Saturday, February 17, 2018

FRAZIER'S ON A MISSION


We have too many outfielders.  We just do.  We have Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton and Jacoby Ellsbury.  Add in Clint Frazier who... we can assume would start the season in AAA when you look at the list we have and the money we are already shelling out to guys like Ells. Logically, Frazier doesn't fit.  But the Youth movement is strong these days.  Plus... we have a new manager.  Plus... I love the balls and emotion and passion we have from a guy like Frazier.  Hell... maybe his persistence and Spring Training game play will carve out a role for him. I hope so.

The New York Post has this...

“'I don’t want people to talk about my hair,' Frazier said. 'I want them to talk about my game. I want them to talk about how I play and who I am as a person.'

(July 6, 2017 - Source: Mike Stobe/Getty Images North America)
Nevertheless, Frazier’s confidence remains, as he showed in a conversation with his new manager. 'I made the comment to Aaron Boone today, I said I could play center field,' Frazier said. 'I said, ‘Don’t get too caught up in the advance metrics. Just use the eye test. You’ve got some throw-back in you, so just give me the chance.’ He shook his head, so I don’t know what he meant. I’ve played more center in my career than the corners. I know I can go out there and catch the ball. … I think nowadays, if you hit, you play.'”

David J. Phillip | AP
I mean for me... this may be the best quote of Spring Training so far.  And if I'm Boone, I'm alittle stunned, but I think really clearly about what Frazier is saying to me.  It won't be easy though.  Hicks wants it just as bad, and ultimately that's who Frazier will be in direct competition with.

Hicks said this just a week ago...

Photo: Getty Images
"'I want to be the starting center fielder for the Yankees, of course,' Hicks said Friday at the team’s minor league facility. “I feel that’s the position I can play every day and be successful and help this team win.'”

Photo: Getty Images
It's all in how they play the game.  I do know one thing though... I haven't heard a thing of what Ellsbury wants. That bothers me. 

I mean, we are paying him a ton of money... at least act like you deserve it. You know what I mean?





THAIRO ESTRADA WAS SHOT, GUYS

Enough with the guns.  What the hell is going on in this world?


If you didn't hear about Yankee prospect Thairo Estrada, he was shot in the hip in an attempted robbery.  Makes me sick.  Hardball Talk has this...

Photo: MiLB.com
"...Boone announced this afternoon that Yankees infield prospect Thairo Estrada was shot in the hip during a robbery attempt in his native Venezuela at the end of January. The good news: Estrada is in Tampa at Yankees camp and is recovering OK. He’s expected to be fully recovered soon and is expected to play the bulk of the season."

What a scary thing.  I know it's Venezuela, but with this horrible tragedy in Florida this week and 17 innocent people dead at a school... enough is enough.  We need to love each other. This is insanity.

Get well soon Thairo. 

My thoughts and prayers are with those wonderful families in Florida.


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Friday, February 16, 2018

HEY VERLANDER! YOU FORGOT SOMETHING...

“I think the American League goes through us.” - Justin Verlander

Okay. He's not wrong. Actually, I think it would be freaking weird if he didn't think that. It's not really a big deal even though the media has been running with this since Wednesday. The Astros are the reigning World Series Champions so he should be riding high with confidence right now but we all know which team won the last back to back Championships.....even Verlander does.


This is the year we are supposed to be contenders again. Last year was never supposed to happen according to those "experts" but they were wrong. They forgot they should never underestimate the Yankees so Verlander shouldn't and I know isn't about to make the same mistake.


I'm glad Verlander is feeling confident. I'm also glad that baseball recognizes that we will be force to be reckoned with. Some are even calling us "favorites" which is pretty cool to see after just one year earlier we were in rebuilding mode and not expected to do much. I get why Verlander reacted to this:

Hell I even understand this from the New York Post:
"Everyone’s got to say stuff to get views or get likes or whatever,” Verlander said. “Obviously I think we’re the team to beat. I don’t really care about [someone’s] opinion, especially people that don’t play. Everything happens between the lines."


So let's see it play out on the field! I'm up for the challenge and so are the Yankees. CC Sabathia is definitely ready to answer that challenge. He's always ready to compete and he's not taking any of Verlander's bait. Our young guys have some experience now and Giancarlo Stanton's bat are about to make some noise so I am glad that Verlander is already talking his big game.

Here is what Verlander is going to realize and I think it will be sooner rather than later.....the Astros ARE a good team and have their big guns returning. The Yankees are a good team with a big addition and the American League West has also made some important additions.


The Astros are going to have to first outmatch everyone in their division again. I will be watching the AL West closely this year because I think that if the LA Angels can finally overcome their injury catastrophes from previous seasons they are going to give the Astros a run for their money at least offensively and if Shohei Ohtani adapts to Major League Baseball and is successful things could get interesting. The offseason may have been slow....if not dead but the Angels at least made some moves to improve their club.


No one should ever underestimate the Yankees. As disappointed as it was to end 2017 just one game away from a World Series berth the Yankees reminded everyone not to discard us. Experts said the Cleveland Indians would not only beat us but potentially sweep us. They were wrong we came back to win games three, four and five and the Indians were a damn good team and they will be again.

Then the Yankees did it again with the Astros. They made easy work to pass the Red Sox in the ALDS but that wasn't the case with us. We were down 2-0 and came back to force a game 7. The Astros had a hard time getting past us. We made them work for that World Series berth and Championship.


Verlander has all the confidence now but the MLB season is 162 games long and the “team to beat” is always just the one you are facing that night. You have to get to the postseason first. The Yankees could win the World Series without winning a single game over the Astros this season and then would become the “team to beat” without actually beating the previous “team to beat.” Did I use that phrase enough? Food for thought even in a very young Spring Training season.

So Verlander wants to be like the Yankees and win back to back rings. That's cute but we aren't going to make it easy for you. See ya in April!




--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @nyprincessj




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Thursday, February 15, 2018

JAIME GARCIA GONZO...AND I'M FINE WITH THAT

Photo: Getty Images
I didn't really know why we picked up Jaime Garcia in the first place. I mean, I know, he's a lefty and all teams need lefty pitching... but we didn't really need the dude. But now... officially he's on another team.  Cool.

The Associated Press has the story:

Photo: Getty Images
"Left-hander Jaime Garcia and the Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to a $10 million, one-year contract that includes a 2019 team option. Garcia gets $8 million this year as part of the deal announced Thursday and Toronto has a $10 million option with a $2 million buyout.

He can earn an additional $2 million annually in performance bonuses based on innings and would get the full amount at 180."

Good luck Mr. Garcia.

By the way...


Here's Gonzo.



THE YANKEES HAVE THEIR EYE ON THIS PITCHER


It's Spring Training! FINALLY! But....it's Spring Training with some of the biggest names still unemployed and looking for a new home. I'm sitting here waiting for the flood gates to open. These guys that want a job are behind the eight ball. They should be ready to jump on a deal, right?


So could there be some truth to this Lance Lynn and Yankees connection that Jon Morosi wrote about? Now that Yu Darvish signed with the Cubs the rest of the pitching market should fall into place. Could it be Lynn and could he be a realistic Yankee target?

There are some things I really like about Lynn. Before he got hurt and missed all of 2016 he was an innings eater averaging 189 innings between 2012 and 2015.


The Yankees have a lot of concerns with their pitchers. CC Sabathia has a bad knee and already rolled his foot in Spring Training, Luis Severino threw 193 innings last season and Masahiro Tanaka has had elbow surgery before and missed time last season with a shoulder injury. It's a long season, and we know how the Yankees have had their fair share of injuries. Even in a worst case scenario they would at least have an experienced veteran to add some stability to the rotation.

The Yankees want that extra arm but leaving enough room in the budget for mid-season additions will be key. If the Yankees could get Lynn at a price they like they would be getting a guy that not only can give them some length but knows how to perform under postseason pressure. If we could add a guy with the postseason experience it could give them a winning advantage.


Lynn already knows what it is like to win a World Series. He's pitched most of his career on a contending team, maybe he could do it again for us.

But if the Yankees do want Lynn it won't be so easy. This market has been so odd, it's hard to tell at this point what other teams are willing to spend. I have a feeling this is going to come to a bidding war. We haven't been shy with bidding wars in the past but this season the Yankees are determined to get under the luxury tax which means for once we are at a disadvantage against other teams.


To make it harder money is not the only cost of acquiring Lynn. He did reject a qualifying offer from the Cardinals and since the Yankees paid luxury tax last year, we would have to surrender our second and fifth round draft picks, as well as $1M in international bonus money to sign Lynn. I'd rather lose out on the international money instead of the draft picks, but it is what it is. I like Lynn....but do I like the draft picks more? I don't know.

In the end Lynn makes sense for a team on paper....but does he make sense for a contending Yankees team? Hmmmm...



--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @nyprincessj




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NO INVITE NEEDED!

Photo: Associated Press
Rich "Goose" Gossage is an ALL TIME GREAT New York Yankee. Do we really want to debate that? He was one of the most feared bullpen arms in the Game's history. Period.

Gossage, a HALL OF FAMER, was recently told be the Yankee brass that he is no longer welcome at the Spring Training facility in Tampa. Why? Because the Goose is old school.

Photo: SI.com
He doesn't say the PC thing. He speaks his mind. He NEVER tows the company line. THAT IS PRECISELY WHAT MADE HIM THE GOOSE!! He was a fierce competitor and the Yanks were better because of it.

Photo: New York Times
And I'll go a step further, if the Boss were still running this show there would be more of the Goose in the organization...and wouldn't that be great! I, like all Yankee Faithful, love and respect the great Mariano Rivera. BUT MO AIN'T THE POPE! He was an all world closer who pitched in a different era than Gossage.

Photo: New York Times
He rarely had to go more than an inning and it most certainly help prolong a 1st ballot Hall of Fame career. Goose thinks the players today are soft...they are compared to the Bombers from the legendary BRONX ZOO of the 1970's.

Photo: Richard Drew/AP
No, many of the players today wouldn't have lasted in a clubhouse with Piniella, Gossage, Nettles and Munson.

They HATED the Red Sox....actually HATED THEM. They played for blood. It was a different time, but a time that has worth.


Look, Goose is one of my childhood heroes. I have met him on a few occasions and he is truly a wonderful guy (Hell, he named my dog!). He loves the game and even more he loves that he is, and always will be a NEW YORK YANKEE.

Photo: New York Post
How does the organization always manage to look like 1st rate ass clowns with former greats? They even turned on Yogi once upon a time! Yogi!! It's disgraceful. The best thing about the Yanks is that the players come back to lend a hand and help the next class of baby bombers. Goose can teach toughness.

That Yankee Baseball is a RESULTS BASED BUSINESS! You need to bring it everyday. But I tell you what front office brain trust (COUGH! Lon COUGH! Randy) you don't get to decide who is a Yankee Legend and who isn't.


The men that wore the pinstripes do that. Rich Gossage IS, and if he wants to be in Tampa you should thank him with a smile and hearty handshake. Otherwise start wearing a batting helmet to work. Because if the Goose uncorks one up and in on Old Timer's Day it may have your name on it....

** If they had music to enter to in Goose's day, I like to think this would be his cup of tea. We love ya, Rich.  Never forget it.**





--Mike O'Hara
BYB Contributor
Twitter: @mikeyoh21




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