The New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez hit two homers in an extended spring training game, played some third base, and probably ruing any mention of Selena Roberts’ new book, “A-Rod,” which alleges many things like Rodriguez taking steroids in high school, as well as with the New York Yankees despite A-Rod saying he only did steroids during his tenure with the Texas Rangers, and also accuses him of tipping pitches to opposing hitters, which is probably the worst of all allegations. So, yes, Rodriguez is primed to return! Possibly even this Friday!
Considering the valid hulaballoo regarding the new Yankee Stadium and all of the baseballs going yard, can you imagine how many home runs Rodriguez will end up accumulating despite missing several weeks of the season? And it seems it doesn’t even matter if he’s not juiced because everyone is hitting them out. How about all of the media sure to bum-rush A-Rod upon his return? Like it’s going to be any different than it is now? Rodriguez is already under the microscope 24/7 and he seems to have this Barry Bonds sort of denial about him, but not really denial… more like, let’s talk about something else, wave of the hand sort of gesture. The guy is just not going to say anything anymore, especially considering how bad he is at lying, so mass media, have at it!
But, you should all read Jim Caple’s defense of A-Rod for a view of all things A-Rod that I agree with.
Read More | ESPN
This American League East season preview will be full of surprises… NOT! Guess what kids, the New York Yankees spent a ton of money during the offseason, primarily on free agent pitchers C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and hitter of the winter that had every team salivating, Mark Teixeira. Also, Alex Rodriguez was in the news again for his off-field shenanigans, including kissing himself in the mirror, which I find nothing wrong in doing, but hey, we all can’t be egoists. In any case, despite spending a boatload of bucks again, the Yankees were actually getting a lot of money off the books and were simply replacing those dollars in other players. Hopefully, these players pay off as the Yankees have not won a World Series since 2000 and the recent track record of throwing money towards “superstar” players have not gotten the Yanks any rings. Will it pay off this season? It better.
There’s a lot of talk going around that the New York Yankees are killing baseball. They are outspending everyone, other general managers whine. They just bought the best hitter and the two best pitchers on the market! What are we supposed to do?
Get over it. The free market is the best way to go. Football has parity, but it’s almost ridiculous how quickly teams change. There’s no team identity from year to year, and very few trades (which are exciting for the fans). Basketball has an interesting mix of continuity and parity, but figuring out a deal in basketball is more a question of math than a negotiation of teams with needs. The maximum salary slots also create a sub-class of overvalued stars that just get shipped from team to team as the league waits for their bloated contract to expire (think Al Harrington).
No, the system baseball has is, for the most part, the best way to go. Teams have a chance of winning every year - just look at the small market teams that have found postseason success over the past five years (the Tampa Bay Rays, Florida Marlins and even the Detroit Tigers have used revenue-sharing dollars to good use). Blockbuster trades happen almost every year, and the baseball trade deadline is the most exciting deadline in sports. The state of the game is strong, despite the Yankee’s spending a good $70 million a year more than the second-most extravagant team.
A salary cap would just give these billionaire baseball owners more money - and they are the richest owners in major league sports. Using a revenue-sharing system to penalize the Yankees for their huge payroll is not a terrible system - provided, of course, that the smaller market teams actually use the money for good use. And that’s where the problem lies. The Florida Marlins are the team that should be shouldering your complaints. Some of the numbers are staggering.
Read More | The Hardball Times
A few thoughts on whether the New York Yankees should sign Manny Ramirez.
First, the bad news… and we know it by heart. Manny being Manny. Petulant, moody, a proverbial thorn in the side of teammates, owners, and general managers. Pick your favorite verb or phrase and apply it. No question - he brings a lot of baggage with him. What to do? Grin and bear it.
Stats tell the whole story and Manny has a truckload of ‘em. A lifetime batting average of .314, 527 homers, 1212 career walks and a career slugging percentage of .593. Ten out of 15 seasons hitting .300+. Hits in the clutch, hits for average, hits for power. He is the best hitter since Tony Gwynn and Wade Boggs, the scourge of pitchers in both leagues, and a first ballot Hall of Famer. He made the Cleveland Indians a contender, helped the Boston Red Sox win two World Series and led the Los Angeles Dodgers to the playoffs on the strength of .399 hitting.
Forget all the hoopla and remarks about Manny being Manny. It has nothing to do with his talent. He won’t win any popularity contests, but Manny does his real talking where it counts - at the plate. Everything else is more grist for the mill. At age 37, Manny is now approaching the end of his career, but it doesn’t seem to be slowing him down. Just look at the numbers he posted for the Dodgers. A .399 average, 17 homers, 53 runs batted in, a .489 on base percentage. This writer’s stance on what the Yankees should do is a mere bag of shells. Do what it takes to sign him. If Manny wants two years, give it to him. If he wants an exorbitant amount of money, give it to him. Manny is no cakewalk in the clubhouse and he’ll require a ton of patience, but he is a proven winner.
It took some fancy footwork and a bundle of buckaroos but the New York Yankees landed top pitching free agent, C.C. Sabathia, to a record shattering seven-year $161 million dollar contract. The Steinbrenners and general manager Brian Cashman enlisted the help of Hall of Famer and former Yankees great Reggie Jackson to ice the deal. Reggie of course was only too happy to - pardon the pun - “pitch” his glory days in the Bronx to Sabathia. Well, it’s the thought that counts, right? Go waving around a $23 million dollar a year contract and it’s a pretty safe bet that that player’s agent will recommend that his client sign on the dotted line.
The latest news from the owners’ meetings is the bidding war between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox for Toronto Blue Jays hurler A.J. Burnett. No one needs to be reminded that there’s no love lost between Boston and New York and this is one deal that’s shaping up to be a no-holds barred free-for-all. No word yet on what each team has offered Burnett, but you can bet your bottom dollar that Hank and Hal Steinbrenner will not allow Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein to outbid them for Burnett’s services.
Mike Mussina decided to retire today, and in the Northeast, there’s no doubt. He’s a future Hall of Famer.
But all of this because he finally won 20 games? After two decades of consistent elite performance, why did a random number make so much difference? Well, the answer of course is that voters and much of the general public are a little too conscious of the ‘counting’ stats. How many home runs did he have? How many wins? Case closed.
Mussina has 270 wins in his 18 year career, an average of 15 wins per season. He has a career 3.68 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. He’s only finished in the top three for the Cy Young once. So, no real hardware, no eye-popping statistics, no Hall of Fame - or so goes the story. But, let’s take a deeper look.
Read More | Fox Sports
The C.C. Sabathia Stakes are underway. Qualifications are as follows: 1) Teams are required to have deep pockets for competitive bidding. 2) Team owners and general managers must have an abundance of patience while C.C. shops around for a lucrative multi-year deal. 3) California and National League teams get bidding preference. Sabathia is a native Californian and has expressed a desire to pitch for a Golden State team. Same deal for NL squads—pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers made C.C. an NL convert. 4) Major market teams also get a leg up by virtue of the fact that they attract lots of fans and rake in major advertising revenues.
The New York Yankees are flexing their money muscles as they have already offered free-agent pitcher, C.C. Sabathia, a substantial contract that rivals Johan Santana’s six-year $137.5 million contract signed last offseason after a trade from the Minnesota Twins to the New York Mets. Sabathia, the gem this offseason of pitching free-agents, will be getting offers, or at least interest, from many MLB teams, but at this point, no one can compete with the Yankees’ money. It’s known that Sabathia, a California native, would rather go to Cali and hit in the National League. However, will the lure of the almighty dollar be enough for Sabathia to say no to where he really wants to go?
Read More | Yahoo! Sports
C.C. Sabathia’s name came up last night at Joe Torre’s Safe At Home fund raising gala. New York Yankees captain and Torre protégé, Derek Jeter, said that he has spoken to the lights out lefty about wearing the pinstripes next season, but no news yet if C.C. will be moving to the Bronx for 2009. Sabathia could well be the Yanks’ answer to Johan Santana and would anchor the Yanks’ pitching impoverished rotation. The real question is can Sabathia win the big games? While hurling for the Cleveland Indians, Sabathia was nearly unhittable against the Bombers in the divisional round of the 2007 playoffs, but looked awfully pedestrian this year, ceding five runs in two innings against the world champion Philadelphia Phillies.
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