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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

CONCERN THAT HEADLEY WON'T RETURN TO THE BRONX


I've stated the obvious. With Pablo Sandoval signing with the Red Sox, the Giants are in need of a 3rd baseman. Well, the Yankees need one too.  That means the Yankees need to act... NOW!  Before Pablo signed, it was logical to think Chase Headley could be bought for 2 years in the Bronx. But not anymore.

It was also smart for Chase to not sign before a big free agent like Pablo did. Now Headley sees the market... and now the Yankees need to re-adjust.  They may not want to... but they must!

Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes something very interesting... and something you may have already read on BYB:

"The Red Sox’s signing of Pablo Sandoval for five years at $95 million likely puts the team Sandoval abandoned, the Giants, in play for Headley, too, and raises Headley’s financial demands. The Yankees began the offseason – perhaps naively – thinking Headley might be secured on a two-year deal... But Sandoval’s deal means Headley gets at least three years, and no one should be surprised if he reaches four years in the $60 million range."


Couple that with news that the Indians are looking at Chase as well. MLB.com says:

"The Indians are among several teams who have shown an interest in free-agent third baseman Chase Headley, according to a source."

Does it all sound crazy? Not to me it doesn't. Chase can demand a pay day and I say, the Yankees need to jump in, regardless of what Hal Steinbrenner thinks he can afford. Sure, we need a shortstop, DRob and Brandon McCarthy... but we also need a 3rd baseman, and while the idea of $60 million and 4 years sounds alittle ridiculous, think about it this way;


ARod will soon be fazed out of the 3rd base role, and a guy like Chase could fit in there nicely, maybe even by the time Dante Bichette Jr is ready to come to the Bigs.  The point is, you don't want to lose out on Chase... he was a good egg in the short amount of time he was in New York, and for me personally... I'd hate to see that end.

So yeah, there is a concern, a big one if you like Headley like I do.  There is also an urgency ladies and gentlemen.  We need Chase... and I feel like we should just bite the bullet and go for it.

Wake up Cash... wake up.


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THE TROY TULOWITZKI SAGA

No, I never said Troy Tulowitzki was "gonna be a Yankee."  What I said was my source said he could be, and that my friends is the problem with the rumor mill. No one reads the stories... they only read the headline.  Then... suddenly, it's fact.


Here's the reality. BYB was the only one on the "Troy Tulowitzki could be Bronx Bound" train the past 3 weeks, and that's because we had a rock solid source who revealed to us that someone in the Colorado Rockies camp said they wanted to present a list of prospects the Yankees had and try to flip Troy for them. Oh yeah... and there was another catch... they were also looking to unload a bunch of Troy's salary with that. BYB reported that, and even expressed that on the surface, that idea from Rox camp was absolutely ridiculous.

We wrote: SOURCE: "TULOWITZKI TO THE YANKEES..." from November 14th.


In it was a text I received from my source that read: " "Troy Tulowitzki  to the Yankees might actually happen.... It's one expensive gamble. Top prospects and alot of salary."

(In Photo: Rob Refsnyder)
From there, BYB was able to confirm the names the Rox wanted: Greg Bird or Rob Refsnyder, a pitcher "MLB Ready", like "Shane Greene", and Luis Severino.  Right there, I found it to be outrageous.  Then I was thinking about "a lot of salary" and whatever that meant, and we stated many times on BYB, that that kind of deal for Troy Tulowitzki was not only suicide... it was madness and NOT happening.

Today,  for some reason, that's news.  Andy Martino of the New York Daily News wrote:

" Tulowitzki’s elite abilities are obvious, but the Yanks are sending clear signals that they have no interest whatsoever in assuming the final six years and $114 million remaining on the shortstop’s contract."

That wasn't a confirmation ladies and gentlemen... it was a "strong indication", or, a guess.

I mean, it's an educated guess. It's also a guess that you and I have already formulated on Facebook and Twitter when we chat about the off season.  The idea of picking up "a whole lot of salary" for a guy with a bad hip probably isn't a good idea. Yet, today, I was asked about my "still thinking Tulo was coming to the Yankees." Really?
I also wrote recently that if the price was right, and maybe we traded away 2 lesser prospects, took on $40 million or less, maybe THEN a deal for Tulo makes better sense.  But Bleeding Yankee Blue in the month of November never stated that we "knew Troy was coming to New York." What is true is that my source got a pretty good whiff that Tulo was about to be shopped from his source in Rockies camp. But don't forget, BYB was unclear if the Rockies ever even presented an offer to the Yankees. We still don't know.


That brings me back to the Martino piece... " Further complicating the situation, rival officials who have spoken with the Rockies in the past two weeks have come away with the impression that Colorado will not trade Tulowitzki...."

That is NOT what my source stated at all!  We know Tulo's trade-able because our source said the Rox were planning a package to trade for, and Tulo was the "prize".  That, my friends is just my source versus Martino's source... not wrong, just different sources... in other words... the rumor game.


Here's more: "... the Yankees remained privately steadfast in the position that they had no interest in assuming another veteran contract -- even if that contract belonged to one of baseball’s best hitters when healthy, and a guy who idolized Jeter, and detoured to New York to watch his hero play this summer."

Here's the thing with that final statement;  I believe the Yankees aren't interested in a big veteran contract any longer, but just read BYB every day for that indication.  We firmly believe that the Yankees are close to done giving long contracts to players, or, when it comes to Tulo, taking on his big salary for a whole lotta years.


If they did, the Yanks would have figured out a way to trade for Elvis Andrus of Texas already, who, at the end of his contract would only be 34 years old.

No, at the price the Rockies would be willing to part with Tulo, it's way too high and not worth the risk.  If the price came down substantially, the Yankees should go for it though, but it would have to be a very, very sweet deal... with the Rockies taking on a whole lot of that Tulo salary.


That's the only way it would work, and that's the only thing we have been stating here at BYB all along when the idea of Tulo "perhaps" coming to the Yankees came about from our source.  Giving up prospects, and taking on a ton of salary these days are NOT what the Yankees want to do... but you don't need Andy Martino of the Daily News to tell you that.  You read BYB ... and you're all very smart baseball fans with common sense.

Oh yeah... and Martino's a "Baseball Insider" too. That title cracks me up.  Aren't we all at this point?

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: JIM LEYRITZ


Jim Leyritz was always a lot of fun to watch over the years.  He was a good Yankee, coming up with some pretty incredible moments when we really needed him.  He was clutch, no question about it.   

October 1995. The ALDS, Game 2 versus the Mariners. A walk off home run in the 15th inning that night. 

October 1999. Game 4 of the World Series...a home run.

And of course, the 1996 home run in Game 4 of the World Series against Mark Wohlers. Yet another.  It started right there for me and continued with some very candid answers to some very personal questions, that included that horrific drunk driving accident in 2007 killing another driver. Jim was later acquitted, but Jim realizes so much more these days and is trying to stay strong, for his family and for others as he moves forward in his life. It was a moment I wanted to ask Jim about and I truly appreciate him opening up about it to our audience today. 


Anyway, we had the pleasure of interviewing Jimmy Leyritz for Bleeding Yankee Blue.  Let me tell you, this is now one of our favorite interviews to date, and it was a pleasure to chat with him.

So here it is... a BYB Exclusive... Jim Leyritz.  Enjoy this... I certainly did...

BYB: Jim, Bring me back to 1996. Game 4. Mark Wohlers on the mound.  I still remember Joe Buck like it was yesterday... "Back, at the track, at the wall... we are tied!"  


I screamed at the top of my lungs that night. What the heck is going through your mind running around the bases?

Jim Leyritz: Honestly, my mind flashed back to 1995 when we won Game 2, then lost 3 in a row. All I was focused on was winning that game and the series. I knew the home run was big. But would be even greater if we won. When we finally did, people could point to that moment as what really started it all! It was a great feeling finishing what we started.


BYB: Who was the toughest pitcher for you and why? 

Jim Leyritz: Randy Johnson in his day. Not as a Yankee but with the Mariners. He was 6'10" and just wild enough to scare you. 


BYB: Tell me about playing for 2 guys I really admire from fan perspective... Buck Showalter and Joe Torre.   What are their styles like as managers? 

Jim Leyritz: Buck Showalter in his first stint was the greatest manager in the game that I have ever seen to this day!  He had to learn and knows now that communication with the players is also pivotal. He didn't have that his first go round. He does now, and that's why things are so good in Baltimore.


Joe Torre was the best manager of people I had seen. He knew how to handle egos, myself included. He also surrounded himself with great people. To this day I have never seen a better combination of manager and bench coach then him and Don Zimmer.


BYB: You once signed a photo for my kid who was born in 2003 in Hackensack Medical Center. Our Dr at the time, Dr. Clachko said he once delivered your child as well. That's when I knew I was a true Yankee fan! Anyway,  here's the question;  What's it like for fans to embrace you as an athlete? Can it be a hassle to deal with the photos and the autographs? 

Jim Leyritz: It's never a hassle for me.  I can see if I was as popular as Jeter was. Then it might be. But I think I have just the right notoriety.  People recognize and respect, but don't go crazy.  Oh, and yes, Dr Clachko did deliver my middle son Dakota.


BYB: Everyone wants to know. You played with Derek Jeter. What's the guy like in the clubhouse. Work ethic, professionalism, leadership...

Jim Leyritz:  He was everything as a ball player you could expect! He reminded me a little of Donnie Baseball.  A great leader by example. 


BYB: I've always been weary of #13. Why that number and why did it work for you? 

Jim Leyritz: Well, Wade Boggs came to New York in 1992 and wanted number 12. Next number available was 13. Then, I had my two best years so number 13 stayed for that reason.

BYB: Growing up, who was your favorite baseball player and why? 


Jim Leyritz: Pete Rose and Johnny Bench. Rose because of his work ethic and drive. He wasn't the best athlete, but worked to make himself a great player.  Johnny because as a kid, he gave me his catchers mitt when I was age 12 and I became a catcher because of that. 


BYB: I love your batting stance.  Explain how it evolved for you... the lean back, the bat twirl.. 

Jim Leyritz: My stance developed because of a broken leg in high school. I was still hitting with a cast on my front foot, so I had to hit with my front leg stiff.  The bat twirl  was from watching Mickey Rivers.


BYB: Serious, yet important question; You were acquitted of DUI manslaughter in a terrible and unfortunate car accident back in 2007.  How do you pick yourself up, be strong for your family, for others, in a situation like that? Is faith involved in your life? 

Jim Leyritz: It was a tragedy and horrible night. Both drivers made poor decisions that night. But I knew that I didn't cause the accident and when I would finally get my day in court, I would prove that. I knew the only mistake I made that night was to have a few drinks and drive. Wearing my seat belt saved my life.

Faith was the only reason I made it through. My three boys gave me the strength to fight, but my faith is what made me not take a plea and the easy way out. I waited 3 grueling years for that outcome.  The jury saw that I did not cause the accident within 45 minutes of deliberating. I had a State Attorney using my name to try to get her elected to become a Judge.  To this day, I know God had a hand in everything that happened.  It taught me never to take one day on this earth for granted. 


BYB: Powerful Jim and thanks for giving us that insight.   Let me get back to baseball.  If you got the call, and a club wanted to talk to you about being a bench coach or hitting coach... do you answer the call, or do you stick with your family and enjoy retirement?

Jim Leyritz:  I would go back to the field now only if it was the Yankees or one of the teams here on the west coast where I would still be with my family the extra 81 days. Teams like the Angels or Padres or Dodgers.  My boys are older now, and most of the time are with their friends. So I would be open to it. 

BYB: Finally, Do you ever read Bleeding Yankee Blue? If so, what do your think? 

Jim Leyritz: Yes I do!  I get notices when articles come out that mention things. It's a great site for Yankee fans to connect!

Jim thanks, and thank you so much for opening up. I know we got some great info that I've never heard about in your life.  Really great and I appreciate you taking the time to speak to the Bleeding Yankee Blue audience.

And to my audience. I hope you enjoyed this interview with Mr. Leyritz.  He was great to speak with us, and now forever part of the BYB family!


  Be Read. Get Known.

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MAX SCHERZER COULD BE THE YANKEE RESPONSE


You never want a knee jerk reaction. But with the Yankees, it happens, and after the Red Sox signed both Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, my first reaction was... "Oh boy, here it goes... the Yanks will sign Max Scherzer just to look competitive."

Then, Pete Caldera of the Bergen Record, who knows a few things and doesn't get enough credit for it simply writes in Pinstripe Posts:

"Max Scherzer? Why not? As a Scott Boras client, Scherzer might expect to remain a free agent into January, when the climate might have changed enough for the Yanks to pounce."


I have no reason to doubt Pete. But here's my question... do we need Max Scherzer? Our pitching was fine last season, we just couldn't score runs.


As far as I'm concerned, the Yankees priorities are to re-sign Brandon McCarthy, sign Chase Headley before the Giants do, fill the holes of shortstop and second base, be it with youth or with Stephen Drew (I personally think Martin Prado is the most underrated part of the infield scenario) and bring back DRob for whatever he wants. 


That's it.  Bottom line, we have the tools, we have the youth, the bigger team could be us in the end.

Do you agree? Or, do we really need to go on another spending spree? Comment and tell me why or why not.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOE. SOMEONE THINKS YOU'RE NOT THAT GREAT


Today is Joe DiMaggio's birthday.  A great hitter, a great Yankee and a great American serving in the United States military during his baseball career.

John Harper of  the New York Daily News has a piece out in which he speaks to a baseball historian, John Thorn, and Thorn has some pretty eye opening things to say about our Yankee hero. Let's just say I didn't expect it, especially on Joe's 100th birthday:

"There is this image of the Yankee Clipper sailing so gracefully in the outfield that he never had to dive for a ball...But the reality is that his contemporaries recorded more putouts... There is a trend toward baseball analytics now and the more you apply them, the more you chip away at the DiMaggio myth. On his 100th birthday you can still call him an all-time great but he was not the peerless center fielder he was made out to be."

Yup. No wait... there's more:

"If you could magically teleport him to today’s game,’’ said Thorn, “he would not be the same player. In 1969 he was voted baseball’s greatest living player. Today we would find that hilarious, considering that Ted Williams and Willie Mays were alive at the time... Their reality is closer to the myth. They were all greater players than DiMaggio in my estimation."

“Baseball is our national religion... And belief in DiMaggio is a central tenet. I’m not pooh-poohing him. It’s just that he has been the subject of so much apotheosis — the elevation to the heavens — that it calls for analysis from Dr. Freud rather than Branch Rickey.... But when you put it all together, I think the myth counts. The story counts. It’s not just stats. The DiMaggio myth transcends history and you deny it at your peril. I admire his performance, I’m just letting a little air out of the balloon."

Alot of air John... a lot... it's deflated and alittle disappointing.


It's nuts to me that on day like today, November 25th, honoring Joe DiMaggio on his birthday, we're picking him apart as being "great", but not that great.  And the myth stuff... I mean, this is a guy who's quote is displayed as a sign as players walk out onto the field for years at Yankee Stadium.

DiMaggio's legacy is huge in New York and I'm going to be perfectly honest with you, and this may seem unfair, but so is this critique of DiMaggio... It almost seems like Thorn's rooting against DiMaggio.  I'm not saying he is, I have respect for Thorn. All I'm saying is for years, Yankee fans, even baseball fans alike know from stats and stories about the greatness of Joe.  Ted Williams was clearly the greatest hitter of all time, no one's disputing that, but a career .325 average is no slouch.

Well anyway, I thought this was interesting and wanted you to read it.  Happy Birthday Joltin' Joe... sorry for such a lousy tribute.  No one deserves that.


By the way, be sure to read BYB's tribute of Joe DiMaggio in THE YANKEES MOUNT OLYMPUS: JOE DIMAGGIO.  Job well done, Steve Skinner.


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Monday, November 24, 2014

MESSAGE TO CASHMAN: GET MOVING!



Today, more than ever, Yankee fans have spoken!  We don't like NOT being the center of attention when it comes to the free agent market, and this morning we were. The Red Sox swooped in and signed 2 free agent stars.  We however... did nothing... and many of us are annoyed.

I read notes from people today on Twitter and Facebook. "Fire Cashman!"

"We're gonna F**king suck!"

"What the hell is Cashman doing????"

Here's my favorite ridiculous one... I read "Are you kidding me? The Sox get Panda and Hanley and we get Galvez?"

I'm sorry.... Wait???


What the hell did Jonathan Galvez do besides signing a minor league deal with the Yanks? The Yanks are trying to piece together an infield.  Sorry if the timing was bad on that one, but Galvez has nothing to do with the deals the Sox signed. He's just a kid with a dream who got a big opportunity.  If you ask me, the Red Sox spent way too much and gave too many years to a guy like Ramirez. Maybe even Panda.  Plus, the Yankees were NEVER contenders for Pablo in the first place. Is it sour grapes or do you just like to rip on Cash anytime a free agent is signed? I'm not sure I'm getting the hate today... or at least a small portion of it.

Look, if you read BYB, we're not too big on Ramirez in the first place. We've written about Ramirez a lot here.  Mike O'Hara takes charge on that one usually, and wrote about him extensively when he wrote FOREVER YOUNG, saying:


"Both Ramirez and Tulo are pricey and often hurt... I don’t want Hanley. I’d rather let the kids in the system earn it. We all root for the rooks. It can happen like it did with Bernie."

When it's written less wordy than I, and with passion like it is above, and you insert Bernie Williams into it, it makes perfect sense! Passing on Ramirez was the right thing to do. 


We can't be jealous that the Red Sox scored Panda, let's hope it back fires. It's a good move, but whatever man, it's baseball in the free agent market. It happens. 

Instead of crying about it, let's send an important and calculated message Cashman's way:  Instead of telling him that he should be fired or he sucks, why don't we remind him that we pay a helluva lot of money to see our Yankees all season, and his job is to get players to help us win.  While he did that with Brian McCann, Masahiro Tanaka and Jacoby Ellsbury last season, let's remind him that this is a new off-season, and the idea of getting a guy like Chase Headley RIGHT NOW, is kind of important.  In fact, he's gotta get it done ASAMFP!


The market has spoken when the Sox signed Kung Fu Panda, and now things will move rapidly.  If we don't get Chase locked in quickly, there is no doubt in my mind that the San Francisco Giants WILL snatch him up.  They have the money now... Panda's gone.

I don't get too crazy about Brian Cashman. I know a lot of you do... I get it and you're allowed, you're a fan. But don't forget, Brian gets us the players. It was the players he got that didn't do much for us in 2014 and in the passed, they kind of shit the bed in the playoffs.  But, does it mean he should get more to improve the club?  Hell yeah. You need to better your club and no one knows that more than Cashman.  He will make a splash, but he's not gonna do it blindly.

He does have to do it quickly though. There are quality players, pitchers out there that need to be snatched up, and we have to money to do it.  I pay a lot of dough to bring my sons to the ballpark to see their heroes.  I don't go often because it's expensive, and it's expensive because we sign big time free agents.  Did we need Panda? No, probably not, but we DO need Headley.  We do probably need a pitcher too... maybe a Max Scherzer. But, we need to also do something that we did for years during the dynasty.  Bring up the kids too! Sprinkle them in. 


Bring up a Greg Bird and Rob Refsnyder.  Mix them in with a Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner.  Treat Tyler Austin to a call up and let him hang with the likes of CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira.  Mixing in the youth with high level veterans is the perfect formula for a championship.  We did that a few times a while back.... we should do it again.


The message to Cashman is clear... Get off your hands. Make some calls and let's get moving. The market has spoken and now things will move quickly.  You have your list... go get who we need. Let's do this!

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