Monday, April 24, 2017

FOR PETE'S SAKE, IT'S JUST A SERIES

Photo: Getty Images / Pete Kozma
So you thought the Buccos would be pushovers and now you're brooding on an off-day about losing a series?

Get over yourself.

The Pirates have a hundred problems. But unlike the Yankees, starting pitching isn't one of them, and as we all know good pitching  usually beats good hitting. And it definitely beats the likes of Pete Kozma.

Photo: Getty Images
The Pirate rotation's 3.38 ERA is 5th best in MLB (they're  also tied for 5th toughest to hit dingers against) and the Yankees' overachieving (yeah, I said it) rotation ranks just 17th with an ERA of 4.05 and tied for 7th easiest to hit one into the seats against.

So any lingering frustration you feel today should be dispelled. All three games of that series were filled with sloppy play and blown chances on both sides and could've gone either way -- and, in the end, the best team was the one that didn't have Pete Kozma at the plate with bases loaded and two outs.

Photo: Getty Images
So tip your cap to our old friends Ivan Nova, Chris "Stewie" Stewart and Francisco "Gazoo" Cervelli on a job well done and fuggedabowdit. It was a one and done series and we'll never see them again. Just shake  it off  the way  a pitcher  would a fluke  homer by some guy who couldn't hit water if he jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge -- like, say, Pete Kozma -- and save your acid reflux  for the fun to come at Fenway.

(July 16, 2016 - Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America)    
Speaking of Koz, Sir Didi went 2-for-5 in his third rehab start at Tampa Sunday and should be back by the end of the week, relieving us of any further need for Pete's (*cough*) services.

And speaking of Ivan, did anyone happen to catch Ken Davidoff's interview with him yesterday in the Post entitled How Being A Yankee Hurt Ivan Nova?

(April 22, 2017 - Source: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images North America)    
I won't give away any spoilers. But if you've ever read and agreed with any of my takes on why I think "the Yankee way" of introducing young starters to the Bigs stinks,  you'll be pleased to learn Ivan agrees with us those same reasons are what screwed him up and kept him from achieving his potential here too. Check it out.

Enjoy your off day, everyone. Tomorrow, our bats have dates with a green monster and a pesky pole.

Oughtta be a wicked pissah.



 --Barry Millman
BYB Writer
Twitter: @nyyankeefanfore



20% Off at SteinerSports.com with code YANKEEBLUE2017


DAVE WINFIELD TWEETING ABOUT JUDGE

Source: AP / Gene J. Puskar

You know you are doing well when a Hall of Famer takes notice.  And in this case, the HOFer is Dave Winfield and he's tweeting about Aaron Judge.  "After Judge’s ninth-inning homer Saturday, a 457-foot solo shot to left in an 11-5 win over the Pirates, the Hall of Famer posted on Twitter:
“I can’t help but retweet this shot,” with footage of Judge’s sixth homer of the season," reported the NY Post.


Judge's reaction, in his humble way was simply, “Dave Winfield? That’s pretty cool. Never in my life would I have thought Winfield would be retweeting one of my swings.”  The big guy, and in this case, I mean Winnie, has been keeping a close eye on Judge.  The two have built a nice relationship since spring training and has been to see him play at the Stadium recently.

Source: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America

Winfield's advice to Judge is simply to keep things simple.  "He said it’s a complicated game; don’t make it too complicated. Simplify everything you can. If you start thinking about too many different things at the plate, you’re not going to be too successful. For [guys] like us who are big, just simplify it and get the barrel on the ball and good things will happen,” reported Newsday

Source: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images North America

Judge is the kind of player who has his head in the game and is playing for wins, not his own wins but his team's wins.  “I just put my head down and start running,” Judge said of his reaction to the home runs. “I'm just feeding off what the team’s doing. I try not to pay attention to the other stuff," reports the Post.  This kind of sentiment has been consistent with Judge's pre and post game interviews where his soundbites mimic the tone of veteran players who understand what it means to play and play to win for your team.

Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America

Just more exciting connections to the hitting of our Baby Bombers through stories like this one.  It takes a village to raise a child and in this case it takes a village of Hall of Famers to mentor our young team.




--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof





Shop for BYB Gear!


Sunday, April 23, 2017

THE YANKEES ARE GETTING IT DONE IMPRESSIVELY

Source: Joe Sargent/Getty Images North America

I heard a stat after the Yankees took Game Two against the Pittsburgh Pirates, which made me feel proud to be a Yankee fan.  A Yankee fan who, like you, has been through a difficult slew of years of missed opportunities and deserves to hear that the Yankees are second in come from behind wins in the American League.  And we did it again on Saturday with the long ball and taking advantage of sour defense by the Bucs.

Source: Patrick Smith/Getty Images North America

As YES Network reported, "They found it late Saturday afternoon against the Pittsburgh Pirates as the Yankees surged for 11 runs after the fifth inning to come from behind for an 11-5 victory."  Watching guys like Ronald Torreyes get four hits, Starlin Castro, Chris Carter and Aaron Judge (who's HR went 457 feet) convincingly going yard and everyone hustling around the base paths to capitalize on the Pirates' errors made me feel like we have something great growing as we head into the last week of April and into Fenway Park after the rubber game in Pittsburgh this afternoon.

 Source: Joe Sargent/Getty Images North America

“We’re in transition,” Brian Cashman said Thursday (during spring training). “But we’re not waving the white flag while transitioning," reported CBS Sports in late March.  No signs of white flags being hoisted up the pole in the Bronx or on the road as the Yankees improve their record to 11-6 and lead the American League in stolen bases, a stat we haven't touted in years.

 Source: Rich Schultz/Getty Images North America

 And although it is only April, the Yankees Aaron Judge is already in talks for Rookie of the Year.  "The word on Judge was that he was smart and adaptable, and that he got better at each minor league level after initial difficulties. He lowered his leg kick this year to better stay on breaking stuff from righties, and the results — to date — have been impressive. It will be interesting to see how the league adjusts to him and how Judge reacts. But if this continues, Judge could become the first position player drafted by the Yankees to even receive Rookie of the Year votes for the team since Jeter in 1996," reports the NY Post on Saturday.

 Source: Patrick Smith/Getty Images North America

All of this positive chatter and convincing evidence is exciting to be a part of as a fan and a writer for BYB.

Sure, we have to call them out when they are not doing their job well but we also have to give them kudos for getting it done impressively as we have seen over the past fews weeks.  Let's hope this continues and we have more exciting come from behind wins, aggressive base running, towering home runs and stolen bases to report on as 2017 progresses.




--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof





Be Read. Get Known.


THE UNDERRATED ROMINE MACHINE

Photo: Newsday
Despite injuries to a couple of the starters, the Yankees are playing some excellent ball right now.

Part of the reason is their depth, which has played an integral part during these early stages of the season. This article from the New York Post gives one such example in our pal, Austin Romine:

"Since Romine moved into the lead chair Sunday in Baltimore, the Yankees have won five straight games and he has started four of them, including Friday night’s 4-3 win over the Cardinals in front of 39,102 at Yankee Stadium..."

Photo: Paul J. Bereswill
When Gary Sanchez was placed on the DL you could hear a collective 'OH NO' from Yankee Universe. Everyone knew that Romine would now be the everyday catcher. He was considered more of a defensive catcher with not much expected from his bat. Without Gary, the Yankees were losing a significant offensive weapon. While Austin doesn't hit the tape measure home runs we have become accustomed to seeing from Gary, he has been hitting a lot better than some thought he would.

Yes, I know it's only been a few games but, I feel Romine has exceeded expectations as he has hit .324 with 5 RBIs in 37 ABs.  Not bad for a kid that was designated for assignment in 2015.

Personally, right now I feel that whatever he can provide with the bat, is icing on the cake. The guys at the top of the order that are supposed to provide the spark are doing just that. It's what Romine provides behind the plate that really matters. His pitchers love how he calls a game and they put their trust in him. Adam Warren had this to say.

Game calling, by far,’’ pitcher Adam Warren said of Romine’s best attribute. “We started working at Double-A, and I hardly shake him off. He knows swings and he knows hitters.’’

Photo: Paul J. Bereswill
Austin Romine has come a long way in the last couple years. He is another of the kids I got to see in the Arizona Fall League as he played in it 3 different times (09,10 and 12). I'm glad Austin has finally gotten his chance and run with it. He is a hard worker with a great attitude and in my eyes, at least, he has earned his spot with the team.

“The team is playing well, period. I’m not going to take credit,’’ Romine said when asked if it was gratifying that the club is playing well and winning with him at a premium position. “I’m trying to stay out of the way the best I can. We have a lot of people doing things right. I can’t sit here and take credit for anything.’’





--Michael Carnesi
BYB Writer

Follow me on Twitter: @sevn4evr







Saturday, April 22, 2017

NOBODY CARES ABOUT TWO YEARS FROM NOW...

(April 20, 2017 - Source: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images North America)
That is what CC Sabathia and the few remaining veterans have to say to critics right now and it gives me chills! Critics have pegged the Yankees to be future contenders. This year is about rebuilding, getting the kids their first opportunities and the veterans their last swings but not winning it all. Critics don't know it all and they definitely don't know the "Yankee way" huh?

It's weird being called the underdog, but the Yankees certainly aren't playing like they are and that recent eight game winning streak is proof. This team may be younger and have less experience but that "win now" philosophy isn't lost. Veteran's like CC Sabathia are keeping that spirit alive in the clubhouse and he's letting everyone know that the faces may change but that expectation to win no matter what still lives on.

April 14, 2017 - Source: Adam Hunger/Getty Images North America
CC got feisty in a recent interview HERE and made it clear that 2017 is not just a "throw away" season. "Nobody cares about that s---," Sabathia said. "Sorry, but nobody cares about two years from now. We want to win games today. Nobody in here is thinking if they are going to be here or not. There is too much turnover in baseball. If anyone is thinking about that, then they are in the wrong spot." 

April 12, 2017 - Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America
And he is right! George Steinbrenner revitalized a struggling franchise and whether you agreed with how he did things or not it brought back that winning spirit. We saw that spirit with the Core Four, our aging veterans and we still have it with the Youth movement. There is no "there is always next year" sentiment in this clubhouse no matter how many beat baseball analysts say this won't be the Yankees year to win. Chase Headley has the same attitude. "We hear it." Headley said. "I’ve said it, that the expectation here is always to win the World Series. That is the only way we can look at it -- that the goal doesn’t change, understanding that certainly there are some young players, but they are talented young players. We think we can do some things with them. I'm certainly not looking forward to 2018 or 2019. I'm trying to have a great year in 2017 and hope we can make a run."

So far, all of the veterans are doing a lot of things to help the baby bombers win. The leadership is there and the attitude is there. Times may be changing and the franchise may be going in a different direction now, but the culture is still there and so far.....it's all working. It's young in the season but it already feels much different now then the same time last season when we were 8-14. Critics and analysts may have underestimated this team, and even though the Yankees have a new fresh attitude, we know that if we are in contention by July that the Yankees will add any needed pieces to give us the best chance of winning. CC said it best "One thousand percent, that is a part of who we are. If we are in the mix at the All-Star break and we need something, they will go out and get it, like they always do."

April 20, 2017 - Source: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images North America
Steinbrenner's legacy is based on not only the pennants, controversies, and World Series wins but also a winning spirit that is now passed down to the kids even before they get called up to the Bronx and even Brett Gardner sees it. "I don’t think the young guys are fine with not winning. That is one thing about the Yankees; they stress winning in the minor leagues, too. These kids are accustomed to winning." Gardy sees it, and Yankee fans are too. That back-to-back home run show by Starlin Castro and Aaron Judge was impressive on Wednesday and played a part in the Yankees season high four home runs contributed by both the veteran leaders and the kids.

The Yankees have everything going for them right now. They have the talent, leadership and winning spirit that is going to give the rest of the AL East a run for their money. We have what other teams don't.....so I guess that means we are already #winning. Don't you think so?





--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ





Shop BYB