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Housekeeping Updates as the New Season Begins: Coverage, Mailbag, and Perspective

We last gave a housekeeping update in early February, which was somehow only four and a half months ago. I don’t believe it either. A ton has changed since then, but team practices are resuming this weekend. (They’re actually calling it Summer Camp, believe it or not.) That means it’s a good time to hit on the basics again.

But first…old friend Melky Cabrera signed with the Mets yesterday. The Melk Man is still in the league, believe it or not, and that’s an excuse to watch this play of yesteryear:

I love everything about this, from Damon’s reaction to Manny’s exasperated stare of disbelief. It never gets old. Anyway, onto the housekeeping stuff.

Spring Training Summer Camp

Camp is set to begin this weekend, and we’ll do what we were doing for Spring Training: providing daily updates on the biggest news of the day. See here for an operative example. It’s probably going to be weird – who knows what kind of access reporters will get given the pandemic – so there may be less to go on, but we’ll see. The point is that we’ll do our best to provide regular news updates to keep you up-to-speed. How that will actually materialize remains to be seen.

The Usual

It may have been a while, but things haven’t changed that much around here. It’s going to be a strange season, if it even happens at all, but we’ll continue to do everything we normally do to keep you up-to-date on all things Yankees. We’ll continue the following familiar features:

I was looking forward to taking over DoTF in Steven’s absence this year, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. If there is Minor League Baseball this year, we’ll keep you posted just like we would have – but, again, this is not a usual year, so we’ll see.

The Mailbag

I bring up the mailbag as it’s own little blurb here because, well, I stopped doing it for a while. There just wasn’t that much baseball to talk about! Weird, right? It’ll be back starting this Friday as usual, so please send in your questions to viewsfrom314 [at] gmail [dot] com. We’ll choose our favorites each week, and those that don’t make the website might get covered on the podcast.


Finally, I’d be remiss to note that this is not a normal season, and that’s not just because of the fact that it’ll be shortened. The context in which the season will proceed is obviously one that is unique in baseball history, and we can’t (and won’t) ignore that. Eireann Dolan had a good thread on this on Twitter the other day, which you can see here:

She raises a ton of good points, and while we’re just a lowly blog, we all will do our best to cover this season with the proper perspective while still covering the day-to-day operations of all things Yankees. If we fail in that balance, please keep us accountable.

It’s going to be a weird season (if it’s a season at all), but we’re excited to follow it with you. Go Yankees.

A Yankees Survival Guide During the Bad Times

Folks, we are officially in The Bad Times. I was depressed when the league postponed Opening Day, of course, but it’s feeling a bit worse thing week. Even though it was for an obviously good, science-supported public health reason, it is still very unfortunate that the Yankees are not taking the field this Thursday in Baltimore. Alas, there is nothing we can do but wait for Opening Day, whenever it comes.

I will say that there is some irony in all of this. The Yanks finally signed Gerrit Cole after a decade of trying to bring him home…so it makes sense that baseball is indefinitely cancelled now. What else did we expect? In better news, though, Giancarlo Stanton would “probably” be ready to play in Spring Training games if those were still a thing right now, so it’s nice to hear that he’s progressing.

Anyway, I’m sure you’re dying for baseball every bit as much as I am, so I decided to put together a quick survival guide. It isn’t the same as real baseball, but it’ll do.

Stream Old Yankee Games

Live baseball may be a relic of the Before Times, but our good old friends at Major League Baseball decided to help us out a bit. You can stream any game – regular season and postseason – from the 2018 or 2019 seasons for free over at MLB.tv now. That’s pretty cool! Check out the full archives here. Here are, in my estimation at least, the three best Yankee games to rewatch from the last two seasons:

  • Ken Giles Punches Himself (5/1/18): Remember when the Yanks and Astros were knotted up at zero in the 9th in Houston and then Gary Sánchez hit a 3-run blast to center? Ken Giles punched himself! I remember it too. (MLB.tv link)
  • Severino Shuts out the Astros in Houston (5/2/18): The Astros sure weren’t stealing signs on this one, when Luis Severino was absolutely dominant and shut out the ‘Stros. This is probably Severino’s finest hour and it’s fun to relive this one again. (MLB.tv link)
  • Gleyber Torres Arrives in the Bronx (5/6/18): Remember when the Yankees couldn’t lose back in 2018? That perfectly coincided with the call-up of Gleyber Torres and it also featured one of the most memorable games in the last few years. Down 4-0 to Cleveland entering the bottom of the 8th, the Yanks rallied for 7 runs and won it on a heroic walk-off blast from everyone’s favorite son. (MLB.tv link)
  • The Yankees Demolish David Price (7/1/18): Which one is this, you’re probably asking? There are so many examples! That is true of many games! It’s true, but this one is especially memorable. The Yanks pounded Price in the first two innings of this Sunday Night game in a complete rout of Boston. It was very good. (MLB.tv link)
  • Tanaka Blanks the Rays (6/17/19): Masahiro Tanaka is good for a few absolute gems a year. This was last year’s version when he threw a complete game shutout against Tampa. Glorious, glorious Masahiro. (MLB.tv link)
  • The Aaron Hicks Game in Minnesota (7/23/19): Come on, we all remember this one. A classic Yankee game if there ever was one, and who cares that it is approximately 900 hours long? You have nothing else do to. (MLB.tv link)

There is also a selection of older games available on YouTube, including:

  • The 2017 Wild Card Game: Come on. This one needs no introduction. (YouTube link)
  • Game 4 of the 2017 ALCS against Houston: Neither does this one, but Gary’s double in the gap still sends chills down my spine. (YouTube link)
  • Derek’s Last Game in the Stadium: I still can’t believe he did this. (YouTube link)
  • RAUUUUUUUUL: The 2012 playoffs ended up being horrible, but this one was as memorable as it gets. (YouTube link)
  • Jeter’s 3,000th: A 5-5 day and a huge blast of David Price for number 3,000? That’ll do. (YouTube link)

I prefer live ball, but this will work. There’s no excuse if you’re missing the Yanks and holed up in quarantine, really.

Read a Good Yankees Book

Once you’ve watched all those, check out a good Yankee book. There are plenty of them! These are five of my favorites:

  • The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood, by Jane Leavy: This is a masterclass in the baseball biography genre and is worth everyone’s time. Mickey Mantle is one of the most fascinating characters in baseball history, and Leavy is up to the task in telling his tale, to the surprise of nobody (her biography of Sandy Koufax is as good as they come). Be sure to check this one out. (Link)
  • Joe DiMaggio: The Hero’s Life by Richard Ben Cramer: This one shattered many of the myths DiMaggio, who was as PR-sensitive as anyone could be, had created about himself. Cramer, an investigative journalist, writes with a ring of authority and the result is a great book about a Yankee legend. This one has a special place in my heart as my DiMaggio loving grandfather gifted it to me when I was young. (Link)
  • Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City by Jonathan Mahler: This one, a story centered around the 1977 Yankees, is a snapshot of one of the most turbulent eras in New York’s history. Mahler, an excellent journalist in his own right who penned a piece on the importance of the subway that I come back to time and again, wrote a really memorable book here. Anyone interested in the Yankees and New York City’s history should check this one out. (Link)
  • Pinstripe Empire: The New York Yankees from Before the Babe to After the Boss by Marty Appel: A thorough overview of Yankees history worth anyone’s time. It covers everything from on-the-field drama to the construction of Yankee Stadium in the early 1920s. A must read. (Link)

There are many more, of course, but these are the Yankee books that are always top of my mind. Please recommend some that I may have missed! I always have time for more Yankee-related reading.

Play Good Baseball Video Games

Lucky for us, a few good baseball video games just came out. I’ve been playing an embarrassing amount of both.

  • MLB: The Show 20: Easily the best traditional baseball video game out there, available exclusively to PlayStation 4 players. Derek and I are both playing a ton of this one. I’ve created a player who is now in his rookie season with the Yanks as a starting pitcher, Derek has won the World Series in the game’s March to October mode, and both of us have Yankee franchise modes going on. If you have a PlayStation and don’t have this game right now, I don’t know what to tell you. (PlayStation Store)
  • Out of the Park Baseball 21: The ultimate simulator for a baseball fan. I’m working my way through this one – and I’ll eventually review it for our site along with a simulation of the 2020 season – but I’ll say this: it is, as always, magisterial. There is nothing you can’t do in this one. Check it out for sure and watch the hours melt away. (OOTP Store)

Listen to a Good Yankees Podcast

We have a podcast now! Check it out wherever you get your podcasts. We’re doing it every week even in the Bad Times because everyone deserves at least one hour of distraction, right? More info here.


Anyway, that’s a brief survival guide for the Yankee-lover amid Week 2 of the Bad Times. Please let me know if I’ve left anything off because, like you, I am dying for good Yankees content.

Announcing the VF314 Fantasy Baseball League

Hello everyone! With the start of the season right around the corner, we’re hosting a fantasy baseball league on ESPN. It’s a 12-team rotisserie league with a snake draft tentatively scheduled for March 25 at 9 pm EST. That’s the day before Opening Day, which should ideally help us limit drafting injured players. It is free to play with no cash prize – we only play for bragging rights. Here are the scoring categories:

Offense

  • Runs Scored
  • Extra-Base Hits
  • Total Bases
  • Stolen Bases
  • On-Base Percentage

Pitching

  • ERA
  • Strikeouts
  • Walks Issued
  • WHIP
  • Saves Plus Holds

We have 5 teams already signed up, which means we’ll need 7 more to get this thing rolling. We want you to join us! If you also want to play, please send us an email at viewsfrom314 [at] gmail [dot] com with the subject line “Fantasy Baseball.”

In the email, please tell us the following four things: 1) why you want to play, 2) how many leagues you’re in (or played in last year), 3) how and why you’ll be a consistent player, and 4) your best line of trash talk against one of us. We’ll choose the first 7 people who can make a case that they’ll keep up with the league all year and play with good spirits.

We’ve all been in a league where someone stops setting their lineup in May. Do not be that person. Nobody likes that person. If you’re not that person, please send us an email. We look forward to competing against you!

Site news: Podcast Launch, YES Promotion, Weekly Chat, and more

Embed from Getty Images

Good morning everyone! Today marks the end of MLB’s offseason as pitchers and catchers report to spring training. There’s still a ways to go until the games count, but we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

With the offseason coming to a close and a new season dawning, we figured today is a good time to share some site updates. Without further ado, let’s get right to what you can expect from us in 2020.

We’re launching a podcast!

Episode one of the Views from 314 ft. podcast will go live in the first week of March. Needless to say, but we’re incredibly excited to pursue this medium. We teased it out a few weeks ago and were pleasantly surprised by some of the feedback we received.

The podcast will be weekly, likely on Mondays or Tuesdays. Randy will be your esteemed host while Bobby, Derek, and Matt join in depending on availability. We’ll also bring on guests throughout the year.

YES Promotion

You may have noticed the YES Network promoting our work across social media and on its homepage recently, and this will continue throughout the year. The site will remain the same — we’ve retained full editorial independence and there won’t be any obtrusive new advertisements. Your support has helped us get this recognition and we truly appreciate it!

Weekly Chat

We’ve had a lot of fun running the sporadic #VF314Chat on Twitter, but it’s time for us to turn it into a regular feature on the site. We’ll have more information on this soon and will give a heads up in advance of the first chat so you can put some questions into the queue.

Returning Features

The saying “out with the old, in with the new” doesn’t apply here. We’re keeping the old while bringing in the new. You can expect to see the following once again this year:


As eager as we are for Yankees baseball to get back into full swing, we’re just as excited to bring more good Yankees-centric content to your eyes and ears in 2020. Thank you so much for all of your support since our launch last May, we’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished but we know we couldn’t have done this without you.

Looking Back on the Year that Was

With 2019 coming to a close, all of us here at Views want to take a moment to wish everyone a happy and healthy new year. Today, we’d like to reflect on this first (partial) year of the site’s existence by highlighting some of our favorite articles since the site’s inception in May. But first, we’d also like to emphasize our appreciation of our readers. We wouldn’t be here without you!

Additionally, a special shout out to everyone at River Avenue Blues, who helped us get off to a quick start. It’s pretty amazing what a few retweets from RAB did for us at the early stages of the blog.

It’s been an exciting year, but we’re also very excited for what’s in store for 2020 and beyond. So, thanks again for reading! And without further ado, here are some of our handpicked favorite posts from 2019:

Bobby:

Derek:

Matt:

Randy:

Steven:

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