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Friday, November 30, 2012

WANNA REPLACE RUSSELL MARTIN? TRADE FOR CARLOS SANTANA

Once Russell Martin agreed to a two-year, $17 million contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates, I was very upset. In fact, I hadn’t been upset about a Yankee-related free agent signing since Cliff Lee chose to take less money to go back to the Philadelphia Phillies prior to the 2011 season. I really believe the loss of Russell Martin will hurt, unless if they make a splash for, say, Carlos Santana.
Before I make my case for trading for Carlos Santana (No, not musician Carlos Santana, the catcher currently with the Cleveland Indians), I just want to elaborate how the loss of Martin hurts. People who wanted to replace Martin continued to point at his low .211 batting average. Now, the low average is certainly not a good thing, but in his time in New York he did everything else moderately well. Over the last two years, Martin posted a solid .224/.317/.405 batting line while catching at least 125 games in those two seasons. In that span, only six catchers hit more homers than he did (39), while just 10 other catchers posted higher walk rates than he did (10.7%). Add that to the fact that he’s a good defensive catcher, while the pitchers enjoy pitching to him, the Yankees will certainly miss him if they end up settling with a downgrade.

Since all the in-house/free agent options either don’t fit the bill or are just plain awful, the Yankees really don’t have a choice but to look at the potential trade market if they are intending to upgrade at the catcher position. This is where Carlos Santana comes in. Now, before I continue I want to caution everyone that this is pure speculation as of right now. Personally, I have no idea if the Indians are willing to let go of Santana.
They seem to be shopping guys like Shin-Soo Choo, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Justin Masterson around, so maybe if the price is right they could do the same with Santana, and with the Winter Meetings just around the bend, anything can happen.
Acquiring Carlos Santana would be an instant upgrade at arguably the most important position on the field. In his young career, Santana, 26, has batted .247/.363/.443 in three seasons and 1459 PA’s while hitting 51 homers and driving in 177. He has suffered from knee issues in 2010, but since then he has been able to catch at least 95 games behind the plate in the last two years. Perhaps the Yankees could increase his workload to around 110-115 games and DH him in some of the others he’s not behind the dish. As for the pieces it’ll take to get him, I’d have to think catcher Gary Sanchez would be included. Cleveland also needs pitching, so I’d have to think either David Phelps or Ivan Nova would be in a trade as well, and that’s probably just a starting point, so who knows how much the Yankees will be willing to give up. Finally, money shouldn’t be a problem as he’s owed just a little over $18M over the next four years with a $12M club option for 2017.

If the Yankees don’t end up trading for Santana, which might be the case, it’ll be just about impossible to upgrade the overall game Martin brought to the Yankees the last two seasons. The Yankees being unable to pay Martin $17 million is pretty telling, as they aren’t kidding around with this $189 million plan set for 2014. Though I’d love to trade for Santana, I have an awful feeling the Yankees will settle with signing a one-year downgrade instead.




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


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THE SANDMAN IS BACK!

Mariano Rivera sealed his deal with the Yankees yesterday, read HERE. According to USA Today, "The New York Yankees are bringing the band back together after reaching a one-year, $10 million agreement Thursday with closer Mariano Rivera that will be announced Friday..."

OK... we're returning to normalcy...

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ALL EYES ON CERVELLI AS RUSSELL MARTIN BOLTS NEW YORK

Yesterday at the airport, I was thinking about Russell Martin... no...not in that way bro... in the "Free Agent way." I was thinking about him not coming back to New York. To be honest, I never expected the Pittsburgh Pirates to be the team that would beat out the Yanks when it came to something like this, but they did and congrats to them. They're getting a great defensive catcher.  But as I sat there thinking, that question about Martin popped in my head, What happens if he leaves?  It's was a question that George King III of the New York Post first "kind of" posed in his piece on November 28th HERE... writing "...the Yankees don’t have a catcher on the roster or in the system capable of being a No. 1 catcher."  That simple sentence stood out to me, because, King's right...he's always right.

the Yankees don’t have a catcher on the roster or in the system capable of being a No. 1 catcher

Read more: Pirates, Rangers in hot pursuit of Yankees' Martin http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/yankeesblog/pirates_rangers_in_hot_pursuit_of_DIYxAC5an9skQnJPIi3E3I#ixzz2DfpN5Mr0
the Yankees don’t have a catcher on the roster or in the system capable of being a No. 1 catcher

Read more: Pirates, Rangers in hot pursuit of Yankees' Martin http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/yankeesblog/pirates_rangers_in_hot_pursuit_of_DIYxAC5an9skQnJPIi3E3I#ixzz2DfpN5Mr0
Russell Martin is now gone, leaving to play for the Pirates for 2 years and $17 million, read HERE. Is it a big deal? Well, in the sense that we have no top catcher on the Yankees right now, it is a big deal, but now we need to see who the men are and who the mice are.  Don't know what I mean? Enter Francisco Cervelli ladies and gentlemen.
Right now the top catcher in the Yankees system is Francisco Cervelli and Austin Romine. Logically, you have to daydream at this moment and wonder what Yankeeland would have felt like if Jesus Montero was still in our farm system, or better yet, backing up Martin all season.  If that was the case, there would be no panic in Yankeeland right now. We would logically pass the torch to Montero and hope he would shine.  But those days are over and we are left with Cervelli and Romine. Not exactly a bad problem, just an interesting one.

Both guys are good, but not great.  Plus, don't forget, the Yanks signed Eli Whiteside only to designate him for assignment (read HERE) when the Andy Pettitte signing became official. What we got ain't much, but it's something.

But back to my man vs. mouse analysis.  This is the time when we see what Francisco Cervelli sees... he sees an opportunity, a huge opportunity. The question is, will he fight for it or let it pass him by.  A better question... Will he get it? The answer... Doubtful. It's nuts to think about this, but I have never felt like Cervelli got a fair shot in New York, ever. I feel like Yankees treat the guy like a black sheep, an embarrassment and whenever he shows up, they push him to the back of the room.  Well, truth be told, only 1 man can push to make this situation work in his favor and that's Francisco Cervelli.
Now, truth be told, Cisco isn't the best and he'll admit that too, but he is the most passionate ballplayer I've seen in a long, long time.  Look, passion doesn't win ballgames if you can't play. But believing in yourself helps you push to be the best and in turn, wins ballgames.  Cervelli does that and now, there's a window and he needs to make presence known.

Don't forget, Cervelli had a terrific Spring Training in 2012 and on the last day, he was told to go to AAA and the Yanks traded for Chris Stewart as their backup to Martin. While Stewart did fine and was better defensively than Cervelli, there is no doubt Cisco got screwed.  It's my opinion that the heart in Cervelli is so big, his energy is so visible that I would have made him the backup. It's logical... He had earned it last spring and should have been there.
Now, as we head into winter, no one in Yankeeland knows what's next.  But if I'm Cervelli, I'm anxious right now because you don't let chances like this go by without a fight...unless you're a mouse.  But let's be honest, the fight will still be hard.  The Yankees have been connected to Mike Napoli for weeks along with other teams.  The Yankees will be heading into the Winter Meetings looking for a number 1 catcher right now...and disregarding Cervelli once again, probably making him feel like a second class citizen and trust me, if it happens again, and I'm Francisco Cervelli... I walk.

Look, the time is now. The Yankees either need to give our youngsters a shot, or they'll upgrade via trade or free agent. But something needs to happen.  Do we need to panic? Not exactly.  Sure, Martin was a great defensive catcher, but like my friend Bob wrote on Twitter last night:

That's it in a nutshell. That, my friends makes perfect sense to me.  Look... people are mad at Russell Martin for walking and they're mad at the Yankees and Brian Cashman for letting him walk.  But mark my words... and write this down;  They let Martin walk for a reason. They have a plan, because Lord know you don't walk into Spring training without a top catcher.  Who will it be? Cervelli? Joe Mauer? Austin Romine? Kelly Shoppach? Who  the hell knows... but Cash knows what he's doing...  I trust him... so let's wait and see.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

RUSSELL MARTIN MAKES MAD DASH FOR PITTSBURGH

Just a note to every Yankee fan who loves Russell Martin. He's gone... Screw him.  Today Martin signed a 2 year deal to leave a dynasty for the Pitssburgh Pirates, read HERE. 2 years, $17 million. Good for the Pirates, the now have a solid defensive catcher that bats .200.  Notice the sarcasm...and maybe alittle jealousy... I'm not sure how I feel about this yet.

No, the deal wasn't for 4 years like Martin wanted. Like I said in PIRATES ARE PUSHING HARD FOR RUSSELL MARTIN, 4 years was silly and  to be honest, I suggested 3.  They negotiated 2 and now Russell Martin has left the Bronx. 

Bleeding Yankee Blue will no doubt have commentary, opinion, humor and new trade targets for the Yankees early tomorrow morning as we try and decide who the next "Munson-like" catcher to play in New York.  Lord knows it ain't Russell any longer. Maybe he and AJ Burnett can go talk trash in a Pittsburgh bar somewhere next April. 

Goodnight Russell, it's been fun... good luck.
Quick... someone call Jorge Posada....

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I'D LOVE TO SEE THE BEARD IN THE BRONX

Can you imagine? First off, he wouldn't even have the beard while wearing pinstripes... he'd be Baby Face Wilson, but the idea of Wilson taking on the Yankees setup role to Mariano Rivera would be an outstanding pickup.  Hey, Rafael Soriano took a back seat to Mo and ended up having a great time in New York, I think he did at least.  He found his niche and then, when Mariano got hurt Soriano stepped up big time to close for New York. The Untuck and we fell in love.
The big question is...could Brian Wilson's ego handle that? Well, truth be told, I'm not so sure.

Why am I thinking about this, because Buster Olney floated an interesting Tweet today about Brian Wilson saying:

Olney is right and while we're at it, let's talk about the beard itself. On appearance alone, Wilson fits in perfectly in Beantown. The facial hair thing doesn't apply.  In the Bronx however, that beard would have to go and in turn, it could strip the balls away from the guy too.  Now, in all honestly, I challenge Wilson.  I'd love to see this guy in New York setting up Mo. Plus, he'd bring that energy that will be lost now that Nick Swisher is looking for a new home. Plus, maybe he takes over the closing role once Mariano retires. Who really knows... Anyway, check this out: This is one of my favorite commercials with Brian Wilson in it. If you're not laughing... there is something wrong with you.


The latest rumor on Twitter was that Brian Wilson is interested in being a Los Angeles Dodger. There was no source. It was quickly knocked down by several Giants fans and good for them. Wilson's likable, a team player and a big part of that Giants morale.  The guy was also part of 2 championship teams. In a nutshell, the Giants are bad ass... and so's the beard, which is exactly why I'd love to see him in New York.

Could Brian Wilson come to the Bronx? Sure. But, let's face it, there are many more factors against the idea.  But let's not forget the genius of Brian Cashman.  At the right time, at the right moment and in the dead of night he strikes and if the timing is right and the beard is non-tendered and the Red Sox are interested... Cashman could play spoiler and try to lure Wilson to the Bronx... I'm not saying it will happen, I'm just saying when it comes to Brian Cashman.... anything is possible... anything.

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BLEEDING YANKEE BLUE PLAYER TRACKER #13

As the Winter meetings approach on December 3rd in Nashville, we are starting to see some more activity. Here is the latest:

BJ Upton –  It didn’t take long for this connection to change from a rumor to a done deal….but it       looks like BJ Upton is on his way to Atlanta with a five year, $75 million dollar deal, read that here. This will be a good benchmark to see what other outfielders on the market can expect to sign for.
Russell Martin ­– The catching market is thin this year; that is no secret. It looks like the Pirates can be serious competition for the Yankees. The Pirates are rumored to have offered Martin a deal, read that here. The Pirates aren’t the only ones interested in Martin, the Rangers and the Red Sox are still in the mix.

Jonathan Broxton ­– The Reds have signed Broxton to a three year deal plus an option for a fourth. Adding Broxton will allow them to make changes to their pitching rotation. Read the rest from Jon Heyman here .
Mike Napoli – The Rangers and Red Sox appear to be the teams most interested in signing him. Napoli is supposed to meet with the Rangers this week, and he has already made a trip to Boston, read that here. Napoli has said that he has loved his time in Texas, but will the new opportunities at both first base and behind the plate entice him to go East?


David Wright – Wright has said that he wants to retire in a Mets uniform, and there have been a lot of rumors floating around on the Internet of his contract negotiations. The Mets have made an offer to keep Wright in Queens until at least 2020, read that here.


Zack Greinke  – The Dodgers could be the new favorite to sign Greinke. The Angels and Rangers are also interested in signing him but to get him they will have to pay top dollar. Greinke is reportedly looking for a deal that will give him a contract similar to CC Sabathia. Read the details here.




--Jeana Bellezza, BYB Writer and Editor
Twitter: @NyPrincessJ



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MICHAEL KAY'S GOING TO BE A DAD. HOLY #*%!

It's an incredible feeling to be a father.  Having a stable of kids myself, I can tell you that the stress sometimes outweighs the the joy, but I know I'll be getting it back in spades one day.  No one said being a parent was easy, right?

When I read that Michael Kay and Jodi Applegate were having a child, I smiled. Read about them HERE.

I've always liked Michael Kay.  I consider him to be a real guy, a good guy, a hardworker and a person who has always stuck to his guns.  Who else do you know that is open about never having eaten a vegetable and is proud of it? Sooner or later you think he'd break down and try a carrot.  The point is, he sticks with his beliefs and runs with it.  Plus, he's a hell of good announcer and worked his way up through the ranks of the media, like a true American should... from the bottom to the top.  I have a ton of respect for him.
Plus, who doesn't like Jodi Applegate?  She lights up the screen and appears to be one of the sweetest personalities out there.  Dare I say Jodi loosened Michael up a bit. I mean, truth be told, Don LaGreca was always Michael's great sidekick, but Jodi is a nice compliment to Kay. That's me observing, from the outside looking in. But one thing I know is Kay's happy. You can see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice.  And if you need marriage advice, clearly BYB is NOT the place to go... I'm merely an observer.

I'm rambling now... but I just wanted to congratulate the Kay's on their daughter, due in January.  Believe it or not, I can't wait to hear tough guy Kay talk about his new life in January. Hopefully  Singleton or O'Neill can bait him a bit to spill the beans about being a new dad. And hopefully Jodi can get the kid to eat a vegetable... one can only hope.

Congrats!

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

NICK SWISHER TO THE RED SOX? MAYBE NOT

The Red Sox have officially signed Jonny Gomes to a two-year deal; so at this point, it makes no sense to continue with the illusion of pursuing Nick Swisher and some of us would be OK with that. In fact, we wrote about how much we didn't like the idea of Swish in Red Sox red in NICK SWISHER TO THE RED SOX? I'M GONNA BE SICK.  After that, Bleacher Report gave us a backhanded plug by writing "Take the recent Red Sox interest in Nick Swisher. Its announcement evoked cries of wrath in the blogosphere akin to charges of treason." (HERE) "Cries of wrath??" Alittle too dramatic don't you think? But, I'm getting ahead of myself...
Now that Gomes is in the picture for Boston, why offer a big contract to a guy like Swish so that he can be platooned?  Oddly enough, Nick Swisher apologized (HERE) to the New York fans right around the Gomes signing.  Conspiracy? Coincidence? Some call it strategy. Maybe it was a strategic move on Swisher’s part to get the Yankees to give him the offer he wanted after he noticed Gomes was on his way to Beantown. Who truly knows, but it was a bit odd though.

Look, Nick Swisher isn’t useless. He is a switch hitter that can play both right field and first base. He would have made a nice addition to the Red Sox. The Sox have holes to fill in both positions. Granted, the Green Monster wouldn’t have him out helped much. But on a cheap contract, it would have made sense, not a big one like he's seeking. Swisher hit .272/.364/.473 this season. His numbers are decent and I am sure that there are other teams that could use a guy like him. The Orioles are the first team that comes to mind for me.
He would easily be able to hit in the middle of their line-up and give them a veteran in the clubhouse. The fact is, in his mid-30’s, Swisher will most likely start slowing down. His numbers will decrease and his ability to field in right will diminish, making it so he will have to play first base full time. That alone will lower his overall value.
The fact still remains that Swisher will most likely not return to the Yankees, and that is as much on the front office as it is on Swisher. The contract he is after just isn’t realistic. Not for the Yankees anyway. And Swisher deserves the right find or the best employer for him.

I like Swisher. I love his energy and passion on and off the field. He seems like a genuine, ‘wear-my-heart-on-my-sleeve’ kind of guy. I really want Swisher to be happy wherever he may go. He brings energy to the clubhouse and energizes fans... you don't see his type of energy too often.  But, I got to say, regardless of where 2013 finds Swisher, I’m glad it’s probably not going to be in Boston.



--Erica Morales, BYB Writer
Twitter: @e_morales1804



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    PETTITTE IS OFFICIAL. SAY HALLELUJAH...

    Andy Pettitte is officially a New York Yankee again.  That report comes from the New York Post. Thank you Ken Davidoff, read HERE.

    A 1 year contract worth $12 million.



    It's the holiday season... Love this.
     
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    TICKET PRICE REDUCED FOR RAY NEGRON'S BENEFIT CONCERT

     
    A quick and important note.  You all know about Ray Negron and his special charity event to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Sandy right? Read RAY NEGRON TAKES CHARGE JUST LIKE STEINBRENNER DID BEFORE HIM. 

    Tomorrow night's Benefit Concert at CW Post featuring Jose Feliciano, Michael Kay and Raul Ibanez have been reduced to $20 dollars at the door. But what you also need to know if you can't afford it and want to support the cause, show up! Nobody will be turned away if you can donate something
    What has happened is quite simply, people in Long Island don't have the money to support a big benefit, so the doors are opening it up to everyone! 
     
    I've said this so many times; There are "good ones" in this world. The "good ones" are people who want to help and put others before themselves.  Ray Negron does that.  I often wonder is there was an angel hanging out at Yankee Stadium that day Ray got snagged for tagging the Stadium. 

     
     (In Photo: Ray Negron, center)
    George Steinbrenner caught Ray red handed, took him under his wing and Ray ran with it. I tip my cap!
    So look, spread the word and come out for a great show tomorrow night! Let the power of music and entertainment help in the recovery.
     
    Also, be sure to check out our exclusive interview with Raul Ibanez, one of the speakers of the event. Read IBANEZ TO SANDY VICTIMS: "I AM HERE TO HELP"
    Here is the info again:
    For tickets to Ray's Music of the Night Sandy Relief Concert, please go HERE

    Remember, November 29th "Music of the Night" at the Tilles Center at LIU-Post, Brookville. It's a Hurricane Sandy Benefit concert.  
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    PIRATES ARE PUSHING HARD FOR RUSSELL MARTIN

    According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.com HERE, the Pirates may be the team that swoops in and takes Russell Martin from the Yankees. Why? Because they are willing to offer a 3 year deal that would be worth in the range of $25 million.  That is something that the Yankees might not be willing to do...and I get it. 

    Hey look, if Martin bails on the Yankees for a mediocre Pirates team, it's about the money for him...that's my take. Or, maybe he was unhappy in New York.  One thing I hate doing though is getting into discussions when it comes to ballplayers and them being "offended" if their former team doesn't give them what they think they are "worth." These ballplayers are all millionaires.  At some point, these players need to understand that throwing a few million at them is enough and if another team throws alittle extra, well, hell, does it even matter at the point? There needs to be alittle loyalty too... on both sides.
    Now Martin wants a 4 year deal worth between $9 and $10 million, read Marchand HERE.  That's a stability thing on his part, I get that, but I also think it's ridiculous. Especially when we're talking about a guy who offered no offense in the 2012 season. I say 3 years totaling $18-$20 million, maybe!  That's me though.

    Whatever happens to Martin, I'll stick with the guy, because I really like him.  I do hope that the Yankees are able to work out a deal.  In the end, if that happens, I'll be truly happy.

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    IMAGINE RUSSELL MARTIN SIGNS WITH THE MARINERS...

    There would be Armageddon in the Bronx!

    The reports are clear... Russell Martin wants a 4 year deal and between $9 and $10 million a year.  This is a guy who batted .211 in 2012.  Sure, the defense and closeness with the Yankees pitching was terrific, but 4 years? Seriously? I already scolded Mike Napoli in NAPOLI WANTS A 4 YEAR DEAL, AND IN OTHER HILARITY..., That greed gets you no where. Now, if Martin's batting .300 at the end of 2012, we're signing him up, but not now.   I said it then and I'll say it again, Martin needs to ask for a smaller deal and snag his job in New York back, it's that simple. Show the Yanks it's not about the money, it's about the team...show up Napoli.

    Then I got to thinking about Martin and the teams attached to him besides the Yankees this off season.  The Pittsburgh Pirates... the Seattle Mariners (read HERE.)  Then it hit me.
    Could you imagine the uproar in the Bronx if the Seattle Mariners signed Russell Martin to be their primary catcher knowing good and well that they already have our ex-minor league superstar in Jesus Montero and we in return got a dude in Michael Pineda, who, at the young age of 23 is already broken down.  Now sure, when Pineda comes back fully healthy, he could be awesome for the Yankees, but first impressions are important and the dude seems like he already shit the bed if you know what I mean.

    But back to my point.  Yankeeland was devastated when Montero was shipped out to Seattle and now that Russell Martin is a free agent, the likelihood of Martin signing someplace other than New York is real, it really is. If the Mariners are serious, it would cause chaos in New York.  Why? Because it didn't matter that Martin batted .211 last year, it's that uneasy feeling that our future catcher was Montero and if they take tough Russell away too, well, it just would feel like a bad omen or something...plus, you know how Yankee fans would react!

    Bottom line, I have confidence that Martin and the Yankees will work out a deal.  To be honest, Martin would need to go lower than 4 years though... that's just ridiculous. If he does and he can be realistic about what he should get, there's no reason why we can't lock him in.  But if he gets greedy... the Yankees will let him walk... I really believe that.

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    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

    JUMPING THE GUN ON THAT STUD, ICHIRO

    We posted this morning on BYB that the Yankees and Ichiro had agreed on a 1 year deal.  My first mistake was to try and read Japanese on the Nippon Sports website HERE.  The fact of the matter is, the Yanks and Ichiro have not "met" about it or have talked about an offer, this is according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News... read HERE. That's a very, very different story than what was reported this morning, but we, not being too full of ourselves, have no problem letting you readers know that we jumped the gun on this one. It happens... Sorry about that. Hey, what can I say, we're excited in Yankeeland...that's how we roll.

    My take on this is simple. Ichiro is willing the wait for the Yankees and the Yankees have let him know they'll chat with him about a deal. That's known.  I don't think it's a matter of the marriage itself getting done between the 2 parties. I  DO think it's just a matter of the number they will both decide on. Finally, there is no doubt that it will be a 1 year deal.  That's just me using logic.

    Once again... Ichiro is not a Yankee yet... but soon? I'd say so. Hang tight.

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    IS CARLOS RUIZ DUMB OR JUST STUPID?

    I shouldn't be shocked anymore when the "good ones" have all turned into drug users in one way or another to tarnish this great sport of "'base', a certain game of ball", as Garrison Keillor narrated in Ken Burns Documentary BASEBALL.

    Now Carlos Ruiz, the Phillies catcher, who've I've always liked for his grit, has tested positive for amphetamines. Read about it HERE. Ruiz will now be suspended 25 games.  The suspension starts when the 2013 regular season starts.

    I don't get it.  Why do these players still use drugs that violate the baseball drug policy? Isn't it obvious now that eventually these guys get tested and caught? Maybe not or maybe they don't care.  

    Oh Hell, I give up.

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    THE RETURN OF MARIANO RIVERA

    Weeks after informing the Yankees he’d like to return following conflicting thoughts, Mariano Rivera and the Yankees appear to be close to hammering out a new contract. In fact, a new deal could happen as soon as this week. This comes from Ken Rosenthal, and you can read that HERE.

    When Rivera made his final decision, the Yankees were thinking about giving him a pay cut. It makes sense, I suppose, since he’ll turn 43 on Friday, and he’s coming off major knee surgery. In 2012, Rivera got paid $15 million, and in that Rosenthal tweet, the Yankees are thinking about paying him a little more than $10M. Long story short, expect Rivera to sign a one-year, $11-14M contract in the coming days, if not the coming hours.

    The Rivera signing is obviously huge, as the Yankees will bring back the greatest closer of all time, thus they won’t have to scramble and overpay for Rafael Soriano to return. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather pay Rivera for one year coming off serious knee surgery than overpay for three or four years of Soriano, since it appears that the Yankees would get either one or the other. Anyway, if the Yankees lock up Rivera, as well as Andy Pettitte, they’ll be able to focus on further upgrading the team during the Winter Meetings, which take place on December 3-6 in Nashville, Tennessee.




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



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    ICHIRO THE STUD IS BACK IN PINSTRIPES

    Bleeding Yankee Blue fans nailed it.  You all wanted Ichiro back when we ran our poll.  Read ICHIRO IS WHO BYB READERS WANT IN RIGHT FIELD. You're so smart... I'm so proud of you.

    Seriously, it's being reported that Ichiro Suzuki has signed a 1 year deal with the New York Yankees and now the outfield has some speed and will no doubt get ducks on the pond.  Then, in a perfect world, the big boppers will knock them home. You can read it here, actually, you can't unless you can read Japanese... this is the actual source HERE.

    We should also tell you that the deal for Mariano Rivera is done as well, read HERE, and we'll have a special piece about him tonight, look for it.

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    THE RETURN OF ANDY PETTITTE

    The Yankees and Andy Pettitte are close to a deal. This is coming from Buster Olney, read HERE.
    Yankeeland is getting excited... and they should be.  Someone asked me last night on Twitter if I thought Andy would be back. I said he would be... without a doubt.

    Yesterday it was reported that Andy was "working out".  That of course peaked everyone's interest.  Then there were whiffs that Andy and the Yankees were talking. Trust me, if Andy made a B.M., we'd know about it. Yankee fans are on the edge of our seats. Look, this is an obvious one.  I don't think any Yankee fan truly believed that Andy wouldn't come back.  Of course, you know my motto, family comes first and Andy could have opted for that instead. But let's be honest, when a season is cut short due to injury and then you come back and there is a hint that you can still give a lot to your team, like Andy last season, well, there's unfinished business, no doubt.  Nose to the grindstone and shoot for the stars... Andy is not done.  Trust me. 

    I expect the deal to come down today or tomorrow and I am guessing an $11 million, 1 year deal.  Who really knows.  What we do know is we need Andy.

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    RUSSELL MARTIN WILL BE BACK IN THE BRONX

    With chatter coming from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.com HERE and Andrew Marchand HERE, I believe that there is no doubt that Russell Martin will be back in pinstripes...soon! 

    According to Heyman: "Talks involving Martin generally were said to be 'heating up,' as the catching market is starting to move. The Rangers, who are also looking at their own Mike Napoli, had Martin on their list, too. The Pirates, Mariners and maybe the White Sox are also considering catchers.

    As of several days ago, the Yankees and Martin were seen as apart on dollars. But progress has been seen over the weekend."


    Marchand says " the free-agent catcher has recently visited "multiple cities" to gauge his comfort level..."  That's not only a tactic by Martin, it's a smart tactic.  But in the end, Martin knows he wants to be a Yankee and the Yankees want him back. Sometimes playing hard to get will get you what you need with your employer. In this case... the New York Yankees.

    If I had to predict, I say a 3 year deal for Russell. I'm not even going to wonder off and think about the money because like I stated in NAPOLI WANTS A 4 YEAR DEAL, AND IN OTHER HILARITY...,
    Mike Napoli wants 4 years and that is public, the next thing I do as Russell Martin is call the Yanks and ask for less.  I have no doubt that's what happened. That will for sure cement my next 2 or 3 years in pinstripes.  4 years for Napoli is just plain stupid.

    Yankee fans like Martin. I know I do and I'm telling you, last year was a fluke for Martin with his bat... nothing more.  Expect him to bounce back and have a good year offensively. I believe that. 

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    CALL THE GAME FAIR OR GET OFF THE AIR!

    Of course, as a Yankee fan, we all love it when the Bombers make the post season.  I mean it’s exciting for God’s sake.  But, what I can’t stand is when the national announcers take cheap shots at the Yankees for all the world to hear on network television. At least, as Yankee fans, that's how we hear it.  I was awakened by this notion while watching ABC’s coverage of the USC vs. Notre Dame game.  Brent Musburger made a ridiculous comment two plays into the very first Irish possession.  He said, “The Irish are experiencing their first wrinkle of the game.”  Really?  A wrinkle?  They just picked up a first down in three plays, how is that wrinkle for a team that has gone undefeated?!  Then, like a shot deep to left, my brain immediately rushed to my file on Fox Sports Announcer Joe Buck and his blatant lack of respect for the Yankees.  He and his sidekick, Tim McCarver seem to blast into their Yankee digs way before first pitch.

    Now, in their defense, no one can call a game like our home team announcers Kay, Ken Singleton, Paul O’Neill, Sterling and Waldman, who know our guys and know our city, but Buck and McCarver could tone it down a bit and stick with the game on the field. 

    “One suggestion would be flanking a play-by-play guy with a color commentator who works for each team during the regular season. It would increase the knowledge of the teams and the personalities while balancing out any claims of bias between the two sides,” said reporter Josh Alper in his 2009 article Do Joe Buck and Tim McCarver hate the Yankees? The article takes it a bit further by delving into  Buck’s psyche a bit.  “More often than not, he seems to dislike just about everything about his job which he tends to approach with a smug (or professional, depending on your point of view) detachment that is antithetical to the way die hard fans feel about their favorite teams and sports. A good example is his flat call of David Tyree's unbelievable catch in the Giants-Patriots Super Bowl."
    As a graduate of the Boston University’s College of Communication, it was drummed into me in course after course that you must balance passion with objectivity.  Joe Buck must have missed that course, or he buried deep within his archives.  Now, John Sterling may not always get it right, but he certainly has passion for the game.  He makes the game exciting, even if you yell back at him every chance you get.  And Kay keeps it real as well.  They are with the team, and when they get critical, it is not a bashing like certain announcers... are you listening Joe and Tim? “They are with the team all season and want it to win. They all swear their job is easier when things are going well as opposed to watching the Bombers squander a 10-game AL East lead,” as reported by the New York Daily News in early October our our guys (HERE)

    The Wall Street Journal (HERE) recently conducted a 30-team study on television baseball announcer bias. “The conventional wisdom in sports is that TV announcers should strive to call the game straight down the middle. It's a philosophy that's been embraced over the years by most of the famous baseball voices.”  The article went on to state that “by the rules of our study, anyone with a microphone who used a pronoun like "we," "us" or "our" to describe the home team was given a citation. Obscure pet names for players were also flagged: The Detroit Tigers announcers, for instance, referred to backup catcher Gerald Laird as "G-Money." Additional penalties were given for things like excessive moping after miscues or unrestrained glee after big moments. (A Miami Marlins broadcaster marked the end of a lengthy scoreless drought by screaming "Hallelujah!").”
    I guess by these rules, long time great Phil “Scooter” Rizzuto’s “Holy Cow!” would be flagged as well and since this was just television announcers and not radio, Sterling and Waldman get a buy.  As for our local television announcers, they placed 26th with the Mets’ announcers Keith Hernandez , Gary Cohen, and Ron Darling placing least biased at 30th .  Number one on the list was White Sox announcer Hawk Harrelson (Read HERE).  He applauded his number one status.  He is a lover of the sport and lover of his team! 
    (In Photo: Mel Allen)
    Like it or not, baseball announcers are here to stay.  Many of the greats have space in the hallowed halls of Cooperstown. Our very own Mel Allen is there along with Harry Caray and Jack Buck, not to be confused with Joe.  They gave baseball a voice and life and someone to yell back at when things weren’t  going so well.  Today, baseball announcers continue this legacy while bringing humor and excitement into their signature calls.  But, what they should never do is beat up on the local team in such a way that fans feel the insult deep in their own core from their living room.  Those announcers need to take a hard look at their calls and keep it real, fair, or get off the air!


    --Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Opinion Columnist
    Twitter: @suzieprof




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