Sunday, March 18, 2018


When my son was about two-years-old, we started batting practice in our small driveway in Staten Island, NY.  As I pitched to him, and gave him some very basic pointers, I always bantered about my two favorite players: Bucky Dent and Ron Guidry.  Guidry, in particular, had a special place in my heart because it was Guidry, unbeknownst to Guidry himself, who helped me as a struggling reader and learner.  Often I would visually compare him within the list of vocabulary words that plagued my homework tasks.  Words like agile and fierce were great comparative words and saunter and lackadaisical were terrific antonyms.  My son took the visual comparison one step further, by sketching a portrait of my forever favorite pitcher, #49, one Mother's Day.  The picture hangs prominently in my living room today.

Source: Chris Carbonaro

Through the years, Guidry influenced my grandparents, parents, siblings, and now my children through his passionate, focused game play and resilient competitiveness.  His influence is impactful across generations and his new book spotlights everything we loved about Guidry both on and off the field.

Guidry, affectionately known as Gator and Louisiana Lightning, penned his first memoir, Gator: My Life In Pinstripes, which is available this upcoming Tuesday, March 20th.  Through his account, Guidry talks about his relationships with his teammates and the game of baseball himself, which includes advice to young players, particularly pitchers who seek success in the major leagues.

"In 1978, Guidry, or ‘Gator’, won the Cy Young Award as the best pitcher in baseball, and his many further credentials include being a four-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove winner. In Gator, Guidry recounts his ascent to prominence and discloses rare insight into the dynamics of his life both on and off the field," according publisher previews.

Source: ESPN

Beyond the statistics, there is Ron Guidry, the rock, the leader, the person who told his dugout mates how many runs he needed in order to pitch a winning game.  There's Guidry who would sprint off the mound after a strike out, closing out an incredible inning. And he is noted as the pitcher who "invented" the two-out, two-strike standing ovation. In fact he would relish the second to third strike thunderous applause, a tradition carried out across baseball even today.

If Reggie Jackson is the straw that stirred the drink then Guidry is the bartender; he created the environment, set the stage and elevated his teammates into the successful players they became in the championship years of 1977 and 1978.

As we enter the 40th anniversary season of the 1978 team, it seems fitting that Gator's book would hit the stands on the heels of what could be an equally incredible year for the Yankees. As a young pitcher just entering the scene, Guidry talks about the importance of mentorship and credits his mentors Sparky Lyle, Jim "Catfish" Hunter, Dick Tidrow and Thurman Munson as guiding him toward a career that served him well. "You put all of that together and you get me," said Guidry in an interview about his book.

If you are a Guidry fan you've already told the kids in your life about him.  Maybe you still have your glove adorned with his mimeographed signature in the pocket, like I do. And maybe this text is another way to reminisce and share what you have always loved about Guidry.  That's the way I am approaching this read...and I can't wait to dig in.

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof

Be Read. Get Known.


Source: Abbie Parr/Getty Images North America
There's no question... Luis Severino has had his struggles over the past 2 years.  But it looks like he's figured some things out and has become quite dominant at times. Plus, I like how Aaron Boone approached this, giving him the opening day pitching role. It's interesting actually... he watched Yankee ace in his last out yesterday. But Masahiro Tanaka just didn't have it.  And so, Boone went the other way. Instead of chalking it up as a bad outing for Tanaka and "We'll get'em next time"... he did something else.  He went with Sevy.  This gives Sevy enough time to mentally prepare and get ready for opening day.

Boone seems to be doing the same approach with a kid like Tyler Wade.  Seeing what others haven't seen in a few years.  Here's what he just said about Wade. The Times Leader reports:

Source: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images North America
"Tyler Wade has surprised people at spring training. And that includes New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone.

'Yeah, he’s a better player than I thought,' the first-year manager said. 'I came in, I think, with some expectations, and the organization thinks very highly of him. But getting to see him and just seeing, almost on a daily basis, something he does with his athleticism and his instincts, I think, have been impressive.'"

Source: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America
Maybe that's how he's feeling about Sevy.  Who knows.  I like the approach though. Here's that news story about Luis Severino getting the nod. writes:

"One year after joining elite company in the American League Cy Young Award race, Luis Severino has been tabbed to start the Yankees' season opener on March 29 against the Blue Jays, manager Aaron Boone announced on Saturday.

Photo: New York Daily News
'We feel like it's his time for it,' Boone said. 'With what he was able to do last year, we feel like he's in a really good place now. We just felt like now is the time for him to take on that role and we think he's ready for it. I'm looking forward to seeing him grow in his role as one of the aces of this staff.'"

I hope Boone handled these decisions like this all season.  It's about chances and moments and motivation for these kids.  I like this alot.

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Saturday, March 17, 2018


Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports / Kim Klement
I am actually really happy that Neil Walker is with the Yankees. The Yankees are too.  Walker did some work at first, and will do some work at second.  I like what they're doing with them as he makes his debut.

YES Network has more:

Photo: Newsday
"Neil Walker's official Yankees debut came as a first baseman on Friday night, as he played four innings at the position (and made two plate appearances) in the team's 2-0 loss to the Astros...

'I didn't get any ground balls, but the right side of the infield feels pretty comfortable to me, and it was good to get some action,' Walker said...

Walker will be playing second base on Sunday, and likely extended to six or seven innings according to Boone, but he is ready for whatever challenge the Yankees give him. 'I've just been told to be prepared at first, second, and third; I think I'm playing second on Sunday, and then we'll go from there,' he said. 'I'm very happy with where I am right now, so it's a matter of continuing to see a lot of pitches and have good at-bats, and hopefully find some barrels here later on. It's good to know that I have another week's worth of work left before the season starts.'"

An abbreviated version of YES Network's Lou DiPietro's piece.  Good stuff and a lot of smiles when talking about Walker.

Off to baseball practice... more later on BYB.

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Friday, March 16, 2018


Butch Dill/USA TODAY Sports
And you know what? That's OK.  That's what the Spring is for.  Work out the kinks and see what everyone has.  Some guys get an opportunity and shine. Some players just can't make the cut.  It doesn't mean there's no future... it means they need more work.  All good.

I mean, look at Chance Adams.  He's struggled and so, the Yankees re-assigned him.  The New York Daily News has the story:

"Many scouts wonder whether Chance Adams can eventually be a starter in the big leagues. After an abysmal outing on Wednesday, those questions remain. Adams was shelled by the Orioles...

Adams said his velocity was also down — usual for him as he builds up his arm strength and gets ready for the upcoming season — but he didn't want to use it as an excuse, as his command was poor."

Photo: Times Leader
Sadly, it just sounds like he wasn't prepared, be it in the off season, or just building up to that start.  Whatever the case, the Yankees felt he needed to work on things, and so, that's where we are. He should start in AAA, but some scouts, according to the Daily News believe he could eventually emerge as a reliever.  We shall see.

I personally think the decision was the correct one from the Yanks perspective.  We'll hopefully see this guy this season. I have faith.  He's just not ready.

Be Read. Get Known.

Thursday, March 15, 2018


Source: Mike McGinnis/Getty Images North America
Can you believe we are officially two weeks away from Opening Day? Time flies! Pretty soon the games will officially count and the Yankees will kick off their "Chase for 28" starting in Toronto. The time for some of these guys to impress and earn their way onto this team is running out. So who is going to make the cut?

Source: Mike McGinnis/Getty Images North America
Neil Walker: The Yankees just signed him on Monday and he is already getting some action. He went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and played six innings in a minor-league inter-squad game in Tampa. Walker's primary position is second base but he played four innings at third base and two innings at first base. A versatile player like Walker is exactly what the Yankees need. He can play most of the infield, switch-hit, doesn't strike out a ton, gets on base ad he can hit a few home runs too. The Yankees got a versatile player for a bargain price of $4 million dollars which is a fraction of what he is really worth. The Yankees get a lot of options and save a lot of money for upgrades later if needed. It sounds like the Yankees infield may be set with Walker, or is it?

Source: Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images North America
Tyler Austin: They say when one door closes another opportunity opens and maybe that is true for Austin. If the Yankees hadn't signed Walker I would've said Austin would be the favorite for second base after the Yankees released Adam Lind. Adding Walker may complicate him getting onto the big league roster but he could still give the Yankees an interesting option to platoon at first base. Walker is a switch-hitter but is less effective against left handed pitchers. Austin could still offer another option to Aaron Boone if he wants to give Greg Bird a day off against a left hander. If Walker wasn't in camp right now I would say Austin probably earned a spot....but this is the second year the Yankees have signed a low cost veteran to compete for a bench spot at first base. Last year it was Chris Carter, this year will it be Walker?

Photo: Getty Images
Chance Adams: A lot has gone wrong for Adams this spring and he may have blown his chance. Wednesday's start against the Orioles was bad....really bad. He gave up two home runs and five runs in 1 2/3 innings and now has an 11.67 ERA. His command was all over the place and his velocity was down. It was just the outing where nothing went right and now scouts are doubting if he is even starter material now. After dominating High-A ball in 2016 he went on to continue pitching well in both Double-A and Triple-A last year. Scouts and baseball experts all expected to see Adams late last year but it never happened. We thought this was his year, and now scouts are wondering if he should actually pitch in a relief role instead. Despite all of his recent struggles the Yankees are still high on Adams but does he still fit into the rotation and if so when?

It will be interesting to see where all of these guys will end up as the last two weeks of spring play out. The Yankees are a team with a ton of talent and the possibilities for this team seem endless. There are a lot of guys out there fighting for a spot right now on this rebuilt and powerful team. There is minimal room for error now.

So if these guys want to be in the Bronx they better seize that opportunity now. It may not be there tomorrow. What do you think happens to these guys? Comment and tell us.

--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @nyprincessj


A few short years ago, the Yankees had a young pitcher they deemed to be special. So special in fact, that when they couldn't decide if he should be a starter or reliever.

They made up special rules just for him. Those now infamous 'Joba Rules' may once again be rearing its ugly head, as they now have another pitcher they keep going back and forth with,. It's Chad Green.

In my eyes, and I believe in many others, this is something the Yankees need to stop. They need to define his role and leave him alone. In fact, this piece found in the New York Post, says the same thing. I approve...

"The Yankees have enough experiments going on, they don’t need to change Chad Green’s role. In any way. Don’t mess with success. Leave him as the dominating bridge right-hander in the bullpen. Green owns a rising fastball that works wonders in this Launch Angle Era."

In this era where you have pitchers for almost every situation, I believe all of this back and forth between starting and relieving is a recipe for disaster. Look, I get it, they are trying to figure out where they belong in the system of things.

Some, like Joba, they were trying to protect from injury. A funny thing happened along the way with Joba though. He ended up needing to get Tommy John surgery, he ended up getting hurt playing in a trampoline, or something like that. (Read WHY JOBA CHAMBERLAIN NEEDS TOUGH LOVE from back in March, 2012.) He was never the same pitcher again.

Did all the playing around with him have something to do with downfall? I believe so.

Bottom line, I hope they just leave Chad Green alone and keep him where he has had the most success. A pitcher's arm can be a very delicate thing don't mess with it and the Yanks could sure use a healthy, confident Chad Green!

--Michael Carnesi
BYB Writer
Twitter: @sevn4evr

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