Thursday, September 18, 2014


That title is loosely based on a scene from Blazing Saddles featuring Harvey Korman and Mel Brooks.  Whenever I think of Chase Headley, for some odd reason, I think of Hedley Lamarr.  I'm weird like that... go figure.

I've become fond of Chase Headley on the New York Yankees.  He makes me smile.  He's been a joy to watch, both defensively and offensively.  Tonight was big for Headley, his third walk-off game as a New York Yankee and it was thrilling, because as you know, every game counts now.

Shane Greene started and was magnificent.  You gotta love this kid and I'm excited about his future with the Yankees.   Greene went 6.2 innings, he gave up 3 hits and 0 runs.   He did not get the win.

The Yankees scored 2 runs tonight mid game.  One came in the 5th when Stephen Drew doubled and knocked in Chase Headley. 

In the 6th, Derek Jeter hit a solo shot to the leftfield seats. The stadium went nuts and they should have!

When Shawn Kelley came in, he gave up a 2 run homer to Jose Bautista to tie it up.  Unbelievable.  But something big happened in the 9th, and alot of it won't be publicized because the story was the walk-off tonight... but this is important;  The Yankees manufactured a run to win! SERIOUSLY! I know, right???

When Chris Young singled, he was replaced with speedster Antoan Richardson. Richardson then stole second and Brett Gardner bunted with 2 strikes moving the runner to 3.  Beautiful sacrifice.

Then, Headley came up and reached on a fielding error by Adam Lind and scoring was Antoan Richardson.  The Yankees win... The Yankees win!!!

It was a nice win and a necessary one.  And then I got to thinking. As I watched Derek Jeter hit a home run tonight, I made a statement in my head which I'll relay to you now;  I won't be mad about this season any more.  It is what it is.  

There is a very slim chance we make the wild card this year, and even if you do, and possibly make it to the World Series and win the whole thing or not... It doesn't change the fact that Jeter's retiring.  Watching that Gatorade ad today really hit home.

Even non-Yankee fans tweeted me about it:
The fact of the matter is, Jeet is hanging it up. While it's sad, and while the Yankees didn't play up to their potential this year, the anger needs to disappear now. We need to honor the Captain.  Let's be grateful for the opportunity we had to see the Captain play all these years.  It was a joy.

So the anger stops on BYB.  We move forward. We celebrate the Captain from now until the season ends.  Hopefully that's through the playoffs and World Series, right?

Cross your fingers...

Final: Yankees 3 - Blue Jays 2

I leave you with this:

Go Yanks!

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I needed to share this with you.  This was sent to me by friend Jessica. She's a huge Yankee fan, huge Derek Jeter fan and huge BYB reader.

You can tell by her wearing our shirt last year at Yankee Stadium.  Good on ya, Jessica!

This is brought to us by Gatorade and features one of my favorites, Frank Sinatra. If you haven't seen this new ad and tribute to the Captain, you must take a moment and watch it now. It will give you chills. It's well produced, the images, the music, the timing is perfect. Check this out:

Now look, You know how much I love the #RE2PECT ad brought to us by the Jordan brand.  This one is right up there with that one in my opinion.  It's sad when our heroes hang it up.  I get emotional watching highlights and thinking about all the great things they do.

I remember when Jorge Posada retired.  It was hard for me as a fan, because I loved him out there on the field.  Back then, Johnnie Walker Black Label came out with their ad featuring Jorge. I loved it then, and I love it now:

Anyway... this next several days are it for the Captain. It's gonna be an emotional time as we say goodbye and Thank you!  He will definitely be missed.

Damn... what a thrill to see these guys play in our lifetime.  You can't beat it.

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As New York Yankee Fans we are all, in a way, the adopted children of George M. Steinbrenner. We’ve learned a lot from the late, great Boss. The most important lesson he taught us was WINNING! There simply is no substitute. There are no medals or glory for placing second in the race. And moral victories are for those who find comfort in “Participant Ribbons”.

I have bought into these policies lock, stock and barrel. I feel that you should always play to win. Some more non-competitive types or the “Yay Sports” hipster crowd may not see it that way, and they are absolutely entitled to their opinion…but it doesn’t wash in the Bronx, New York.

The fine line we need to walk is how we deal with losing. Yes, we should NEVER be okay with coming up short. In all walks of life I feel that the goal should be to succeed, but losing is a fact of life. We learn from losses…often much more than wins. A loss shows us how to be better. It gives us the chance to reevaluate our plan of attack and try again.

I will always defend Yankee Fans. The Bombers are my team. They are my Father’s team. They were my Grandfather’s team. The Yanks are family. And as a family member it gives me no joy to say that the bulk of this fan base have become irrational, spoiled brats. And I haven’t seen it more clearly than in the venom spewed at our skipper Joe Girardi.

You want him canned? He's done a lousy job? If the Boss were alive he’d be gone? Do me a favor, count to 10 and take a look in the mirror. This awful season is hardly all Joe’s fault. Is he innocent of blame? No, and I don’t think Joe would ever claim to be.

A friend of mine made mention that he is the 1st Yankee manager to miss the playoff in consecutive seasons since the early 1990’s. Well, seeing as we had only Buck Showalter and Joe Torre at the helm since then…yeah, I guess he’s right. But let’s take a closer look at this sin against Yankee fandom.

The ABSOLUTE MASH UNIT of retreads and never-will-bes the Yankees fielded in 2013 HAD NO BUSINESS being anywhere near the race in late September…and yet, they were. This year the big time signings failed to hit at all. Not a lick! Sure, they play for Joe, but THEY have to hit. I’d say that it's time for K Long to go…but Girardi? Nah. Not yet. Joe is doing a hell of a lot with this dead to the neck up ball club. The Yankee fan wants blood on their Nathan’s hot dog as soon as something goes bad. The wave of success had to crash, folks. And it did because we stopped working on the farm and drafting worthwhile talent. The front office fell into the trap of the 1980’s again. Throw bad money after bad money. Chemistry? What’s that? It’s the backbone of what helped the dynasty teams win!

So the party ended with Joe Girardi at the wheel and now all of this is his fault? Well, that’s brilliant. If you can Joe you lose a good manager who KNOWS what it’s like to play in New York.

He never runs his players down (And boy could he). This guy stood up for ARod when Dempster The Gutless One”  drilled him last year in Boston. Why? BECAUSE JOE GIVES A DAMN!

Joe’s guys respect him. They know he knows his stuff. He learned from Torre and Zim. He has been through the wars. Did he fly off the handle in the 6-1 loss to Tampa? Maybe…but what would Billy Martin have done? Or Buck? Hell, even Mr. T. would have put down his cup of Bigelow Tea and had a word with the Umps.

So this is what will happen. Joe Girardi will still be the skipper next year. The Yankees will go through a transition period and it won’t be easy. Yes, the Boss might have sacked Joe and the BOSS WOULD HAVE BEEN WRONG. Remember when Big Stein had a leave of absence Stick and the boys got to work building a foundation that ended up putting together an historical run. It is lousy not to have October baseball. It’s awful…but Joe Girardi wanted to get the Yankees there more than anybody…these Yankees flat out let all of us down. Just my two cents…

** This one is for you GI Joe. Keep that iron chin held high. LET’S GO YANKEES! **

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

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I’ve just about had it.

I’m tired of watching old players well past their prime breaking down and leaving unfulfilled promises in the hands of our medical staff.  I’m tired of a manager’s misguided loyalty to his players that results in the same lineup letdowns day after day, and I’m tired of watching a win slip away while that same manager seems to be oblivious to the obvious.

It’s all about trust.

We are fielding one of the oldest, if not the oldest, teams in Major League Baseball simply because our general manager would rather try to catch lightning in a bottle with players whose glory years are a distant memory, instead of looking to what we have in our minor league system.

He simply doesn’t trust the youngsters. As a result, we are left with a band of broken part-time players.

Our GM has a strategy of trying to harness a rebirth of former stars.  He throws money at them like it was soft candy at a geriatric parade, and we get stuck with a bevy of mid-to-long term contracts for players that spend more time worrying about what surgery to have next rather than what their approach should be with the next at-bat.

Brian Cashman’s strategy has become as worn as the players he’s acquiring, and it needs to stop.  Start trusting what you have developing in the minor league system Brian.  Why not give a shot to a young outfielder instead of signing Carlos Beltran to a three-year deal?  What would you have lost?

Beltran has appeared in 107 of our 149 (as of this writing) games.  He’s hitting .235.  Tell me how one of our prospects would have done worse.  I’d struggle believing you.

One player Cashman brought on board that isn’t a geriatric (he’s 31), but who plays like one is Stephen Drew.  The GM traded Kelly Johnson to the Red Sox for him on July 31st.  I’m not altogether sure what “Cash” saw in Drew, given that he was hitting .176 in Boston at the time.  I know he was trying to fill a void at second base because the former superstar second baseman that the GM signed during the off-season – 36-year-old Brian Roberts – hadn’t worked out, but Drew’s last truly good season was in 2010 (I’m being nice) and he had never played second base.

Yet another gamble to rekindle the past has failed miserably, as Drew is batting .135 with the Yankees. He currently ranks 307th (yeah that’s not a typo) in the American League in hitting, and of those around him in the rankings, only one – John McDonald of the Angels – has played in more than 70 games (McDonald isn’t a starter).

(In Photo: Jose Pirela)
All the while the club has had TWO second basemen at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre who have far out-shone anything Drew has displayed in the Bronx.  24-year-old Jose Pirela has hit .305 with 10 home runs, 15 stolen bases, and 60 RBI at Scranton.  His play at second has been decent with a .979 fielding pct (Drew’s is .971).   If Pirela doesn’t “float your boat”, the RailRiders have another choice in 23-year-old Rob Refsnyder.  The baby Bomber hit .300 with 8 home runs and four stolen bases in half a season with the club.  During the first half of 2014, Refsnyder pounded out a .342 average at Trenton.  In the field, the former outfielder held his own with a .988 fielding pct.

(In photo: Rob Refsnyder)
My only question is what would either Pirela or Refsnyder have done that could be worse than Drew?  Why didn’t we give at least one of them a chance?

Since we are on the topic of Stephen Drew, it brings me to my issue (well, primary issue) with our manager Joe Girardi.

As I mentioned, Drew isn’t exactly burning good memories into the minds of Yankee faithful with his play in the Bronx, yet Joe Girardi continues to put him into the starting lineup.  To date, Drew has appeared in 36 of the 42 games played since he donned pinstripes.  In spite of his anemia at the plate, Girardi puts Drew in the seventh spot of the order, and he’s even batted as high as fifth in the lineup.

Does Girardi feel “obligated” to put Stephen Drew in his daily lineup?  Or, is Girardi an extension of Brian Cashman, believing that Drew is going to have a rebirth soon?  I think it has to do with loyalty.  Our manager is loyal to a fault.  Look at how many times he turned to David Huff in the middle of the season before realizing that the lefty “specialist” was hurting more than helping (that’s just one of several examples).

Joe Girardi has shown himself to be resistant to change.  In previous seasons he used Boone Logan until his arm virtually fell off, and he continues to throw Beltran and Mark Teixeira into the heart of the order in spite of the fact that neither is hitting above .236.

As I sit here pondering our situation, I can’t help but think that maybe the problem with the Yankees is that our management team lacks “creativity”.  They have become so set in their ways that the Bombers are now stale.  The close-mindedness of our GM and manager has snuffed out the candle of yet another season.

(In Photo: Chris Stewart)
I want to believe in Girardi.  After all, I still think last season was perhaps his finest as he kept the team in the playoff hunt until the very end while having to use the likes of mannequins Lyle Overbay and Chris Stewart.  Only, in watching this season I’m starting to think that maybe he just “lucked into” that playoff chase of a year ago.  I think I’ve lost my trust in him.

Unfortunately, our owners have all but pledged to bring back the men responsible for the product we see on the field every day.  They have a blind trust in Cashman and Girardi.  Or, maybe they just don’t care.

I’ll keep hoping that we turn a corner, but with the age of this team and the mentality of those that run it, it’s becoming a struggle to even watch on a daily basis.

I will enter 2015 with no expectations.  It’s a feeling that I haven’t had in quite some time.  We’ll see what the off-season brings, but it will be on the field where this team will have to regain my trust.


--Steve Skinner, BYB Senior Writer
Twitter: @oswegos1

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Devastating news.

According to Carlos Beltran himself, his wife had a miscarriage and lost their son. Beltran wrote this on his Facebook page:

"The life of me just take the blessing of having my first son ( man ). I know God and I am grateful for all his blessings like my beautiful family, friends, fanatical and my career. Everything is and will be at the time, a perfect God and my wife and i accept this. Thank you for the love and the messages."

It was reported earlier that Beltran left the Yankees for personal reasons. We now know why.

Prayers go to the Beltran family from all of us here at BYB.

We stand with you during this difficult time.

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I'll be honest here... I'm a bit surprised by this win. You all know the song and dance of the season. So wins like this, we should embrace, right? Sorry, I'm not moved at all.

Yankees got the ball rolling in the fifth when Chase Headley hit a line drive to bring in Chris Young. That was followed by Brendan Ryan's ground rule double that brought in Headley. Brett Gardner's sac fly to Wil Myers in the 6th brings in Derek Jeter to tally up all three runs we scored. 

Three stinkin' runs! Seriously? Okay, fine, we got the win. Woo hoo! It's about damn time! But... Even the Captain has been hitless since Jeter Day until tonight. 1 for 27? Really? I love you, Cap'n! Really, I do! And I have so much respect for you, but you have had me channeling my inner "Sandlot." 

"You're killin' me, Smalls!" 

Of course he isn't the only player out there letting me down a little more every day. I just won't pretend I haven't noticed because he's the Captain. Do I really have to finish this recap? I mean, none of this is relevant anymore, and isn't that just a damn shame? We've been eliminated. We can't produce runs, so we can't win games. Can't win games, you can't clinch the playoffs. Can't clinch playoffs, you can't make it to the World Series. You see where this is going, right? 

But, hey! We won! Let's all do a celebratory dance for the win that came too late. This seems a bit harsh for a recap on a game were we won, doesn't it? It seems as like I should be happy that we broke the losing streak, right? Eh... I'm trying to find the energy to care. 

Look, I love the Yankees. What made me a Yankees fan runs too deep for that to ever change. But I am also a realist. And realistically, we sucked this season. And it wasn't even like 2011 were we kind of sucked, but we had Jeter's 3000th hit, the Grand Slam Trifecta game, Mariano Rivera breaking the saves record, and Jorge Posada clinching the division. That wasn't a winning season for us, but dammit it was a great one! This season has been more like slowly letting the air out of a balloon. You hear the inappropriate farting sound. All season long! I'm tired, and I am completely disillusioned by baseball right now. I love this team, but I'm ticked of. 

The bright spot this season? Dellin Betances. Have I mentioned that I love him? Serious hero worship over this kid. He IS a Home Town Hero. This game created a career milestone for him. Betances racked up 132 strike outs as a closer to surpass Mo. Now THAT is seriously impressive, and well earned. Betances has been incredible. It has been a real pleasure to see him perform this season. He may very well be the future of this team. 

I don't know what happened this season. I don't have the answers. There was a spark of life for a while, and then a sizzle, and a pop as the lights went out. It's like they just stopped caring or trying at some point. So the Yankees win? Well good for them! Like someone told me today "This won't last forever. This too shall pass." I just wish I knew WHEN so I can prepare myself accordingly. I'm starting to wonder if this is what it felt like to be a Yankees fan in the 80's.

--Erica Morales BYB Senior Writer 
Twitter: @e_morales1804


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