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Thursday, April 17, 2014

HERE COMES McCANN THE YANKEE


I remember the night so clearly. The 2013 season had just concluded and I watched as the Boston Red Sox celebrated their 3rd World Championship in a decade. I slouched in a booth at a bar a few blocks away from my apartment here in New York City and felt awful. It wasn’t because the Sox were Champions, it was because they seemed to have something the Yankees just didn’t anymore, namely leaders.


I was at Mariano Rivera's final game at Yankee Stadium. I, like so many other grown men, got teary eyed when his brothers in arms Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte lifted Mo from the game. It wasn’t only watching the greatest closer of ALL-TIME walk away; it was also knowing that these three players would soon all be gone. For me it was realizing  that everything would soon be very different. Jeter had missed the lion share of the season and although I knew he would return in 2014, something seemed to leave him that night. The bond that the Core 4 shared was more than the titles and records, it was their heart, fire and leadership. Derek, as great as he is, had been a part of a great band and would now be releasing his solo album. We all trust it will be a great record, but we all know in our hearts that even Paul McCartney was just better when John, George and Ringo were around. They brought out the best in each other.


This year we all hope that Jeter remains healthy. We pray to the St. Babe, St. Lou, St. Joe and St. Mickey that they’ll bless these Yankees and let The Captain go out with one more ring…but then what? What happens next? Who will carry the flag forward? I have always said that with Derek Jeter’s retirement goes my youth. I am, and will always be, a big kid, but Jeet and I are roughly the same age. When he goes I will feel it a bit more than when Paulie, Tino and Coney hung ‘em up. So naturally the BIG question I had on that lousy night in late October was once the Core 4 is no more, who will be the new face of the New York Yankees? Luckily I got my answer relatively quickly.


Brian McCann WILL be the heart that beats loudest in the Bronx. I am absolutely convinced of it. How can I be so sure? It’s just a gut feeling. McCann has that “thing”. Mattingly, O’Neill, Tino, Jorge, Mo and Andy had it. And most importantly Derek Jeter still has it. They play the Yankee Way. They all bought into Mr. Steinbrenner’s “Win EVERY year” mentality. And if he were alive today I know The Boss would be a McCann fan.

This season Brian started slow with the bat , but then you could see him flip the switch. He was losing some hits in the teeth of the shift, but he was hitting the ball with authority. You could see him starting to heat up. The 2 dingers he hit last Sunday represent the type of player McCann will be. The rotation has shown that they might be all they were advertised to be. Brian reportedly had one on one meals with his new pitchers every morning of Spring Training. You can see he strives to know every nuance of their games. He takes their performance on the bump as his responsibility. That type of work ethic isn’t something you see everyday. It’s Old School.


Make no mistake this is Derek Jeter’s team. And it will be up until the last out of the last game he plays in Yankee pinstripes, but you can see McCann watching Jeter. You can see him asking him questions. You can see Brian showing us all that the club will be in good hands. He will keep the beat going. He will preserve the tradition that the Core 4 worked so hard to bring to the Bronx.


It’s true when Derek Jeter is gone the Yankees will feel like a very different team. But I feel good that Brian McCann is now here in New York. I think he will help the transition from the Core 4 Yankees to the Bronx Bombers of tomorrow. True leaders are a rare breed, but take heart Yankee faithful. It looks like another great one will stand guard in the House That Jeter Built for years to come.

** Seeing as I referenced the Beatles and it's Tax Week...Here are the Boys from Liverpool **


Thanks for reading.



--Mike O'Hara, MLB Fan Cave Host, Season 1
   Twitter: @mikeyoh21

"Paulie was always my favorite player."


 

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!

I THINK WE HAVE BLEEDING YANKEE BLUE FANS NOW!

I know… crazy… we have fans.  I have always called our readers, “readers”.  Recently I was out with a friend of mine and we literally ran into a guy wearing a Bleeding Yankee Blue “What’s your blood type?” Shirt on the streets of Manhattan.


I nudged my buddy and pointed over at the guy.

“Holy Shit, go tell him who you are?”

“No. What the hell does that even mean?” I said.

“Do it, I want to see his face!”  Now look, I’ve known this guy for 20 years.  He’s a ball buster and a trouble maker and I should have dropped him a long time ago. But he’s a loyal friend and so, we see each other once in a while.

Anyway, I refused make a scene. Besides, it's more gratifying for me to see you guys wearing my BYB stuff and me sitting back and enjoying it. I’m a regular dude with a regular life and I don’t need the fanfare.  I do however, appreciate you wearing us and supporting us.

As the guy was buying a pretzel, my buddy went over to him. “Where’d you get that shirt?

BleedingYankeeBlue.com!" He rattled it off the tongue like he knew it was coming.  “I gotta get me one of those”, my buddy said with a smirk. The guy turned around quickly. “You can’t get this shirt anymore. I’ve been reading them for years. It’s vintage now.”  He started to laugh.  My pal, always the jokster, laughed harder, and patted him on the back like they'd known each other for life. They looked like 2 old friends or something.

 

 “See that guy," he pointed at me, "He’s Casey.”
Crap”, I said under my breath smiling.  I knew it was coming.


 
Get the F**k outta here!”  The man walked over to me. There was pretzel mustard in his mustache. He was happy to see me.

Are you F**king with me right now?”

“No, it’s me," I said, "Nice shirt!” We shook hands.

“I love you guys! The greatest Yankee site I ever read! It's in my bookmarks," he said.

I smiled. I probably blushed, “Thanks man. Thanks for reading it.”


“My wife wants that Posada shirt,” he then said.  I don’t remember much more after that, and if you’re reading this sir, here’s why;  I literally watched this man talk to me about the 2009 World Series, and the Matsui home run and he told me about how he loved what we did with the Biogenesis scandal coverage and how he hates ARod. He liked the way we blasted Cano for ditching New York, but I don't remember any of the specifics. That's because I was looking at this guy and thinking, “Holy cow. I have a fan. This guy’s inspired because of what we put on paper every day.”  I was in a zone at the moment. I couldn't believe it... it felt good.

My friend jumped in, “Hey, we gotta run, but I thought it would be funny to tell you that he was Casey!”

Then I remember this; “You are awesome,” the man said. We shook hands again.

We walked away. As I turned the corner, I waved.  He waved back and shook his fist, like he just won a big game. I got chills, actual chills.

"What the hell was that for?" I asked my buddy. “Hey, its time you knew what you’re doing to people who read you. You’re a celebrity and you don’t even realize it.”

Now, I have never been the type to think about that. I had a few ideas and I wanted to put them on paper and see what the readers opinions were a few years ago, but a celebrity? Nope. I’m you, a fan.  Hey, maybe that’s why it’s been such a great ride. We communicate like fans, together. We put ideas on paper that you don’t read anywhere else.  We’re funny, we’re fair and we’re not know-it-all assholes.  We’re you. 3 years later, it's been amazing.


And to top off that meeting with a BYB "fan", I received an email from my friend Becki 1 day later. She attended Saturday’s Yankee game against the Sox.  She sent me this picture with a message that said that she went and “of course I was wearing your shirt”. It was that Jorge Posada Limited edition Tee. She smiled proud and our cathedral was in the background as you can see.   I realized something pretty incredible right then. We do have fans, don’t we?  I love you guys!  You’re real people, real fans, and you really, really like Bleeding Yankee Blue! How the hell did that happen?

I want to take a moment to thank you all. I want to thank the BYB writers. Your efforts are never ignored. You are incredible people. Truly incredible people.

I want to thank all the readers and new readers that come to us, maybe to laugh or to be inspired.  Or even to read about the game or just an opinion piece.  You understand what we’re doing here.  You’re amazing individuals and outstanding fans. You keep me going… and I’m blessed.

Thanks for going to the BYB store. Thanks for wearing us… and thanks for being you. You are terrific.

Most importantly, thanks for being a BYB fan. I can’t believe I’m even writing that, but I am. It’s weird for me, but my buddy set me straight a few days ago… and I see the big picture now.

Thanks

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!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

#42 TAKES THE MOUND AGAIN


Seeing #42 close out the Yankees double header tonight gave me chills.  I know we honored Jackie Robinson today, but there was something incredibly symbolic about seeing #42 on the mound in the 9th tonight. It's our house... and Mariano is not there.  Tonight, he, and Jackie, they were there. Again... I got chills. Adam Warren was that #42 in the 9th today. More on that in a moment.

(In Photo: Adam Warren)
The Yankees won both games today against the Cubs.  The first game they won 3-0, read EASY PEASY... YANKEES WIN GAME 1. Tonight, they did it again, another shutout.


Michael Pineda went in the night cap. He went 6 innings, giving up only 4 hits.  The rest of the gang, Phelps, Thornton and Adam Warren held the Cubs down.


The Yankee runs went simply like this. In the 4th, Brett Gardner singled scoring Scott Sizemore.  Then, in the 5th, Sizemore singled and that scored Alfonso Soriano.  Yup, it was that simple and clearly, the timing is right for Sizemore... he's up at the right time, good for him.

Final tonight: Yankees 2 - Cubs 0.

A doubleheader... and they both go the Yankees way.  I love those kind of days... Go Yanks! Great Job!

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!

EASY PEASY... YANKEES WIN GAME 1


8 Innings of work. 2 hits allowed. 10 strikeouts.  That was Masahiro Tanaka's line today against the Cubs.  We needed a hero today... we got a Masa-"Hero" in Tanaka.  Sure, Adam Jones and Jose Bautista can say that Tanaka is no big deal and "nothing special", but they're scared and they know their teams didn't and couldn't pony up for big Tanaka.  The Yankees did something important this off-season, they signed the biggest fish they could find after a few years of research and scouting of this japanese sensation.  Tanaka is a great pitcher and we as Yankee fans need to embrace him.  Trust me, he's something special.

After Tanaka exited, Shawn Kelley came in, allowed 1 hit and got the save.  "Easy peasy lemon squeezy" as my 10 year old will say to me... Easy Peasy is right.

 The Yankees hitting went like this:


Carlos Beltran hit home run number 4 today.  That was a solo shot in the bottom of the first.  I think it's safe to say Beltran has found his swing.

In the bottom of the 4th, Dean Anna sacrificed home Brian McCann.  Then, in the bottom of the 5th, Jacoby Ellsbury grounded out and Brett Gardner scored.

Final for Game 1: Yankees 3 - Cubs 0

Game 1 in the books and Game 2 is coming up at 7:05pm.  See you there. Go Yanks!

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!

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON


Here's a great nugget that I wanted to share with you all. Many have probably missed it.  Mariano Rivera Jr. is headed to New Hampshire to take the mound for a collegiate summer program.  He'll be pitching just like his old man, Mariano Rivera. Gotta love that.

According to the Bergen Record:

"Mariano Rivera Jr. will join the Laconia Muskrats this summer, part of the 12-team New England Collegiate Baseball League. He’s a right-hander, like his dad." 


 In an interview with New Hampsire Public Radio, Mariano Jr said:

"I like to be my own guy... People would always look at me like, ‘That’s Rivera’s son, he must be amazing.’ It was hard because people have such high expectations, and if I didn’t perform to those standards, I felt like I let everyone down. But now I work to my abilities. If I get called to pitch, I’m going to do the best that I can.”

That article also says: 


"Playing for the Laconia Muskrats could improve the college sophomore’s chances. More than 70 percent of NECBL players go on to play some professional baseball.

When Rivera comes to New Hampshire this summer, he’ll play his home games at an idyllic little facility called the Robbie Mills Sports Complex."

If you live near there, I would hope you go out and see this new kid, also nicknamed "Mo".  I already love this kid's attitude. I wish him the best.

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!

BYB'S 100 MUST-READ BASEBALL TWITTER ACCOUNTS FOR MLB FANS


Yup. That's right. It's a similar title to the piece the Sporting News put out a few weeks ago.  Not gonna lie, we understand that Bleeding Yankee Blue is not huge, but we're damn popular... and we were a bit annoyed to find out that we weren't on that list Sporting News list.  So I'm doing something smart. I'm giving you our list... INCLUDING US, because we understand the fans here at BYB.

And so, here are OUR choices for 100 must-read baseball Twitter accounts in no particular order. Check them out, follow them, and know this... we have spoken. Sporting News who?

Bleeding Yankee Blue:

ROBERT CASEY- Bleeding Yankee Blue
SUZIE PINSTRIPE
ERICA MORALES
IKE DIMITRIADIS
JEANA BELLEZZA
MIKE O'HARA
RUDY LAURENS
STEVE SKINNER

National Media:


CRAIG CALCATERRA- Hardball Talk 

CHRIS COTILLO- MLB Daily Dish
BOB NIGHTENGALE- USA Today
KEN ROSENTHAL - FOX Sports
JIM BOWDEN- ESPN Senior Analyst


PETE CALDERA- Bergen Record 

JOEL SHERMAN- New York Post
MARC CARIG Newsday
PETE ABRAHAM- Boston Globe


CHAD JENNINGS- LoHudYankees

MARK FEINSAND- New York Daily News
TIM BROWN- Yahoo Sports
KEN DAVIDOFF- New York Post


RASHEEDA COOPER- Bomber Boulevard 

SUSAN SLUSSER- San Francisco Chronicle
TROY RENCK- Denver Post
BRYAN HOCH- MLB.com, Yankees


ANDY MCCULLOUGH- Kansas City Star

MARC TOPKIN- Tampa Bay Times
MELISSA CUOTO-  Canadian Baseball Network


JON MOROSI- FOX Sports 1 

BRENDAN KUTY- NJ.com
DELIA ENRIQUEZ- Bronx Baseball Daily
JEFF PASSAN- Yahoo Sports


MARK SIMON- ESPN

PETER KEATING- ESPN The Magazine
JON HEYMAN- CBS Sports
JENIFER LANGOSCH, MLB.com, Cardinals


JOHN HARPER- New York Daily News

JANE HELLER- Confessions of a She Fan
MIKE AXISA- River Ave Blues


JOHN KRUK- ESPN 

KRISTEN MERIWETHER- Epoch Times
ERIC BOLAND- Newsday
ANTHONY MCCARRON- New York Daily News
DAVID LENNON- Newsday


CLIFF CORCORAN- Sports Illustrated

DYLAN HERNANDEZ- LA Times


MARK BOWMAN- MLB.com, Braves

JIM CALLIS, MLB.com
KEVIN KERNAN- New York Post
AARON GLEEMAN- Hardball Talk



TYLER KEPNER- New York Times

TODD ZOLECKI- MLB.com, Phillies
CHAD R. MACDONALD- YanksGoYard
BRITTANY GHIROLI- Orioles.com


JACKIE MICUCCI- Through the Fence Baseball

LOU DIPIETRO- YES Network
DAVID O'BRIEN- Atlantic Journal Constitution
ADAM KILGORE- Washington Post


MICHAEL PACHOLEK- Uncle Mike's Musings

MIKE BERARDINO- Twins beat writer
BILL BROST- YanksGoYard
JANE LEE- MLB.com, Athletics
DAVE BROWN- Yahoo Sports
GREG COHEN- Sliding into Home
JASON KEIDEL- WFAN/CBS

TV, Radio & Podcasts:



SCOTT FERRALL- CBS Sports Radio


BOB LORENZ- YES Network

MEREDITH MARAKOVITS YES Network
JACK CURRY- YES Network


JESSICA KLEINSCHMIDT- eDraftSports

ASHLEY WILLIAMS- Her Fantasy Football
KEN SINGLETON- YES Network
BRUCE BECK- NBC Sports Anchor

 Odds & Ends:



BRANDON STEINER- Steiner Sports 

Read these individuals and sites. Follow them, they are terrific.

There... now I feel better.

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!

MAYBE HONORING JACKIE ROBINSON ISN'T ENOUGH


On April 15th baseball fans, and the MLB celebrate the day Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, and became the first player of color in major league baseball. In 1947, 67 years ago, that was huge! I won't pretend it was well received. He had obscenities thrown at him, and several threats against him, and his family. It was incredibly difficult, and brave.

We've come a long way since the Jim Crow and segregation. "A lot of things have happened in this country, but we have so far to go. There's not a whole lot that has changed," Hank Aaron told USA Today. Aaron, who broke Babe Ruth's home run record, was asked by USA why he still kept hate letters addressed to him. "To remind me that we are not that far removed from when I was chasing that record," he said.


I will start with the easier point to address. Baseball is not a popular sport for African Americans. There are 67 black players in the major leagues. Let's do the math for a second. 30 major league teams, multiplied by 25 players. That's 750 players in the major leagues, and only 67 are African American. Wow! Further, three teams, San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks, and St. Louis Cardinals, are not represented by a single African American. Let that sink in for a moment.

The truth is, the game doesn't come to the inner city where a lot of minorities live. Even living in the Bronx, with tons of ball fields to play on, the expense for sports programs are such that children often miss out. There are several recreational centers that will offer sports for free, but the instruction isn't the same as paid programs. There are Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities (RBI) programs, that currently have some 220,000 kids playing. But it has been my experience that even those programs are sometimes difficult to enroll  a child in.


In an interview with USA TODAY Sports, Aaron discusses racism in this country, and the lack of African Americans in baseball. He is calling out to the MLB to make an improvement. I did the math for you. It's clear that even with Robinson, and Aaron, we haven't gotten very far on the diversity front of the game. But the piece that people seem to have taken real issue with is that fact that Aaron was so candid about racism in this country. He stated plainly "We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go. The bigger difference is back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts." The 'they' he means are obviously racist, and bigots. The response to that?

"Hank Aaron is a scumbag piece of (expletive) (racial slur)" a man named Edward says in an e-mail to the Braves front office obtained by USA TODAY Sports.

Edward invokes the epithet five times in four sentences, closing with, "My old man instilled in my mind from a young age, the only good (racial slur) is a dead (racial slur)."

I have tried repeatedly to put into words how furious that bit has made me. When Aaron made his statement, I understood it. He wasn't making an attempt to single out a group of people. Simply put, where racism was more obvious as he chased that record, it is more concealed now. You can put a bow on a pile of poo, but it's still going to stink. Disagreeing with his point does not make it any less true. And if you needed anymore proof that he is correct, please go on ahead and re-read Edward's e-mail.


I'm was an inner city kid. My children will be inner city kids. I grew up with friends that became victims of racism and hate crimes. My last name alone has made me the subject of lines like "We speak English here," or "Are those green card and food stamp babies?" Just a few days ago, an older woman cursed me out, in front of my children, because I didn't belong in her country. So I've witnessed the racism in this country, sometimes first hand. I don't have the same fears for my safety as Robinson, and even Aaron had, but I know the struggle is still not over.

Robinson breaking that color barrier predates Brown vs The Board of Education, and Rosa Parks. The MLB is not a political pulpit, I get that, but if it is Americans pastime, shouldn't the people representing that be reflected back to us from the field? As for the thinly veiled racism in this country, I'm going to put this as simply as possible... I don't give a shit about your politics, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, education, or your wealth. You respect me, I respect you. It really is a simple concept. An individuals worth is defined by his or her character. Bigotry, ignorance, and hatred of any form can no longer be acceptable. It is only when we all decide to start showing one another respect that we can truly deal with this issue.

I'm just going to leave you with these bits of wisdom from Jackie Robinson.

"A life is not important except on the impact it has on other lives."

"There's not an American in this country free until every one of us is free."

"I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me. All I ask is that you respect me as a human being." 




--Erica Morales BYB Senior Writer
Twitter: @e_morales1804


 


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!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

NO YANKEE BASEBALL TODAY...


Tomorrow there will be a day - night double header against the Chicago Cubs.

In the meantime, get familiar with the Yankee archives, and maybe you want to buy some BleedingYankeeBlue.com gear.

Click HERE to go directly to the store.

Click on the links below to read some of the fun, hand picked BYB Stories of our past.  Read them, share them, enjoy them... and be Happy.

THE MAGIC OF MCCANN

ICHIROCARE #STAYCOVERED

THE DETERMINATION & WILL OF LAURA POSADA

THERE'S ONLY 1 "CORE FOUR", PATRICK MOONEY

 WHAT IS A LEADER?

 HELP THE SABATHIAS HELP YOU!

 WHAT IS GREATNESS?

 DON'T STOP BELIEVING...EVER

 HEY JORDY MERCER, HOW'D YA LIKE TO PLAY IN PINSTRIPES?

 "HEY, THAT'S THE WRONG LOU GEHRIG CARD!"

 HE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED

 STRIVE TO COACH THE JACK DISALVO WAY!

 DANIEL MURPHY'S PATERNITY LEAVE IS REALLY NO ONE'S BUSINESS

 THE MAKING OF A LEADER

 TINO MARTINEZ: ON & OFF THE FIELD


Thanks for your support!

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!