Nov
26

Yanks need a few bounceback years

By

Looking at the current projection of the Yanks 2009 starting lineup, things are looking a bit iffy. In order for the team to succeed, they’re going to need bounceback performances from a number of guys whose production dropped off in 2008. This means Jorge Posada, Hideki Matsui, Robinson Cano, and Nick Swisher. Because I’m sick of talking about free agents, we’ll do this poll-style, with the normal after-party to come in the comments. Who do you think has the best chance of bouncing back?

Who has the best chance of bouncing back in 2009?
View Results
Categories : Polls
  • http://www.bronxbaseballdaily.com Rob Abruzzese

    I think the better question would be which player won’t bounce back. I think more than one will have good seasons. Cano will likely improve and probably Posada too. At least Posada really can’t get worse.

  • Reggie C.

    Matsui. The power was down, but he was still getting his hits (.294 avg) and on-base (.370). The man should be healthier so the power will get better. Its a walk year for man, so I’m expecting a stat line of .290 / .370 / .470. If he’s good for 500 at-bats, he’ll do his part.

    • Chip

      Well everybody was wondering who would replace Abreu in the lineup. That would do it

      • Reggie C.

        Huh. I just looked up Bobby’ ’07. I’m hoping for Mats to essentially mirror Bobby’s plate performance of last season. It’d be a much needed contribution, especially if we don’t get Teixeira.

    • jsbrendog (rocks)

      in order for this to happen he needs to make it to the plate. if he can nail that down I have no doubts that he will continue to be hideki matsui that we all know….and some of you love.

      • DonnieBaseballHallofFame

        Matsui is not really the same type of hitter (or should I say walker) that Bobitto is / was. I agree with the whole “he needs to make it to the plate” thing and if I had to bet on him getting 400-500 at bats I would bet against it (I hope I am dead wrong though)

        • steve (different one)

          Matsui is not really the same type of hitter (or should I say walker) that Bobitto is / was.

          “was” is the key word here. Abreu hasn’t been that type of hitter for 3 years.

          Abreu’s 2007 and 2008 seasons are essentially clones of a typical Matsui season.

          i agree with you about Matsui’s health though, i’d also take the under on 500 ABs.

          • DonnieBaseballHallofFame

            I take a healthy Matsui over Abreu, but I do not think Matsui will every be healthy again. I hope I am wrong but I just can not ignor the knee problems, those are almost as bad as back problems which if I recall correctly he has had some minor ones of those as well.

            I in NO way want Abreu back on this team. If we offer him arb and he takes it (not too likely) I would deal him to a team that loses out on Manny, Tex, and the guys down the list from there. Might not get much for him but I would assume somebody would take him off our hands.

  • Derek

    how did Berroa get ROY over Matsui back in 03?

    • Ivan

      cuz writers couldn’t over the fact that Matsui was a rookie.

      • RollingWave

        that and the difference between the two THAT year was at least reasonablly close.

        it’s like asking how the NL gave ROY to Todd Hollandsworth on the same year as Derek Jeter

    • Mike R.

      Let’s face it. Matsui is no Edison Volquez. Seriously though. It was all about his age/ experience in Japan. Stupid sportswriters.

  • Ivan

    Im gonna go with Cano. I think he’s gonna blow up next season. Plus, he’s really key to that lineup now. I,ve said it before, Cano when he’s going right is the second best hitter in the yankee lineup.

    • Reggie C.

      Last year threw that whole expectation out of whack for me. I thought the time for that rising was last season and instead we got a severe regression. We all know Cano can do better. But what’s the ceiling? At least with Mats, we know what he can do.

    • http://pinstripealley.com Edwantsacracker

      I think the results of the poll show who we need to bounce back the most rather than who will most likely bounce back.

      We are putting a lot of faith in Cano right now.

  • Manimal

    None of them. Hughes/IPK.

    • Steve

      You need to have had a good year in order to ‘bounce back’.

    • C.Panella

      IPK threw 7 perfect innings last night with 4ks :-)

  • Chip

    If we don’t sign anybody else, I’d argue for the lineup to look like this

    LF-Damon
    SS-Jeter
    2B-Cano
    3B-A-Rod
    DH-Matsui
    1B-Swisher
    C-Posada
    RF-Nady
    CF-Gardner

    With the OBP machines of Damon and Jeter in front of him and A-Rod behind him, Cano will hit .330 because he’ll see nothing but fastballs down the pipe.

    • Bill R

      I would really be cautious of Robbie hitting 3rd because the power numbers aren’t there. But I agree he would have a very high batting average with Arod protecting him. I still think we need another bat in this lineup preferably Tex or Manny.

      • Jeff G

        Robbie is never going to see fastballs down the pipe until he learns to stop swinging at shit. I love this kid and feel he’ll bounce back but there would be no way I’d bat him third.
        The lineup if it were to be made as the team currently stands would probaly see ARod move down to the three hole followed by Matsui. Perhaps you could flop the two but that is the only player I’d see representing at the bottom part of the lineup.

        • Count Zero

          Robbie is never going to see fastballs down the pipe until he learns to stop swinging at shit. I love this kid and feel he’ll bounce back but there would be no way I’d bat him third.

          Agreed. No way Cano can hit third until he ups his OBP significantly. A career .335 OBP does not a #3 hitter make…

    • Scott of 3 Kids Tickets

      2 comeback guys surrounding Alex scares me. If the combacks do poorly, the Yankees fall. We need stronger players in at least one of those spots (like Tex, Manny, or various others). I really wouldn’t want to, but maybe:

      LF-Damon
      SS-Jeter
      RF-Nady
      3B-A-Rod
      2B-Cano
      C-Posada
      DH-Matsui
      1B-Swisher
      CF-Gardner

      Half our friggin lineup is comack guys, that’s the problem. We really need a proven bat in addition to starting pitching…

      -Scott

    • Capital T

      Damon’s and Jeter’s diminished speed also reduces the need to pump fastballs.

    • DonnieBaseballHallofFame

      Not a bad line up but I hope it looks a lot more like this:

      LF/DH-Damon
      SS-Jeter
      3B-Alex the Purple Lipped Princess
      LF/DH-Manny
      2B-Cano
      1B-Swisher
      C-Posada
      RF-Nady
      CF-Gardner

      • Mike Pop

        I dont get why Nady is so far down

        • DonnieBaseballHallofFame

          Neither do I. I meant to swap out Swish and Nady.

  • Ricochet

    Matsui will be fine he’s had injuries over the last few seasons that were unfortunate and weren’t age related and his game hasn’t slipped he’s just been hurt.

    Swisher will without question be better then last season but that’s not saying much and that doesn’t mean I think he’s going to be great because I don’t but he will be better.

    Posada still got it if he’s healthy but that’s the question is he going to be healthy enough to be the player he can be. Even when his shoulder is a 100% it’s not going to be the old 100% and it’s never going to be the same.

    As for Cano, he’s the real deal IMO and everyone has a couple bad season here and there at some point in his career and last season was his and without question he’s going to be much better next season.

    That said, Ca$hman has got it wrong and while Swisher might match Giambi’s crappy offensive play there Yankees need to replace the offense that they are losing from Abreu.

    • Reggie C.

      Not so much. Healthy seasons from Mats and Posada should unearth MUCH of the runs we just didn’t get last season. Improved seasons from Cano and Swisher should also make up for runs we didn’t get.

      When you say Cano is the “real deal”, are you saying he’s a .330 / .350/.500 guy? I honesty believe that Matsui is going to put up better numbers than Cano.

      • Bill R

        Matsui will not bat .330 if we get .290 – .300 out of him I would be ok with it if he gets atleast 80 – 100Rbi’s

        • Chuck

          Cano doesn’t have the fire in his belly that the others have, he laid down. I would put him and Kennedy on their way to any team willing to trade a solid SP for them. Plus we got Posada, Jeter, and Arod for sometime in the infield and at least Jeter and Jorge are gonna have to field a different position. I wouldn’t consider them DHs. Their on field presence is important. I think Swisher will enjoy the his shot with the Yankees and hopefully will have a good season. That was my vote.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=15305165&ref=profile Doug

            “fire in the belly”
            what else is missing, my good man
            perhaps some consistency or good old gritty rough and toughness
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            • Chuck

              sorry you dont like my choice of words. But I think it is pretty valid to say the guy doesn’t have as much drive to win after his performance before elimination.

              • jsbrendog (rocks)

                he’s got no grit! hell he can’t even grow a beard!! trade him, sign eckstein. he’s gritty and could probably grow a half beard of sorts

              • DonnieBaseballHallofFame

                Pay these fools no mind. They think the game is played on paper. Cano needs to be a tuff minded player and he is not. He is laid back and aspires to be the second base version of Abreu.

                Bobbito was a cancer for Melky and Cano.

                Grit in baseball is important. A lot of times it does show up in the raw stats, but it also is not seen on paper all the time. People who think that just stats alone tell the true well rounded picture of a player are rather silly. Also I have been accused of this as well but people who turn a blind eye to any and all stats are also silly. But if I had to choose only one of the two:

                1) A true baseball mind who knows it all and has seen it all.

                2) Mr Chart-O-Matic who needs his binder and laptop to tell everything about everybody.

                I take #1. But the beauty is today you can meld the two.

                I am not a Buck Showalter fan. Buck was a stat geek times two and he stated his way out of us winning the 95 DS. Sometimes you have to trust your gut over the book even if the book tells you that you are wrong.

                So to the nerds who keep posting head slaps or whatever, keep doing it, it is oh so refreshing and knee slappingly funny.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

                  None of this shit makes any sense.

                  Nobody consistently spouts meaningless garbage like you do. You’re the anti-poster of the year.

                  Cano needs to be a tuff minded player and he is not. He is laid back and aspires to be the second base version of Abreu. Bobbito was a cancer for Melky and Cano.

                  Meaningless, partially-racist tripe.

                  I am not a Buck Showalter fan. Buck was a stat geek times two and he stated his way out of us winning the 95 DS. Sometimes you have to trust your gut over the book even if the book tells you that you are wrong.

                  Stupid, revisionist, tautological, incorrect, and indefensible.

                  You’re like George Bush now. You’re always, always wrong and you get worse every time you open your mouth.

                  STFU.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

                  That, and it’s not a face slap. It’s a facepalm. I don’t see how you can confuse the two.

                • jsbrendog (rocks)

                  donniebaseballhalloffame = david ecksteins agent

            • jsbrendog (rocks)

              faceslap revolution. embrace it.

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

                Facepalm.

                • jsbrendog (rocks)

                  touche, i stand corrected. my bad.

                • steve (different one)

                  gloveslap, baby, gloveslap!

                • http://www.samiamsports.blogspot.com SAMIAMSPORTS

                  In the words of the great Homer Simpson,
                  ” I challenge you to a dool”
                  If u have no idea what the hell Im talking about . dont worry. it was from a simpsons eppy where homer starts slapping people in the face with his gloves and gets his way, until he slaps a real cowboy who yakes him up on his duel invitation..

                • jsbrendog (rocks)

                  that was a great episode. the southern oil tycoon esque cowboy jerry jones texas tie stereotype is funny

                • jsbrendog (rocks)

                  and i believe it is referred to as a guantlet lol

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

                  Gauntlet.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones
                • http://www.samiamsports.blogspot.com SAMIAMSPORTS

                  Here I found the link for the eppisode on wikia entertainment.(i never heard of it either)

                  http://simpsons.wikia.com/wiki/E-I-E-I-D'oh

                • DonnieBaseballHallofFame

                  tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones says:
                  November 26th, 2008 at 10:10 am

                  You little lady are the typical internet message board dork.
                  You might want to check what ethnicity somebody is being you call them racist because of a comment about somebody who does not happen to be white, or possibly know them. Cano lacks focus, drive, and baseball smarts as does Melky. Both of them follow around Bobbito like puppy dogs, and he is the #1 all time laid back dont worry be happy guy. I prefer a player with drive, ambition, and baseball smarts, oh and a guy who runs out fly and ground balls. Is that a stat? Get me a stat for that stat nerd.

                  As for Buck S., in 95 when I was a grown up watching the game I said DO NOT PITCH TO GRIFF, as I am sure thousands of others did. Not pitching around that man cost them that series, if you think otherwise you were NOT WATCHING THE GAMES. But I guess I am a racist because I think Buck botched the 95 DS.

                  As far as the STFU comment. Again please refrain from saying things on the net you would not have the courage to say to anybody let alone me in person. Sorry not sure if that was a racist comment since you are sub-human and all.

  • J.R.

    Hate to be a synic here, but im saying Matsui. Both knees are better and the its a contract year.

    • whozat

      Why would that make you a cynic?

      “Well, his repaired knees will allow him to drive the ball better, and this is probably his last year in MLB before he heads back to Japan, so he’ll be pretty motivated.”

      Seems pretty reasonable to me.

  • Steve

    The safest bets are the two veterans, Posada and Matsui. Both should be healthy next year, and you know they can produce from their track records.

    The question in my mind is about the younger guys, Cano and Swisher. Did Cano simply have a down year or has the league slowly exposed him? Cano’s numbers have declined steadily for the past 3 seasons. Did Swisher have a bad season on a team that was a bad situation for him, or was he affected by the PED/stimulant ban?

    • steve (different one)

      Cano’s numbers have declined steadily for the past 3 seasons.

      not really.

      isoD improved and isoP was steady from 2006 to 2007. only change was the fluctuation in his batting average.

      we know he’s not a “true talent” .342 hitter, no one is. so 2007 was basically the same season as 2006, possibly a slight improvement.

      he walked more, hit for the same amount of power, and did it over more ABs. he just had a few less singles fall in.

      2007 was every bit as good as 2006.

  • http://barackobama.com TurnTwo

    i wonder why everyone just assumes its a given that Matsui’s knees are healthy for next year. Didnt we think the same thing going into 2008? he had surgery to repair his one knee, and then came into spring training slowly, rehabbed fully, and then was basically gone by June thru the end of the season because his other knee went.

    so now he’s starting all over again… had surgery to repair the damage, is rehabbing and should be healthy for spring training…

    idk, fool me once? shame on you… fool me twice? well, you just cant get fooled again.

    • DonnieBaseballHallofFame

      I agree 100 percent. A guy with multi knee surgs plus a year or two older, not a good look. I hope I am wrong even if we trade him (I like the guy) but if the Yankees pass up Manny because we got one year left with Damon and Matsui who are both hurt and old all the time it is a poor move.

      • Chip

        Aren’t you supposed to be Mr. Grit and such? Manny is the least gritty player in the history of the league and you want him? Talk about somebody who would be a cancer on the younger guys

        • DonnieBaseballHallofFame

          I am Mr Grit and such? I am for winning games and playing hard. I saw Manny play hard a lot in Boston. I also saw Boston from the players, coachs, managers, front office etc NEVER keep Manny in check. They created all that Manny being Manny junk.

          I know in LA Manny was great with those kids. Torre, Mattingly, Bowa, and some of the players said as much. I know he was in a walk year and all trying to prove the world wrong. I think the front office, Girardi, Jeter, Posada would all keep Manny in line. Manny has more baseball smarts as a hitter than anybody with that much power I have seen in my lifetime. Now maybe its part chemical, I can not rule that out and if that is true I want no part of him, but he was always a big strong guy and I hope for his sake and the games sake he is a clean player.

          Manny is the best hitter against good pitching I have ever seen. Sorry Pie Chart Pixies I do not have the google search data to back it up but I swear I saw it with my own eyes. MY OWN EYES (that should get me an extra 30 or so responses with dot matrix cut and paste google search pictures in them with a guy holding his head YES)

  • Axl

    Matsui is a beaten man. Posada was never the 2007 guy…Swisher have a “bounceback year” from his Varitek-like .219 batting average to his what? Whopping .244 career batting average?!? That’s bouncing back…
    The answer is clearly Cano. The kid is just 26 and needs to get on the ball here. The talent is all there…we’re well aware…his attitude is the issue. Cocky, showboaty, nonchalant…and he still makes the plays…imagine if he actually hustled?!? Or put in HALF the effort the others do… Pedroia and Youkillis even acknowledged it at the All Star game…saying that they don’t have the talents Jeter and Arod have…so they have to try that much harder… but Jeter and Arod still try incredibly hard themselves…. Cano seems to just go with the flow… play on his terms… while he shows so much promise both on the field and behind the plate…unless he changes his attitude…I don’t see anything “bouncing back” though.

    The definition of insanity is doing things the same way over and over again and expecting different results…if he keeps the same cocky nonchalant attitude…not much is going to change…positively anyway…

    • jsbrendog (rocks)

      if you hit .244 but have an OBP near .400 and hit 25-30 hr and drive in 75-100 runs then yes, that is a very good year. so basically a delgado like season minus about 5 hr and 16 rbi and about 20-30 points on the batting average but a 20-30 point raise in obp. I’ll take that.

      • Axl

        Yeah, but he had a good OBP and hit 25-30 hr when he batted .219 also…

        So technically…his “bounce back year” would just be raising his average from .219 to .244…

        Right?

        Nothing I’d really jump through hoops over…

        • steve (different one)

          So technically…his “bounce back year” would just be raising his average from .219 to .244…

          Right?

          wrong. you’re double counting.

          his batting average before he hit .219 was .251. so, we’d be looking for him to “bounce back” to .251…

          it’s not great, but at least it doesn’t carry the stigma of being less than .250 which everyone seems to be so worried about.

          if he hit .250/.365/.465 that would be pretty good.

          • Axl

            I suppose…that’s basically a perfect substitution for Giambi right there…

            But what about Abreu’s substitution? Nady isn’t going to cut it…

            Still think Cano needs to try harder…that was the original point haha

            • steve (different one)

              But what about Abreu’s substitution? Nady isn’t going to cut it…

              offensively, probably not.

              offense + defense? the difference is very small.

              i agree that they need another bat somewhere, but Abreu gave back a lot of value on defense last year. maybe he was hurt, i don’t know.

              • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

                Excellent point. The fact that there’s probably 50 flyballs to right that will be now be caught instead of dropping in for hits must be factored into the Bobby vs. Nady question.

  • http://www.samiamsports.blogspot.com SAMIAMSPORTS

    I voted for the last one cause it made me laugh. but in all honesty, factoring in age and all, ill have to go with Cano. plus anything you get frm Jorge or Matsui is technically bouncing back, cuz they didnt really have down years they were hurt.

  • Matt

    I think Cano and Jorge will come back strong, and Swisher will surprise everyone…if he’s our everyday 1B.

    Matsui…he’ll be average.

    • jsbrendog (rocks)

      i’ve never been a matsui fan and feel he’s always been an average htiter, possibly above average at times but overall average, and his defense was poor. he made routine plays look like great catches because his hat fell off his hair flailed and he took a tumble into a forward roll into a weird looking smile. could they have done better the past few years….maybe not….am i broken up about him leaving not really. but i do hope he hits the hell out of the ball this year and then signs in seattle or sanf ran or whereve the dumb rumor was we could trade him away and get a matt cian or brendan morrow inr eturn lol

  • Andy

    If they sign Tex, and Swisher is anywhere near where he was the two years prior to last years fall (and remember, he just hit his prime), the Yanks are hugely upgraded offensively and defensively even if everyone else performs exactly as last year. Consider this lineup:

    Damon – CF
    Jeter – SS
    Tex – 1B
    ARod – 3B
    Posada – C
    Matsui – DH
    Nady – RF
    Swisher – LF
    Cano – 2B

    Swisher essentially replaces Giambi offensively – a guy who will take a lot of pitches, high OBP, power to jack it out and low BA; he could easily replicate Giambi’s .247/.373/.502 line with 32 HRs considering his .262/.381/.455 line in 07 and his .493 SLG and 35 HRs in 06. Defensively, he allows Nady to go to right, upgrading two OF positions (LF and RF) while slightly downgrading one (since Damon played a decent amount of CF last year anyway).

    Tex, on the other hand, essentially replaces Abreu offensively, and represents a HUGE upgrade, no explanation necessay. Defensively he replaces Giambi, and the defensive upgrade there goes without saying.

    Plus, by replacing two left handed hitters with two switch hitters, you solve the Yanks woes against lefties.

    The end result is a much better team offensively and defensively, even if we get what we got last year out of everyone else.

    The moral of the story is SIGN MARK TEXIERA!!!!

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      All of that is excellently said.

      I’d switch Damon and Swisher in CF/LF, though, and I don’t think Robbie has to hit 9th. I know, he looked horrid last year, but if he’s impressive out of spring training, I’d boost his confidence and show him that the organization has faith in him and hit him 3rd. And, I like Tex protecting ARod (rather than Posada)…

      L- Damon – LF
      R- Jeter – SS
      L- Cano – 2B
      R- ARod – 3B
      S- Tex – 1B
      L- Matsui – DH
      S- Posada – C
      R- Nady – RF
      S-Swisher – CF

      • Old Ranger

        Swisher would be a disaster in CF. 27/09.

  • C.Panella

    IPK threw 7 perfect innings last night with 4ks WEE trade gim while his stock is high !!!! :-P

    • C.Panella

      Im a noob sorry fellas he gave up 3 hits i read the wrong line >.<

  • Axl

    The thing is…we need to stop gambling on these things. “We’re going to assume last year was a fluke…” We gambled last year with Hughes and Kennedy in the rotation and the worst case scenario happened. Which is even more likely when you’re looking at already previously injured players in their mid-late 30′s.

    Don’t assume anything. While there are few “sure things” out there…Sabathia and Teixeira are the closest things to it. That’s what you need after gambling last year and losing badly.

  • Peter Lacock

    This is a tough choice as I can see all these guys having a good year. Cano has something to prove and has shown the desire to rededicate himself. Matsui is a pro and will likely feel the best he has in years assuming his knee issues are solved. There’s every reason to think they are. Swisher seems to have a good head on his shoulders and will benefit from the stadium and lineup around him. Because of my background, I feel most in tune with pitchers and especially catchers and I feel supremely confidant that Posada has several good seasons ahead of him as the everyday catcher. If I have to pick only one, I’ll take Jorge.

    • Spaceman.Spiff

      People just say Cano doesn’t care because he’s not biting his glove off when he messes up? I think he just tries to stay level-headed more than anything. He obviously cares because Kevin Long says that he’s been working really hard this offseason with agility drills for fielding and cardio to lose some unnecessary weight. From all accounts this offseason, Cano is working harder than some of the so-called players who (look like they) care.

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