Wednesday, August 23, 2017

OH, THERE'S THE OFFENSE!

 Source: Mike Stobe/Getty Images North America

I have been searching for the offense for days, weeks really.  I even put out a missing post on Twitter in hopes of finding the offense.

And yea, we won some and lost many more, but I never really felt like the offense had it together, until we went to Detroit and found some.  As the YES Network said in the coverage last night, the Yankee offense miraculously woke up and the bats sparked with runners in scoring position and a shift of Aaron Judge to the clean up spot.

Source: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America

"(Gary) Sanchez has been swinging extremely well and I thought I'd put him in front of Judge and see if we can get a lot of production from those two together again," Girardi said before the game last according to NJ.com.  There's good reason for the drop in the batting order even if it's to cleanup.  "Heading into Tuesday, Judge was hitting .167 since July 14 with seven homers, 14 RBIs and 58 strikeouts in 124 at-bats in 35 games. He'd also struck out a Major League record 37 games in a row since July 8," reported NJ.com.  Jacoby Ellsbury pinched hit for Judge in the middle of the 7th as the Yankees widened their lead on an Aaron Hicks home run, 11-1.

Source: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images North America

Joining the team in Detroit was Masahiro Tanaka who had a good lead by the middle of the third, with the Yankees up 7-0.  His success, after his short trip to the disabled list, is either our loss or our gain, depending how you look at it.  "The better Tanaka (4.92 ERA in 133.2 IP) pitches down the stretch, the more likely the Yankees are to at least capture an AL Wild Card spot--if not comeback to win the AL East. But the better Tanaka throws, the more likely the 28-year-old is to opt-out of his contract after the season, giving the Yankees a difficult long-term decision to make in a potential bidding war," reported NJ.com.

Source: Mike Stobe/Getty Images North America

So the Yankees taste the sweetness of a big win after losing the series to Boston and losing a lot of fans' confidence after the excuses script from Joe Girardi spewed out last week following the Aroldis Chapman demotion from closer to "use at any time."  This week has started out well and oh yes, we found the offense that somehow got lost earlier this month.  And Let's Go Cleveland!



--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @suzieprof





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THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET


I think most people would agree (not easy to do these days) things in the world have been better. Yes, they've also been a lot worse, but smiles are in short supply.  There is an odd feeling of hopelessness that is not at all who we are as a nation.  We DO NOT do politics here at BYB, and this isn't a political post...well, not one that takes sides anyway.  I'm merely making a comparison.  The United States of America is much like a successful franchise... like the one that makes it's home in the Bronx, New York.  We are the one people come to watch (even if they aren't our fans).  We've been a winning, small ball club.  We've been a team loaded with pitching.  We've been the club that rakes with massive, powerful bats.  In short, we've done it all.  But we've also, like that famed, pinstriped clad bunch, had lean times.  The thing that brought us back?  It was remembering WHO WE ARE.


This Yankee Club is mirroring our country once again.  They are playing their hearts out.  They are trying to find it every time they set between the lines.  They are trying to be the NEW, New York Yankees, while holding onto the heart of yesterday.  And what do we do?  We call for the Manager's head! We lament the long gone "Glory Days".  We turn on the kids when they hit the skids and Armchair manage the club because we are sudden ALL "experts".

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)
In my opinion, we should turn off all the noise and see the SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET.  This team is a great group of gamers that we should all be behind.  Yes, Aaron Judge is struggling...HE IS A ROOKIE!  He should scuffle.  

Photo: NJ.com
Yes, the Kraken needs defensive work...but he too is a kid.  Name a player that came up and never struggled.  I'll wait. 

Go on...
Who?

Okay, get back to me...

We as a country and we as a fan base are always too quick to see the negative.  "We can't beat the Sox!"  Um...yes, we can.  This team, believe it or not, is the LAST club anyone will want to see in the playoffs.  They run on energy even more so than talent.  They have yet to hit their stride.  My hope is it's soon, but the ride will be a blast no matter when it happens. 

Photo: Getty Images
We've all lived through slumps, skids and streaks.  They happen in all walks of life.  What sets us a part?  As corny and "T Shirt" slogan as it may sound...

We are the United States of America.  And They are the New York Yankees. 

Hold tight, friends.  We ain't done by damn sight.

** So I'll stay right here on.... **




 
  --Mike O'Hara
BYB Contributor
Follow me on Twitter: @mikeyoh21





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PANIC TIME: IS AARON JUDGE INJURED?

Source: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images North America
Something is up in Yankee land....I'm just not sure what yet. We all know Aaron Judge has struggled A LOT since the All-Star break. Rumors are swirling on social media and some Yankee fans blame Judge's struggles on the Home Run Derby. I'm not so sure I buy the last theory but even if the derby is partially to blame for this it would be nice to just know if this is just a slump or is it something more serious so we can deal with it appropriately. Is it just a slump or is Judge injured?

I hate to think the worst here. The Yankees once again have been screwed by the injury bug this year. It would be nice to have a break from this damn injury bug curse that has been hovering for the last few years. Injuries happen but this is just a long pattern now. Think about it, our first base curse (here's looking at you Mark Teixeira and Greg Bird) has turned into a team epidemic.

Source: David Maxwell/Getty Images North America
The last thing we need to hear is that Aaron Judge is hurt. I have been brushing off the recent rumors on social media but watching post-game interviews from both Saturday and Sunday suddenly have me wondering. If you look at videos HERE and HERE, Judge has his left shoulder iced in both videos. Apparently, the ice wrapped shoulder has been consistent recently and since he is a right-handed hitter, the left shoulder is his front shoulder when hitting and that is his power source. So couldn't a bad shoulder be a possible contributor to a slumping hitter? Sounds possible to me.

Now I have heard that Judge uses ice a lot for conditioning. At the beginning of the season I was reading online that Judge sits in ice baths regularly as part of his fitness routine. I know a lot of athletes who do that, so ordinarily the iced shoulder might not bother me too much....but not in this case.

Photo: Getty Images
On Sunday, a reporter asked him how and when he hurt his shoulder. Judge responded with a little chuckle and answered with "it's not affecting me at all."

OK Judge....I WANT to believe that. Ball players are all banged up and battling through stiffness or soreness at this point in the season but the answer was very short and it really wasn't even an answer a all. The iced shoulder and declining numbers suggest there is more to the story. Doesn't it feel like we are missing information here?

I'm working on nothing but a hunch here. I have no facts or figures to back this up but something just isn't right here. Reinforcements are on their way. Soon Starlin Castro, Matt Holliday and Bird will be back. Maybe it's a good idea to give Judge a rest one we get some other guys back. Even if this is a minor or nagging injury why not sit him out a few days and regroup rather than risk a more serious injury?

Photo: Getty Images
It's been a long season. Judge has been struggling, he's played in a lot of games and he's dealing with some sort of shoulder injury. I think it's time to grant Judge a recess here. It's in his best interest and ours. Let's hope this really isn't a serious injury.



--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor 
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ







Monday, August 21, 2017

RED SOX TROLLING AIN'T OVER 'TIL IT'S OVER


If the Yankees' season series vs. the Red Sox has demonstrated anything, it's that the troll who tweets last trolls best.


Also, that with only four games remaining between the two clubs over the Labor Day weekend and five games separating them in the division, the Yanks had better pick up the pace against the rest of the league because it's not likely they'll make up that distance head-to-head.

And to paraphrase Satchel Paige, if they look back they'll find a couple of teams gaining on them in the wild card race as well. Thank goodness those messed up Mets coughed up an historic season sweep in the Subway Series or this Yankees team might be counting down magic numbers right now -- and not the good kind.


But as Brett Gardner -- the only Yankee to register a run in Sunday's Fenway finale -- optimistically pointed out:  “You can make up five games in two weeks,” implying the final Boston series could still potentially be a battle for the East.  Sure it could, Brett.

Photo: New York Daily News
Only a few small glitches to work out first; like turning around the team's biggest, hairiest bat which promptly went from MVP to punchline after the All-Star break and has been producing at a Chris Carter clip ever since.

And securing some semblance of consistent protection for him in the batting order since his former protector  Matt Holliday has alternated between hurting and  horrible for quite some time now, and Starlin Castro's hammy keeps snapping him back to the DL.


The case of the closer who couldn't, of course, has thrown all kinds of  light and heat on Joe and the efficacy of his bullpen management. And then there's Gary's incredible shrinking glove act to make one wonder how such a talented hitter and explosive arm can all be attached to the same body. Truth be told, since the trade deadline and all the new toys Brian got for this team, they're still playing 9-10 ball and the likelihood they go on a tear like they did in the first half isn't very high.


But the likelihood they could do better than they are now is still pretty good, and that prospect coupled with the possibility some other teams cool off a bit might just get them the October surprise nobody expected before the season started.

The marathon isn't a sprint quite yet.  But the clock is ticking loudly now on getting everyone's sneakers on and running in the same direction again. There's at least one nice thing about rough patches and trolls. When you're in one, the other tends to stop looking back.


The Yankees rightly didn't expect to be in the playoffs before the season started, they rightly shouldn't be expecting it now, and you can bet your Bucky Friggin' Dent bobble head nobody else is expecting it now either.

If they can bag themselves series wins against the Tigers, Mariners and Indians before they face Boston a final time and take them as well, this team could roll into September  fortified by fresh call ups and returning starters in a full-speed blitzkrieg on a division title...


And then those trolls in the Yanks' PR department would really have the final tweet.

Hey, anything is possible. I'm with Brett on this one.




--Barry Millman
BYB Writer
Follow me on Twitter: @nyyankeefanfore






THE TOE

Photo: Getty Images
Standing at 5'8", next to the likes of Dellin Betances and Aaron Judge, Ronald Torreyes looks tiny. He kind of looks out of place in the world of big men. Yet his play this year has been huge! He has really stepped up when Didi Gregorius and Starlin Castro have been on the DL. As this piece from NJ.com suggests, Torreyes has emerged into a vital player for the New York Yankees.

Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America
"Torreyes has found himself starting more often in the past five weeks after second baseman Starlin Castro went on the DL with a hamstring injury, and he also played significant time in April when shortstop Didi Gregorius was out with a shoulder injury.

The Yankees have asked a lot from the infielder, and he continues to deliver.

'You watch his defense and the little things he does,' manager Joe Girardi said. 'He's able to bunt, he's able to run. He can play anywhere in the infield. He's been big for us this year because he's filled in some pretty big roles. You lose your shortstop for four weeks, you lose Castro for four or five weeks. He's been important.'"
Source: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images North America
Ronald Torreyes shows up to the park every day ready to do whatever Girardi asks him to do. He's ready for anything, whether it be 2nd base, 3rd base, or shortstop. It doesn't matter, he is prepared to do it and gives it his all. Even when he's not in the game he is there cheering on his teammates and looks like he is having fun doing it. Because of this, he has turned into one of my favorite players.

Now in his third MLB season, Torreyes already has a career high in games at 85, where he has hit .293 with three home runs and 31 RBI. He has played second base, shortstop and third base, while also making a brief trip to right field in one game.

I find it quite amusing that in 2017 on a team full of guys that can hit bombs, Torreyes is the one that hit the first one of the 2017 season. Look, he is not a superstar or player to build a team around. Yet every team needs a player like him. The good old-fashioned grinder that can do it all. The guy that doesn't do any one thing in particular, but can do what needs to be done when called upon.





--Michael Carnesi
BYB Writer

Follow me on Twitter: @sevn4evr