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ESPN:NY Article Review of the Jeter Contract Situation

November 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I only check the ESPN: New York satellite site because its a means of organization, that I can see Yankees, Giants, Jets, Devils, and Nets all on the same site instead of trying to find it on the main ESPN hub page.  I do this mostly for quick score updates of stats, as well as headlines.  I normally don’t read much beyond that, because in all honesty, it’s crap.  But I did come across one article yesterday from Ian O’Connor about a compromise between the Yankees’ camp and the Jeter camp that’s worth reading.  I was quite surprised to read along with and agree with O’Connor’s words, that rarely happens.

Here’s the article

Things I agree with:

  • The idea of a compromise, falling in between the Yankees’ initial offer of 3 years for $45 million, and Jeter’s belief that he’s still worth of $100 million.  The middle? 4 for $70m.
  • How Jeter has no leverage coming off his worst season statistically, at age 36, some terrible timing on his part.
  • How Jeter has beat the Yankees in terms of negotiating in the past, whether through arbitration years, or getting more money a few years after George Steinbrenner would not notarize a deal that was already set in place.
  • How Jeter is the reason Cashman normally won’t negotiate during the arbitration years for the youngsters.  I can only imagine the raise that Robinson Cano will get after his current contract is up, or what Phil Hughes’ first big contract since his signing bonus as a senior in high school will be.
  • The way the Steinbrenner brothers run the team financially (like night and day).  Hank awarded A-Rod with the massive contract full of options and monetary achievements, and Hal is pinching pennies on the Yankee captain.

Things I disagree with:

  • Mentioning how Jeter has been on record to compromise already, whether moving off of short in the future, or working on his defense in the offseason after a dinner with GM Brian Cashman.  Workout regimes and future hearsay are two totally separate things, especially when dollars are involved.  Just because someone compromises in one area doesn’t mean they will in another; a stupid assumption.
  • O’Connor getting cute by bringing his story full-circle with the Jordan-Washington Wizards and Toledo Mud Hens metaphor from the intro paragraph.  Just the kind of tackiness that keeps this article from being perfect, but I don’t expect anything less from ESPN: New York.

Hal Steinbrenner said things “could get ugly” and he was right, it has.  Of course, this is the ugly side of baseball, the whole negotiating game that isn’t played on a diamond with 90 ft. basepaths.  There have been numerous reports coming out on a daily basis of the “who said what” rant, and I’ve found myself overloaded and unsure of who to believe.  More numbers have been thrown around in the past few weeks then in an antique automobile auction.

What I do like in terms of the rest of the major leagues, is how Jeter is going to be paid well above market value.  Other premiere shortstops such as Troy Tulowitzki will use Jeter’s previous and current contracts to their advantage, possibly pricing himself out of Colorado, and perhaps ready to take over once the aging Jeter either calls it quits or (voluntarily) moves off the shortstop position.

So, things are getting a little sour.  Cashman says Jeter is free to test the open market and find a better deal.  Hal has stated that “we’re trying to run a business here.”  Jeter’s agent Casey Close may or may not have let his camp’s demands leak, and may or may not have tried to cover it up.  That’s what happens during negotiations in the offseason.

The Captain eluded questions from the media all season long about what would happen this offseason when his current contract expired.  We all understand why.  But let’s not forget what happened to Bernie Williams after the ’98 season.  Things are now both magnified and amplified due to new media and the timing of when we get ours news.  Thanks, Twitter.

Hot Stove Info: Meetings, Contracts, Call-Ups, Awards

November 10, 2010 Leave a comment

So far into the off-season, the window to negotiate exclusively with their free agent’s period has come and gone, with no deals done for the Yankees.  However, that doesn’t mean that GM Brian Cashman and the rest of the Yankees front office hasn’t been busy.  To recap so far…

  • Yankee brass has met with Jeter’s agent Casey Close, and it has been noted over the Internet and airwaves that “all parties agree a deal is going to get done.”   This, to me, is not real news.  News would be if the meeting went horribly and Jeter decides to take his talents elsewhere because of a low-ball offer.  (But I am pleased that things went well)
  • Cashman flew to Arkansas to meet with Cliff Lee.  No contract submission yet, but I would bet that the Yankee GM wasn’t selling New York to the lefthander, wearing his ’09 ring to show off to the pitcher that has missed out in the last two World Series matchups.
  • Jorge Posada will primarily be a DH in 2011, with Jesus Montero most likely getting around 100 starts as a rookie.  Who isn’t excited to have both of their bats in the lineup next year?  Side note: Will be interesting to see the battle from Spring Training on for the third catcher spot, with fist-pumping extraordinaire Frankie Cervelli and fellow homegrown backstop Austin Romine.  Let’s see how Jorge adjusts to his new role.  (And I’m not going to link to any Laura Posada twitter reactions, because the account hasn’t been verified yet).
  • The Yankees will also meet with Gil Patterson on Thursday, who was a Yankee coach before becoming a “roving instructor” for the Oakland A’s.  He’s my personal choice to be the new pitching coach for the club.
  • Jeter, Cano, and Teixeira won the Rawlings Gold Glove awards for their positions in the American League.

With the end of the regular season, it’s time to hand out the awards.  The Gold Gloves have already been handed out, and here’s the dates for the remaining awards:

Nov. 15: AL & NL Rookie of the Year

Nov. 16: NL Cy Young

Nov. 17: AL & NL Manager of the Year

Nov. 18: AL Cy Young

Nov. 22: NL MVP

Nov. 23: AL MVP

The Jeter Contract

November 3, 2010 Leave a comment

It has its own trending hashtag on Twitter.  It’ll get the backpage of the Post and Daily News in the next upcoming days.  Francesa will spend at least an hour on the topic until pen meets paper.  Might as well join the conversation.

Everyone’s throwing figures around trying to guess the next contract for Derek Jeter.  That it’s with the Yankees has to be a given, so I don’t see wasting any time on trying to envision him wearing #2 in anything but pinstripes.

One tweep of mine, Andrew Katz (@NoYoureATowel) has a contest going for his followers to guess the amount and years of Jeter’s next contract.

Derek’s last contract was 10 yrs/$189 mil.  I can’t see him getting a raise as he approaches 40 and continues to decline in terms of production.  Speaking of production, Jeter’s 2010 numbers: .270/.340/.370.  Not exactly Jeterian, or the kind of numbers to be used as leverage in negotiations.

Speculation has it that he is seeking 6 year deal, which would keep him in the Bronx until he’s 42.  I’d take 4 years, 5 max.

While the 2010 Jeter was frustrating with every groundout or GIDP to a middle infielder, I’m hoping 2011 is truly a fresh start.  Jeter’s been my idol growing up, as I started to really follow the team in 96, when I was 7.  One thing he has always done was address his flaws, so let’s hope he gains some range back at short, and quickens up the wrist, as his bat speed tended to drag through the zone this year, resulting in all of the groundouts, or weak tappers.

So, to get down to the bare bones of it, what’s my prediction on the Jeter contract?  I honestly don’t want to put a figure on it.  It’s not money out of my pocket, as many fans have worried that the team would be overpaying.  So what.  Derek Jeter is the face of the Yankees.  He’s been clean his entire career in an era tainted with sryinges and Supreme Court hearings.

If I’m Brian Cashman or either of the Steinbrenner’s, I hand Derek a blank check, knowing that he will make the right decision for both the franchise and himself.

(Getty Images)

ALCS Rotation Set + Opinion Poll

October 13, 2010 2 comments

Yankees:

Game 1:CC Sabathia (21-7, 3.18 ERA)
Game 2: Phil Hughes (18-8, 4.18 ERA)
Game 3: Andy Pettitte (11-3, 3.28 ERA)
Game 4: A.J. Burnett (10-15, 5.26 ERA)

Rangers:

Game 1: C.J. Wilson (15-8, 3.35 ERA)
Game 2: Colby Lewis (12-13, 3.72 ERA)
Game 3: Cliff Lee (12-9, 3.18 ERA)
Game 4: Tommy Hunter (13-4, 3.73 ERA)

With Games 1 and 2 in Texas, I like having Hughes at 2 instead of 3, as it plays to his strengths.  He has better numbers on the road (3.47 ERA on the road vs. 4.66 ERA at home), and has pitched well at the Ballpark in Arlington (the near no-hitter in 2007 comes to mind).   The flyballs he gives up at Yankee Stadium sometimes turn into cheapie home runs (20 HR at home vs. 5 HR on the road).

Should the series go to games 5, 6, or 7, I see it repeating as CC, Hughes, and Pettitte.

Of course, should the Yankees go down 2-1 or worse lose the first 3 games, I don’t think there’s a chance that Burnett starts game 4, we probably see the big man on short rest, something we’ve all seen him do, whether with the Brewers in 08 or last year with the 3-man rotation in 09.

While the Yankees have a .655 OPS against Lee since 2007, the Rangers have a .660 OPS against Sabathia.  Something to think about how they feel in Texas, has to be somewhat similar to all the Lee hoopla in Game 3 in the New York media.  Having Pettitte face Lee is no wash, so you’re simply not just throwing Game 3.

We as Yankees fans should be counting our blessings that the ALDS matchup between the Rays and Rangers went five games, now we may only have to face Lee once in Game 3.  He would go again in Game 7, so let’s hope we take it in 5 or 6.

Good work, Girardi, this guy approves.

So, what’s your ideal rotation for the ALCS, did Girardi make the right move, or would you have gone with something else?  Vote and share your thoughts

ALDS Game 1: Yankees at Twins

October 6, 2010 2 comments

Outstanding piching performances in today’s first two Division Series games… Lee going for 7 IP with 10 K’s and 1 ER.  Oh, and Roy Halladay pitched a no-no against the Red’s high powered offense.

NY Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins

Target Field

8:37 start time, TBS

8:37 First pitch to Jeter, fastball from Liriano taken outside for a strike.

8:39 Jeter strikes out swinging.  We’re doomed.   /sarcasm

8:41 I wish the Yankees had a theme song like they did last year with “Empire State of Mind”

8:42 well that was quick.  3 up, 3 down, Twins coming up to bat in the bottom of the first

8:45 I’m really diggin the TBS Pitch Trax.

8:48 the big man fielding his position well, one out with that sac bunt, Span in scoring position with 1 out

8:51 CC gets Mauer swinging on a good breaking ball.

8:52 ground ball up the middle that CC tries to kick, through his legs and naturally Robbie Cano is behind the bag to throw out Young at first to end the inning.

8:57 ARod and Cano with bad swings on pitches, 2 quick outs.

9:02 2 runners on after Thames walks and Posada slaps a single through the right side.  Up to Granderson.

9:03 Caught.  One hopper to Cuddyer, steps on the bag to end the inning.

9:07 CC drills Thome in the right shoulder.  Clearly unintentional but will be interesting to see if there’s any retalliation.

9:08 and just like that it’s 2-0 as Michael Cuddyer hits a line drive over the centerfield wall into the trees.

9:12 Sabathia’s slider looks much better than his fastball so far

9:20 Gardner seeing a ton of pitches.. I like it.  Works a 7-pitch leadoff walk.  GGBG

9:25 Jeter drops one in front of Delmon Young in leftfield on a 3-2 offspeed pitch.  2 on, no out.

9:31 Liriano making us look silly.  Swisher and Teixeira fly out, Rodriguez goes down swinging.

9:41 with Hudson going on 3-2.  Mauer taps to Teix far off first, footrace to the bag and Teixeira slides for the out, but Hudson makes it to third hustling all the way

9:42 swing and a miss, and the pitch deflects off the heel of Posada’s pitch.  Ball rolls into Minnesota’s dugout and Hudson scores.  3-0 Twins.

9:46 Thome hits into the shift to Cano, to end the inning. Yankees coming up, and need to string together some hits before it’s too late

9:52 that inning ended so fast that I didn’t even know it happened until I heard the crowd roar as Posada was rung up by home plate umpire.  1-2-3 innings are killer at bat

10:03 Shit My Dad Says, “They gotta get goin here!”

10:07 Bill’s gettin angry.

10:22 Liriano sits down 10 straight.  Yankees beating themselves: CC’s hit-by-pitch

10:22: Almost forgot about Craig Sager’s Joker suits.  Atrocious.

10:23 Teix with a double.  Time to cash in and get rid of that goose egg.

10:26 ARod walks on 3-2 on a pitch that looked closer to the plate than Pitch Trax accounted for.  Cano up

10:27 Cano blasts one past Cuddyer at first into rightfield, almost took Alex’s legs out  Teix scores, not sure why ARod isn’t at third.  Thought Kubel’s arm was trash in RF?

10:33 pitch number 103 for Liriano is lined over the head of Orlando Hudson, Posada with his second hit to RF, this one an RBI single scoring ARod.  Teix stays put at third, 3-2 game in the sixth

10:36 Granderson quiets the crowd after hitting a mile high flyball off the electronic scoreboard in right-center.  2 come in as they were running with two outs and Grandy is on third, Minnesota going to the bullpen.

10:42 Need a shutdown inning from Carsten Charles

10:46 close call there, my father says “ohhh shiiiittttt kiss that baby goodbye” as I keep my eyes on Gardner, who settled right under it at the track.  Hit the weights, Delmon.

10:50 Gardner can’t come up with the catch, would have been quite the web gem.  Thankfully Thome was running and doesn’t score there.  Kubel up with 2 out, runners on second and third.

10:54 the rookie Valencia up with the bases loaded, Sabathia walks him to score the tying run.  Get it together big guy.

10:57 CC strikes out Hardy to end that threat, but so much for that “shutdown inning” as Twins tie game at 4.

11:03 Swishy goin up the middle, standing on 1st with 1 out, Teixeira and ARod up next.

11:07 the quietest home run I’ve ever seen.  No commentary, no crowd reaction.  A Teixecution!  Yankees back on top 6-4 in the top of the 7th.

11:15 ARod swipes second.  Haven’t seen him take off in so long

11:20 Logan the LOOGY’s in with Span, Hudson, Mauer due up in the 7th

11:29 great job by Logan, who gets first two lefty’s out, and Mauer grounds a ball into rightfield that Teixeira probably gets to.  Mauer’s on first now, Girardi going to his pen once again.

11:36 D-Rob gets Thome to swing at a curve in the dirt to end the inning after the walk to Young.  Interesting to see if you let Robertson start the 8th or hand it over to Kerry Wood.

11:54 Kerry Wood looks pretty nasty

11:58 gotta love infield hits.  Mo getting ready in the pen. 2 on, 1 out in the 8th.  I’d love a double play here, who wouldn’t?

12:00 got the ground ball, but hit too slowly to turn two.  Joe coming out the mound to take the ball, in comes #42.  In Mo We Trust.

12:07 After a 3-0 count, Rivera gets Span to ground to short to end the inning.Whew.

12:22 Line drive to Golson in right, makes a shoe string catch but umpires call it a base hit.  6 umpires for the ALDS and they all get it wrong.  Can see ARod mouthing, “no grass.”  Umps get together and keep the call.  Replays show its a catch.  Can you imagine if that’s how Game 1 ended?

12:24 no harm, no foul.  ARod catches Thome’s popup to third.  3 broken bats for Mo in the 9th, nice.

12:24 Ballgame over.  Yankees win Game 1 of the ALDS.  Bedtime.

Yanks Reach Playoffs…Now What?

September 29, 2010 Leave a comment

the party animals.

With last night’s win in Toronto, the Yankees’ magic number is now 0.

Girardi’s deicision as manager now depend on whether he wants to try and catch Tampa Bay for the division title and possible home-field advantage, or rest his starters and pitching staff.  My best guess is he tries to come up with a plan to somehow do both, but I think the smart choice would be to bank on giving his starters days off, and be at full strength for the Division Series.

My friend Ant Scarcello and I discussed this after last night’s game, and weighed the pros and cons of each path as the regular seasons draws to a close.

  • CC in a relief appearance (most likely Friday), try and save some bullets for the postseason.
  • Plenty of Golson, Thames, or Kearns in right so Swisher can rest that knee that has hobbled him for the past few weeks.
  • Pena, Nune, and Cervelli in the same lineup.. yikes!
  • AJ gettings one last start to prove he’s worthy of at least an ALCS appearance.  He won’t start with the 3 man rotation for the Division Series.
  • With Thursday an off day, tonight’s game should be 9 reserves.  Javy is already in for Andy, so why stop there?
  • a rest-up rotation and lineup for the series at Boston, which will lack the intensity (and hopefully game-time length) of a usual series against your rivals.

Obviously the Yankees would want to win the division, but you have to look at the big picture, afterall, does home field advantage really matter if you get knocked out in the first round because your stars didn’t get the proper rest?

Here’s the manager’s plan of action, according to Mark Feinsand of the Daily News, in his tweet last night @BloggingBomber s: girardi on resting guys: “I still want our division and I want home-field advantage, but I can see there are some tired bodies out here.”

The Boss’ Monument

September 21, 2010 Leave a comment

GEORGE M. STEINBRENNER III
July 4, 1930 – July 13, 2010
New York Yankees Principal Owner
“The Boss”
1973 – 2010

A true visionary who changed the game of baseball forever, he was considered the most influential owner in all of sports. In his 37 years as Principal Owner, the Yankees posted a Major League-best .566 winning percentage, while winning 11 American League pennants and seven World Series titles, becoming the most recognizable sports brand in the world.

A devoted sportsman, he was Vice President of the United States Olympic Committee, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors and a member of the NCAA Foundation Board of Trustees.

A great philanthropist whose charitable efforts were mostly performed without fanfare, he followed a personal motto of the greatest form of charity is anonymity.

photo credit: AP Photo/Kathy Willens

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