Wednesday, March 22, 2017

JORDAN MONTGOMERY IS A BIG DEAL... FOR REALZ

Photo Credit: Tom Priddy
When we last spoke of Jordan Montgomery, we suggested that “he was the tits” and that’s because he is. He works his ass off and has proven to not only Yankee fans, but to the Yankees as well that he can handle a role in the Bigs. Well, now there’s more to it…

Newsday reports that Girardi isn’t too thrilled with what’s going in with the final 2 spots in the rotation race, and so, he’s considering a guy like Montgomery:

Photo Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.
"Unhappy with the state of the battle for the final two spots in his rotation, Yankees manager Joe Girardi has added lefthander Jordan Montgomery to the mix.

Montgomery will start against the Rays in Port Charlotte on Thursday. If he does well, the 6-6, 225-pound rookie could leap ahead of the five righthanders who so far have not nailed down a spot in spring training.


'We’re looking at him,' Girardi said on Wednesday about the 24-year-old Montgomery, who has a 3.48 ERA in four outings. 'I like him a lot. I think he’s got really good downward angle. I think he’s got deception. I’m very curious.'”

Now who really knows if they’d start Jordan in the Pros or if they’d let him tweak things and prepare to come up mid-season.  But as you know, BYB is about the kids, and we love giving these guys shots. As I stated about Tyler Wade and shortstop yesterday… it’s April, why not just give the kid a few games and see what he does? Can’t hurt.

Bottom line, if it was me, I’d throw Montgomery in the rotation race mix immediately, with a very big chance for him to be our #5 starter. But that’s just me…

More to follow...




A VIRAL VIDEO WITH A POWERFUL MESSAGE

Photo: AP

109 wins in a row.  Not your everyday win streak to say the least.  I can't say I have ever seen that in Yankee baseball or any sporting competition.  When you win 109 games in a row, you sort of build a special kind of credibility with your audience, even if you don't like the person who lead the 109-wins.


Source: New York Times

This is the case for Geno Auriemma, head women's basketball coach for the University of Connecticut Huskies.  Coach Auriemma is headed toward his fifth NCAA Division I Women's Basketball title.  But this isn't why he is making headlines over the last couple of days.  He's making headlines over a 2 minute and 38 second soundbite he gave a year ago about millennials, their lack of effort, their ego-centrism and how their body language communicates their level of engagement and desire to be a team player.



According to NCAA.com, "Auriemma's gripe? Players have been bred to care more about how they look and how many points they score than their overall team's success. If a player is upset because they're not scoring enough, or if a player on the bench is not invested in her teammates' performance, she won't ever see the floor themselves, the coach said."


The soundbite resurfaced again on Facebook after it was posted by Coach Matt Lisle and according to Boston.com was viewed by 24 million people and shared on a half million more Facebook pages.  Lisle, a hitting coach, posted this message followed by a video clip of Auriemma's message:

"Parents: If you have an athlete above the age of 7 in your household, sit them down and make them watch this for 2 minutes and 38 seconds. "

Investing in the success of others or working to be your best for others are two of the most selfless acts a person can contribute to society.  Unfortunately, we don't see either of these very often these days and when we do see it, we celebrate it and celebrate the individual who contributed to his/her team's success not for the individual fame but for the team's.


"We put a huge premium on body language," Auriemma said. "And if your body language is bad, you will never get in the game. Ever. I don't care how good you are." And Auriemma has remained consistent with that conceptual framework, even benching All-American Breanna Stewart for acting like a 12-year-old.

Source: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images North America

As we step into the final weeks of MLB's Spring Training, where young players vie for a spot on the Yankee team, it is important to remember that a player is the whole package- a combination of talent and character.  There is a level of maturity, which is expected.  There is a level of perspective.  There is a level of gratitude that an athlete must have for the people who helped get that athlete where he or she is today and a level of appreciation for hard work, determination and teammates who work together as a body of work leading to success or failure.  These attributes have unfortunately gone silent and instead we see individuals slouching on the bench, throwing temper tantrums when they or their teammates don't perform up to their expectations and displaying attitudes that demonstrate self-centeredness vs. selflessness.

Maybe this soundbite will wipe away even a small percentage of these unsavory actions before first pitch in April.  And with the attitudes in check, there is a lot more outfield for some exciting baseball action to take place in 2017.




--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof




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AHMED COULD BE BRONX BOUND

You read that right. 

(June 26, 2016 - Source: Norm Hall/Getty Images North America)
I just overnighted you with the theory that Tyler Wade could be in the mix at shortstop this season (Read HERE) because Didi Gregorius won't be ready until May 1st with that cranky shoulder... and then the Arizona Republic's Nick Piecoro gets all uppity on me and reports something quite interesting.

Turns out the Yankees are eyeing Nick Ahmed, and the Diamondbacks are listening to offers.

Photo: Getty Images
"Nick Ahmed’s potential availability via trade has sparked interest from at least a handful of teams, with the San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees all believed to have varying degrees of interest in the Diamondbacks shortstop."

(May 28, 2016 - Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America)
Now while the quote is general, there is no question the Yankees would be serious about trying to land Ahmed.

We will have to see what happens. It will be interesting.




Tuesday, March 21, 2017

IS TYLER WADE OUR APRIL SHORTSTOP?

Photo: NJ.com
Damn, I'd like to see that. I mean, after all, Didi Gregorius is out because of that darn shoulder injury in the World Baseball Classic and the idea of Gleyber Torres at short, while a wonderful thought, is utterly ridiculous. He's not ready.

Now the Yankees have touted Tyler Wade a lot, but he gets lost in the mix a lot too, especially when we made that minor league hall last year. But the reality is, there are few guys that make sense, but in the celebration of the kids... let's keep going with Wade.  Am I right?

Photo Credit: Adam Hunger
The Bergen Record and the truly great Pete Caldera has a terrific piece about all of this, and I want to take portion of it for you to check out.

Photo: Presswire
"'Gleyber Torres will not be considered for that position, despite how great he’s looked, how his (MVP Arizona) Fall League went and how his first major league camp has gone,’ said general manager Brian Cashman. 'That’s all tremendous, but he’s scheduled to go to Double-A Trenton.’

Right-handed-hitting utility man Ronald Torreyes and lefty-hitting rookie Tyler Wade might be the leading candidates to start opening day, with non-roster veterans Ruben Tejada and Pete Kozma in the mix...

Wade, 22, was ticketed to open the year at Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, having not previously played above Class AA. Now, 'he’s definitely a consideration,’ manager Joe Girardi said of Wade jumping to the majors."


I know, 'a consideration' isn't the vote of confidence I'd like to hear either, but the reality is, in April, it's probably a great move.  No pressure, see what the kid's got and if he doesn't have it or isn't ready... we have options.  That's how I see it anyway.

Look, whatever happens, I'm on board. I just want to play ball already!!!


THE YANKEES CHANGED STRATEGY CAN BE FOR THE BETTER

After the off-season of 2013-14 when the Yankees spent nearly a half-billion on free agents, things seemed to have changed in the Bronx.


Now, with the exception of signing Aroldis Chapman this past off-season, the Yankees no longer seem to be going after the biggest splash in free agency. Most of their acquisitions over the past couple years have come through trades. Yet, even without the big signings, the future looks brighter than it has in a long time.

According to this article in the New York Post had things worked out the how they were supposed to back then, the outlook might be what it is today.

Source: USA Today
"If the plans laid in late 2013 and early 2014 had worked out differently, the Yankees might not look the way they do heading into the 2017 season."  After the signings of Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury and Masahiro Tanaka the Yankees were supposed to be juggernauts. Instead, for the 3 seasons following they found themselves limping towards the end of the season in playoff contention. The only postseason appearance being a wild-card loss to the Houston Astros in 2015.


'I have no interest in looking back,’ general manager Brian Cashman said of that free-agent class. 'Like every year, we were trying to take our shot,’ Cashman said. 'We had a team that was capable of contending for a title. We obviously wound up contending for a playoff spot, not a title. It didn’t work out with the group that was collected. Now we’re going to try to fight for higher ground again with this team.'"

Photo: Newsday
Was it that off-season of 2013-14 what changed the way the Yankee ship sails in the Bronx? Could it be that we're just starting to see the changing of the guard and the effects of Hank and Hal? I really can't say what it is, but things have changed in the Bronx for sure. If it's for the better I think we will soon find out.  If you read Dan Lucia's piece, YANKEE PROSPECT SPRING UPDATE, you will see the reason for all the hype.

With less than 2 weeks left until Opening Day, I can feel the anticipation starting to build now, it's exciting! Let's hope the Yankees can take into the regular season what they have shown can be in Spring Training.




--Michael Carnesi
BYB Writer

Follow me on Twitter: @sevn4evr




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