Paint The Black

Baseball and Beyond

Round Hole Square Pegs

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Every team has question marks, but the Bombers seem to have cornered the market on Round Holes and Square Pegs

Hal Steinbrenner’s self imposed salary cap has made it difficult to predict how the 2016 Bombers will  fulfill  modern baseball’s biggest  asset, depth

The Yanks started light duty workouts in Tampa yesterday and we’ll dig up intel on how the proceedings turned out.

The Lo-down

the Jersey Boys

Mikey 2 Chins

The New Jeter

The Bombers will now be 2 yr’s removed from counting on Derek Jeter being the team’s point man / face.. Last year Brett Gardner became the face of the team, by default.. This year Gardner is lucky he’s still in Stripes as trade rumors swirled around Gardzilla most of the off season

Upon Jeter’s departure, he left the door wide open, the captain / leadership role  was up  for grabs.. The most unlikely case scenario was seeing the much maligned Alex Rodriguez go  from public enemy #1 to the new Jeter.. Why? If there was ever an anti Jeter it was ARod,

“not no more”

meet the new leader of the pack, the unofficial Captain, Alex Rodriguez..

ARod is now the  Bombers version of Henry Kissinger, he’s become baseball’s #1 diplomat, and Hal’s Pal’s National Security voice, a far cry from his 2015 opening day persona when he was projected to be leader of his own  3 ring Circus.

ARod  has morphed into  a combination of the The Dalai Lama and Father Know’s Best, which  is really good for the clubhouse, now if the 40 yr old  Rodriguez can rake like it’s 2015, it’ll be good for the team  and it’s skeptical fan base

Brett The Wrist

Maybe it’s a good idea Gardner didn’t get  traded this off season, as it turns out, he was damaged goods, and the physical  would have probably rendered the deal void..

Apparently Gardner bruised his wrist  in the Wild Card game, and the injury never healed, so he’s a question mark for Opening Day..

What makes us think  he won’t make the bell?

 Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner said he believes the bone bruise on his left wrist shouldn’t stop him from being ready on Opening Day.

One of Gardner’s positive attributes is he portrays being a tough guy, Cashman  seems to like this about him. That’s ok, but for such a tough hombre, he always seems to have a nagging injury that has a negative affect on his overall game,  reminds me of The Boston Midget, Pedroia

Anyway Gardner will give the media lip  service about the wrist, and he might even wiggle his way into  the line-up.. Once he starts to  suck, Girardi  will tell us how “Gardy” is trying to play  through an injury, which will appease all  the Gardner lovestruck bunnies like Mikey 2 Chins, Pope Francesa, and the GM-manager duo Cash-Rardi…

Meanwhile the team  will  suffer while the teacher’s pet gets ample opportunity to work his way out of  his injury doldrums.. It doesn’t help that Gardner now has  a made man contract.. With  3 yr’s and $39M left on his 4 yr deal, the former Face will be getting a very long rope

On a lesser level, Pete Kozma who is on a minor league contract as infield depth, and Mason Williams, another highly touted prospect bust were both reported to be on the shelf… Williams is projected to  start  the season on the DL..

The Not So Hot Corner

With ARod know retired from playing the field, the Yanks have a black hole RE: depth at  3rd base..

The problem?

Cashman gave Chase Headley a  Brett Gardner deal, 4 yr $54M, and the new Yankees don’t buy out their mistakes like your Father’s Bombers used to do

Headley like Gardner has 3 yr’s and $39M left on that mini  albatross deal, and like Gardner he tows around consistent  nagging injuries..Unlike Gardner who  actually had a great half season in 2015, Headley never got off last yr, in fact he was a negative presence on defense, while simultaneously carrying  Gardner’s wet newspaper to  the batters box all  season long (a pathetic .693 OPS)

Most teams in baseball are set at  3rd base, in fact about 16 teams have locks at  the hot corner, roughly another 8 teams are fine with what  they have, but could use an upgrade if the right deal  came along.

Three teams, the Yanks, Red Sox, and Mets are stuck  with under-achieving 3rd baseman making too much money, and eating the bad paper doesn’t seem to be on the table at  the moment

Three teams are in complete team  rebuild, and wouldn’t be interested in older free agents or trades for players trending South of the line

Free Agent David Freese is still jobless and in a perfect world the Yanks would sign him to platoon with Headley, but that’s not how this 2016 team is being constructed.. Yanks are looking for players that  can play multiple positions, but they never inked a pro Swiss Army knife in the off season

Dustin Ackley is about a versatile as it gets for the Bombers, but he doesn’t cover the left side of the infield

The word out of Camp is Castro  and Refsynder will get the first  crack  at being Headley’s caddie…

From the Jersey Boys Website

I spoke with infield instructor and third base coach Joe Espada about Refsnyder’s transition to third base — I’ll post more on that conversation Friday morning — and Espada said there’s less of a learning curve going from right field, where Refsndyer played in collage, to second base than there is from second to third base. The point: It ain’t going to be easy for either of them (Castro / Refsynder) and the Yankees might better served relying on someone with much more experience.

Way to plant that butcher knife in your GM’s back Joey, but we’re glad you took one for the team.. We also know who  the first  coach  will be to  walk the plank if the Yanks don’t make the play-offs

So it’s Espada’s job to turn  the mineral galena into  gold or he’s dead to Cashman .. I’m a Refsynder fan  so in a way I’m glad he’s getting a shot to make the 25 man roster.. I’d enjoy seeing 12 pitchers and 13 position players come North.. That means Girardi  would have 4 bench players, Ackley, Sanchez, Hicks, and Refsynder

The alternative to Refsynder would be wet newspaper carriers Kozma (not on the 40 man) and Ronald Torreyes, not in camp  due to visa issues, or some overstocked player being released by one of the other 29 teams during  / post Spring Training

It seems everybody but Cashman thinks trying to  spread Castro thin by giving him 2 new positions to  learn is a bad idea… Cashman has been around long enough, good chance he knows it’s not an ideal  situation, but if he panics in Feburary, some team might hold him up  for that  final  bench piece

Here’s hoping Refsynder plays his way onto  the 25 man roster.. If Headley goes down for any length of time, Freese would be a great pick up, that’s if one of the 29 other teams don’t  grab him first…


Written by Sal

February 26, 2016 at 7:33 am

Posted in Uncategorized

12 Responses

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  1. no more take out slides, and the neighborhood play will be reviewable.. That’s a play you hate when it goes against you but turn a blind eye when it’s in your favor

    It might help offenses, how many times have we seen 2nd baseman or SS’s nowhere near the bag, but they turn two, that ain’t happening no more..

    Glad the Orioles blew the Dexter Fowler deal… He’s no mike Trout, but he was adding good depth to the O’s out field.. Still it was a strange situation


    February 26, 2016 at 7:50 am

  2. I realized yesterday that when Francesa’s intro music comes on, it’s lyrics are, Mike’s On, he’s ready to go….

    But really, it sounds like Mike Zaun, he’s ready to go lol

    Francesa the other day was waxing about basketball coach Dick Harter hahahaha

    All we need is a Mike Hunt as his assistant


    February 26, 2016 at 8:36 am

  3. Sal–of course I am laughing.Mike Hunt? Perhaps Jack Meoff is his assistant. Funny story I always heard about Billy’s father who was a nervous wreck anytime his son pitched. One day he was in the Yankee family section with my Dad and Ken Hunt ( who also played for the Mets and Cubs, I think) came up to bat. Bill Sr, again excited as hell, screams out “come on Cunt.” The play goes dead silent and he wants to find a place to hide. So friggin funny.So true about Gardzilla–and they will make excuses whenever he doesn’t perform well That’s why I used to call him Evel Knievel
    My view only—give me Cadillac each and every day. He may not run out sure outs on grounders to the right side, but man, pencil him into the lineup everyday and every year. I’m taking that. His “off year” last year when he did play through injury and a parasite, still had him hitting from July 1st to the end—.330, with 17 homers and 52 rbi’s.


    February 26, 2016 at 11:04 am

  4. Has anyone heard from JRZ????? Is he down in Tampa taking pics again?

    Pretty Ricky

    February 26, 2016 at 11:26 am

    • Hey ricky hope all is well with you and the family, good to read from you..

      JRZ bailed on the BBT after getting a job and I believe he also got married, then the BBT went out of business so I haven’t heard from in in 3 or 4 yr.’s….. I don’t think i have his email any longer but if I dig through the archives I might find it, let me know if you want me to dig it up

      good chance it’s been changed though


      February 26, 2016 at 12:55 pm

  5. Those 4 bench players you mentioned, Ackley, Sanchez, Hicks, & Refsnyder. They’re a far cry from Raines, Strawberry, Fielder, & Chili Davis! Just sayin…..


    February 26, 2016 at 2:04 pm

  6. Sal–thanks for the drop. Ken Hunt was with the Yankees ’59 and then ’60 when the incident I described occurred.
    Then there was Ron Hunt from the Mets and Cubs. I think he died in a plane crash


    February 26, 2016 at 2:16 pm

  7. Some of my college friends= Dick Hertz,Hugh G. Rection I don’t understand if GARDY’s wrist has been hurting since October,what have they been doing? What makes anyone think its going to get better over the next month when it hasn’t for the 4 months? Its like Bird waiting for spring training to get shoulder surgery when it could have been done in October! The Yanks are becoming like the old mets!!!-lol


    February 26, 2016 at 7:51 pm

  8. great stuff fellas


    February 27, 2016 at 10:09 am

  9. Hoogsie Ken hunt story got me thinking about a baseball card I had as a kid, I thought it was a Ken Hunt but maybe it was

    Ben Hunt 1910-1913
    Dick Hunt 1872-1872
    Joel Hunt 1931-1932
    Ken Hunt 1959-1964
    Ken Hunt 1961-1961
    Randy Hunt 1985-1986
    Ron Hunt

    Regardless we can add this one to Big D’s college pal’s list lol

    The pitcher Ken hunt

    the aforementioned Ken Hunt Yanks

    Ron Hunt Mets giants etc

    the guy I was thinking of is Ken Hubbs.. Had his card, he was a 20 yr old rookie of the yr, but only played 3 yr’s, as noogsie mentioned one of these guys died in a plane crash, he may have been thinking of Hubb?.. I forgot that part that Hubb crashed…


    February 27, 2016 at 12:48 pm

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