Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Exclusive Interview w/ BYB Owner Robert Casey

As a part of Prospects Month today on The Greedy Pinstripes we wanted to go in a little different direction and interview a fellow blogger and Yankees fan, Mr. Robert Casey from Bleeding Yankee Blue. You can follow BYB and Casey on Twitter by following @BleednYankeeBlu and stay up to date with all the Yankees news and notes. While we had Casey we touched on everything from Ty Hensley, his time with the Sabathia's, how BYB got started, and maybe even a little fun in the sun. Enjoy!

The Greedy Pinstripes: Hello Robert, how are you? How is everything in the BYB neck of the woods?

Casey: Everything is great if you consider no sleep, constant home projects and winter baseball with the kids a perfect way of life! I do actually…  Life is good, no rest for the weary.

TGP: For those who don't know about the rant that started it all please tell us what inspired you to start BYB?

Casey: OK. It was 2010 and it was, at this point an insignificant game, but significant in my life.  My first post appeared September 14th, but it was a recap on the September 13th game. A 0-0 game until we brought in Sergio Mitre.  Let’s just say I was sick of the pen giving up the lead, and at the time, there were plenty of quotes from Girardi and others suggesting that those September games were “must win” games.  Logically, you’d assume we’d bring in our best guys to shut down the competition, right? Mitre came in and the game was lost.   It was the next several hours that I slapped together a real ugly version of BYB and wrote a story about my frustrations. Nothing earth shattering, just a rant.  After a few of my friends read it, I wrote another piece and another after that.  I remember looking at the stats a week later and about 100 people had clicked to read about 4 of 5 of my articles.  I knew only a handful of people even knew about it, so I knew then something was happening. BYB wasn’t exactly a venture I was interested in taking, but a wise man in my life once told me that if you see a positive opportunity, you should take a chance. My dad’s pretty good like that.

TGP: Who do you think has been your favorite interview while on BYB?

Casey: I would love to give you 1 interview that was my favorite, but you have to understand something, it’s not an interview… it’s a courting.  I am personally invested in meeting these people, learning about them and wanting others the hear things they’ve never heard before, you know what I mean?

For example, did you know that Paul O’Neill loved watching Willie Mays play and impersonated him at the plate?

I had no idea that Jorge Posada told Laura early on that she was the girl he would marry? Did you? I learned it because  Laura told us a great story about how Jorge was her umpire in a softball game when they met the first time, but a short time later, he went back to Puerto Rico to find Laura. Clearly this is about a man who knows what he wants and they’re a great couple!

Tyler Austin introduced me to the Authentic Swing. Bet you never heard of it. It’s a line in film, the Legend of Badger Vance.  He explained to me that once you find that authentic swing, there isn’t anything you can’t do.  That has to do with practice; swinging off a tee and muscle memory… it’s fascinating.

Who were the 2 guys Roy White was closest within the Yankees clubhouse in the 1970s. The answer is Thurman Munson and Horace Clarke.   How about Amber and CC Sabathia? Amber told us after her first date with CC, she knew he was her future husband.  That stuff you’ll never hear anywhere else. 

And finally…our buddy Ty Hensley. Wow, what a wonderful family.  Ty had an abdominal strain and that strain wasn’t giving him the proper rotation in his hips when he pitched. Over time, he messed up his hip and that led to surgery. He’d been throwing incorrectly for a while and overcompensating and not even realizing it.  Now he’s recovered and he’s going to take the Bronx by storm.

As you can see… I’m all in.  I’m invested in these people. That’s important to me.  BYB cares about what they say, personally and professionally and I think the readers pick up on that.

TGP: Do you consider yourself to be a prospects kind of guy or are you under the umbrella of people that would rather trade away the prospects, no matter who, for the "sure thing" veteran presence. 

Casey: I believe that prospects are the future. Sounds obvious, but when I talk to guys like Dante Bichette Jr. or Ty Hensley, I know they want it so bad and I understand the feeling.  They work so hard and to see them push themselves and are so excited to be following their dream, well, it’s encouraging.  Here’s the thing… the hardest part about breaking in with the Yankees is that they go for top free agents and big name trades, so, it ain’t easy. The pressure is huge for these kids.  The hardest thing they can do is work to get there, and then stay there.  I just hope the crop of kids we have right now can be those guys… the future Core Four.  It can happen again, you know.

TGP: Who is your current favorite Yankee prospect?

Casey: Again, favorites are tricky.  I personally like all these studs, so I’m not about to hurt anyone’s feelings here. This is what I can tell you. I’ve got to know Ty Hensley and his family real well.  He knows my family roots for him. Ty has incredible talent, he’s had a setback and now he’s better than he was before.  Marci Hensley, his mother and I have very similar values in raising our kids, so that makes conversations easier. He’s a good kid and that’s a by-product of Marci and Mike.

I got to know Dante Bichette Jr and Tyler Austin just a bit and both guys have a great positive head on their shoulders.  I love their work ethic and how they approach baseball and life. They’re also great role models. 

How’s that… I literally skirted around the “favorite” question. Ha ha.

TGP:  I'm curious to know, as hard as this can be, what is you're favorite Yankees moment of all time?

Casey: For me personally it’s fairly recent and I’m in my 40s. The adrenaline that ran through the Bronx in Game 3 of the 2003 ALCS against the Red Sox will always stick in my mind.  I remember Jorge Posada’s bloop double like it was yesterday and I remember Hideki Matsui, who never showed any emotion jump on home plate and roar.  It was the most incredible thing I had seen and think about it… the Yankees had already won in 96, 98, 99, and 2000. It was just gravy for me. I’m a sucker for passion on the field, what can I say. ( )

TGP: Do you attend many minor league games with your children and family?

Casey: I love to attend the minor league games be it the New Jersey Jackals or Newark Bears, but haven’t been able to do it much.   My oldest son plays baseball all year round and it’s consumed us. I’m not complaining, it’s awesome to see your children learn this great game. But yeah, we go when we can. The family feel in the small ballparks is right up my alley.

TGP:  If you were a Yankees prospect what position would you want to play? You strike me as the catcher type just because of your knowledge of the game, am I right?

Casey: Truth be told, I would have been a terrible catcher, but I appreciate that compliment very much.  I played a great center field, and would have competed for that, with a goal to follow Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Bernie Williams in the Bronx for sure.  But also played first base.  I’m left handed so they kept me in places I could contribute.

TGP: Who wins your 5th spot rotation battle in spring if you had to choose now. Adam Warren, Michael Pineda, David Phelps, Vidal Nuno, or another Yankees arm currently in the system?

Casey: Ty Hensley? Too soon, I know.  No, seriously, if I had to choose right this second, I go with Vidal Nuno.  I like what he has and I tend to lean towards lefties and I just don’t know what to make of Pineda yet.  I consider David Phelps and Adam Warren middle relief. 

TGP: Again, if you're Joe Girardi and holding the many competitions we expect to see this spring, who wins the second base job for you? Corban Joseph? Dean Anna? Eduardo Nunez? Brian Roberts? Someone I am forgetting or overlooking?

Casey: The Yankees signed Brian Roberts to play second and while he’s a veteran, it’s what they want right now and I am fine with that decision.  It’s experience. But someone I am pulling for is Dean Anna.  Anna’s my sleeper hit. I really want to see him make the club. Anyone that can create their own website based on a nickname, “the Dean of Swing”, shows balls.  He wants it, and I’d like to see what the kid has.

TGP: Do you watch the MLB Draft? Do you follow College Baseball at all?

Casey: I watch the MLB Draft, of course and I was crossing my fingers we would have signed Rob Kaminsky last year.  It didn’t happen and the Cardinals grabbed him 2 picks later, but I’ve seen the guy pitch and he’s something else. As far as college baseball, I read about it when I can and games will always be on in the background, but I barely watch television.

TGP: Hypothetical here: If you're Brian Cashman do you blow the International Spending pool out of the water this year and pay the penalties for two seasons or do you play by the book and keep within the cap?

Casey: I think I would stick by the book. I would love to tell you I know what to do with the Yankees money, but many of us really don’t know, including me.  I don’t know what they’re thinking, but they clearly are trying to be smart with their spending. I back that decision based on ignorance. I just can’t delve into their financial situation.  It wouldn’t be fair.

TGP: What are your thoughts on the "Hal Cap" and the whole $189 million goal that's not a mandate. 

Casey: The Yankees are trying to be fiscally responsible after years of overspending.  Let them do their thing.  I back my team.

TGP: I have said this in private messages with you but I have not said it publicly but you are one of the reasons I decided to jump all into the blogging game. You dared to do things differently and rather than be a machine with the same write ups and opinions as everyone else you put your opinion, heart, and soul into your articles. It really shows and it is really appreciated. I just hope you know that you are a role model to many out there, especially in the Yankees blogosphere. You get what you put into this world and it shows with your site and the success is has had so far. 

Casey: Wow. You just blew me away. Thank you.  I read all the bloggers and baseball reporters for a long time. Pete Abraham was the man for me when he was on the Yankees beat. I still love the guy even in Boston, he’s great. I’ve been reading Pete Caldera of the Bergen Record forever.  He’s the most underrated reporter in the business, hands down. The best part about Caldera is he always has 1 hidden nugget in his piece, whether he realizes it or not, and I was always drawn to that.  Those 2 guys alone got me interested…. and not in just the stats, but in the realness of the sport and team.  I’ve read the other blogs but I get so bored of the statistics. I love stats, but when you start throwing dWAR and BABIP at me, my eyes gloss over and I know it happens to many readers too. What I did was found the audience that wasn’t being fed with material like mine and I’m feeding them daily now.  When I grew up, we paid attention to average, home runs and RBIs.  For me, that’s never changed.  I’m old fashioned, not Bill James, and I realized about 4 years ago, that that’s ok.  I’m a dad.  I have kids and a family that I adore. That’s where my heart is and that’s what I bring to this Yankees blog.   Sure, I love my Yankees, but as I develop Bleeding Yankee Blue, I realized just how important the other stuff is as well and I wanted to incorporate it all. That starts with my posts, continues through my writers and to me.  Thanks for noticing, that means we’re doing something right.

TGP: Not really a question here but I really have to give you kudos for the way you raise your children. Teaching them right and wrong sounds so simple but at times, with peer pressure and all that stuff, it can be so hard. The real battle is won at home and it is easy to see that your children will be well prepared for what is coming their way in the real world. Good work Robert! 

Casey: Cool man. Truth be told, my kids are brats and I’m drowning over here.  Seriously though… my kids are my life and while my wife and I are not perfect, we try and they seem listen and learn positive values from us. Parenting is the hardest job in the world. Anyone who tells you it’s easy is misinformed.

TGP: We'll finish with this one, where do you see yourself in life and your career in five years?

Casey: I plan on being on a beach in Hawaii.  I would have a laptop on my left, a drink with an umbrella in it on my right and the love of my life lying next to me looking amazing. She’d look over at me, lift her sunglasses up slightly so I can see those eyes and she’d say quietly… “I guess BYB paid off.”

I want to personally thank Casey for taking the time to do this interview for us. You can tell in his answers that he put his heart into this interview like he does every one of his posts. I urge everyone to head over to and bookmark Bleeding Yankee Blue because there is truly a great stable of writers over there and they bring it every single day. Enjoy the rest of your day everyone and good luck to everyone over at BYB, hopefully they can give Casey his Hawaiian dream one day. 


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)