Spring Break: 2017

There are many signs that the Yankees have turned the corner as far as their offensive malaise goes. For one thing, they are showing a lot more power at the plate over the past three seasons. They are hitting well and are converting the men on bases into runs batted in. I really like the arrival of Holiday. He really has shown what makes him a good hitter and gets the bat on the ball well and while he is not a power hitter in the home run sense of a power hitter. But boy has he brought some pop to the lineup that was missing. I also like the arrival of Chris Carter too.

So too has Greg Bird and Sanchez. The pitchers have also been great so far, really offering something for the fans to feel good about. The feel good factor that rejuvenated the Yankees season after “the kids” were brought up to the Bronx has continued to lift the spirits of the team and the fans. Sure the spring games are never really anything to go by but from the point of view as to what the players are doing independent of the wins, there is definitely something for us fans to get excited about this season. That is something that the Yankees have not really given their fans of late. Come what may, whether it is a rebuilding season or not, it sure looks like it will be fun to watch the Yankees this season. I have to take it all back, Brian Cashman has certainly shown us, critics, of his just how little we knew and how much he knew. I take it all back Brian.

Randy Levine Has Got To Go

The run into the season has only just gotten into gear, and already the Yankees are on a collision course with their fans. The reason?

Randy Levine, the president of the Yankees since 2000 has made no secret of the contempt he has for Betances during the arbitration process which has just finished. Not only did he devalue the impact that one of the finest players in the game the last three seasons has had, and his subsequent net worth in offering far less than the relief pitcher was asking for, he also made a point of taunting and dismissing just how good he was, even going so far to blame him for the Yanks failure to make a significant run into the play-offs.

Now it is one thing to try and get the services of a player for less than the player wants, that is the business aspect of the game. The player thinks he is worth more, the team while maybe agreeing that he is worth a lot of money, tries all the same, to pay him less. That is just business. But Levine showed that he was not just being a business man. He made it personal, and it stands to reason that such is his contempt for the players that he has no shame in slamming players in public. It is obvious that this clown does not like the sport, know anything about the sport, nor does he care about the team. He is only in it for the job and the paycheque.

He forgets that the game, the team, and even the players will live longer in the minds and collective storytelling than some pathetic little wraith that hides away in a cave or office only showing up when there is a world series to be played in. When he is fired from the team he will be forgotten.

And if we are looking to blame anyone for the way the Yanks have sucked these past twenty years we only have to look at Levine and those like him. He took over as team president in 2000, and since then he won only two world series titles with a team that had been the best for years. If he could not win a world series with the team he took over in 2000 then he would never have won, that the only team he had a hand in running completely was the 2009 Yankees and has failed to put together a winning team that had not existed as champions previously is a damning indictment that he has no place in this team, and yes it is true that the GM would and should carry most of the blame for this, his role in running the Yankees into mediocrity, married with the disdain he has for the players and fans by carrying on the way he has done, especially with the Betances affair, makes it clear for all to see. He has got to go. He is a failure.

I know the Yankees don’t seem to respect their fans, at least those who run the team don’t respect us, the forget that a lot of the revenue they get is from us and without us they would not exist, but they do not respect us or our opinions. The players do. That is why we will always go with the players in times like these. But if the Yanks want to do something that shows they care about the fans, then they should get rid of Levine. His act is low rent, and more suitable for the Cardinals, or maybe even the White Sox.

To Dellin I can only say one thing. We the fans are with you. We do not hold the same low regard for you that Levine has shown he has. We think you are the best relief pitcher in the game and deserve more than what you have been given in payment, and in treatment by the Yankees. We beg you not to play for them, but to play for us. Don’t pitch with less intensity, or bide your time until you leave the Yanks, but play for us and stick with us. You will live long in the hearts of the Yankees fans longer than Levine will. He will be forgotten the minute he finishes loading his cardboard box and shuffles out of the office into ignominy. You will be in Monument Park the year after you retire… we will see to it.

An Open Letter To David Ortiz

Dear David Ortiz,

I have seen your letter in which you have addressed the Yankees fans, of which I am one. I felt that I had to reply to you to express my appreciation for you. Over the years you and the Red Sox have battled hard with my beloved Yankees. Sometimes we came out on top, and other times you did. That is the way it goes with such contests.

We have mocked you, goaded you, booed you. But all the while I have appreciated you for the warrior that you are, and for the way you have added to the great rivalry which is so well known that even fans like I who live in the UK have gotten caught up with it and revelled in the clashes.

While I cannot speak for all Yankees fans, I wanted to express right now, as your last season has come to its end, that I really appreciated you as a rival. I do not hate you, but applaud you, admire you, wish you were on my team. In short, thank you. Thank you for so many memories, and for being the best of bad guys, the best of enemies. To say that I love you might seem like a strange thing to say to a guy who played for the enemy and who I never met, but it is not strange. I mean it. Thank you, Big Papi. I wish you all the best in this new chapter of your life and will always be glad to say that I saw you play.

Sincerely

V.S. Coster

In Memory of Jose Fernandez

The ironical title of the post on MLB.com about Jose Fernandez’s last start was “Jose saves his best for not likely last start.” It sadly turned out to be his last start, after he was killed in a boating accident on Miami Beach Sunday.

It will be one of those reminders to all of us who love baseball just what a loss his death is to the sport. He was a phenomenal pitcher whose career was getting back on track after losing a season to Tommy John surgery to repair his elbow, and this death just reminds us of the sad truth that we read in Ecclesiastes 9:11 ” I have seen something further under the sun, that the swift do not always win the race, nor do the mighty win the battle, nor do the wise always have the food, nor do the intelligent always have the riches, nor do those with knowledge always have success, because time and unexpected events overtake them all.” His death is just one such unexpted event in which senselessly a bright, warm, and exciting young life is taken. We can strive to find some meaning in his death but that would be pointless.

We can however, always celebrate the joy and delight he had in playing this wonderful game which was so evident in this the last baseball game he pitched in. What a more fitting memorial could a player have.

My thoughts are with his family, his friends, and his teammates.

Yanks-Sox​ Rivalry Kicks Off Again

The rivalry had been somewhat nonexistent for a while. The players who had fired it up in the 90s and the 00s had grown up and retired. The Yanks had slipped to mediocrity when the Sox were doing well, and when the Yanks did well the Sox were mediocre. But with the infusion of new blood coming into the teams, there are seeds of a new edition to the rivalry.

We saw that when Headley and Porcello went at it over an attempted triple. It was completely out of the blue kind of stuff, but it saw the benches empty and the fans went wild. Why not. It is about time we have some fire in the team and if the kids get into it then we can get stoked for these games even when nothing is at stake.

Sure we lost the first game. But sometimes it takes a thing like the antics of Porcello to wake up the players and the win last night is something that we should take delight in. However, I think the next thing would be beating them tonight.

On a side note, does anyone else think that Benintendi looked like Dr Zira, the woman ape in the 1960s Planet of the Apes? I mean I know it’s almost a point of principle that when a guy goes to the Sox he has to grow his hair, and maybe bust some hipster style facials. It’s a lame attempt at being the “Anti-Yankees” but seriously, sometimes it just doesn’t work and this guy while playing a good game for his debut, looked wrong. Welcome to the rivalry Benintendi.

Thanks To A Great Champion

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So Mark did announce he was retiring from the game. All the pre-conference hype was right. All the talk about trading him, about how unhealthy he is, how he is not hitting, blah blah bladdy-de-blah can finally stop and now we as fans can celebrate the career of a man who quietly went about playing the game he loved and being a consummate professional. He was never a problem, never a distraction, but always a good decent man who contributed to the team with bat and glove.

He was a big part of the team that won the 2009 World Series, and a big part of every other team, being the clutch player who carried the team. How often was it said that when Mark hit then the Yanks would win?

There will be a lot said about the career of a great player, and how he could have been greater had injury not robbed him the last five years. But I shall not go into that now. What I will go into is how even in retiring he is helping this team and showing just how selfless and how much of a team player he is. I would love his last game to be a World series game. Just like it should have been for a number of the recent great Yankees. But it won’t be. However we can do something, we can send him off on a winning team, we can send him off with the cheers and celebrations that we did Jeter and Mo, let’s show Mark Teixeira that what he did for us, we appreciate.

Thanks Mark, for being a true champion, and a gentleman of the game.