energized that ball club. You can disagree and I’ll tell you you’re wrong. Bottom Line…we need him and we need to be aggressive on the base paths.  We're flat and it's obvious. 


Extra Pitching...fast: If the Yankees don’t do anything to improve their New York Yankees in 2012 and instead insist that they are building for a fantastic 2013 and 2014 and beyond with pitching featuring Michael Pineda, Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos, we are doomed.  The Yankees need to play for the now and it has everything to do with our pitching.  We don’t have it and we need it.  CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte and Ivan Nova can’t do it alone and to be honest, while those 3 are perfect for any post-season series, we have to get there first and we’re nowhere close.  Pitching stability needs to happen 1 through 5, so let’s start looking around.
(In Photo: Jack Cust)
Depth: Yeah that's right, we need to think about what pieces aren't working and replace them or back them up.  Sure, in May the quick fix for replacing Brett Gardner in the outfield was a potpourri of DeWayne Wise, Raul Ibanez and Jayson Nix, an infielder, but down the stretch, we need depth.  Is someone like David DeJesus available for instance? He's an outfielder with the last place Cubs? What's to say the Cubs won't be sellers, plus both Theo and Brian Cashman have a nice relationship and are no longer rivals.  It makes sense. How about the Yankees recent signing of Ryota Igarashi, a righty pitcher that they sent right to AAA.  Igarashi adds some depth in the pen and George King III of the New York Post has that story HERE.  And how about Andruw Jones? He's the guy the Yankees want to his lefties...except, he can't hit lefties and is only batting .205 against them. Could he be replaced by the July deadline? The Yanks need to put together their list, check it twice and get the ball rolling.  Sure, guys like Jack Cust and Russell Branyan are down in the minors, but will we see them and do they have what it takes? Let's hope our depth is locked and loaded come the All-Star break.

So yeah, I can sit here and tell you what's wrong with my Yankees...after I take a deep breath, walk around the block and eliminate all my frustration from my Yankees recent losing streak, because at the end of the day, I don't run the team, I'm just a fan, and as Sterling says, you can't predict baseball..."What do you want from me?"

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WHY THE YANKS END WEST COAST SWING ON A HIGH NOTE

It’s always good to get on the plane feeling good, and the Yankees will after Wednesday's win. The first two games of the series were hard losses to take, but the Yankees came back last night and salvaged the last game of the series defying the powers of the Rally Monkey.

Going into the game Ivan Nova had a tough record to protect, the last time he had a loss was at Angel Stadium. It wasn’t Nova’s best start, his line looked like this: 6.2innings, 8 hits, 5 runs, 2 strikeouts and 1 HR. Ivan Nova had an early 5-1 lead in the 3rd inning after Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano hit home runs, but he gave the lead in the 4th inning with a 2-run homer off of the hot bat of Mark Trumbo.
Mike Trout then hit a 2 run single, tying the game at five. Nova continues to struggle with giving up home runs, and tonight he just did not have that put away pitch when he was ahead of the count. Nova’s start wasn’t great, but it was good enough to get the win.

Fans definitely had their fair share of drama this game as both teams made it suspenseful. Raul Ibanez came through for the Yankees in the 6th inning hitting a triple, followed by a sac fly RBI from Nick Swisher which gave Nova the lead again.

Boone Logan entered in relief of Nova but wasn’t fooling the Angels allowing two men to get on base, which made Girardi go to the bullpen again. Cory Wade came in and successfully struck out the next three batters, preserving the Yankee lead.

Rafael Soriano came in during the ninth inning and allowed Callaspo to walk and gave up a single to Albert Pujols putting two men on base. The Angels put pressure the pressure on but ARod was able to tag Alberto Callaspo out on his way to third and Torii Hunter flied out to left field to end the game. Once again, Soriano was able to work out of trouble fooling a late rally attempt by the Angels, which was good for his sixth save.


Final Score: Yankees 6 - Angels 5.

The Yankees now head back east after a successful 4-2 road trip and are now 1.5 games out of first place. Next, the Yankees take on the struggling Tigers. CC will take the mound on Friday and the Yankees will have to face the dangerous Verlander on Sunday. It should be an exciting series, but until then enjoy the off day!



--Jeana Bellezza --BYB Writer and Editor



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WHY THE RUNYON 5K RUN IS BACK AT YANKEE STADIUM

I just wanted to remind you all of the Runyon 5K at Yankee Stadium on August 12th.  Join the lineup and support Cancer Research.

Not sure if you remember, but last year we ran a story supporting the Runyon Cancer run at Yankee Stadium and this year we're doing it again.  On August 12, 2012 there will be thousands of baseball fans, cancer survivors and supporters gathering to run at Yankee stadium, if you haven't registered yet, you need to. According to their press release:

 "The first heat of the 5K will launch at 9:30 a.m. from inside Gate 4 before winding through the legendary ballpark's concourses and ramps. Participants will climb stairs between levels and appear on the center field video board as they take two laps around the warning track that circles the field. Over the past four years, the Runyon 5K has become one of New York's most unique summer events and the only charitable run/walk to use the iconic stadium as its course."
Again, if you haven't registered take a moment, go to www.damonrunyon.org/yankeestadium and sign up.  "It is limited to the first 4,000 registrants.  Participants pay a $40 registration fee and must fund raise at least $60. On July 12, the registration fee will increase to $50. Family and friends will have the opportunity to meet Damon Runyon scientists and watch the event from the Delta SKY360° Suite overlooking home plate."

The best part is 100% of all funds raised by participants will go directly to Damon Runyon cancer researchers. How often do you hear that? Great cause! 

Just to recap, last year the Runyon 5K run featured Roy White as the "Official Starter".  We were lucky enough to interview him about his career as well as the importance of him to join this cause.  Read EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: ROY WHITE. Here's BYB's exchange:
 (Photo: Jim Petrozello)
BYB: This cause is to raise money for the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. How did you become apart of it and why is it important that people turnout to this event?

Roy White:  "It came through Marty Appel and he asked me to do it. It is a great cause because everyone has someone close to them who has been affected. It is a great event they put on at Yankee Stadium so it was a win, win and a no brainer."

We also interviewed someone who participated in the Runyon 5k run.  Kathi Sheehan, a friend of mine and someone who wanted to make a difference. I asked Kathi what she would say if someone was hesitant about running in this event.  Kathi said: "It is for a good cause! Remember the reason you are there. Having been fairly athletic growing up, I was a little nervous knowing that I wasn't in the shape I could have been for this event. But then I remembered that my ultimate goal was to raise money and awareness for this cause."

So, go out and register today and make a difference.  Again, just go to www.damonrunyon.org/yankeestadium and sign up today, you won't be sorry. Trust me.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

WHY I REALLY DON'T LIKE THE RALLY MONKEY


I am haunted by visions of the 90’s. Every time we play the Angels I swear that I will never be able to watch “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” ever again. But now, instead of seeing a cute little monkey jumping on the screen I hear Angels fans cheering, and a ridiculous looking monkey jumping around like a Mexican jumping bean with the words “RALLY MONKEY” on it. What is this?! This is not cute or funny. My favorite Jim Carrey movie as a child will never be the same for me again, thanks a lot Anaheim!

Honestly, I really want to know why do teams insist on incorporating mascots into this game? I don’t get it! What does a crazy looking creature have to do with pitching, fielding, and hitting? The Yankees and the Dodgers have the best philosophy here: keep it simple, leave them in the toy chest. Ok, so maybe that isn’t their philosophy per say, but at least we don’t see these teams parading them around on the field or waving them on sticks up in the stands!

Ok, so you insist on having a mascot….fine. Why a Monkey? I am trying to put “two and two” together here but it doesn’t add up! The team sports a halo in their branding, and a halo suggests purity or innocence. So, is the Rally Monkey supposed to be the hero instead of the players?


Then we have another factor to consider, the Disney Company who helped rebuild the franchise starting in 1996, so if the Angels had to have a mascot, why not make the connection to Disney somehow? I’m so confused! The Angels have halos but they have a mischievous monkey jumping up and down to the House of Pain’s song “Jump Around?” I just don’t understand this, Disney came before the Monkey!

And if that isn’t confusing enough for you, Kenny Singleton himself adds to the insanity. On Monday night he called The Rally Monkey “very entertaining.” Really, Kenny? If I can see the monkey that means we have a close game and the Angels are threatening to take the lead. Call me crazy, but I don’t find watching my team struggle “entertaining.” Would I call it frustrating? Yes. He is either easily amused or he ate a bad banana because there is no way that cracked out monkey can be amusing during a pivotal point in the game.

Kenny, if you want some entertainment and you like cute little furry animals I have one picture that Yankee fans will be more agreeable to (see picture attached). Now see, isn’t this better?



--Jeana Bellezza --BYB Writer and Editor



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YANKEE NUGGETS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMM

Yeah...for some strange reason, C+C Music Factory was on my Ipod. Sometimes songs get on there that I probably loaded from my old CDs.  I'm not going to lie, it's fun to hear these old songs and sure, somehow I work them into my BYB titles...I'm sad.
Ryota Igarashi: The Yankees claimed the right hander pitcher from the Blue Jays yesterday.  You can read about it HERE. Igarashi was just designated for assignment by the Jays on Sunday.  He was 5-2 with a 5.74 ERA for the Mets in the 2010 and 2011 season.  In Triple A for the Blue Jays this season he was 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA. He'll report to Yankees Triple A.
David Robertson: We wrote on Monday (Read in TEN DAYS AWAY FOR BRETT GARDNER) that David Robertson was to throw catch and we'd give you an update on that session.  Robertson felt no pain. Don't forget, DRob had a strained oblique and was on the 15 day DL, but then he needed a few "extra" days...the Yankees didn't want to force it.  Well... good news now I suppose.  So, when do we activate David Robertson? I can't wait to get this guy back.
Hideki Matsui: Godzilla was added to the Tampa Bay Rays major league roster yesterday and homered in his debut, read HERE. It's going to be interesting to see what he can offer the Rays.  You know I love Matsui and I would have been thrilled to see him back with the Yankees this season, but, so far Brian Cashman looks pretty smart signing Raul Ibanez over Matsui and Johnny Damon.  Ibanez has a .260 AVG with 9 home runs.
 
Lem Allen: Lem was over at Citi Field a few weeks ago, not the watch the Mets as much as he wanted to just wear his BleedingYankeeBlue.com shirt out in Mets-land to piss all the fans off.  Pretty hilarious if you ask me.  Anyway, I love the balls on Lem and it's great advertising for us.  This is a reminder, if you still want a BleedingYankeeBlue.com shirt, just click on BUY NOW on the right side of this page, use Paypal to order, it's so easy.  If you need to send a check or money order, you may. Just send it to our P.O. Box and specify your size, how many you need and where to send the shirt or shirts.  We'll take care of it right away.  Don't forget, for every shirt purchase you make, money goes toward High Socks for Hope, David and Erin Robertson's charity. Do it, you'll be happy when you do.

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WHY IT'S TIME FOR RUSSELL MARTIN TO EXPLODE


Defensively right now, I love what I see from RussellMartin.  The “Munson-like” catcher is who I need behind the plate in 2012 for my New York Yankees.  I like how he handles his pitchers and I like his passion behind the plate.  That being said, the guy can’t hit a lick and it’s bothering me.

If Martin could hit, we’d definitely see a well rounded catcher.  Look, it’s almost June.  Do we really want a batting average hovering around .180? I know Martin wants to improve, but the question is, how does he fix it?  Sure, immediately I think about Kevin Long and how it’s his job to SEE THE FLAW, FIX THE FLAW as we wrote on BYB just a week ago, but, let's be honest... I don’t see much fixing.  Now, I'm no pro, but normally I can notice if something's off when it comes to strategy at the plate, but  I can’t tell if it’s just a bad slump for Martin or if there is something off with his mechanics that’s slowing him down.  Hopefully Kevin Long can fix that.

Look, in the 2011 season for the Yankees, Russell Martin had these number at this point:  A .253 BA, a slugging percentage of .479 and his OBP you ask? .363.

Right now, in 2012, Martin's average is at .186, his slugging percentage is at .339 and his OBP is .329.  He's down...quite a bit actually. 

We had a piece on BYB just a few weeks ago voicing the same concern that many fans have been having.  Joseph Saucedo wrote WHY MANY WONDER IF SOMETHING'S WRONG WITH MARTIN, you need to check it out.  The difference is, he’s not as concerned as me.  More importantly, what happens if Martin stinks up the joint in 2012? If he can't crack .200 by September, what's to say the Yankees won't want to end their relationship with Martin? Don't forget there was talk of a contract extension (Read HERE)...could a lousy season at the plate put that in jeopardy? Do we sign him long term? Do we attempt to go year to year? How will it work?

Ultimately I have confidence in Martin, but there’s no denying time is ticking and he needs to start rolling. My take is easy, match the hitting with the defense and turn into a better, more well rounded catcher that Yankees could use and want to keep long term. 

No doubt guys like JorgePosada did it well in the Bronx.  Sure, Poe was never the greatest defensive catcher the Yankees ever had, but he did an amazing job for a long time and and his bat rarely suffered. 

Bottom line, I just hope Martin can do the same, we need it... and we need it fast.

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WHY IT WAS A FRUSTRATING NIGHT IN ANAHEIM, AGAIN

I really dislike the Angels, I really do. They play on the west coast, so their games start three hours later than normal, which sucks in itself, win or lose. They’ve also been a thorn in the side of the Yankees’ since the Joe Torre era, and things never seem to go right whenever they’re in Anaheim. Tonight was just another one of those nights as the Yanks lost 5-1.


The Yankees offense was both non-existent and unlucky in this one. Non-existent in terms of results: 3-for-11 with RISP, 12 men left on base, one run scored. They were unlucky in that Mike Trout robbed Nick Swisher of a solo homer in the second, and Peter Bourjos robbed Swish of another double in the seventh. There were also a number of plays saved up the middle by shortstop Erick Aybar and second baseman Howie Kendrick that saved runs, too. It’s just very, very frustrating that the Yankees couldn’t get a break on offense at all on Tuesday night.

Though the Yankees struggled for most of the night on offense, they did have a chance in the ninth to do some damage. Against Ernesto Frieri, who hadn’t allowed a hit in 11 innings since joining the Angels, the Yanks loaded the bases on walks by Russell Martin, Derek Jeter, and a HBP for ARod to set up Robinson Cano with two outs. Cano then struck out on three pitches, thus continuing the futility with the bases loaded for the Yankees. They’re now 0-for-15, as a team, with the bases loaded, and 1-for-33 overall in their last several games. The lone run in last night’s game, if you’re wondering, came in the fourth inning on a Nick Swisher RBI single.

Andy Pettitte started and he pitched better than his line score, I would think. In total, he went 7+ innings, allowing nine hits on five runs while striking out three and walking none. He did allow two homers, though; one to Albert Pujols, a two run blast in the second, and another to Mark Trumbo, a solo shot in the sixth. Cody Eppley came on in relief of Pettitte in the eighth and he allowed his inherited run to score on a weak groundball single in the vacated hole at second base. You can file that play into the series of unlucky plays for the Yankees.

Opposing Pettitte was Dan Haren. He was pretty sharp, so it’d be wise of us to give him at least some credit. Haren pitched 7+ innings, allowed eight hits while punching out seven and walking just one.

The good news about this loss is that they have just one game left to play in the series. It’ll be Ivan Nova (5-2, 5.46 ERA) against Ervin Santana (2-6, 4.45 ERA) in the finale. The Yanks have an off-day on Thursday as they travel to Detroit, so it'd be nice if they salvaged the final game and it’ll give the team a good taste going into the Motor City.

 
--Jesse Schindler, BYB Lead Staff Writer
Follow me on Twitter
@SchindlerJesse



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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

WHY ANDY PETTITTE'S GIFT KEEPS ON GIVING


I have to say, I’m a dad so certain things get me pretty broken up.  Many of my “crying” episodes these days are usually triggered by a kind gesture. Sometimes it comes when my kids are involved... maybe it has to do with them making an amazing play on the baseball field, or getting a good grade or them telling me they love me.  You parents may know what I mean and you younger kids will get it one day…don’t judge me…just go with it because what you're about to read is truly wonderful on so many levels.

Paul Franklin of the Times of Trenton has the story of the year and it has nothing to do with the Yankees as a team but everything to do with Andy Pettitte and a “moment” that turned a legally blind kid's dream into reality.  Bravo to Paul Franklin for an amazing story (Read HERE) that I was late to the party to…but I guess, better late than never.

Paul writes of a personal story involving a couple who decided to go to the Trenton Thunder game.  Their names are Marc & Jill Fass and they were attending because their daughter was going to have her name read for an academic award.  OK, I’m with the Fass family so far, I’d be there too and after they scored some front row seats from some generous ticket holders, they were set and were able to bring their son Andy as well. Of course, a more famous Andy was there. Andy Pettitte just finished warm ups and as Marc Fass says “All of a sudden, he walks by us and hands the baseball to our Andy and continues on his merry way.”
(Photo Credit: Martin Griff / The Times of Trenton)
Andy Fass, Marc’s son is legally blind and according to Paul Franklin “The boy didn’t initially realize he was holding a baseball because he has oculocutaneous albinism. Andy is legally blind, and his parents learned soon after he was born that he would not be able to play baseball — though things may work out differently, thanks in part to that night at Waterfront Park.

The evening continued to be memorable. A family friend waited in line after the game and had Pettitte sign the ball. And, by coincidence, The Times captured the moment the pitcher handed the ball to Andy in a photo that appeared on the front page the next day.

Andy’s mom e-mailed the Thunder to thank them for a night that turned out to be more special than they could have imagined, and the public relations department found the story so poignant that it forwarded her letter to the Yankees. Soon two Yankee baseball caps arrived in the mail."
(Photo Credit: Beverly Schaefer/For the Times)
Because of Andy Pettitte, Andy Fass will try Tee Ball next month at the YMCA.  This is a kid that was told by doctor’s that “he can’t” doing certain things… like baseball for instance, and yes, while he is legally blind, something happened that night at the Trenton Thunder game. Andy Fass believed.  Sure, Andy Pettitte probably had no idea that he was about to instill a drive in this boy who was there to support his sister’s academic achievement, but now Andy Fass is on a mission, a mission to attempt to play a game that’s been played by millions.  Andy Fass was told he couldn’t but Andy Fass is changing his own fate.

I think about how many stars had to align to get this kid to believe at that very moment in Trenton.  Between the reason why the Fass family had attended the Thunder game in the first place, to the ticket holders that gave away the tickets, to Andy Pettitte walking right up to the Fass family and giving the ball to Andy…if you didn’t believe in a God before, you may need to give it a shot now.

This story is truly remarkable.  Thank you Paul Franklin from the Times of Trenton. Thank you to Andy Pettitte and good luck Andy Fass…what an inspiration you are and the best of luck to you from Bleeding Yankee Blue!

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WHY THE YANKEES LOST A HEARTBREAKER IN ANAHEIM

No one likes these late night West Coast games. Everyone has to stay up late to see if the Yankees can win these games, and if they do, it makes the next day feel better. But, if they don’t, it gives everyone, like me, a bad taste going into tomorrow. The latter scenario, unfortunately, happened as the Yanks lost on a Mark Trumbo walk off homer, 9-8.

This game in Anaheim was a roller coaster of a game, to say the least. Jered Weaver had to leave the game after 12 pitches due to a bad back, and the Yankees were able to jump out to a 3-0 lead before Phil Hughes took the mound. Hughes then allowed four runs in the first, and proceeded to struggle the rest of the way through his 5.1 innings of work. It was tied in the ninth when Cory Wade came on and he promptly allowed a walk-off, solo homer to Mark Trumbo. What a crummy game.

Eight runs should be enough to win on a normal night, but the Yankees let some golden opportunities go by the wayside. The Yanks went 3-for-11 with RISP, but they left 11 men on base, and three of the eight runs they scored were un-earned. The glaring opportunity that they let get away was in the ninth inning when Derek Jeter came up with the bases loaded against Jordan Walden. Walden was laboring, but Jeet had to swing at the first pitch which resulted in a weak ground ball to second to end the threat. I love you Jeet, but can you sit back and wait for a better pitch to hit, considering you guys had Walden on the ropes?


We can blame the offense for not coming up in key spots with runs to close out the game, but at the same time, shouldn’t eight runs be enough to win the game? The answer, without hesitation, should be yes. Phil Hughes, as noted, started this game and stunk. He allowed a career high 11 hits in this game on seven runs when it could have been much, much more. Just as I started to believe in Hughes again he had to fail. Hopefully he can turn it around next time out in Detroit.

Final Score: Angels 9 - Yankees 8.

The loss snaps the Yankees’ five game win streak, sadly. Andy Pettitte (2-1, 2.53 ERA) will oppose Dan Haren (2-5, 3.76 ERA), so that should be fun. Hopefully the Yankees can split this series at a game apiece, thus starting a new streak.

 


--Jesse Schindler, BYB Lead Staff Writer
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@SchindlerJesse


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WHY GEORGE BRETT JUST GAINED POINTS

I never thought that George Brett was a nasty Son of a Bitch or anything like that. George Brett was a competitor, a nasty competitor that did it better than most players every time he was out there.  That's why he's in the Hall of Fame and was inducted in 1999, read HERE. Look, I've had my opinions on Brett but no doubt the guy played hard to win. Forever the pine tar game sticks in my mind and I just remember how irate he was after his go ahead home run was overruled that day in 1983. In fact, look for a piece soon on my memories of that famous Pine Tar game. That being said, Brett just gained points in my book, huge points this weekend and I like him more now.
As you may or may not know, Derek Jeter just passed George Brett on the All-time Hit list into 14th place (3155) and while a lot of these guys don't always come out with statements acknowledging these type of feats, Brett did. Here's his statement, courtesy of MLB.com HERE:

"I'm always kind of bummed out when guys pass you, because you had your own place in the record book for a while... But a guy like Derek comes around and passes you, really, I think it all depends on the type of person that did it. I have the utmost respect for him... He's definitely a team player, he's a clutch player. He's been the backbone of [the Yankees] for a long, long time, and when a guy like that passes you, I'd like to shake his hand and look him in the eye and say 'Congratulations.'"

I like that...class. I like that a lot because it goes with everything us fans have been saying forever. Derek Jeter leads by example, is the classiest player I've ever seen and it's just a huge respect thing...on both sides by the way.  Here's what Jeter said about passing Brett:

"It goes without saying how great of a player he is... I've always had a lot of respect for George Brett and what he was able to accomplish. I was aware of it a few days ago."

So yeah, respect runs huge in Major League baseball for guys with class. Brett's got class for saying what he did, Jeter's got class as a whole and hell, you need to love the respect factor all around here. Next up, a big one...Cal Ripken Jr. whose #13 on the list with 3184. Good stuff and congrats to the Captain...again.

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Monday, May 28, 2012

TEN DAYS AWAY FOR BRETT GARDNER

OK, so we're close.  According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, Brett Gardner was able to swing a bat today. Read his Tweet HERE...or better yet, read it below.  The way I see it, if the Yankees can keep winning and then Brett Gardner comes back, well... that's just gravy, right?


It's funny though, George King III of the New York Post said yesterday that there was a chance Gardner would be back after the All-Star break, because Girardi was "concerned" about his tender elbow. Read that HERE. I don't like the sound of that report...I'm going with Hoch on this one. No disrespect to King, he's the man.  Look, there is no doubt Gardy is needed for the Yankees run production.  I wrote about it extensively, he's missed. Read WHY BRETT GARDNER IS SORELY MISSED.  I can't wait to get this guy back.  Hopefully soon, or 10 days as Girardi told Hoch.
In the meantime you saw Hoch's tweet, David Robertson is making progress too, throwing catch in Tampa. OK, there you go.  Another guy we can definitely use, but hey, if we keep winning and then he shows up, that just gives us stability. 

I can't wait to get these guy back, we need to move up the standings and become the team we all believe in... who's with me?

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WHY WE'LL KEEP BLOSSOMING WITH SORIANO CLOSING

There is no doubt once Mariano Rivera went down, Yankeeland was actively rooting for David Robertson to take over as the new Yankees closer.  No, we were never replacing Mariano, we were merely suggesting if we needed a temporary closer, DRob earned it...we should give him a shot.  Many of us didn't really concern ourselves with the fact that Rafael Soriano had "closer" experience.  Well... I think it's safe to say that now we remember.

When DRob got hurt, we really only had Rafael Soriano to turn too, but that's a good problem.  RaSo has a rhythm now...you get the ball to Soriano and you're bound to get a closed game, a win and a save for him.  And that's what you want if you're the Yankees, consistency.
No, it's not Mariano and sure, it's not David Robertson, but let's face facts, Soriano is more than capable and with 5 saves so far this year, in fact, that's what Mariano merely suggested when the Yankees signed him, read HERE. So yeah, it's obvious at this point, let's not break up the rhythm...let's keep it this way when David Robertson returns... it's the right thing to do.  Why? Here's why:
Much like DRob stepping up last season when RaSo went down to become our 8th inning guy, we didn't mess with the good thing.  Now, I say this, Is Soriano is doing the job as closer consistently, a job that he absolutely loves, then don't mess with it, keep it happening.  Even DRob couldn't argue with that.

Then, when Houdini gets back, give him that 8th inning role and build the bridge again like we've had to do so many times.  One thing you can't deny is the Yankees have an outstanding bullpen and with our 8th inning guy as DRob and our closer as RaSo this season, well, let's just say consistency will rule.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know why...comment, and thanks.

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