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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

DOMINATION IN FENWAY!


The Yankees need to beat the Boston Red Sox every time they play them.  That should always be the plan.  Tonight, despite the boos and signs that read ELL$BURY, they stood like professionals with 1 mission... win.  Behind Masahiro Tanaka, they scored 9 runs, had 15 hits, and never looked back.  They didn't flinch tonight... that's the way I like my Yankees.


Jacoby Ellsbury is batting .342 this season. Tonight he was 2-5 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBIs. He had a double and a triple and the message was clear, "You can boo all you want... you let a good player walk to a rival. Big mistake."


Tanaka went 7.1 innings. He gave up 2 runs and struck out 7.  He gave up back to back homer to David Ortiz and Mike Napoli, but what pitcher doesn't have problems with those guys? It was simple; he missed his spots those times. Life goes on.  Give Tanaka credit, he pitched real well. He is legit.  Dellin Betances followed and gave up only 1 run.  He too looked good. He's developing into what the Yankees wanted from him a few years ago. I like that.


It's evident the Yankees are feeling good about themselves right now. Offensively, they're solid.  Brian McCann was 3-4 tonight.  Ichiro was 2-4 tonight and currently has a .371 AVG.  Carlos Beltran cranked out a homer.  Even Derek Jeter looked great tonight! Things are happening ladies and gentlemen, and it has #2814 written all over it.   Yes, the bullpen is alittle weak, but with David Robertson being activated from the DL today, and a guy like former Yankee, Hector Noesi being DFA'd by the Texas Rangers today (Dallas Morning News HERE), moves can be made. I'm not saying we're going to make major moves, but I am saying the Yankees will improve. DRob provides leadership, and while Noesi may or may not be on the Yankees radar, all I'm saying is, there are options. Maybe he could be an extra option for them.

Look, in the end tonight, the Yankees looked great... dominant, and full of energy in Fenway.  Let's keep it going boys... I like what I see!


Final: Yankees 9 - Red Sox 3.

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TOMMY JOHN'S COMING TO A NOVA NEAR YOU

 
A quick note and something that you already know, because you're smart fans and readers... Ivan Nova was examined and it is "recommended" that he have the Tommy John procedure. 

According to CBSSports.com, "Tommy John surgery has been "recommended" for right-hander Ivan Nova, the Yankees announced. A second opinion confirmed the initial diagnosis of a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament."
 
 
Bummer, but Nova will recover fine and the recovery time for a procedure like that is quick these days.  It's fascinating actually.

Wish him well if he decides to have the surgery. His twitter is @IvanNova47.

Get well soon, Super Nova.

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: DEAN ANNA

Hard work and dedication means a lot to us here at BYB. Ever since Jorge Posada gave us that great quote "Grind It", you can see it used here often. Why? Because we love it and we believe in the believer! We have a great amount of respect for individuals that are the embodiment of believing in yourself. "Grind it!" You work your tail off to get what you want. That's why a guy like Dean Anna is so well liked here at Bleeding Yankee Blue.


This offseason, the Yankees made sure to pick up certain key players. Frankly, after last season, I was very happy about that. The addition of Anna has turned out to be more than we fans could have possibly expected.  His performance so far has been terrific, and he's gaining popularity among us Yankees fans. He's a believer and many of us are believing in him!

Well, I had the pleasure to represent Bleeding Yankee Blue in our exclusive interview with our newest family member... Dean Anna. Check out our interview with Dean Anna:


BYB: Mr. Anna, no one was more excited about you signing with the Yankees than us over here at Bleeding Yankees Blue. In fact, our founder Casey was ecstatic over it! Tell me, where were you when you got the news? And what did it mean to you to make the New York Yankees?

Dean Anna:  I was actually with my fiancĂ©e. I had just landed in Chicago and I hadn’t seen my family in a while.  It was that day.  I was in my house and we were just hanging out, and my agent called. He told me “I believe they are going to make a trade for you”.  Then the Yankees called me and it happened.  It’s really exciting to be a part of an organization like the New York Yankees. To be a part of the history is amazing.


BYB: You and Yangervis Solarte have been doing great things so far, for the Yankees. We root for the underdog here at Bleeding Yankee Blue. What advice can you give our readers when it comes to being given an opportunity that could change the course of your life or career?

Dean Anna:  Always work hard and believe in yourself.  I think that’s how I got here.  If I wasn’t working hard and believing in myself, I couldn’t have got through the whole minor league system for a while!  I believe that if you work hard, good things happen.

BYB: Your nickname is “The Dean of Swing.” How did that come about?

Dean Anna:  My agent is big in marketing and he was like “Oh, I like this name”, and we just went with it!

BYB: What’s it like to play with a guy like Derek Jeter?

Dean Anna:  It’s something where, you hope to play with someone like that. Someone of his caliber, so you can learn.  Derek’s been through it all.  He’s won many Championships. He’s a great guy to learn from.  I couldn’t ask for a better teammate to learn from.

BYB: I remember reading that you said “Everybody’s excited for me, but it kind of just feels like a regular day,” when you made the major league roster for the Yankees. How do you feel right now, a few weeks into playing on the biggest stage of your career?


Dean Anna:  It’s exciting! It really is!  During Spring Training, I was still kind of numb about it. Being here, and witnessing this now, playing Boston for instance, and the Boston series coming up, it’s going to be memorable!  It’s going to be stuff I can tell my kids about!  It’s going to be very cool!

BYB: Growing up, what player, Yankee of non-Yankee, did you idolize, and why?

Dean Anna:  Ken Griffey, Jr.  I loved how he played the game. He’s a lefty swinger.  He played center field. He was just really fun to watch.

BYB: The word “versatile” has been spoken a lot when you hear the name Dean Anna. How important is that to you, and why?


Dean Anna: It’s important! If the team needs me to play 3rd, or short, or 2nd, it helps the team out. If something goes wrong, or if they need to fill a spot, they can rely on me for that. 

BYB: If you had to give a piece of advice to an 11 year old little leaguer, like Casey’s son for instance, who’s going through some frustrating times at the plate lately, what advice can you offer?

Dean Anna:  An 11 year old? Well, first I would tell them to make sure to have fun.  You've got to have fun out there, no matter what!  You know, you want to win, you don’t want to lose, but I would definitely keep the kids enjoying the game.  When you are having fun, the best of that player comes out!

BYB: So, you’ve made your first major league team roster with the Yankees. What’s your next big goal?

Dean Anna: The next big goal is always to win a World Series Championship. That’s what everyone is working for right now on the team. And that’s really the only goal.

BYB: Tell me the difference in the fans, and energy at Yankee Stadium, as opposed to any other place you’ve experienced?

Dean Anna: It’s a different vibe when you are playing there at Yankee Stadium. It’s a little more intense. It’s really exciting to play there. It feels more like a play-off atmosphere. 


BYB: Okay, last question. We wrote about you when you signed with the Yankees this past winter. We saw that you retweeted the story, and “favorited” it. So, do you read Bleeding Yankee Blue? If so, what do you think?

Dean Anna: It’s great! I don’t read it alot, but I’ve seen some stuff I like it, and I thought it was pretty cool.

We’d like to thank Mr. Anna for his time and cooperation. He's a class act.  BYB is very excited to have had the opportunity.

Dean, you're extremely pleasant, upbeat, professional and we really appreciate your patience with us!  BYB looks forward to seeing your continued success on and off the field.

The best of luck, from everyone here at BYB!



--Erica Morales BYB Senior Writer 
Twitter: @e_morales1804

 

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RUSSELL MARTIN & HIS HOT HEAD


This is why it was a breath of fresh air to see Brian McCann saying "I got nothing" this offseason when Russell Martin "attacked" the Yankees for not resigning him, and instead waiting on big fish McCann and spending a ton more. Read BIG MCCANN LAUGHES OFF LITTLE MARTIN for clarity on that.

Now it seems like Martin is shooting his mouth off again. He wants to fight Martin Maldonado and he's serious... and it's silly, let's be honest.  In case you don't know what I'm talking about, it goes like this, according to DJ Short of Hardball Talk:


"The Brewers and Pirates got involved in a nasty brawl yesterday afternoon in Pittsburgh after outfielder Carlos Gomez flipped his bat on a triple, which ticked off starter Gerrit Cole. Martin Maldonado was right in the middle of the skirmish and landed a punch on Travis Snider...MLB will issue punishments in the coming days, but Snider’s teammate, Russell Martin, still wants Maldonado to see his comeuppance."

This isn't street shit Russell, this is baseball. Furthermore, how silly does Travis Snider feel like now having loudmouth Martin threatening to settle the score with Maldonado and not Snider himself?  What's Martin's deal?  Apparently now Martin wants to "fight" Maldonado for charity.  I guess if you cushion a "fight" with charity, you seem like some type of hero or something.  To be honest, it's 5th grade crap... Martin needs to shut up.  Here is what took place on the social networks:





Once again, Martin looks like to loser here, charity or not.


Hey Russell, here's an idea... why don't you count to 10 and then donate to a charity anyway. That's what millionaires are doing these days, not fighting in the streets of Pittsburgh.  Have you forgotten that baseball is a game?


Napoleon complex much?

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YOU LIKE DEALS? YOU'LL LOVE THIS...



You like sales? Me too. I’m doing something that I want you to take advantage of.  I’m slashing prices ladies and gentlemen.  Why? Because I love you. I thank you for your support and I have a few new ideas on BYB clothing that I want to create in the future.  With that in mind, I need to get you guys buying!

We only a small amount of product left and trust me, it’s been a crazy spring, much busier than I thought it would be. What that means is you like and respect what Bleeding Yankee Blue is doing here and you understand us. We, in turn are extremely thankful. 


So from this point forward, we are cutting prices for all our products and we want you take advantage of it. 
Right now, all of our sweatshirts, both Blue and Gray have been reduced in price!


How about those handsome, limited edition Posada t-shirts below?  We made a, well, "limited edition", and there are only a handful left.  We will NOT be making more.  


The prices are reduced.  Be sure to CLICK NOW to buy one. They will sell fast at this point.


So, you’re having a baby and you want to get a onesie for that kid?  Well, check out the prices now! These onesies are perfect on a nice, warm, summer night.  Throw the kid in a BleedingYankeeBlue.com onesie and let him dream the night away in their crib. It’s simple and comfortable and not restricting.


The sexiest item of the spring has been the Bleeding Yankee Blue women’s tank! Only 2 sizes left and we are discussing printing more, but there is no guarantee we will.  Check out the prices now!


All of our wristbands and bottle opener products have been dropped in price!  


We have sold a ton of these things and we’ll be looking to restock for next season.  You gotta take advantage of this deal!


And don't forget our charity event! All light wristbands are only $2 bucks! When you guys them,  I will match the price, and at the end of the season, I will send a check to whatever charity, my buddy Mikey and I decide. Not sure what I'm talking about? Read  "I'M DRUNK IN EPCOT MEXICO" & WHAT COMES NEXT so you see what I'm thinking.

Great deals for a great audience. You want to shop right now? CLICK HERE. 

 I love my BYB freaks! Thank you for your support!

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MICHAEL PINEDA CAN WIN 18 GAMES THIS SEASON


When injured players first return after a long absence due to injury, the first questions are always about whether or not the player can return to original form, how durable are they, and how quickly will they be at peak capacity. These questions swirl around Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, and Michael Pineda. With Pineda, we have seen enough to start getting excited.


In his first three starts, he has been stellar. He has recorded six innings in each start, allowing one run or less in each start. The one loss he has happened on a night when the Yankees failed to score. It is tough to win when your team scores zero runs, so we will let that go. Nevertheless, he has thrown between 83 and 94 pitches per start – respectable for the month of April – with no signs of trouble. His fastball velocity is averaging in the low 90’s while his slider is hitting the middle 80’s. While the fastball is not at 95, as we saw in Seattle, he is getting the results needed. Those velocities create enough variance to get an impressive 7.5 K/9 ratio. His control is also there, posting a 1.5 BB/9 ratio and a WHIP of 0.889.


It will be hard to keep up those kind of stats, but these are still signs of greatness from which we can have hope. The real limiting factor for Pineda wins, as we saw in his first start against Toronto, is run support. In his first three starts, he is averaging 3.2 RS/IP. With the injuries to the Yankee hitters, this stat can be a sign of trouble. He cannot be expected to allow only one run per game over the whole season.


I am not sure that Michael Pineda is at the 20-game winner level quite yet, but he is definitely within striking distance. Recording 18 wins this season is a very realistic expectation right now. If our hitting returns to normal productivity, the answer is a resounding yes. The fact that he is only 25 years old makes it easier for him to stay healthy. His next test will be more a mental one than anything else – Fenway Park, possibly against Jon Lester. The way the ball is coming out of Pineda’s hand, I like our chances.



--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Writer
Twitter: @KingAgamemnon
My blog is: Shots from Murderer's Row



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Monday, April 21, 2014

A WALK TO REMEMBER

In just eight pitches one of our newest Bombers etched a highlight sure to be replayed once the 2014 campaign is over.

And all he did was walk.


Dean Anna entered the fourth and final game of this April series in Tampa hitting just .136; clearly making his hold on a roster spot with the big league club a precarious one.  To make matters worse, the Yankees were desperate to get the previous two games’ blowout losses behind them, and were locked in an extra-inning 1-1 affair with the Rays, when Anna (inserted after Ichiro Suzuki pinch-ran for Derek Jeter the inning before) botched a routine ground ball in the bottom of the 11th inning – putting the winning runner on first base for Tampa.

The Yankees escaped that inning and both teams entered the twelfth frame with little remaining on their benches.


With two outs in the top of the inning, the Yankees mounted a threat when Brian McCann singled Brett Gardner (who reached via a fielder’s choice) over to third base.  Rays’ manager Joe Maddon, always the strategist, had Jacoby Ellsbury intentionally walked to load the bases for the light-hitting Anna.

If ever the old adage “A walk is as good as a hit” rung more true, this was it.  



On the mound, the Rays had 24-year-old CJ Riefenhauser, a southpaw with a promising future ahead of him (don’t all of the Rays’ pitchers seem to fit that description?).  Maddon couldn’t have hoped for a better match-up.  After all, Anna was oh-for-the season (0/7) against lefties in 2014.

What ensued was a classic battle between two players desperate to hold onto roster spots.

After the first three pitches, Riefenhauser had a leg up in the count at 1-2, and I couldn’t help but think this game was going to go at least another inning.  This war of attrition didn’t seem to want to end.
Only, Dean Anna came to fight.


He fouled off two of the next three pitches and the count stood at 2-2 when he let ball three go by; showing great plate discipline.

The runners would be moving on the next pitch and one could sense that this would be the Yankees make-or-break moment of the game. 

Riefenhauser’s throw was low and away but close enough where Anna began to chase it, except the backup infielder was able to stop his attempt before it could be called a swing, and the Yanks had the go-ahead run across the plate.

You could almost feel the team release its collective breath, and when the camera panned the visitor’s dugout; our players could be seen celebrating.  In particular, Mark Teixeira yelled repeatedly “GREAT AT-BAT!!!”

The unofficial at-bat (walks don’t count as at-bats) didn’t raise his average, but it clearly showed Anna can handle big league pitching and pressure with the best of them. 

The walk “opened the flood gates” and the Yankees would go on to score three more times before the final out could be recorded.

The Yankees won the game 5-1 in no small part because of Anna’s walk.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous article, our “newbies” have given the Yankees new life, and Anna’s moment was a perfect example of that point. 

Yangervis Solarte, in spite of going 0-for-4 at the plate, played a crisp third base.  Vidal Nuno threw five scoreless innings while striking out six.   JR Murphy was solid behind the plate – making key blocks on pitches in the dirt with runners on base, and the bullpen – which had been pummeled the previous two contests – threw seven shutout innings.

Who says this team doesn’t have depth?

The game marked a big moment early in this season for our team.  As Kenny Singleton pointed out last night on the YES network, it was important that the team bounce back from the poundings it endured against the Rays. 

Now, the Yankees enter the new week on a good note (having won 6 of 8), knowing that they can play with the best this division has to offer.

Whether or not Dean Anna is able to “stick” in the Bronx remains to be seen, but last night’s ballgame went a long way in helping his cause.  Should the team be able to build upon the win, they can look back and thank the infielder for doing the simplest of things – drawing a walk.


    

--Steve Skinner, BYB Writer
Twitter: @oswegos1




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WHY I'M HAPPY WITH BRIAN ROBERTS AT SECOND


This post is a long time coming.  I spent pretty much the month of April analyzing the work of Brian Roberts and as I sat there watching another night of Yankee baseball a few days ago, Roberts was one home run shy of hitting for the cycle. When Roberts is healthy, he is productive but that is the key, staying healthy.  Overall, I’m happy with Brian Roberts at second because he brings with him passion, experience and grit, something we love here at BYB.


Firstly, there’s his passion.  There is fire in his meatball eyes and I like it!  His passion turns into hustle and his hustle turns into work ethic.  But, I know that I am perhaps in the minority when it comes to compliments for Roberts.  CBS Sports wrote, “a miserable season for Yankees second baseman Brian Roberts continued with his absence from the lineup for Game 1 of the Wednesday doubleheader against the Cubs with a back ailment.”  I would not say miserable, but again, I guess I am in the minority.  We have a number of Orioles fans reading BYB and many of them stated that they miss Roberts and wish him well.  They also agreed that he gets hurt a lot but when he is healthy, he is on.  I like his passion and I hope he stays healthy.


Secondly, he has experience and we need that on this Yankee team.  Sure, the Jeter-Roberts double play combo is one of the oldest in the major leagues, but who cares.  Jeter and Roberts have experience and leadership skills, beyond the field.  Having the intensity of Roberts on the team brings that added edge we need.  Veterans who have been there, done that really boost a team’s morale, so experience on the field and off is essential.  And, Roberts, when he gets on base, is a great base runner.  He hustles, he can run well and he knows the game well.  Perhaps one day he will make a great manager.

Lastly, there’s grit and Roberts has it.  Grit is passion and perseverance for very long term goals.  In Roberts’ case, it is a quest for a World Series ring.  Roberts has to push himself and sometimes even play through pain.  Joe Girardi spoke optimistically Wednesday in regard to Yankees second baseman Brian Roberts. He told Newsday that Roberts is merely experiencing back spasms and should be fine going forward,” stated CBS Sports.  Well, perhaps some rest did Roberts’ well because he came out fighting Thursday in the Yankees’ win over the Division rival Rays.


Passion, experience and grit all encompass our second baseman Brian Roberts and I am happy with that.

Keep up the good work, Brian and know that we are pulling for you to fight the fight and win!




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



 
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