Category Archives: Yankees

Throwback to CC Sabathia Packing an Absolute HAMMER After Coming Out of 2017 ALDS Game 5

The big news among Yankees Twitter on Monday night was that longtime starting pitcher CC Sabathia lost a ton of weight. Like, a lot of it. Dude went from this

Former Yankees SP CC Sabathia Says He Thinks He Tore His ACL on ...

to this

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Good for the big fella. I’m gonna miss the hell out of CC. He was a Yankee for eleven seasons, and he really went through a bunch of different phases during that time. For the first few years, he was a Cy Young-caliber pitcher, helping the Core Four win their last title. Then he and the team both struggled a bit, making it no further than the wild card game from 2013-2016 while CC’s stats began to dip. Finally, CC re-invented himself, proving to be a valuable back-end starter while the “Baby Bombers” brought the Yankees back to being championship contenders once again. Continue reading Throwback to CC Sabathia Packing an Absolute HAMMER After Coming Out of 2017 ALDS Game 5

James Paxton’s ALCS Game 5 Performance Really Gets Overlooked

James Paxton had an interesting first season as a Yankee. It started off on the right foot with a dominant April start against the Red Sox in which he struck out twelve in eight scoreless innings. Then he ran into a rough patch, getting knocked around by the Mets, Red Sox, and Blue Jays in June and July. However, the guy was money in August and September, winning nine consecutive starts. Paxton was so good, in fact, that he was tapped as the Yanks’ Game 1 starter against Minnesota in the ALDS.

Paxton’s first career playoff start left a lot to be desired, giving up three in 4.2 innings. His next start in ALCS Game 2 at Houston was extremely disappointing, failing to make it out of the third inning. The next time he took the ball in Game 5, Paxton was a completely different pitcher. After allowing a run in a rocky first inning, Paxton settled down and threw five scoreless innings. His final line was one earned run in six innings with nine strikeouts. Continue reading James Paxton’s ALCS Game 5 Performance Really Gets Overlooked

Opening Day Matchups To Watch

If there is one thing guys will always be romantic about, it is baseball. I’ll be the first to admit it’s difficult to really express emotions about real life stuff, like those you care about and your deepest passions. But when it comes to a bat, a ball, and some expensive hot dogs on a summer day, I’ll scream my thoughts from the nosebleeds to whoever is listening.

There’s a few particular days where those emotions run high. Any Game 7, Yankees vs Red Sox/Mets (or any rivalry game for other fans), certain player’s final game, and of course, Opening Day.

And in case you live under a rock, today is Opening Day. I know this Sandlot scene is about July 4th and baseball, but I still feel it captures the beauty of baseball and the awe we absorb when the game comes around.

With that said, there are a few matchups that I think fans should be looking at today if they want to watch some good baseball:

Continue reading Opening Day Matchups To Watch

New York Sports is a Dumpster Fire

Yesterday was one of the worst days to be a New York sports fan, if you’re a Yankees/Giants/Knicks fan like me. Obviously OBJ got traded for a less-than-stellar package, which sucks. The Giants are the new Jets, I’ve been saying it for awhile now but we’re the circus football team in town. I really couldn’t tell you what the plan is, between trading OBJ, letting Landon Collins walk for nothing, and holding onto Eli until he’s probably 47. The Jets signing Le’Veon sucks to see too, but at least the one redeeming quality about this Giants team is that we still have the best running back to play his home games at MetLife in Saquon Barkley.

Continue reading New York Sports is a Dumpster Fire

Boston Sports’ Domination Must Be Stopped

As a Yankee fan, and New York sports fan in general, no fan base infuriates me more than Boston fans. The fact that I am growing up in an era they have absolutely dominated (12 collective championships since 2001) is sickening to say the least. I mean, how ridiculous is this billboard?

It hadn’t even been 100 days since Boston fans saw the Red Sox win it all before they saw Tom Brady win his SIXTH ring in probably the most boring Super Bowl of all-time. And don’t try and tell me it was a good game just because it was tied in the fourth, watching both teams fail to move the ball whatsoever just waiting for Brady to eventually lead a game-winning drive and rip everyone’s hearts out is pretty much the worst possible way to spend your Super Bowl Sunday. Anyone who says otherwise is either a Pats fan or a liar. Continue reading Boston Sports’ Domination Must Be Stopped

Never Forget Derek Jeter & Mariah Carey

Merry Christmas, everyone. You might be wondering why a retired Yankee and a washed-up pop star are an appropriate blog topic for Christmas Eve. Well, there’s a very clear reason.

 

Derek Jeter is my favorite Yankee and athlete of all-time. Everyone knows his baseball accolades; 14-time All-Star, 5-time World Series champion, sixth-most hits in baseball history, etc. Most people also know his illustrious dating history.

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I always thought he’d get married to Friday Night Lights star Minka Kelly, and was unsure why he didn’t.

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But, of course, being Derek Jeter, he lands on his feet and marries swimsuit model Hannah Davis, who he now has a child with.

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Jeter’s history of dating high-profile women all started with Mariah Carey, whom he was linked to early in his career. Obviously, this is where the story ties into Christmas, as she sings the best Christmas song of all-time. I won’t listen to any arguments saying All I Want For Christmas Is You isn’t the GOAT Christmas song. Not only will it send any ugly holiday sweater party into an absolute frenzy, you could play it at any time of year and people will gladly sing along. It’s just an absolute banger.

Jeter was always a guy who had a vision of what he wanted in his life. He was voted “Most Likely to Play Shortstop for the Yankees” by his classmates in high school because of how often he talked about doing exactly that; he was later drafted 6th overall by the Yanks out of high school. His teammate in the minor leagues, R.D. Long, visited Jeter in Kalamazoo after the 1993 season. Here’s what he said about the visit:

Long couldn’t believe his pal’s bedroom: wall-to-wall Mariah Carey posters, “like a little kid.” As far back as high school, Jeter would tell people that one day he would marry the pop diva. By 1996, he would be dating her.

I mean, that’s just insane. To grow up with posters of a celebrity on your wall, and then becoming a famous athlete yourself and dating her? Derek Jeter is a legend that will never be forgotten. But wait, the story gets better.

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Rumor has it that Jeter was the one to dump Mariah when they eventually split. I’m not gonna elaborate on this too much because this is BTB and not TMZ, but that is some big dick energy right there. Growing up with posters of a girl on your wall and telling people how you’re gonna date her, then actually dating her, only to become a huge star in your own right and break up with her? Derek Sanderson Jeter was an absolute legend on and off the baseball diamond.

Nowadays, Jeter is retired with a wife and kid, and is busy absolutely tearing down the Miami Marlins (thanks for Stanton), while Mariah has seen better days.

Yeah, Jeets.

Merry Christmas everyone!

They Might Not Win, But Let’s Appreciate the Yankees’ ROY Candidates

Major League Baseball will announce both their American and National League Rookie of the Year award winners tonight. In the National League, the finalists are the Braves’ Ronald Acuna Jr., the Nationals’ Juan Soto, and the Dodgers’ Walker Buehler. That is believed by many to be a two-man race between Soto and Acuna Jr. I have Acuna Jr. winning, but you can easily make a case for either of the two.

The American League finalists include two Yankees in Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres, as well as the Angels’ two-way star Shohei Ohtani. As much as I love the two Yanks, and think they’re both deserving (Andujar especially), I really believe Ohtani will win this award. I don’t like the guy, and I think it’s somewhat silly to go crazy over his pitching stats when he made only ten starts. But, there are a few reasons I think he’ll edge out both Miggy and Gleyber to win.

  1. His sample sizes are smaller, but when he did play he was exceptional, especially for the first pitcher/hitter since Babe Ruth
  2. There is a lot of anti-Yankee bias in the media when it comes to award voting, and they’ve had ROY candidates get snubbed before (Gary Sanchez in 2016, Robbie Cano in 2005.)
  3. Andujar and Torres will take votes away from each other

So yeah, I think Ohtani will be the Rookie of the Year. But this post isn’t about him, it’s for the two Baby Bombers. I’ll start with Torres.

As the main return in the Aroldis Chapman deal, there was a lot of hype surrounding Gleyber before he came up. There were talks that he could be an All-Star caliber player for years to come. He has certainly lived up to the hype thus far, earning his first All-Star nod in his rookie season. To me, the most impressive thing about him is that no moment seemed too big. Gleyber played with the confidence of a seasoned veteran, not a 21-year old rookie. He immediately made an impact, coming up clutch numerous times.

Just two weeks after being called up, he delivered a game-tying two-run single in the 9th inning at the defending-champion Astros in a game the Yankees would ultimately win.

 

He had a walk-off single against the Astros at home later that month

And who could forget his three-run walk-off homer to sweep the Indians at home?

Not only did Torres provide a flair for the dramatic, his power numbers were better than anticipated too. He blasted 24 homers this year after never hitting more than 14 in a season in the minors. He even launched five in four games at one point.

I love Gleyber, and everything he did. Red Sox series aside, you couldn’t have asked for a better rookie season from the kid. That being said, Miguel Andujar deserves the 2018 AL Rookie of the Year award.

Andujar was not only one of baseball’s best rookies, he was one of its best hitters down the stretch. He was the Yankees’ most consistent hitter all year long, and arguably their MVP. His .297 average led the team, his 27 homers put him in a three-way tie with Judge, Hicks, and Didi for second on the team, and his 92 RBI trailed only Stanton. The Yankees won 100 games this year; I don’t think that’s remotely possible without the production they got from Miguel Andujar.

Andujar was a consistent, doubles machine, and just seems like a guy who plays the game hard and has fun doing it. How could you not love him? I know his defense at third was bad, and even horrible at times. But hopefully he can work on that, because his bat is too valuable to have to take out of the lineup for defense late in close games.

Andujar’s name has also come up a lot in trade rumors, especially in potential deals for Indians’ ace Corey Kluber. The rationale behind that would be to trade Andujar, and then sign Manny Machado to take his place at third. While Kluber and Machado are two franchise-altering players, it would be tough to part ways with Andujar. His rookie season was so promising, and you have to think that as he continues to grow stronger, some more of those doubles will turn into homers. We’ll see what happens, but regardless I’m ecstatic that Andujar is part of this baseball team.

Ohtani will probably win it, but boy am I glad we have these two Baby Bombers. Hopefully Gleyber and Miggy are wearing Pinstripes for a long time. (It would be such a Stanzo thing for one of them to get traded like a day after I post this.)

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Anybody Who Thinks Giancarlo Stanton Should Be Traded Is a Fool

The Yankees were eliminated from the 2018 ALDS this past week, and wrapped up a season that was filled with records, yet overloaded with disappointment. It ended the way it should’ve, with a too-little-too-late rally coming up short, an impressive lack of hitting with runners in scoring position, bad starting pitching, strikeouts, and horrible, horrible managing from Aaron Boone. Every flaw the Yankees were worried about coming into the season absolutely came back to bite them in the ass. Regardless, the Red Sox were clearly the better team, or at least were able to perform like it, and they move on while the Yankees can start to work on their offseason golf hacks.

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The worst person about the end of every season is the overreactions. Yankee fans immediately jump to “When is Cashman gonna fire Boone?”, “Why didn’t we get deGrom at the deadline?”, “We need to sign Harper and Machado this offseason”, and the worst one “Giancarlo Stanton needs to be traded”.

People who want to trade Giancarlo Stanton after a year of 38 HR and 100 RBI are the same type of people who watched the video of Kobe jumping over a car, tried to do it themselves, then miserably failed and had to go to the hospital because they broke their foot. They think that just because some people hit home runs and bat .300 that everybody should. They think that just because Aaron Judge got on base the at bat before, Giancarlo Stanton needs to as well. They think that just because Kobe jumped over a car, they can too. It doesn’t work like that, and it never will. No two players are the same, and you definitely can’t jump over that BMW.

And to be fair, I don’t want to defend Giancarlo too much either. He was not effective this postseason, and does strike out a hefty amount. His best game in the series came in the blowout loss when he hit the ball hard three times. He struck out on three pitches TWICE in massive, game-deciding situations. He wasn’t good, but don’t even act like when he stepped up to the plate every time you didn’t have a feeling he was going to hit a ball all the way to Moron Mountain (Space Jam reference for you uncultured folks out there).

You don’t give away a guy like that. Last year, he was a player who anybody in baseball would have been blessed to have on their team (as a player, ignoring contract issues). He is a guy who instantly makes your lineup more dangerous simply by writing his damn name on the lineup card. People don’t think about it, and maybe it’s because the Yankees never had a consistent #3 hitter and Judge was hurt for 2 months so the results weren’t as clear, but those top of the lineup guys are going to see MUCH more strikes with Giancarlo in that 4 spot over Andujar, Bird, Didi, Hicks or whoever else was going to bat there at the beginning of the season without him. Point at his final numbers all you want, which still are better than most of the players in the league, but his name alone makes him an asset. You cannot deny that.

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The worst part is…the same people who are yelling to trade Stanton are probably the same ones who criticized the Marlins for trading him. They’re like a bunch of people who eat Milky Ways instead of Snickers…never satisfied (ha). No, I don’t think the Yankees needed him to be successful this year. Perhaps they could have waited and gotten Yelich, who likely would have been a better fit for the lineup. But he fell in their lap, and Cashman did what anybody would have done.

Let me put this into a simpler perspective as to why he should not be traded:

-The Red Sox recently offered Mookie Betts a HEFTY extension that he turned down. They did this because they see his potential. He is 26 years old  (as of October 7) and on his way to his first MVP.

-When Giancarlo Stanton won the 2017 NL MVP, he was 27 years old (one year older than Betts for those of us without a calculator nearby).

-BUT, if next year Betts hits, oh I don’t know, 38 HR, has 100 RBI, and bats .266 in his age 26 campaign, should the Red Sox then trade him? Were they stupid to offer him a massive contract extension? NO!

If you didn’t get the analogy, I’m basically saying that the only difference (in terms of player impact) between trading Stanton this year and trading Betts next year (if he runs into a bad campaign) is the age difference of two years. Players have down years, it happens. Pitchers adjust, or they throw them less pitches to hit. You cannot be blind to the other ways a player impacts a roster besides general stats, and if you give up on an MVP-caliber player after ONE SEASON, you are an irrational, uneducated thinker. The Yankees have TWO franchise players nearing/in their prime, with a heavy youth movement on the way. Stanton will come around, and the argument that he should be traded is absolutely absurd.

Wait a week or two before you say stupid things.

100 Wins Ain’t Bad, Now the Real Season Starts

I know the Wild Card game wasn’t what we had hoped for, or even expected, coming into 2018. After coming within one win of the World Series and adding Giancarlo Stanton, nearly everyone picked the Yankees to win the AL East. But they didn’t. The Red Sox were the better team this year, hands-down. The Sox only won the season series by a game at 10-9, but the main thing they did was take care of business against the bad teams, namely the Baltimore Orioles. Throw in the dagger that was the four-game sweep at Fenway in early August, and the Red Sox are your AL East champs.

But all things considered, this Yankee team overcame a lot to reach 100 wins, besting last year’s total of 91 by nine. Their best player, Aaron Judge, missed nearly two months with a broken wrist. Gary Sanchez followed up his stellar first two seasons in the bigs with one of the most disappointing seasons for an athlete I have ever seen, batting just .186. Stanton went through huge slumps, hearing boos from the Bronx crowd during his first homestand in Pinstripes. Didi Gregorius missed a month with injury, and had a dreadful month of May. Luis Severino had an underwhelming second half. Aroldis Chapman missed time with injury. Jordan Montgomery was out for the year. Sonny Gray pitched his way out of the rotation. We started two rookies in the infield. Greg Bird forgot how to hit a baseball. Brett Gardner finally showed his age. And yet, this team still won 100 games.

Miguel Andujar emerged as not only baseball’s best rookie, but one of the best hitters in the game in the second half. Gleyber Torres showed he could be a star in this league for years to come. Luke Voit burst onto the scene to become a fixture in this lineup. Stanton carried us for periods of time. J.A. Happ pitched better than we could ever ask for after being acquired at the trade deadline. Neil Walker was the best hitter on the team for a short stretch. Masahiro Tanaka pitched like the ace we know he can be down the stretch. Didi Gregorius had another career year. Aaron Hicks continues to quietly become one of the best outfielders in the league. And maybe, just maybe, this team is finally healthy together for the first time all year.

Am I trying to say this team is a success because they won 100 games even with a lot of injuries and underperformance? Absolutely not. But they have shown the ability to overcome adversity for sure. Finishing eight games behind the Red Sox is not a success. But even if we were the ones finishing with 108 wins and the AL East crown, that is not a success either. Ever since the Yankees were eliminated last year, it was clear the 2018 Yanks are World Series or bust. Anything short of a parade down the Canyon of Heroes, and the season is a failure.

Not winning the division and having to play yet another Wild Card game is a huge obstacle on the way to that goal. In just one night, a season’s worth of work can come to an end. But anything is possible. No one thought we would beat the Indians last year. We gave away Game 2 to fall behind 2-0, and still won the series. We looked lifeless in Houston, only to win three in the Bronx and then come up just short. All I’m saying is, anything can happen in October. This train is still rolling, and you better believe anything short of a title is a failure. Let’s go Yanks baby.

The 2001 World Series Was The Best One Ever Don’t @Me

Today is the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks which is pretty crazy to think about. Someone born on the day of the attacks would be taking their driver’s test today. For those of us from the New York/New Jersey area, the attacks hit particularly close to home because you surely knew those who lost loved ones that day. It was the greatest tragedy to ever happen on American soil. Our nation was hurting, and looking for any way to try and numb the pain, it turned to sports.

After a six-day hiatus, Major League Baseball finally resumed games after the attacks. Ultimately, the New York Yankees found themselves in their fourth straight World Series, and fifth in six seasons. Their opponent was the Arizona Diamondbacks, a team playing just their fourth season after joining MLB in 1998. The result was the best World Series ever played. I know there have been plenty of legendary Fall Classics. You have Pirates over Yankees in 7 in 1960, The ’86 Mets taking down the Red Sox, Kirby Puckett’s Twins beating the Braves in 1991, Cardinals over Rangers in 2011, and of course the Cubs ending their 108-year title drought over the Indians just two years ago. But this series had so much emotion behind it and late-game heroics that it’s the clear choice in my mind.

After losing the first two games in Arizona, the Yankees returned home to the Bronx for Game 3. They were greeted with a ceremonial first pitch from a pretty special guest.

That video still gives me the chills every time. This was a stadium full of people who had lost loved ones just a few weeks ago, turning to baseball as their way to escape the pain. After the Yankees won Game 3 behind Roger Clemens, they suddenly found themselves with their backs against the wall in Game 4, down 3-1 with two outs. They were at risk of a dreadful 3-1 series deficit. Tino Martinez, however, had other plans.

I can’t even imagine how much the old Stadium must’ve been shaking. I swear I want nothing more than the opportunity to experience what playoff baseball was like in the Bronx during the late-90’s/early-2000’s dynasty. The Yanks won Game 4 in extras thanks to a walk-off home run from none other than Derek Sanderson Jeter himself.

The season delay from the 9/11 attacks caused the series to start later than usual, making Game 4 the first ever November MLB game. Therefore, Jeter’s heroics earned him the nickname “Mr. November.”

Game 5 was, as the late great Yogi Berra would say, “deja vu all over again.” The Yankees once again found themselves down two runs with two outs in the ninth inning. This time, Scott Brosius provided the heroics.

Absolute madness. Once again, the Yanks won it in extras, thanks to Alfonso Soriano.

The rest of the blog is painful for me to write as a Yankee fan, but I would be remiss to not include the last two games in what I consider the “best World Series ever.” After the series returned to Arizona, the D-Backs drubbed the Yankees 15-2 in Game 6. There is nothing like a Game 7 in sports. To me, I don’t know how you could even begin to consider a series as the “best ever” without a Game 7. Fortunately, this Game 7 did not fail to live up to the hype.

Arizona’s Curt Schilling and the Yanks’ Roger Clemens were stuck in a pitcher’s duel, with the game tied at 1 in the eighth. Soriano came up big again, homering off of Schilling to give the Yanks a 2-1 lead. This was huge, as manager Joe Torre was able to turn the game over to the best reliever of all-time, his closer Mariano Rivera. Rivera was especially potent in the postseason, and after working a scoreless eighth, he lowered his career playoff ERA to 0.70. However, after a leadoff single, an errant throw by Rivera on a bunt, a double, and a hit by pitch, this happened.

It hurts to watch. But at the end of the day, the Yankees did their job; they helped heal a city in pain. This series had it all. A first pitch by the President in the same city where the largest terrorist attack in history happened weeks earlier. Back-to-back two-out ninth inning comebacks/extra inning walk-offs. A team that just joined the league winning it all in Game 7 off of the greatest reliever of all time. Not to mention Hall of Fame caliber players like Jeter, Rivera, Schilling, and Randy Johnson. Please try and explain to me how this wasn’t the best World Series of all-time, you can’t.

And to all first responders to the 9/11 attacks, thank you so much. To those who served our country following the attacks, thank you for your service. To anyone who lost loved ones in the attacks, our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless America and we will never forget.