"Now, what is this site about, how Joe Torre ruined pitchers' arms? Is that it?"
-Michael Kay, August 18, 2009

Thursday, January 31, 2008

More on Ensberg

Peter Abraham gives us more information on the Morgan Ensberg signing.

Ensberg would make $1.75 million if he makes the roster with an addition $2.25 million available in bonuses based on plate appearances.

Here’s who the Yankees will have at first base in camp:

Wilson Betemit
Shelley Duncan
Morgan Ensberg
Jason Giambi
Jason Lane
Juan Miranda

Betemit will be on the team because he can play a few positions. The Big G has to be on the team unless he’s on the DL. But who starts is up for grabs.

“I wouldn’t say anyone is a projected starter,” general manager Brian Cashman said. “There’s a job at first base that either someone is going to earn outright or it’s going to be an opportunity to mix a few different people in there.

That contract is a wee-bit excessive in my book. However, if he makes the roster, that would mean that he performed well in Spring Training, which means the Yankees would be fielding the best possible team.

The Yankees are right to not be depending on the trio of Giambi, Betemit and Duncan to be successful at first base this season.

Yankees sign Ensberg

The Yankees have signed Morgan Ensberg, according to MLB Trade Rumors. Despite being a third baseman by trade, the Yankees plan to use him at first base, even though he has only played one career game there. It's unclear whether the deal was a major-league deal or minor-league deal.

Ensberg hit .230 with 12 home runs last season, splitting time with the Houston Astros and San Diego Padres.

He had his best season in 2005 with Houstin, when he hit .283 with 36 home runs and 101 RBI.

Earlier in January, the Yankees signed fellow Astro reject Jason Lane.

Update - 4:15 p.m.: ESPN is also reporting the deal. Ensberg signed a minor-league deal with an invitation to Spring Training.

"I'm extremely excited about it,'' Ensberg said Thursday. "It's a great team and a great lineup. Most importantly, it's a team that's consistently playing for a World Series. After you've been in the league for a few years, you really start valuing that pursuit.''
So there you have it.

Keith Law's Top 100 of 2008

ESPN's Keith Law released his top 100 prospects of 2008 and five Yankees were on his list.

Joba Chamberlain came in third, behind my man Evan Longoria (third base prospect for Tampa Bay) and Jay Bruce (outfielder in the Cincinnati organization), but in front of Clay Buchholz of the Red Sox.

Jose Tabata ranked 21st, Austin Jackson 24th, Ian Kennedy 45th and last year's first round draft pick Andrew Brackman rounded out the list at No. 100.

The fact that the Yankees didn't trade for Johan Santana shows a dramatic shift in the organization's ideology. Brian Cashman isn't doing all of this work in the minor leagues to simply trade them away when they need a quick fix.

Hughes to change his number

Phil Hughes, now safe from the swirling trade winds, informs us that he is planning on changing his uniform number, which is currently No. 65.

He has said in the past that he likes numbers that end in five. However, the selection of numbers that fit that criteria are rather slim with the Yankees.

Jason Giambi (No. 25), Mike Mussina (No. 35) and Carl Pavano (No. 45) are in the last year of their contracts. Hideki Matsui (No. 55) has two years remaining.

I wonder which number he'll end up going with. I think he'd look pretty cool with No. 22, or he could change to No. 57 just for kicks. Good thing I didn't buy his t-shirt just yet, and I'm not sure if Joba Chamberlain will keep his No. 62 jersey either.

Will Sabathia be the hot name next off-season?

River Ave. Blues directs us to this article from The Plain Dealer.

Cleveland Indians ace C.C. Sabathia will be a free agent after this season, and apparently will be too expensive to return to the Indians, especially with the contract Johan Santana is expected to receive in the next couple of days.

Santana never got to free agency, so Sabathia could be involved in a bidding war between the Yankees and Red Sox.

One of the problems I had with the Santana deal was giving up players. Sabathia would only cost money, and players such as Andy Pettitte and Carl Pavano will be coming off the books after 2008 allowing the Yankees to have more flexibility. He'll certainly be worth going after, if he's interested in coming to New York.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Mets trade for Santana

Bob Nightengale of USA Today is reporting that the Twins have agreed to send Johan Santana to the Mets in exchange for four prospects. The Mets will then have 72 hours to negotiate what will probably end up being a seven-year contract extension.

The prospects included in the deal are: Carlos Gomez, Phil Humber, Deolis Guerra and Kevin Mulvey.

Considering the Mets didn't give up Fernando Martinez, this appears to be a great deal if the Mets can hammer out the contract extension in the next three days.

For continuing coverage on the New York Mets, please visit The 'Ropolitans.

Thank goodness this madness is pretty much over. Spring Training is almost here!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Cone to join the YES Network again

According to Joel Sherman of the Post, David Cone will rejoin the YES Network to broadcast about 50 games for YES.

With David Justice leaving to write for YES online and Joe Girardi becoming manager, the YES Network had to fill a spot.

Cone will also host Yankees on Deck.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Cano official

Mike Puma of the Post cites a source, saying that Robinson Cano agreed to a four-year deal worth $30 million.

Cano asked for $4.55 million in arbitration, and the Yankees had offered $3.2 million.

The deal also includes two option years.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Cano nearing a long-term deal

The Yankees are finally on the verge of locking up one of their younger players for the long-term.

From Ken Rosenthal:

The Yankees, locking up one of their young stars, are on the verge of signing second baseman Robinson Cano to a four-year, $30 million contract, according to major-league sources.

The deal, which would take Cano through his arbitration years, also is expected to include club options that would enable the Yankees to buy out one or two years of free agency.
This is great news. The Yankees never do this (see: Derek Jeter), and can finally lock up a young player at a cheaper rate.

Is Chien-Ming Wang next? It would only make sense.

21 days until pitchers and catchers report

I'd like to apologize for the lack of updates the last few days. News has been slim and the semester just started, so I'm still trying to get into a routine. Please bear with me.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Damon is in Rudy Country

(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Hughes to start throwing bullpens

As reported by Phil Hughes himself, he will start throwing bullpens this week with the others that have reported early.

Good to see the young guys starting training early. I can't wait for the season to start.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

On to Arizona


(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Proctor agrees on one-year deal with LA

As Greg from Sliding Into Home informed me, Scott Proctor received a well-deserved payday today.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Proctor agreed on a contract worth more than $1.1 million to avoid arbitration.

Proctor earned a little over $450,000 last season, so this is a significant pay-raise.

Proctor submitted a $1.3 million bid the other day, while the Dodgers submitted $930,000.

Friday, January 18, 2008

More arbitration fun

The arbitration figures have been released. The following is what each player submitted, and what the team submitted, from Peter Abraham:

Brian Bruney submitted $845,000, the Yankees submittted $640,000.

Robinson Cano submitted $4.55 million, the Yankees submitted $3.2 million.

Chien-Ming Wang submitted $4.6 million, the Yankees submitted $4 million.

Abraham thinks the Yankees lowballed Cano, and I agree with him. I don't think he's worth $4.55 million at this point in his career, but he's certainly worth more than $3.2 million.

If no deal can be reached, hearings will begin on Feb. 1.

Betemit avoids arbitration

According to Lisa Kennelly, the Yankees signed Wilson Betemit to a one-year deal.

Chien-Ming Wang, Robinson Cano and Brian Bruney are still waiting to be signed.

Kennelly didn't mention any dollar amount for Betemit.

Update - 4:15 p.m.: Peter Abraham says that Betemit will get paid $1.165 million - up from $405,000 last season. That is rather ridiculous.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Scranton to play at Trenton in April

The Trenton Thunder, the Yankees double A affiliate, will host the triple A team, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, on April 1, via Peter Abraham.

This is a very interesting idea, as I'm sure there will be many former Thunder players on the SWB Yankees this season.

Here are some quotes from the press release:

“This should really be a special night for Thunder and Yankee fans,” said Thunder General Manager/Chief Operating Officer Brad Taylor. “Getting the players from last year’s team together again for this game will be a thrill. It’s not too often we get guys to come back after they’ve moved on, so this gives fans a chance to see them united in Trenton one more time.”

“This game with the Thunder will showcase all the talent in the Yankee farm system,” said Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees Executive Vice President / COO Jeremy Ruby. “This will really be a memorable night for the baseball fans in New York, Scranton and New Jersey.”

“This game will give the Thunder fans a great chance to honor so many of the players that made the 2007 season so memorable. The 2007 Thunder was a special group of very talented young men,” said New York Yankee Senior Vice President, Baseball Operations Mark Newman.

Tickets will go on sale on Jan. 21 at 9:30 a.m. on the Trenton Thunder's official website. Too bad I'll still be up in Connecticut.

Leyritz to face an additional manslaughter charge

Jim Leyritz's toxicology reports show that his blood alcohol content was almost twice the legal limit at the time of the accident which killed a Florida mother of two.

As a result, he will now face an additional manslaughter charge, according to the AP via ESPN.com.

The news is only getting worse for Leyritz. I can see him getting put away for a long time.

Hughes and I have something in common

Phil Hughes and I are both bloggers. Peter Abraham informed us that Hughes has started his own blog tonight.

I'll certainly be following it throughout the season, as I'm interested to see what life is like for a young, highly-touted pitcher. Hopefully he keeps it going throughout the season.

And hopefully he'll be writing about his time as a Yankee, and not a Minnesota Twin.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Yankees invite 26 to Spring Training

The complete list of the 26 non-roster invitees can be found here.

All of Baseball America's top prospects who are not on the 40-man roster were invited, sans injured Andrew Brackman.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Hank: There was no offer to withdraw

Apparently, the ESPN report from earlier today was incorrect.

Here are the latest Hank Steinbrenner quotes regarding the Johan Santana front from SI.com:

"It's still in the deciding process," Steinbrenner said Monday night outside Legends Field at the Yankees' spring training complex. "We're still discussing it. There's still a little talk back and forth."

"There wasn't an official offer anyway. You can't withdraw something that wasn't there," Steinbrenner said. "There was no official offer on the table at this time."
And the beat goes on.

Steinbrenner also confirmed that Joba Chamberlain will have an innings limit this season. One of the options is to use him in the bullpen in the early part of the season when they only need four starters anyway.

Steinbrenner also said that Joe Girardi and pitching coach Dave Eiland will decide how to handle the star prospect. This contradicts with what Brian Cashman said on Sunday. Cashman said that he and Girardi will work it out, yet Steinbrenner makes no mention of the general manager.

Is Cashman's authority being undermined by the new mouthpiece? Only time will tell.

Report: Yankees pull offer for Santana

Is the Johan Santana to the Yankees saga finally over?

A source with knowledge of the situation told ESPN Radio's Andrew Marchand that the Yankees have pulled their offer for Santana and will not restart trade talks unless Hank Steinbrenner wants to again.

This just seems like a formality now. On Saturday, Ken Rosenthal reported that the Yankees were no longer talking to the Twins about Santana.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

On to Green Bay


(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

And the results are in

My inaugural poll has closed, and the results have been tallied.

What are your thoughts on Hank Steinbrenner?

Can't get enough of him - 15, 15%
I like him, but he needs to calm down a little - 55, 55%
Can't stand him - 26, 26%
No opinion - 4, 4%

We had exactly 100 responses, so thank you for participating.

If you're wondering what I chose, I picked the second response. He seems very committed to winning, but early in the off-season, he was giving away vital information without consulting his baseball people. Since then he has seemed to back down from his previous positions - see the previous post.

Now that you have voted, explain your choices.

Girardi to decide how to use Joba

Hank Steinbrenner is further backing off of his early-off-season proclamations. This time, the decision on how to use Joba Chamberlain rests with new manager Joe Girardi.

From Lisa Kennelly of The Star-Ledger:

"It's ultimately up to Joe Girardi," Steinbrenner said in a phone interview. "Joe knows how to handle pitchers better than any of us."

General manager Brian Cashman, however, said he would be involved in the decision as well.

"Joe and I will work it out," Cashman said. "We'll see how it all shakes out." Cashman said Chamberlain will spend spring training preparing for a starting role, but that could change once the season begins. "We want him as a starter, we will prepare him as a starter, but we have to respect that there's an innings limit," Cashman said.
I think Hank is starting to realize that he isn't the sole voice of the front office, after what Howard Rubenstein told Peter Abraham.

Since then, Hank has said how the Yankees could be done with Santana (he has said all along that he was interested in the lefty) and now he says that Chamberlain will be used at Girardi's discretion. This is an interesting development, and it is also a positive one.

The last quote from Cashman, I feel, makes it pretty obvious that Chamberlain will at least spend a portion of the season in the bullpen. I just hope the Yankees don't hinder his development by doing so.

Glaus for Rolen trade close

According to Ken Rosenthal, a physical is all that is standing between a Scott Rolen for Troy Glaus trade.

Both players have agree to waive their no-trade clauses, but Rolen is coming off of surgery on his shoulder and Glaus is coming off of surgery on his foot.

If this trade does go through, the Yankees would certainly be happy that Glaus is out of the AL East. In 262 career at-bats against New York, Glaus has homered 18 times, despite hitting .233.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Yankees finally done with Santana?

Ken Rosenthal seems to think so:

Another source, however, says the Yankees no longer are talking to the Twins about Santana and simply chose to keep their outfield intact rather than sign Cameron. Hank Steinbrenner has been the Yankees' executive most adamant about landing Santana, but he seemingly has backed off in his most recent public comments.
Is this finally over? I sure hope so.

With the young starters developing, there is no need to trade anyone away for the expensive Santana. It's time to move on and get ready for pitchers and catchers, which is in 33 days!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Santana: It's up to the Twins

Johan Santana publicly acknowledged the prevailing trade winds that are surrounding him for the first time.

The Post's Back Page blog cited an AP article:

“I’m a Minnesota Twin. That’s all I know. It’s up to them. Whatever they have to do is going to happen. It has nothing to do with me at all,” Santana told the News-Press. “I said it from the beginning during the season last year, whatever will be the best for this team and this organization, I’ll agree with that.”
Let the Mets have him.

Hawkins loves being a Yankee

Free agent signee LaTroy Hawkins spoke about why he chose the Yankees and what he expects his role to be this season.

From Bryan Hoch at Yankees.com:

"With all the history and tradition, it's pretty much everybody's dream to wear the pinstripes and be part of the Yankees organization," Hawkins said by telephone. "I'm looking forward to it. It's funny. I'm excited about it, but my family and friends -- they're ecstatic about it.

"Now they're all Yankees fans. With the Yankees, you either love them or hate them. I like being a part of that whole aura."

"I think all of those innings are just as important," Hawkins said. "Sometimes you can lose a ballgame in the sixth, seventh or eighth innings. My job is to go out there and pass the ball to the next guy so they can do their job, or pass it straight to Mariano. Whichever way it is, we still have to get those three, four or five crucial outs."

"I just felt like coming to New York was probably the best situation for me to be successful and be on a winning team," Hawkins said. "I think that's most important. I had some teams that wanted me to come there and start the process of a winning tradition.

Yeah, it's a slow news day.

Brian Cashman still believes that Kyle Farnsworth is the answer for the eighth inning and Hawkins will pitch the sixth and seventh innings, and possibly pitch two innings at a time. I think he is sadly mistaken.

34 days until pitchers and catchers

Knoblauch speaks

Chuck Knoblauch, who was named in the Mitchell Report and was asked to testify in front of Congress, finally ending his silence about said report.

From Thayer Evans of The Times:

“I have nothing to defend,” Knoblauch said. “I have nothing to hide at the same time.”

He described the Mitchell report as “crazy” and “interesting,” and added that what actually bothered him about being mentioned in the report is that “I’ve got nothing to do with any of that, I mean, any baseball.”

“And I don’t want anything to do with baseball,” he added.
On testifying:
“I read my name in the paper and see it on the news, but I haven’t heard a word,” Knoblauch said. “I’m supposed to be somewhere, but I haven’t been told where to be.”

Asked if he will talk to the committee, Knoblauch said: “Yeah, if I have to do that, then what are you going to do?”

On life after baseball:

On Thursday, he did not voice any regrets. “I love baseball,” he said, “but I’m not trying to get a job in baseball. I don’t have any friends from baseball. Baseball doesn’t control my life anymore.”
On becoming public again:

“Mad about it? No,” he said. “You know what? One of my strongest characteristics is not really caring what people think. I’m living my life. It’s not going to change my life one way or the other. You know, I’m not trying to get in the Hall of Fame. I got one vote though.”

Knoblauch did have one request. “Don’t tell anybody where I live,” he said.

Knoblauch seems very pleasant to be around at this time.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Yankees sign Lane

Earlier today, the Post reported that the Yankees were looking at possibly signing outfielder Jason Lane.

Tonight, the Yankees signed Lane to a minor-league contract, according to Brian Cashman on YES (via Peter Abraham).

Though Lane is a career outfielder, the Yankees believe he can play first even though he has only played four career games there.

After hitting 26 home runs in 2005, Lane has struggled over the last two seasons. He hit 15 home runs, but only hit .201 in 2006. He then hit .175 last season in 71 games for the Astros and Padres.

I honestly don't understand this move. Cashman has said that he wasn't looking outside of the organization for first base help, so why would they do this? They already have Jason Giambi, Shelley Duncan and Wilson Betemit.

Yankees giving up on Santana?

Hank Steinbrenner spoke again about Johan Santana today. He now feels that the Yankees may not pursue Santana anymore.

From the New York Daily News' Peter Botte:

"We went into this with me making the final baseball decisions and Hal more addressing the financial aspects of the company, but we both do everything," Steinbrenner said yesterday in a phone interview. "We're equal partners, but at this point, to tell you the truth, I'm leaning away from it anyway, so it doesn't matter. Same thing with Brian, he's another integral part of it, obviously, being the general manager, and one day he's leaning to do it and the next day he's not sure.

"But what it comes down to right now is giving up a lot (in a trade) and then having to do the big contract, as well. If (Santana) was just a free agent, we could just go ahead and do it. There's a big difference this way. We have to sign him as if he's a free agent, plus you have to give up major talent. That's a tall order."

Steinbrenner says that he is feeling comfortable with what the Yankees have. This is good news. Yesterday, he said that he would only give Santana a five-year extension, and today, he further softened his stance.

He also says that he would like Joba Chamberlain to be a starter, but that decision shouldn't rest with him. I feel he'll begin the season in the bullpen to limit his innings and then return to the rotation eventually.

35 days until pitchers and catchers

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Rubenstein: Hank and Hal are equals

Peter Abraham did some digging and got some interesting information from the former mouthpiece of the organization, Howard Rubenstein.

Regarding the power of the Steinbrenner Brothers:

“They share the power,” Rubenstein said. “They are equal partners for both business and baseball. I spoke to them about it today and that’s the situation.”
Rubenstein also mentions that George still has input, but obviously his role.

I'm starting to get the feeling that Brian Cashman won't be back next season.

Yankosphere: January 9

Hank talks Santana - again

Hank Steinbrenner finally acknowledges that Johan Santana would cost a lot.

From Kat O'Brien at Newsday:

"The payroll would just be out of this world this year," Steinbrenner said of potentially adding Santana, "but only for this year. When you've got to trade top young talent and pay a lot of money, it gets very risky."

If the Yankees do complete a trade for Santana, Steinbrenner said they would not go beyond a five-year contract extension (one that expires after the 2013 season).

"I wouldn't do it if it were a six- or seven-year contract," Steinbrenner said. "I wouldn't go past five, on an extension."
For once, he's right. You shouldn't give a 28-year-old pitcher seven years. However, why did he need to say this publicly?

Steinbrenner also mentions that there is nothing new on the Santana front. For those playing along at home, the last offer for Santana was thought to be Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera, Jeff Marquez and a fourth prospect.

Much ado about winter

The following is my guest post at the LoHud Yankees Blog:

Following another early playoff exit, things were looking grim for the New York Yankees. Joe Torre, after 12 successful seasons, was out after what was probably his best managerial job (winning 94 games after starting 21-29), and many thought free agents Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte would follow in a mass exodus. Alex Rodriguez also opted out of his record contract during Game 4 of the World Series.

But by the end of December, the Yankees were successful in retaining their free agents. Some of their contracts bothered me, while others were smart.

Posada, a 36-year-old catcher, has played in 131 or more games behind the plate every season since 2000. I would have been hesitant to give him four years and $52.4 million at that age for fear of him breaking down, no viable replacements in-house (the catching prospects are extremely young) and a lack of position mobility. However, at the time, Rodriguez looked like he was a goner and the team couldn’t afford to lose Posada’s bat after he had a career year. The Yankees blew their chance to get any sort of discount by refusing to negotiate during spring training.

Rivera also received a bloated contract (three years, $45 million). I would have given him a two-year contract with an option, but Rivera also felt slighted that he wasn’t spoken to during the spring. Rivera had probably the worst season of his career this year, yet he was rewarded with a pay-raise ($15 million per year for a closer pitching about 70 innings is ridiculous). An option would’ve allowed the Yankees to gauge where Rivera was at the age of 40.

The biggest and most expensive move involved the reigning M.V.P. Rodriguez signed a 10-year, $275 million contract with bonuses for home run milestones (making it potentially worth $305 million). The contract is a relative bargain, as it is not back-loaded when he’s past his prime.

Losing his right-handed bat would have been a crushing blow to the team for the upcoming season. But in the long-run, if he left, it could have been beneficial to the team. His production is irreplaceable, but the Yankees would’ve had more money to sign cheaper, quality players to stray away from the all-star lineup concept which has failed to win playoff games since 2004.

With the young pitchers likely having innings caps this season, re-signing Pettitte was a must. After declining his $16 million player option to weigh his future, he signed a one-year contract for the same amount a few weeks later. His production last season (15-9, 4.05 ERA), however, probably doesn’t warrant a deal worth that much.

I don’t like LaTroy Hawkins, but I liked his contract (one year, $3.75 million). The Yankees finally realized they shouldn’t give multi-year contracts to mediocre relievers.

Yes, this isn’t my money. However, with the luxury tax becoming a factor, the Yankees should become more cautious in their spending. They should also reevaluate their policy of not negotiating during spring training. They probably could’ve gotten Rivera and Posada to re-sign at much lower values.

I am very excited for the Joe Girardi era to begin. I loved his hire, because he won the 2006 National League Manager of the Year award with a young team and the Yankees appear to be headed in a younger direction as well. Hopefully Yankee fans will have a lot to cheer about when October rolls around this year.

Any feedback or comments are appreciated.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Gossage to the HOF

Goose Gossage was finally voted into the Hall of Fame today, earning 85.% of the vote. He received a little over 71% last year.

Congratulations, Goose.

37 days until pitchers and catchers

No, Casey, it's 37 days.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Baseball America releases its report on the Yankees

The print version of Baseball America's report on the Yankees' farm system was released earlier, but the online version was put up today.

The Yankees' top 10 prospects are:

1. Joba Chamberlain
2. Austin Jackson
3. Jose Tabata
4. Ian Kennedy
5. Alan Horne
6. Jesus Montero
7. Jeff Marquez
8. Brett Gardner
9. Ross Ohlendorf
10. Andrew Brackman

I don't know how Brackman can be on there after having Tommy John surgery. If that's the case, Humberto Sanchez should be listed too. I also don't think Gardner is anything more than a fourth outfielder and a pinch runner on this team.

Yankosphere: January 7

There is no news in the papers today other than a recap of the Roger Clemens interview, and I'm tired of talking about that.

Chronicle: Clemens sues McNamee

From Alyson Footer at MLB.com:

Roger Clemens filed a defamation lawsuit Sunday night against Brian McNamee, claiming his longtime trainer was threatened with jail if he didn't connect the seven-time Cy Young winner with steroids.

According to a Houston Chronicle report, the lawsuit was filed electronically with the Harris County civil courts Sunday evening, just before CBS aired Clemens' interview on "60 Minutes."

After releasing several statements claiming his innocence, posting a video denial on his personal Web site and speaking out on "60 Minutes," the lawsuit is Clemens' next strategic move in an effort to clear his name.

"I don't know if I'll ever get the naysayers back. I don't know what I'm going to get. Maybe some of my name back," Clemens said to the Chronicle Sunday. The report also revealed Clemens' stance that the lawsuit will not keep him from testifying before Congress on Jan. 16, which he plans to do without asking for immunity or invoking any rights.

And the circus continues.

I really can't wait for these 38 days to pass. I need to see some real baseball news before I go crazy.

The report also mentions that Clemens has asked the court to declare that Clemens has not defamed McNamee. The lawsuit includes quotes from McNamee that came from a conversation with private investigators hired by Clemens' attorney, including the fact that McNamee was persuaded to talk about Clemens after he was threatened.

38 days until Spring Training

Clemens on '60 Minutes'

I wasn't home to watch the Roger Clemens interview on 60 Minutes tonight. Apparently he didn't say much (not like that wasn't unexpected).

For those who also missed it, here is the transcript from Boston.com.

For those who saw it, what did you think of it?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

At least one of my teams can get past the first round


(AP Photo/Scott Audette)

Yankosphere: January 6

  • Brian Cashman feels has job has changed since the emergence of Hank and Hal Steinbrenner [LoHud Yankees Blog]
  • Goose Gossage will be a Spring Training instructor. He also feels that Joba Chamberlain is more valuable out of the bullpen. [New York Post]
  • Roger Clemens and his legal team thought about attacking the Mitchell Report before it was even released. [New York Post]
  • The Star-Ledger scored an interview with Hank. [The Star-Ledger]
  • Mike from High and Tight was today's guest blogger. Reminder: I will be guest blogging on Jan. 9. [LoHud Yankees Blog]
Clemens will be on 60 Minutes tonight as soon as CBS' football coverage ends.

Until then, go Giants!!!

Cashman on the bullpen

According to Brian Cashman, there are only three guaranteed spots in the rotation - Mariano Rivera, LaTroy Hawkins and Kyle Farnsworth.

He spoke to the Daily News about the other spots:

"The pen is a work in progress," Cashman said. "We'll have a lot of competition in spring training. As long as you have quality competing for those spots, that's good. We have guys with a lot of potential. If they're ready now or later, we'll have to see.

"For the most part, we like the talent we have against the market at the prices the market is demanding."

Cashman said prized prospects such as Jeff Marquez and Alan Horne might be in the bullpen mix, along with Ross Ohlendorf, Edwar Ramirez, Jose Veras, Steven White, Jeff Karstens, Brian Bruney, Chris Britton and Jonathan Albaladejo. Lefties Kei Igawa, Sean Henn and Chase Wright will vie for pen spots, Cashman said.


"We've engaged the market," Cashman said. "We'll look at trades, free agents, as always. But right now, what we have is what is going to be competing in spring training."
The bullpen is the one trouble spot on this team, and that has always been a weakness of Cashman's.

I can still see Joba Chamberlain starting the season in the bullpen to keep his innings total down.

Cashman also said that the Yankees will not look outside the organization for a first baseman: "We have (Jason) Giambi, Shelley (Duncan) and Wilson Betemit and (Juan) Miranda is coming off a terrific Double-A season," Cashman said.


Clemens and McNamee speak on the phone

From David Lennon at Newsday:

In a surprising twist to their public war of words, Roger Clemens and his former trainer, Brian McNamee, spoke by telephone Friday night, Newsday has learned. It was their first contact since the Mitchell Report was released Dec. 13, and a person close to the situation described the hourlong conversation between the longtime friends as "emotional."

It is unclear whether Clemens or McNamee initiated the call, and attempts to reach representatives for both of them Saturday night were unsuccessful. Clemens and McNamee have been friends since 1998, when the two were together on the Blue Jays, and it was Clemens who got McNamee hired by the Yankees after he was obtained from Toronto at the start of the 1999 season.
Just when you thought things couldn't get any stranger, this happens.

Clemens will appear on 60 Minutes whenever the late football game ends tonight. He has already stated that McNamee injected him with legal drugs.

Also, Clemens and McNamee, as well as Andy Pettitte and others were asked to testify in front of Congress on Jan. 16.

39 days until pitchers and catchers

Why so upset, Shawn Chacon?

Saturday, January 5, 2008

New poll: What are your thoughts on Hank Steinbrenner?

I have added a new poll to the right-hand side.

The question is fairly simple: what are your thoughts on Hank Steinbrenner?

Discuss your choice here.

Yankosphere: January 5

Today has been relatively quiet.

Cashman dissents from the owner

Yesterday, Hank Steinbrenner said that final decisions rest with the owner (himself). He also said he was still leaning on pulling the trigger on a Johan Santana deal.

Brian Cashman doesn't want to hear any of it.

From today's Bergen Record by Pete Caldera:

"This is what the rotation is, and this is what we're going [to spring training] with," Brian Cashman said Friday. The Yankees' general manager added that he has between now and Aug. 31, the final day he can add players who could be on the postseason roster, to "put together the best team out there on the field."


"We have budgets and players that we want to hold on to," Cashman said, speaking generally about "some of the hurdles that prevent you from doing certain things."
I obviously agree with Cashman's sentiment. The Yankees have spent over $120 million in luxury tax the last five seasons and haven't won a World Championship. They are sick of spending a lot of money for first round losses in the playoffs and realize that it is time for a change.

Steinbrenner became the mouthpiece all of a sudden and is starting to not listen to his baseball people. This could be a big problem.

Via MLB Trade Rumors, there is a report in today's Star Tribune saying that the Twins realize that they won't get both Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy in a deal, and that they would accept other players instead of Kennedy - leaving it at Hughes, Melky Cabrera, Jeff Marquez and possibly Kei Igawa.

If this report is true, it only gives Steinbrenner more of a reason do the trade. I still wouldn't do it, even though I'd love to get rid of Igawa.

A-Rod's "stuff" not in Canseco book

Don Yeager was supposed to collaborate on Jose Canseco's new book. Instead, he passed and spoke to the New York Daily News about the book.

"I'm passing," Yaeger told the Daily News. "I had a chance to review the Jose Canseco (material) that he provided me. I don't think there's a book there. I don't know what they're going to do. I don't think he's got what he claims to have, certainly doesn't have what he claims to have on A-Rod.

"There's no meat on the bones."

This is good to hear. The last thing Rodriguez needs is another off-the-field distraction.

Canseco said that the Mitchell Report was incomplete and that Rodriguez is not who he appears to be. If Canseco really had "stuff" on Rodriguez, it would have appeared in his first book.

40 days until pitchers and catchers

Chien-Ming Wang is thrilled that he will report to Tampa in only 40 short days.

Gossage still looking good

ESPN's Keith Law is continuing to unofficially update the Hall of Fame voting from published ballots he's seen or has received on his blog.

As of 7:00 p.m. on Jan. 4, Goose Gossage has been named on 91 of 103 ballots (88%). To be elected into the Hall of Fame, one needs 75%.

The inductees will be announced on Tuesday.

Via YanksBlog

Friday, January 4, 2008

When Hank speaks, reporters listen

Hank Steinbrenner spoke about Johan Santana and Brian Cashman's roles to an AP reporter in Tampa tonight.

On Santana:

"Nothing is really decided at this point," Steinbrenner said Friday night outside Legends Field at the team's spring training complex. "I'm still leaning towards doing it. There's others leaning not to do it. There are some others that are leaning to do it also. Disagreements within the organization. Nothing major, but just different opinions. I've changed my opinion a couple times."
On Cashman:
"I always told him, 'I'm going to make the final decisions because when you're the owner you should,"' Steinbrenner said. "He is the general manager, and he has the right to talk me out of it and he has talked me out of some things."
He needs to stop with the Santana talk, and listen to his baseball and financial people. A move of this magnitude is not needed at this time.

I just hope Cashman is able to talk him out of it.

A few minor moves

Ex-Yankee Andy Phillips signed a minor-league contract with the Cincinnati Reds, according to Peter Abraham. He was also invited to Spring Training.

Matt DeSalvo also signed a minor-league contract with the Atlanta Braves.

On the Yankees' side, they signed RHP Scott Strickland, LHP Heath Phillips, LHP Billy Traber and C Jason Brown to minor-league contracts with invitations to Spring Training.

Clemens, Pettitte and McNamee asked to testify to Congress

ESPNEWS is reporting that Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and Brian McNamee have been asked to testify in front of Congress on Jan. 16. Kirk Radomski and Chuck Knoblauch have also been asked to attend.

This is now getting very interesting.

Yankosphere: January 4

  • Tyler Kepner reports that payroll is still an issue in the debate to acquire Johan Santana. He would cost an extra $56 million in luxury tax if he signs a seven-year, $140 million extension. Also, for some reason, Alex Rodriguez is endorsing Mike Cameron if Melky Cabrera gets traded. [The New York Times]
  • Bryan Hoch will break down each Yankee position on a weekly basis. This week, he did a piece on catchers. [Yankees.com]
  • Hoch also talked about Goose Gossage's Hall of Fame chances this year. [Yankees.com]
  • Maureen, the Yankees Chick, is Peter Abraham's first guest blogger today. [LoHud Yankees Blog]
Today has been pretty quiet so far. I'll be here if anything comes out.

Why don't you have a seat right over there?

This man appeared on last Friday's installment of Dateline's series "To Catch a Predator" with the great Chris Hansen.

This man is a blatant Red Sox fan.

That is all.

41 days until pitchers and catchers

For everything on Yankees' Spring Training, this is the site for you.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Yankosphere: January 3

The news is starting to pick up slightly.

  • Peter Abraham reminds us that Spring Training tickets go on sale on Jan. 11. If I remember correctly, all games were sold out last season, so get your tickets early if you plan on going. [LoHud Yankees Blog]
  • Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in between pseudo-campaigning for president, will look into the free parking for VIPs issue that arose yesterday. He says that it "sounds like a large number." [New York Daily News]
  • Jim Leyritz apparently wasted millions of dollars on booze. The victim of the tragic accident was also remembered. [New York Daily News]
  • Sliding Into Home updated its Stadium construction photos. [Sliding Into Home]
  • Scott Proctor is hosting a celebrity benefit to raise money for pediatric heart ailment research. Joe Torre and Johnny Damon will be among those in attendance. Proctor's daughter had open-heart surgery when she was three weeks old. [My Pinstripes, TCPalm.com]

Clemens: McNamee injected legal drugs

Roger Clemens proclaimed his innocence in the upcoming 60 Minutes interview with Mike Wallace.

From the CBS website:

Baseball superstar Roger Clemens denies he cheated by using banned substances and says his accuser, former trainer Brian McNamee, only injected him with the painkiller lidocaine and the vitamin B-12.


When asked by Wallace if McNamee had ever injected him with any drugs, Clemens responds: "Lidocaine and B-12. It’s for my joints, and B-12 I still take today."

Clemens calls the accusation "ridiculous" and says he "never" used any banned substances.

"Swear?" asks Wallace.

"[I] swear," says Clemens.
It will be interesting to see the rest of the interview and the news conference the next day. I'd like to believe Clemens, but I really don't know what to believe anymore.

Hank: No Clemens in 2008

Hank Steinbrenner is on a roll today.

After mentioning that the Yankees are preparing a final offer for Johan Santana, he spoke about the possiblity of a Roger Clemens return.

From the New York Daily News:

"I'm not signing Clemens," Steinbrenner, the Yankees' senior vice president, said in a telephone interview yesterday. He said the Yanks are not looking for rotation stopgaps - like they were last season - because they are so enamored of their young starting pitchers. And Steinbrenner feels the Yanks already have a strong mentor to the young arms in Andy Pettitte, whom Steinbrenner praised for his "veteran leadership.
Well, I agree with his reasoning. That's also why he doesn't need to trade for Santana.

Steinbrenner also believes that Clemens won't make a return anyway.

I know Santana and Clemens have been beaten to death, but they are pretty much the only two stories out there now.

(Louis Lanzano/AP)

Yanks have a shot at Santana - Is Hank interested?

According to the New York Daily News, Hank Steinbrenner has been preparing a "final offer" for Johan Santana.

"I think the Twins realize our offer is the best one," Steinbrenner said Wednesday in a telephone interview. "I feel confident they're not going to trade him before checking with us one last time and I think they think we've already made the best offer."

Steinbrenner said the offer "does not include two of the three young pitchers" - Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy, from a group that also includes untouchable Joba Chamberlain - "but it's still the best one. And let's face it, we're the best able to handle the kind of contract (extension) Santana will be after."

Just say no. It isn't worth it.

Steinbrenner says later that "we're the best able to handle that kind of contract (extension) Santana will be after.

That may be so. However, there have been rumblings about the luxury tax within the organization and Brian Cashman is reluctant to break up the farm system.

I think when all is said and done, Santana will remain with the Twins at the beginning of the season. The Yankees don't need him at this point in now. Not for the price he's going to cost.

More Clemens drama

Apparently, Roger Clemens is facing a lawsuit if he says in his 60 Minutes interview that Brian McNamee was not truthful in his allegations, according to Duff Wilson of The New York Times.

The interview with Mike Wallace is schedule to air Sunday night after the football games, and I am definitely interested to hear what Clemens has to say. Hopefully Wallace asks the tough questions that baseball fans want to hear answers to.

Clemens will also answer questions from reporters the day after the interview airs at a 5:00 ET news conference.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Yankosphere: January 2

I am unveiling a new feature at Scott Proctor's Arm. Here I will place the miscellaneous news items of the day that shouldn't warrant its own post. Some places call it a links dump; I'm calling it the Yankosphere.

Without further adieu, here is the inaugural installment:

Bryan Hoch has some quotes from Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera regarding the 2008 season. [Yankees.com]

Hoch also answered some questions from readers. [Yankees.com]

Ex-manager Joe Torre spoke about not speaking about the Roger Clemens controversy. He also felt the Mitchell Report was incomplete. [Yahoo! Sports]

Peter Abraham lists a complete team of the remaining free agents. For the right price, I wouldn't mind Jeremy Affeldt. [LoHud Yankees Blog]

Happy birthday, Scott Proctor

As Mr. Anonymous informed me in my previous post, today, Jan. 2, is Scott Proctor's 31st birthday. Happy birthday, Mr. Proctor. Without you, this blog would not be possible, and I thank you for that.

Proctor, originally drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers, made his major-league debut with the Yankees in 2005 after coming to New York in the Robin Ventura trade in 2004. He then became one of Joe Torre's most-trusted relievers until he pitched just about everyday. He pitched in 102 1/3 innings (83 games) during the 2006 season. This is why many Yankee fans thought his arm would fall off, hence "Scott Proctor's Arm."

He was then traded back to the Dodgers at last year's trading deadline for Wilson Betemit, which was a blunder of a move. In 32 innings with the Dodgers last season, Proctor went 3-0 with a 3.38 ERA, striking out 27 and walking 15.

This is what I wrote the day he was traded:

Proctor will be missed here, and I wish him all the best in Los Angeles. I hope Grady Little will be a little more respectful of Proctor's arm. Knowing Little from 2003, it seems like he never likes to go to the bullpen.
Well, Little was fired after the season, and guess who will be managing Proctor. Yup, one Joseph Torre.

As always, I wish Mr. Proctor the best of luck in 2008 and beyond. And once again, happy birthday.

Leyritz had suspended license

This story is just getting worse.

From ESPN.com:

Former World Series star Jim Leyritz had a suspended license when he was charged with driving under the influence and killing a woman last week.

Leyritz was ticketed outside Albany, N.Y., for using a cell phone while driving June 20, and his Florida license was suspended Nov. 23 for failing to answer the summons, according to motor vehicle records.
He's going away for a long time.

Want to park at the new Stadium? Get ready to sell your kidney

You love Derek Jeter? Well, now you're helping pay for his parking costs, even though he has a $189 million contract.

From today's New York Daily News by Juan Gonzalez:

The Yankees and hundreds of their VIPs will get free valet parking for the next 40 years, courtesy of New York taxpayers.

The startling revelation of yet another subsidy for the richest team in baseball is buried deep in the fine print of a $237 million tax-exempt bond offering that city officials quietly issued the week before Christmas.

The documents say a $70 million state subsidy for parking improvements for the new Yankee Stadium (slated to open next year) has been earmarked for a new 660-car valet parking garage where virtually all the spaces will be reserved for the free, year-round use of the Yankees and their VIPs.

Also, the price of regular parking will increase by more than double. Gonzalez says that parking will be as high as $29 in 2010, when it was only $14 last year. He suggests it can go as high as $35 by 2014.

With the construction of the Metro North station and the Subway running behind the Stadium, there are plenty of options to get to the Stadium without driving - assuming you can even afford a ticket.

I can only imagine what those will cost.

A-Rod can't catch a break

Alex Rodriguez still isn't liked, apparently.

From YouTube:

I have a feeling people will come around when he's about to break Barry Bonds' career home run record.

Via Bronx Liaison

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A-Rod wishes you a Happy New Year

The man just loves New York.

(AP Photo/Peter Morgan)

Yankees interested in Yu Darvish?

Who is Yu Darvish you ask? Good question. I didn't know who was, either. Apparently he's a 21-year-old Iranian-Japanese pitcher who is one of the best in the Japanese game.

The East Windup Chronicle (via MLB Trade Rumors) cites a Korean newspaper that says the Yankees would be interested in him for the 2009 season. It is also expected that if he is posted, Daisuke Matsuzaka's salary (six years for $52 million, plus the $51.1 million posting fee) would be the floor.

First of all, it is not clear if his team will post him after this season. Secondly, if he is indeed posted, I would be shocked if the Yankees jump on this unproven commodity for a price that exceeds Matsuzaka's. Matsuzaka was supposed to dominate this season and did not exactly impress me.

For more on Darvish, check out his Wikipedia page. His blood type is A, apparently. He also many not even want to come to America.

Since Daisuke Matsuzaka signed for the Boston Red Sox and left Japan for the United States of America, attention has been focused on Yu Darvish to help keep up the popularity of baseball in Japan. As a young star in Japanese baseball Darvish is expected to fill the void left by Matsuzaka’s departure. Unlike Matsuzaka, Darvish has told the Japanese press that he has no intention of seeking a move to America anytime in the future.

Leyrtiz releases statement

Jim Leyritz finally acknowledged his alleged drunk driving accident that killed a Florida mother of two.

From the New York Daily News:

"Due to the tragic and unfortunate events of Dec. 28, 2007, Mr. Leyritz and his family wish to express their deepest sympathies and condolences" to the Veitch family, Ostrow said.

Ostrow declined further comment, except to say he was Leyritz's friend and lawyer.

A lawyer for Veitch's family, Richard Abramowitz, offered a terse reaction, saying the woman's loved ones "are upset, and rightfully so."

Veitch's heartbroken husband, Jordan, and her two children, ages 5 and 13, were preparing for her memorial service today.

"We are mourning the tragedy," Leyritz's ex-wife, Karrie, told the Daily News yesterday. "It's terrible what happened."
This is very tragic, and hopefully Leyritz is punished to the fullest extent of the law. There is no defending a situation like this.