Category: Baseball Players

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.

CC Stunk! No other way around it. #SubwaySeries at Yankee Stadium

  The sight of CC Sabathia on the mound is not quite the same prospect as it once was. There was a time when he pitched some hot stuff. Simply put he was a machine. Dependable as much as a person can be in sport, you knew he was the kind of guy who could win games for you.

But not anymore. He is  seemingly a spent force, and now his presence on the mound fills me with a feeling of unease. “Will he win this?” That is what I usually think, and before I finish the question the answer is there in my mind. It manifests itself as a cold feeling that this game could end up going down the crapper quicker than you can say Tommy John. 

I know  that no guy sets out to pitch that poorly and get creamed so badly as CC did today. But it still has to be noted that he has not won a single game yet this season and even when he was pitching his best game so far (in Detroit) it still ended with a loss. 

Yes the hitters failed us big time today, just as the defence was as bad in places as it was brilliant in the outfield, but that was down to the runs and hits CC gave up. It put pressure on the defence as surely as early defensive errors put pressure on pitchers during the opening week. 

Maybe CC will turn it around. Who knows at this point? Hey I think he is not longer the starting ace that he was in previous seasons but is more of a short relief guy now. Someone to mop up an innings after the team has put up a good lead and the starter needs to come out. In short a “no pressure, can’t lose kind of scenario.” Anything beyond that I think is too far for him to pull off.  In short, I’m quickly finding myself of the opinion that he won’t turn it around.

So now we are level in the series and tomorrow’s game is a must win for Yankee Pride. We play them again in September when both teams could be in the hunt for the post season. Those games will be a big deal beyond measure if that is the case, but for now we have a series that we must win. The NY media have made it so we cannot be confused about how big this series is. If we win, then for the majority of the summer we will be Kings of New York. If we lose then we will be chumps. Until we figure out that Sabathia isn’t what he was (a starting pitcher) any more, then I fear we will go into his games with the dread and doubt and stink of failure hanging over heads. I like the guy but the time is now upon us to decide. He must be moved to the bullpen and replaced with someone who can do the job better. Otherwise what happened tonight will happen again and again. If we are to be a team in contention come the next Subway Series we cannot let that happen. It’s just that simple.

Pirela injured, Yanks also limp in Mets contest.

The Mets rampaged over theYankees who continue to underwhelm with the bat. ARod looked sharp in another game, he wasn’t taking part in this contest and perhaps he ought to have been there. The performance of the Yankees hitters has been something of a downer to all fans. We get it that these games are not important, and won’t matter a whole tonne of biscuits when the season gets going. That is the nature of the beast. But I do hope that they can get it together and start hitting the ball more, and getting something for their hits.
But despite the sour taste in my mouth at the idea of losing even a meaningless Spring Training game to the Mets, the pressure to include Pirela in the starting day roster was released for Cashman, as the young standout was filling in at Centrefield for Jacoby Ellsbury and crashed into the fence, injuring himself and giving up an infield homer. He was confirmed as having suffered a concussion, which was not as bad as it could have been but was bad all the same. Brian must be happy that this will take away some of the pressure of him, and that he is at least not being as crazy as the GM in the Cubs. I guess the only thing that we can take from whole Kris Bryant is that we are not the only club with fools running it, who make decisions that make no sense, and cite money as the so called logic behind it.
All that aside, I just want to wish Pirela well and hope he has a speedy recovery, and more importantly that we see him in Yankee pinstripes sooner this season.

Brian Cashman continues to stink up the place- Why won’t Hal Fire Him?

Brian Cashman is one of those guys who keeps making bad calls when it comes to bringing players to the Yankees, and it must be said that he seem to lack the moral courage to admit when he is wrong, even when it is painfully obvious to all that he is. So far the worst decision he has made this season is to give $5m to Drew in what he called in an interview qwith an NY paper ”a gamble.”
I am sorry Brian if you fancy a flutter go bet on a horse, shoot some dice, or do some other lame ass Vegas/ Atlantic City activity that requires as much thought and logic as you seem to put into roster moves. It is almost as though he sees bringing in players and giving out contracts to guys like playing the slot machines. Throw the money in and hope that it works out for the best.
I don’t blame Drew for the fact the Yankess have given him such a big contract. Or Beltran either for that matter, because they are both players that are just trying to get paid and play the game we all love. But they are two players who I think will cost more than we will get from them by way of runs. So no it isn’t their fault they got a big contract with so many big questions over their production or their health. I blame Cashman.
I blame him in the case of Drew for making another poor decision in signing him and thinking that he will give something to the Yankees that he isn’t able to give. I blame Cashman for thinking that if a guy played for Boston, and then came to New York then he wil in someway reinact the curse of The Babe, and hit like Ruth did. So no matter if he couldn’t slap the broadside of the JFK with a Garth Brooks guitar, give him a big contract and then give him a spot on the Opening Day roster at the expense of Pirela the one Yankee that has stood out as deserving a place on the Opening day roster ahead of Drew. Instead Cashman has all but written Pirela off as being Minor League bound and in the meantime he keeps payjng out big money on useless players in the hope that sometime soon he is bound to hit a gamble that pays off.
Spoken like a true Gambling addict there Brian.
Now I know that I have praised Joe Girardi, i just love that guy and find his style of managment to be superb. Not many may agree with me on that, I don’t really know. I praised his work last year as some of the best of his managing career especially with a massive handicap (ie Brain Cashman’s bringing in a whole bunch of guys who were expensive plug ins that just weren’t good moves.) I just want it to be known that my praise of what Joe did is not given to Cashman. Because he stank last year and gave Joe a tonne of duds. In the end I hope Hal wakes up and shows some of the spark his father had and fires Brian’s ass. Or of he is in the habit of hiring staff who don’t do their jobs, or when they actually bother to do their jobs do them badly without fear of being fired for it- please Hal Baby, give me a job. I can stink at a job at a Brian Cashman level. I know I can… I just know I can!

The Beauty of Baseball- from the point of view of an Irish fan

Howdy baseball fans, how are you all doing? I hope that you and all your loved ones are well and safe today.
Well the baseball season is getting closer now, so close that the AtBat app has updated which I am not happy about because the season hasn’t started yet. And all the games from last year are gone now. I cannot watch them. But that is besides the point really. Because that is the nature of progress, so all of last season’s archived games are out of reach now for little old me, hey ho!
All things are forward moving at a rate of knots and within the next few days the first pitches will be thrown, the bats will be swung, and the winter will move on into the spring. That is what is exciting. The steady movement of time going forward is often done to the sounds of that timeless game. The sights and sounds of which remain the same as when the game first turned pro all those years ago. You can look at the players on the field and see them as being Ty Cobb, The Babe, Gherig, Joe Di, The Mick, of course I am naming mostly Yankees there. No spurprise I am a Yankees fan.
But the thing is that baseball is such a sport that you can impose on the players today, the faces of any of the ghosts of the past. That is what the Field of Dreams was about I think, the way that when we watch or listen to a game we can easily see with our mind’s eye the players who made the game great and gave it its past. Time is not a friend to most things, baseball is time’s only friend because for the time that one is watching a game it is as if time has stood still, no not just stood still, it has gone backwards. We are back sharing the moments that made life sweet, we see the ones who shared those moments with us, but are now gone. Like the heroes of old they return, and it is not painful like it ought to be but it is sweet.
If you ask me why I love the game, that would be my answer. It is true that I do not share the memories of baseball with as many people that most of you would have done. I grew up in Ireland and now live in England. Most people I know do not get the game, do not understand how I can love it. But then again they have never sat down and watched the game with me. But as I sit and watch and enjoy, the memories from the field colour the world around me. Last season will forever be one of those memories. Just as I still get the goosebumps from watching the 2001 World Series games played in the Bronx. Or the shock of seeing Clemens throwing the splintered bat at Piazza in the 2000 Series, the first Subway Series in 40 odd years.
I still remember watching the 86 World Series on Irish TV while playing games with my sister in the living room of my family home. Because whenever I watch those games, like music does also, I am projected back to the moments when I watched those games for the first time. Baseball is and always will be the simplest, and most beautiful of time machines. I look forward to sharing it with you all this year.