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

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Abreu files for free agency

Bobby Abreu field for free agency today, according to Ed Price.

Abreu, who made $16 million last year, hit .296/.371/.471 with 20 home runs and 100 RBI last season. With those numbers, he'll probably look for similar money.

"We just haven't heard anything," agent Peter Greenberg said. "All things being equal, I'm sure the Yankees would be his preference. But he's got to maximize his value. He'd like to get a long-term deal somewhere."
He will also turn 35 during spring training. If the Yankees aren't interested in Manny Ramirez, I'd look to sign Abreu to nothing longer than a two-year deal.

The Yankees will have a 15-day period of exclusive negotiation with Abreu.

This is why Philly shouldn't be allowed to win

Philadelphia fans are certainly celebrating like they haven't won anything in 25 years. Via Deadspin comes this video:

I'll admit it: I laughed.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

At least it wasn't the Red Sox

Congratulations to the Philadelphia Phillies for winning their first World Series championship since 1980. The Rays had a good run, but the Phillies were simply better.

Now the Hot Stove season really begins. I can't wait.

Mr. Vazzano can now know how I felt in 2004 and 2007.

Moose, Giambi updates

George King of the Post has updates on the futures of Mike Mussina and Jason Giambi.

Arn Tellem will travel to Montoursville, Pa., shortly to find out what Mike Mussina's future holds.

"I am going to see him at the end of the week," Mussina's agent said yesterday. "Nothing has been decided."

While Mussina strongly hinted to Yankee staff members and friends he was going to retire, he hasn't officially done that. And while that is the way to bet, several Yankee officials believe the 40-year-old righty will file for free agency following the World Series to keep his options open.

As for Jason Giambi Jason Giambi, another Tellem client, he would like to stay a Yankee.

"We will see what happens. He would like to stay in New York if they want him," Tellem said of Giambi, who batted .247 with 32 homers and 96 RBIs.
Mussina has made it known that returning next year will most likely balloon into a three-year commitment in order to reach 300 wins. He is currently at 270.

Mussina signed a two-year deal after a solid 2006 season and struggled in 2007 before winning 20 games this season. I'd only want him to sign a one-year deal, but I'm not sure he'd be willing to do that.

As far Giambi, he will make at least $5 million from the Yankees next season because there is no way they'll pick up his $22 million option. King suggests that Giambi could sign a one-year deal with the team if they can't sign someone like Mark Teixeira. I could live with that if it's a one-year deal. If he wants anything more, he can look to play elsewhere.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

No baseball tonight

The completion of last night's fifth game of the World Series, originally scheduled for tonight at 8 p.m., was pushed back to tomorrow night.

I'm amazed they played as long as they did last night. The game should've been called much earlier than it was. Imagine if the Rays didn't score in the top of the sixth?

The Rays have looked like a team that's just happy to be in the World Series. As a result, the Phillies have pretty much wiped the floor with them. Unfortunately, it's pretty much over. It was a good run by them.

Now let's get the Hot Stove fired up. Remember, teams can negotiate with free agents other than their own 15 days after the completion of the World Series.

AP Photo

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Yankee Stadium class being taught at Rutgers

A research seminar called "Yankee Stadium" is being taught to 20 freshmen at Rutgers this year, according to Vincent M. Mallozzi of the Times.

Theresa M. Collins, a history professor at Rutgers for 17 years, teaches the one-credit course at the Livingston campus in Piscataway, N.J. With 220 applicants, she said, Yankee Stadium was the most requested first-year research seminar this fall.

“The purpose of this course is to open up the minds of these students to the joys of research, especially in places you wouldn’t normally think of it — like Yankee Stadium,” she said. “We often discuss the potential for certain research projects related to the Stadium, which allows the students an opportunity to maximize their sense of learning in this field.”
This is pretty cool. I wish my school had something like that.

Bowa to remain with Dodgers

Hello, everybody. It's been a couple of days, but I've been busy and there hasn't been much to talk about. I figured I'd break my silence to talk about...the third base coach vacancy.

The Dodgers announced yesterday that Larry Bowa will remain in that role next year. That obviously rules out any return to the Yankees.

It would have been nice to see Bowa back with the Yankees to hopefully give Robinson Cano the kick in the butt he needs.

The next best choice would be Willie Randolph, but I doubt that will happen.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Happy birthday, Robinson Cano

Today is Robinson Cano's 26th birthday, so happy birthday wishes are in order.

It's ironic that Game 1 of the World Series will be played tonight. Cano's play this season is one of the many reasons why the Yankees will not be participating in this year's Fall Classic.

Meanwhile, looking back at happier times, today is the eighth anniversary of Roger Clemens tossing a broken bat at Mike Piazza. I can't believe that was eight years ago. Jeez.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cubs might help open new Stadium

Opening Day in the new park is still slated for April 16 against the Cleveland Indians, but the Yankees and Chicago Cubs may play an exhibition game on Monday, April 6.

According to the article, the Cubs are the Yankees' first choice and the clubs are still negotiating.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Yankees and Cowboys enter partnership

The New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys entered into an agreement that will focus on catering, concessions and merchandising. The new group, called Legends Hospitality Management, LLC, will be the exclusive caterer and merchandising service to both of the teams' new stadiums.

George M. Steinbrenner, Chairman of the New York Yankees said, “This partnership brings together two of the finest sports franchises and creates a business that will take advantage of their tremendous insight and expertise. No one knows their fans better and has a greater interest in providing them a great game-day experience. With both the Yankees and the Cowboys moving into new stadiums next season, this is certainly the right time to rethink our approach. Beyond that base, we are confident that other facilities and teams will be interested in what Legends can offer. I look forward to building a business with Jerry.”
Wow...the evil Yankees and the evil Cowboys joining forces. I, for one, hate the Cowboys, but this seems like to be a smart deal for both organizations.

Click the above link for the complete press release if you are interested.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Thank you, Rays

The dragon has been slayed! The Rays were able to fight the Red Sox momentum and beat them 3-1 to advance to the World Series.

The two Red Sox fans in my room haven't said a word in minutes and I have the biggest smirk on my face. I haven't felt this good about October baseball in a few years. This is a great feeling. I'm very happy for them.

Let's go Rays!!!

Game 7 tonight

Yes, I know the Red Sox have all the momentum in the world. Yes, I know the Red Sox have forced a Game 7 after being in a large deficit three straight times.

That said, let's go Rays. Please. Please prove the baseball world wrong. Please beat up on Jon Lester. Please. Por favor. どうぞ.

Joba speaks

Joba Chamberlain released a statement regarding yesterday's arrest:

"I want to apologize to the New York Yankees and the fans for an error in judgment and for putting myself in a difficult situation. I intend to properly resolve this situation, and do not intend to be in such a situation again. My goal is to focus on pitching for the Yankees in the 2009 season."
He better not be in such a situation again.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Joba arrested for DUI

Joba Chamberlain was arrested for driving under the influence this morning, according to Peter Abraham.

Deborah Collins, a spokeswoman for the Nebraska State Patrol, said that the 23-year-old Chamberlain was pulled over after being observed speeding in a 2006 BMW 75i shortly after 1 a.m. on U.S. 77.

Chamberlain was arrested after an odor of alcohol was detected and an open container of alcohol was observed on the front passenger seat. Chamberlain was taken to the Cornhusker Place Detox and booked on charges of driving under the influence, having an open container of alcohol and speeding.
How stupid do you have to be?

Hopefully the Yankees will talk this over with him, because behavior like this is absolutely unacceptable.

Banish this man from "Yankees Universe"

Read this Harvey Araton article, and tell me how you feel about Jeremy Flug.

For one thing, I'll never be caught dead wearing a Red Sox cap ever, let alone in Fenway Park cheering for them in the playoffs.

"The Red Sox grow on you," Flug said. If the Red Sox are a parasite, then yes, they do grow on you - and the host does not benefit.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Video of the new Yankee Stadium

Greg from Sliding Into Home has kept us updated throughout most of the Yankee Stadium construction process with great photos. Today he found a video of the inside.

As you can see, the grass has been installed and they're already running a Budweiser ad. That sounds about right.

Huge comeback vaults Sox into Game 6


The Rays, up 7-0, nine outs away from advancing to the World Series, gave up eight runs over the next three innings to lose 8-7 to bring the series back to Tampa for Game 6.

This is the kind of win that can catapult Boston to the World Series and the kind of loss that can cripple the Rays.

Scott Kazmir was cruising through six innings. When he came out of the game, everything went to hell. What a shame.

Game 6 is tomorrow night at 8:07 p.m.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Listen to me on Quinnipiac radio

I will be appearing on my friend Jeremy's radio show, Teeing It Up with Jeremy Schilling, tonight around 6:20 p.m. ET. Joining me will be Andrew and Jamie. As you can see, it'll be a blogtravaganza.

You can listen to it all on WQAQ.com. Click "enter" and then "new online radio player."

I have no idea what we'll be talking about, but how can you pass up an opportunity to listen to my wonderful voice?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Phillies advance to World Series

The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Joe Torre-led Dodgers to win the National League pennant tonight. Needless to say, my Mets fan roommate is unhappy.

He's probably feeling how I felt in 2004 when the Red Sox made the World Series and eventually won the whole thing. While the Phillies didn't advance to the World Series at the expense of the Mets, there are parallels to this situation.

Hopefully the Rays will only need one game to close out the Red Sox and will beat the Phillies in the World Series so everyone is happy.

Fenway Citgo sign catches on fire

Keeping in tune with the slow news day them, I saw this on The Final Score:

The Boston Red Sox's season isn't quite up in flames, but a small fire at a landmark near Fenway Park can't be a good omen.

The Citgo sign, looming over Fenway Park, was damaged in a fire on Wednesday, an off-day in the ALCS.

The fire melted and blackened some of the plastic panels on the red, white and blue Citgo sign over Fenway's Green Monster in left field. No one was injured.
That's great news for the Tampa Bay Rays. Game 5 will take place tomorrow night in Boston at 8:07 p.m. ET.

Clemens has no hard feelings toward Yankees

Roger Clemens talked to a Houston television station today and said he harbors no ill-will toward the Yankees for their failure to mention him during the Yankee Stadium closing ceremony.

"The reports were false as many have been over the course," Clemens told Houston's KRIV-TV about reports he was unhappy the team didn't include him among those honored during the final game at Yankee Stadium. "I don't pay attention to them. We are trying to do things the right way.

"They had some story that I was watching it. I was actually in Florida in the instructional league at the time the game was going on, the last Yankee Stadium game was happening, I was on a plane flight coming home. So I never saw any of the game itself," he said.
That's nice.

Clemens also says he has no desire to play, he's happy at home and is willing to work for the Astros as soon as they're willing to let him.

Yeah, it's a slow news day/week/month/season.

Mixed messages from Mussina's camp

Will Mike Mussina return? Will he retire? I've heard two vastly different reports just today.

From Buster Olney (Via MLB Trade Rumors):

A longtime friend of Andy Pettitte reiterated that the left-hander intends to pitch in 2009 -- and there is a growing sense that Mike Mussina may return for another season, as well, although Mussina has not indicated a final decision, one way or another.
And from FoxSports' Ken Rosenthal:
Friends of Yankees right-hander Mike Mussina are still convinced he will retire. One possible reason: Mussina fears that the Yankees will not be good enough next season for him to sufficiently chip away at the 30 victories he needs for 300.

Mussina, who turns 40 on Dec. 8, would consider playing for other teams near his home in Montoursville, Pa., but those teams either play in small ballparks (Phillies, Red Sox) or face their own competitive issues (Pirates, Orioles, Nationals, Indians). The Mets? Not happening.

One other thing about Mussina: His expectations of himself are so high, he could not tolerate getting hammered again the way he was in 2007. Better to go out on top, which is what he would be doing after his first 20-win season.
Firstly, Rosenthal's report seems more concrete. I don't know what Olney means by a "growing sense." Also, regarding Andy Pettitte, it's nice that he wants to return, but do the Yankees want him to? Based on his 2008 performance, I doubt it.

Meanwhile, is coming off a 20-win season at the age of 39. That doesn't mean he's invincible. Does he want to hang on for 30 more wins which will likely take about three years? I'm not so sure.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

One more to go

The Tampa Bay Rays are one win away from reaching the World Series after defeating the Red Sox 13-4 tonight.

The Red Sox have been down at least 3-1 before, and have come back to win the series in 2004 and 2007 and eventually, unfortunately, the World Series.

Hopefully the Rays are not like the 2004 Yankees and 2007 Indians.

Let me tell you, it's extremely sweet watching the cocky Red Sox fans around school have a quick change of heart regarding their team. I'm sure many television sets were turned off after the Rays' five-run sixth inning tonight. The giant television in my common room was one of them, and I had a huge smile on my face when it was switched over from TBS to ESPN.

Go Rays. Go Evan Longoria. Go B.J. Upton. One more win is all I'm asking.

Meacham and Monteleone will not return

Third base coach Bobby Meacham and special pitching instructor Rich Monteleone will not be on the Yankees' 2009 coaching staff, according to Daily News reporter Mark Feinsand.

Meacham was one of Joe Girardi's additions to the coaching staff and was with Girardi when he managed the Marlins in 2006.

Meacham struggled at third base at times last season, so I'm not sad to see him go. I don't understand the Monteleone firing - maybe the organization wants to head in a different direction regarding the pitching staff?

Hitting coach Kevin Long is the only coach from last year's staff who has a contract for next season.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Proctor to have elbow surgery

I totally didn't see this coming.

Scott Proctor will have elbow surgery to repair a partially-torn flexor tendon and will have a bone spur in the back of his elbow shaved down, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. Sounds fun, doesn't it?

Joe Torre gets the last laugh, I guess.

H/T to iYankees

Yankees fan's playoff envy

Jane Heller, author, blogger and commenter on this blog(!), wrote a piece for todays's New York Times about how Yankees fans have a serious case of playoff envy. Truer words have never been spoken. I implore you to check it out.

Basically, she adopted the Dodgers as her October '08 team. As much as Joe Torre's Yankees meant to my adolescence, I can't bring myself to rooting for the Dodgers this year (unless they play the Red Sox in the World Series). When it became clear that the Yankees wouldn't make the playoffs, I decided that I'd make the Tampa Bay Rays my team for this October.

Her Dodgers are down 0-2 to the Phillies while my Rays had a very nice win earlier this morning in extra innings.

H/T to Dave and Aziz from Pride of the Yankees

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Post: Hank still in charge

The Steinbrenner brothers (not only Hal) are still the go-to guys when it comes to making decisions, according to the Post's George King.

"There is one very important point here," Steinbrenner told The Post during an exclusive half-hour session. "The most important thing to remember is this: If you didn't get it from me or my brother [Hal], it doesn't mean [anything]. I don't care about some piss-ant employee. If you don't get it from me or Hal, it's meaningless. I have a lot of things [in Tampa] and Hal is in New York, which is good."

Asked if he has taken a step back, Steinbrenner emphatically said, "No."
First off, I hate when newspapers call their interviews "exclusives." Hank talks to anyone who has a microphone or recorder and is willing to listen.

Now that that's out of my system, let's discuss this quote. Usually the stuff that comes out of Hank's mouth is meaningless. Also, is Brian Cashman considered a "piss-ant employee?" He does a lot of speaking on organizational matters. Because Hank said this, I'll just take it with a grain of salt.

Friday, October 10, 2008

This can't be good

The ALCS begins tonight and MLB.com is selling these t-shirts. This is probably referring to the Rays' triumph in the AL East, but this takes on a whole other meaning with the two teams meeting in the ALCS.

Rays in seven. What are your predictions?

H/T to the first comment on this Bronx Banter article.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Yankees cancel Stadium closing ceremony

The Yankees have decided to cancel a Yankee Stadium closing concert originally scheduled for Nov. 9, according to Mark Feinsand.

Last year, they wanted to play a hockey game on Dec. 31. Then they wanted to have this concert more than a month after the last game was played.

It's best to have Yankee Stadium's last event be a baseball game - and a victory, with Mariano Rivera on the mound for the last out.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Heyman on Sabathia: Yanks to go 'all-in'

More good news on the CC Sabathia front, if you believe SI's Jon Heyman (via MLB Trade Rumors).

The Yankees are going all in for Sabathia, according to people familiar with their thinking, so if he means what he says, he can expect an attractive offer. Sabathia said he believes his great time in Milwaukee proved to him that he'd enjoy playing in most, if not all, places.

He's become "more open-minded,'' said a person close to Sabathia, meaning he'll consider places outside his native California. Which would also seem to suggest he's more willing to consider the Yankees.

Heyman also specifically mentions the Angels, Dodgers, Mets and Giants as other possible players in Sabathiapalooza.

Rivera survives encounter with Mets doctor

Closer Mariano Rivera underwent shoulder surgery today to remove calcification on top of the AC joint, according to the AP.

The surgery was performed by Dr. David Altchek, the Mets team doctor.

Rivera should be ready for the start of spring training.

Video: Game 5 of the 1961 World Series

Brian from Reel Sports Fan (get it?) sent me video of Game 5 of the 1961 World Series this morning with the following text: "No playoff baseball this year for Yankees fans, so we have to get the fix somehow." Truer words have never been spoken.

Enjoy this video of the original TV broadcast of Game 5 of the 1961 World Series from Crosley Field in Cincinnati.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Rays, Red Sox to meet in ALCS

Erick Aybar's brain-cramp at third base did indeed cost the Los Angeles Angels a chance to force a deciding Game 5. Jed Lowrie made him pay in the bottom half of the ninth to score the series-clinching run.

The Red Sox will now face the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALCS, after the Rays were able to finish off the White Sox 6-2 earlier tonight. Game 1 will take place Friday night on TBS.

In the senior circuit, the Phillies and Dodgers will meet in Philadelphia for Game 1 on Thursday.

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Rays look to eliminate Chicago's other team

Game 4 of the Tampa Bay Rays/Chicago White Sox is underway, and B.J. Upton has already put the Rays on top in the first inning. A Rays victory will put them in the ALCS.

I have already declared the Rays my team this October, so obviously I am very proud of them. I have a rooting interest in Evan Longoria, and they are generally a likable team (sans Jonny Gomes).

Oh, by the way, let's go Angels. The last thing I want to see this season is a Red Sox/Dodgers World Series. My brain would explode.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sabathia not limiting free agent destinations

CC Sabathia made it known today that he is not just focusing on one place to land this off-season.

From SI's Jon Heyman:

Sabathia took a swipe at the conventional wisdom that says he much preferred to go home to California to play. "All those who say I only want to go back to California to play, that's not true,'' Sabathia said.

He said he loved batting but wouldn't go so far as to say that that preference would eliminate American League teams.

"I'll play anywhere,'' he said.
Buckle up. The bidding for his services will be a lot of fun to watch.

Torre advances to NLCS

A few minutes ago, Jonathan Broxton struck out Alfonso Soriano on a ball in the dirt (I miss Soriano flailing at balls off the plate for the Yankees, I really do) to finish off the Cubs in three games.

As a result, Joe Torre advances to an LCS for the first time since 2004 while the Yankees sit at home this October. There is no cause and effect, really, but it is an interesting situation to ponder.

Would the Yankees have reached the playoffs this season with Torre at the helm? I'm not too sure. It was clear that this team was flawed, what with the pitching question marks and too much money tied into aging players. It was only a matter of time before they would miss the playoffs. The fact that there was a managerial change is just a coincidence in my book.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Suzyn Waldman sings tribute to Tom Seaver

I've heard that Yankees radio broadcaster Suzyn Waldman is an accomplished singer, but I've never had the pleasure of listening to her myself. Andrew Vazzano (via me, via The Final Score) has video of her singing a tribute to former Met Tom Seaver.


Yankees don't want to play fair: Brewers owner

Apparently the Milwaukee Brewers owner feels that the Yankees don't want to play fair when it comes to revenue sharing.

From today's Daily News:

Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio, seeking a “fair fight,” said high-revenue clubs like the Yankees should share more with the other teams.

“It’s always amusing to me to hear the Yankees, they can’t get into the playoffs with $200 million, and they say, ‘well, we’ve done enough,”’ Attanasio, the chief investment officer at money management firm TCW Group Inc., said in an interview with Bloomberg Radio’s “On the Ball” program that will air Saturday. “The advantages that you’re given in the bigger market teams - if they really wanted to have a fair fight they would do more revenue sharing, but I guess the obvious battle lines are drawn on that.”
In other news, Attanasio supports the reincarnation of the Soviet Union.

Meanwhile, Hank Steinbrenner's thoughts on revenue sharing from Sept. 23:
“That’s a system I don’t particularly like. It’s a socialist system, and I don’t agree with it. Does it work? It depends on your point of view. But is it right? Is it even American? I’d argue no on both of those points.”
That's one of the only times I'll agree with Hank.

Friday morning perspective

If you ever think you have it bad, just remember that at least you're not a Chicago Cubs fan.

The Cubs have looked absolutely dreadful in their two games at home and they are now one loss away from not winning the World Series in 100 straight years. The sadist in me wants to see the Cubs win both games at Dodger Stadium and then lose the fifth game at home.

Eight years doesn't seem like a long time in comparison.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Olney: Yanks to have lower payroll

Buster Olney (via MLB Trade Rumors) says that he heard the Yankees' payroll will be around $180 million next season. That would be a decrease of almost $30 million if true.

I'm not sure where he got that number from, but let's examine it.

Big money coming off the payroll:

  • Jason Giambi's $21 million. He has a $5 million buyout.
  • Bobby Abreu's $16 million
  • Andy Pettitte's $16 million
  • Mike Mussina's $11 million
  • Carl Pavano's $11 million
That is $70 million coming off the books right there. On the above list, I can only see Abreu and Mussina have a chance of coming back next year. Ivan Rodriguez won't be back, Damaso Marte has a 2009 club option and the Yankees will have to pay arbitration eligible players like Chien-Ming Wang, Xavier Nady and Brian Bruney.

The Yankees will have a lot of money to throw around at free agents. The weeks and months after the World Series should be a lot of fun.

Vote Rays in '08

Let's go Rays.

Yes, you read that correctly: Let's go Rays. I understand they are in the same division as the Yankees, but who cares? This team has been a wonderful story all year, starting with them taking on the big, bad Yankees in spring training and riding that momentum all the way to an improbable first-place finish in the AL East.

The Tampa Bay Rays will begin their division series matchup with the Chicago White Sox today at 2:37 (exactly) p.m. this afternoon, with James Shields starting Game 1 against ex-Yankee Javier Vazquez.

Imagine, for a second, they get all the way to the World Series and have to face the Cubs? The Cubs looked horrible last night, but they haven't reached the World Series since 1945, let alone win it since 1908. What drama that would be: The up-start Rays against the lovable losers! It doesn't get much better than that, save for the Yankees being in the World Series.

In this baseball-starved city, we don't have our Yankees to root for this October. Let us have a little fun and root for the Rays. Hopefully they'll beat Boston in the ALCS.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Cashman: We will win

Today has been relatively quiet, except for what Brian Cashman said at Yankee Stadium today.

From Peter Abraham:

A feisty, defiant Brian Cashman said today that he returned to the Yankees to “change the story” about where the team was headed. “We have to win,” he said. “And we will.”
Of course he's going to say that, but the fact that he was "defiant" is a welcomed change. He knows that this season was a failure and he'll do everything he can to change things around.

He also said that Hideki Matsui will DH, Johnny Damon will play the outfield and they will need a first baseman to play that position, according to Abraham.