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Thursday, August 21, 2014

LIVE IN THE NOW!


Garth Algar, faithful sidekick and best friend to Wayne Campbell, once advised the Wayne’s World namesake to, “LIVE IN THE NOW!” I think Yankee fans should take the Aurora Illinois native’s words to heart now more than ever. The 2014 season is rapidly coming to a close.


The Bronx Bombers are on life support as far as Post Season hopes go, but they remain in the fight nonetheless. I will never tell anyone to give up hope on anything. Why would anyone want to give up hope? To quote another memorable character from the big screen, “Hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things.” Andy Dufresne was right. The Yankees shouldn’t give up the ship…ever.


No, I am speaking of Yankee fans. There is one thing that we should be focusing on slightly more than whether or not the Yankees play in October…each and every play, at bat and moment that Derek Jeter has in a Yankee uniform. We seem to be so focused on what some of these new Yankees aren’t doing that we just might be missing the last chance to watch and appreciate the Captain. It doesn’t really matter if his last game is in late September or late October, his last game is fast approaching. It is almost unbelievable to think that Jeet will soon do something else on nights the Yankees play baseball.

Times and faces will drastically change when #2 hangs them up. The Yankees have looked and played a certain way for the better half of the last 20 years, but they will soon not be the Derek Jeter Yanks anymore…we better savor every second.  I know Jeter would not agree with my sentiment. I know he would say it doesn’t matter unless the team wins and they are contending for another World Championship...he’d be right, but like it or not we have to hold him above the team this time.


So many of those who grew up in the 1980’s remember those teams and what it was like to go to the Stadium to see a mediocre club battle their way to 3rd or 4th place. It was a dark time in the Bronx while they were partying in Queens. I don’t want to go back to those days, but we just may have to revisit them.


The Yankees and their fans have to enjoy the Captain’s last days and prepare for the post Jetarian life. Hopefully there is a blueprint in the basement of Yankee Stadium that shows the current front office how to build a team like the one that boasted names like Jeter, Williams, Rivera, Posada, O’Neill, Pettitte and Martinez. They should enjoy the celebration of a great Yankee and his Hall of Fame career and then get to work on the farm. Make smart trades, get younger and assemble a rotation of healthy arms. Let’s all live in the now.


Enjoy the Captain’s last stand. Maybe there is a final charge and some magic left to see. Let’s hope and appreciate the player and person we’ve called our Captain one more time…because times they are a changin’.

** Bob always seems to have a song for the moment doesn’t he? Thank you, Derek.**


--Mike O'Hara
Senior "Features" Writer
MLB Fan Cave Host, Season 1
Twitter: @mikeyoh21
   "Paulie was always my favorite player."

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BREAKING NEWS: GIRARDI IS NOW CAPTAIN OBVIOUS!


You don't need the manager of the Yankees to tell us that the Yankees suck.  When asked about the Yankees and what they need to do to get to the playoffs, Joe Girardi said: "It’s hard to win when you only score two runs. Our pitching has been pretty good, but that’s a tall task. … If we don’t play better, we can’t get there.”


Sounds like Joe reads Bleeding Yankee Blue, because WE'VE BEEN YELLING ABOUT THIS SINCE MAY! But it's not Girardi's job to critique his club. It's mine.  It's his job to fix the problem. He's the manager. He's got personnel... use them.  He's got baseball skill, share it. What the hell is wrong with this guy?

We've stated here a shake up needs to happen.  Bench players and let them know what they're being benched for.  Start questioning the jobs of Kevin Long and Larry Rothschild. And you know what? Maybe Hal needs to sit Joe down and let him know that his job isn't safe either.  A shake up needs to happen now... the window is about to close.  Trust me ladies and gentlemen, if we don't start winning, you can forget about the playoffs and wearing those comfy Bleeding Yankee Blue hoodies to the stadium this fall.  It won't be happening.   If we don't make the playoffs 2 years in a row... HEADS WILL ROLL... and they should.


These losses not only hurt the fans, but it hurts the Yankees pocketbook who thought they had a sure thing going into the 2014 season... Jeter's last year.   They won't stand for it.

Right now they're scratching their heads and wondering what went wrong.  What we can't do though is sit around making obvious statements and asking questions. Not as a manager. That doesn't help... it just makes the team look like we lack confidence and pride.


I long for the days of Jorge Posada. If he had a bad game... he was mad and everyone knew it! Not these guys. They don't feel sorry for themselves... they just collect their paychecks and continue to be mediocre.

Well... that's not acceptable.

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UP


Once a year, usually around this time, I think about my life. I've had a lot of pleasure up to this point. I've accomplished great things, one of which is my family, who I'm crazy about. Yes, at times I’m working on BYB more than I should, meaning, I'm cutting into my family time, but I'm a perfectionist, and I guess that carries over sometimes. After all, I run BYB, so it's got to go smoothly...that's my problem, a good one at that, and I'll work through it, I promise.  But I have drive, and I know in my heart all of this, my family, where I am in life, my brainchild of BYB is a good thing.  Sitting on my couch has never been an option for me.  I can’t sit. I can't relax. I need to be doing something.  My wife and I will joke, because I can’t get a massage… I’d rather give it than get it.  Does it make it a bad thing? Nope. I love my life and I love the way I am. I have passion and confidence that can make a difference. I don’t ever want to come in second place… I want the top prize. I want to move up.

The times I’m at my best is when I’m with my wife and kids. Trust me, the stress of raising kids can be insane, but it’s the moments during the chaos that my wife and I will look at each other and say, “How did this happen?”  That’s usually followed by a touch of the hand, or us laughing hysterically.  Let’s face it, teaching kids to wipe butts and eat all their vegetables can be draining on any parent… but that’s what we signed up for, and soon enough, as I’ve been told… they’ll be raised and gone, and we’ll miss it. When we think about it that way, me especially because I'm an emotional puddle, I get pretty sad. That's when I want to stop and re-program and hug and kiss my kids and wife alittle more.  As Ferris said, "Life goes pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it." It's so true. I vow to not miss a thing, being a father and a husband is too much fun.

I struggle with the drive I have in my life. Let me rephrase... I struggle with the balance. I’m not a workaholic or anything, but I do tend to make sure my BYB family is always fed, and always happy. It's my second family and it's grown significantly. And now I have 2 families, so on my birthday today, I feel blessed to be sharing another birthday message with all of you, letting you in alittle more about me. The message is clear;  I'm happy with what we've done at BYB, and I think the world of my real family. Life is tough and busy… but life is very good.


We recently watched the movie UP, and in it, there’s a sequence between Carl Fredrickson and his wife Ellie. It’s a montage that takes the audience from their marriage to death and their lovely life in between. With happiness, there's tragedy, but through it all, they are a happy couple... crazy about each other, crazy about what they have and crazy about what will be. My wife and I usually end up balling our eyes out.



My 4 boys look at us like we have 4 heads, and that’s OK, because as parents, it’s so difficult to truly explain to your children just how much you love them.  It’s hard to explain that the flame you have for them inside is so strong, that you just want to place them on top of the mountain of success, yet, you can't. You need to have them struggle through life themselves to see what it’s all about.  Life is about failing as well as succeeding.  It’s easy to hand them the keys to life, but sometimes you have to get them to earn it.  It’s hard as hell, and I know they don’t understand the crying, but one day they will… and you just need to hug them tight and tell them to keep working hard. More importantly though, you want them to do it, you want them to learn from you.

Family is very important.  I still speak with my parents regularly. I still ask for advice and we always check in with each other. They've raised my brother and I right and we've each built our own families and have our own achievements in our lives. My parents did good.  In fact, my old man and I will be attending a Yankee game in a few weeks together. Bonding at the ball park. A few hot dogs, a beer and chatting up during 9 innings in the Bronx.  It doesn't get better than that.

What BYB has created over the past 4 years is something so much deeper these days than just our individual families.  We all are starting to realize that BYB is that extra family to chat with.  We fight sometimes, like siblings, but we like each other's company too. We like talking about our team, and sometimes we talk about life in general.  The writers I've chosen are all very talented, but they are all family related. We all share the same values and I love them like siblings. They are great people.  We're family, each others second family... and it just feels right.


So as I reflect on my birthday... and maybe ramble alittle too much as well, I look ahead... and I look "up".  "Up" is symbolic, because "up" means you're aiming high.  "Up" means you're not looking down... you're confident... you're sure of what you want to accomplish.  Find your goal. Find your passion... and run with it.  But never forget the most important people in your life during your journey.  Your family.  I have the 4 greatest kids in the world.  I'll kiss them when they're in their 30's.  I have a wife that I'm crazy about and will be for the rest of my life.  She and I finish each other's sentences, and she still laughs at my stupid jokes.  We want the kids out of the house so we can finally get back to enjoying each other, but at the same time... we don't want them to grow up.  We're parents... and we're crazy in love with what we got... but it's family that helps you build your character.  It's their support and love that takes you to the next level.  With that love, you feel good, you're invincible and you want to conquer your goals. It takes you "Up".  I guess all I'm saying is, never leave family behind... not your real one... not BYB.

I'm a year older today, and I feel like the coolest cat in the room everywhere I go. I have confidence, passion and family... a whole lotta family, and I appreciate you being with me today to celebrate.

Thanks guys. So much has been accomplished... and much more needs to be. I won't stop pushing. Family just makes me stronger.


 
Robert Casey
BYB Chief, Managing Editor & Head Writer
@BleednYankeeBlu




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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

NOT BREAKING BAD...

And just getting worse.


I love my team, but this is ridiculous now. I, like you, can't stand the way this club plays baseball.  The fan base, as much as we love the pinstripes, will stop showing up.  Sure, it's Derek Jeter's season and we need to cherish the moments with Jeet, but let's face it... Jeter has always been part of a winner, and it doesn't seem that way this year at all.  We're bad.


We have an expensive team that can't win.  What an embarrassment.  Is it Cashman's fault? The Steinbrenners? Nope. They got us the guys we needed.  Bottom line, the guys can't play and they sure as hell can't play together. They can't score runs.  They are absolutely horrible.

Let's not forget, we're playing the Houston Astros the last 2 games.  I'd love to say that they're not very good, but the reality is, we're not.


Michael Pineda pitched tonight.  He wasn't bad at all. In fact, you gotta feel alittle bad for the guy.  He went 6 innings, allowed 4 hits and 2 runs. The Yanks were up 2-1 until the 7th. That's when the Yankee pen, which is suddenly horrendous, forgot how to pitch.


David Huff gave up 1 run. Esmil Rogers gave up 2. Then, like clockwork... the Yankees had opportunities, but could not get a run in to even make it a competitive game.

The only 2 Yankee runs scored and it went like this:


In the fourth inning, Stephen Drew homered. It was a solo shot.  In the 5th, Jacoby Ellsbury singled on a bunt grounder ball back to the pitcher. Ichiro scored in the process.  But that was it.  No Rallies... no nothing.  We were 1-8 with Runners in scoring position. We left 10 men on base. TEN. Not 2... TEN. 


Pathetic.  When are we going to bench players that can't help the club? When are we going to make an example of someone, be it Kevin Long or Larry Rothschild and fire them. It's clear, the Yankees are ignoring the fans and Hal Steinbrenner when he said "step it up." It's a joke now... we're a terrible ball club. I didn't even want to write this... my heart isn't in it lately... sorry.

Final: Astros 5 - Yankees 2

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THEY BETTER NOT SCREW UP DAVID PHELPS


I am a firm believer that young pitchers shouldn't be jerked around from starter to reliever early on in their Major League career. I think it was pretty evident that the decline of Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes in the Bronx was because of that.  Now, even when I asked Joba about it point blank, he was too much of a professional to say it happened that way, but I believe it. It's my opinion.


Enter David Phelps, and a good piece in the Bergen Record by Matt Ehart who writes:

"Manager Joe Girardi opened the door for injured starter David Phelps (elbow) to move to the bullpen when he returns from the disabled list...Phelps was starting prior to his injury, the Yankees do not have a need in the rotation, because the current starters are throwing well. They also are holding out hope that starter Masahiro Tanaka will be able to contribute this season. 'I want to make sure everything goes smooth, I don't want to have a setback at this point," Phelps said about his recovery.'" 

Now I love Phelps' attitude... it's important in this whole scenario. If you know anything about David Phelps, you probably learned it here at BYB.  Read EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: DAVID PHELPS  for a terrific interview. Phelps is about hard work and dedication. But he also sees himself as a starter, although, he appreciates the pen:


"David Phelps: I’ve been a starter my whole career. But I found a love for the bullpen though too. I want to be a starter for sure but I have a greater appreciation for the bullpen because of my work there."

Will Phelps do what the Yankees want from him when he's ready to return? Of course, the guy's a gamer, but it's my opinion that they need to put him where he needs to be... starter.  Phelps earned his spot, stepping up big time this season.  While he didn't always get run support, he did a fantastic job before the injury. 

Yes, it's true, the pitching since Phelps even got hurt has been tremendous, so squeezing him back in the starting rotation is tricky, but we gotta keep these guys grounded where they work best.  Yup, I know... I have always believed Phelps was a reliever. That changed for me mid-way through the season.  Phelps earned his spot and earned my trust.

Look, whatever happens, happens.  Phelps is a professional. He'll approached any role the same, with confidence.  Let's hope that the jerking around doesn't mess with his head... that's all I'm saying.

Phelps thinks he's about 3 weeks away from returning. Cross your fingers everything works out. While I'm on the subject... I wonder if Phelps can hit? I kid, I kid.

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AMBER SABATHIA ACCEPTS THE ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE!


Bleeding Yankee Blue has great friends, don't we?  Over the weekend, Laura Posada answered the call and did the Ice Bucket Challenge (HERE) and now Amber Sabathia accepts the #ALS Ice Bucket Challenge as well.  Things are terrific the past few days... huh? Thank you guys!

We just received this tweet from Amber a few moments ago:
You gotta love the Sabathia family, their values, their drive and the willingness to make a difference. Here's just another example, not to mention all the other work they do to better children's life experiences with the Pitcch In Foundation


By the way, be sure the check out Amber's website, AMBERSABATHIA.COM as well as CCandy.com, Amber's clothing company.

I applaud Amber and CC for their work. I double applaud Amber for accepting the challenge.  Although, I can only imagine the aftermath of this. Those cubes look pretty big! CC looks like he's having way too much fun.

Well done, we love you guys!

A reminder to everyone doing the Ice Bucket Challenge... be sure to donate even though your getting ice water poured on you! Click HERE to donate!

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OPTIMISM IS GOLDEN, BUT 2014 IS ABOUT BEING A REALIST


I have been known to be an optimist when it comes to most things, including sports.  I believe in my teams, even when things look grim.  Yet, I would be lying if I was feeling optimistic when it comes to the 2014 Yankees and the next six or so weeks ahead of them.  Instead, I take the middle ground and say, when it comes to the remaining days of the 2014 season, I am a realist first.


I was more than disappointed with the Yankee team performance in Baltimore last week.  In fact, I almost turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to the shenanigans I saw in highlight videos.  I kind of said to myself, "this isn't my Yankees."  But, I digress when I say, that was the optimist in me.  I turned that corner after the Baltimore series and I'm on the honest path of realism.  And why wouldn't I be?  It is a fair assessment to say that realism is far more attainable than optimism these days.  The Yankees are what they are this season- mediocre.  It pains me to say it but it is true.  We have a bunch of ruddy guys pieced together like a tourniquet, keeping the flood gates from opening up, revealing what is really within- a wound so deep that it will take some time to heal.


Let's face it we will experience a real void when the Captain leaves his pinstripes behind for greener pastures outside of the baseball diamond.  And we are still feeling the void of Robinson Cano who left for Seattle for his greener pastures.  CC Sabathia is hurt and I am not sure he will be back next season, leaving yet another void.  Guys like Brian McCann and even Jacoby Ellsbury haven't lived up to their expectations, deepening our wound this season.  Pitching continues to plague us severely.  I don't know what the antidote for that will be.  It is certainly not Larry Rothchild.  I fear that Masahiro Tanaka and even David Phelps have been hurt by Rothchild sticking around too long.


Before I turn realism to pessimism, I should probably end with the fact that the Yankees moved up to second place behind Baltimore in the AL East by winning this weekend's series against the Tampa Bay Rays and they have a couple of fairly easy series ahead of them including this series with Houston and the next with the Chicago White Sox.  Could we score a wild card win?  Anything is possible.  But frankly, I hope the Yankees just figure themselves out, both on the field and off.  I think we have some management moves to make before we make one more player move.  I think our farm system needs some nurturing and I am hopeful that if the Yankees make the right moves in the off season, we could put a winning team on the field this spring.  I am not writing this season off, I am just being realistic. And realists eat optimists for lunch!



--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer
Twitter: @suzieprof


   
 
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JETER GETS ICED!


I don't even need to write about it. Derek Jeter takes the plunge in the #ALS Ice Bucket Challenge! With Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia pouring a full Gatorade container of ice water on him, Jeet nominated Hannah Davis, Kevin Connolly and Michael Jordan.



Atta Boy Cap!

You've made BYB the fastest growing Yankees fan site in history. Now shop at the Bleeding Yankee Blue store!  Follow me on Twitter @BleednYankeeBlu and LIKE Bleeding Yankee Blue on Facebook!