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You are currently viewing archive for October 2007.

Posted by: Patrick has an auction for a Yankees VIP family package. Here's what's included:

- The chance for your child to be bat boy or bat girl!!!
- Four (4) Tickets to a 2008 New York Yankees Regular Season Home Game!
- Your name featured on the JUMBOTRON during the 4th or 5th Inning!
- VIP Parking for One (1) Vehicle in Yankee Stadium Lot 14!
- Four (4) New York Yankees Goodie Bags!

The next bid will be for $10,000.00. The proceeds go to the Carol Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund.
Posted by: Patrick
Former Yankee Jim Leyritz, who says he would have "been in for sure" if Don Mattingly was made the manager, is looking for a job on Girardi's staff. He sees himself as a first base coach who can work with pitchers.

Besides the fact that the staff seems to be settled without him, a couple weeks ago Leyritz called Don Mattingly the "only logical choice" for the Yankees manager job, making Joe Girardi an illogical choice, I suppose. That probably didn't help.
Posted by: Patrick
From the KRIV in Houston:

"The New York Yankees committed an awful lot of money to me and put it in my hands, gave me a player option and trusted me with that option," Pettitte said in an interview Tuesday with FOX 26 Sports. "It probably wouldn't be real honorable for me not to do anything other than if I shut it down, shut it down or go back and play for the New York Yankees."

He also said that the manager swap wouldn't effect his decision and that all 3 guys the Yankees interviewed would have been good.

Via Bobcat via the AP.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham shares what may end up being the Yankees coaching staff this year.

Pitching: Dave Eiland
Hitting: Kevin Long
Bench: Rob Thomson
Third Base: Bobby Meacham
First Base/Catching: Tony Pena
Bullpen: Mike Harkey

A nice side benefit of having Pena back is, of course, his relationship with Jorge. Meacham was a career Yankee from 1983-1988. He was the Marlins third base coach with Girardi and the Padres' first base coach this season.

Thomson has spent 18 years in the Yankees organization, serving as the field coordination this year. Steve has a bit on Mike Harkey. Eiland, another former Yankee, was the pitching coach at triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham is on a roll. He's reporting that Torre has agreed to a 3 year deal, worth $15 million dollars. So, though we don't know the full details of the contract - in other words, the same base salary that the Yankees offered, but with 2 extra years. He had said that the years were the thing and that's certainly reflected in the contract.

It's going to be weird, but I wish him (and Donnie, if that happens) a lot of luck.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham has audio from all 3 conference calls. Check them out:

Joe Girardi
Brian Cashman and Hank Steinbrenner
Don Mattingly

From Girardi's call, care of ESPN:

"I expect to be playing in the fall classic next October. I think that's everyone's expectation," Girardi said. "I've been there some years, and I haven't been there some years, and I've broadcast there some years, and let me tell you, it's much better when you're in uniform and you're there." ...

"I don't think you can ever replace a figure because that figure is unique in his own way. What I'm going to do is I'm going to be myself," Girardi said. "And yes, are there expectations on me and, you know, the coaching staff and the players? Absolutely. The same expectations that were on Joe Torre when he came in in 1996.

"I can't be Joe Torre because I'm made up different," Girardi said. "You know, I'm a different character, so I don't really necessarily worry about replacing someone or how I'm going to replace someone. I'm more worried about just being myself and getting the most out of the guys."

And from Don Mattinglys conference call, again from ESPN:

"I was never, ever guaranteed anything. Mr. Steinbrenner never said, 'Donnie come back, you're going to be the next manager,'" Mattingly said. "You have to earn your place and prove that you can do something, and I have no problems with that." ...

"I don't feel any ill will. I'm not sitting here -- vengeance is not running through me at all," Mattingly said. "Trust me, I'm not all of a sudden going to start rooting for the Red Sox." ...

"I'm sure it's going to be something different for me," Mattingly added. "The easiest thing is to stay in the comfort zone. ... At some point you have to get to know new people. That point is exciting for me."
Posted by: Patrick
As has been alluded to, Tony Pena will be back, according to Peter Abraham. No word on the role, though.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham reports that Mo and his agent, Fernando Cuza, met with Brian Cashman and the Steinbrenners (Cashman and the Steinbrenners... do I hear hit single?) today in Tampa. No word on how the meetings went.
Posted by: Patrick
The conference call is going on now, but Peter Abraham mentioned that Girardi's deal is for 3 years at a total of $7.5 million dollars a year. It looks like he becomes the 4th highest paid manager in the game.
Posted by: Patrick
According to Peter Abraham, the Yankees will announce Joe Girardi as the manager today. The time of the announcement has not yet been revealed.
Posted by: Patrick
Bryan Hoch reports that A-Rod, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Doug Mientkiewicz and Luis Vizcaino filed for free agency Monday, the first day that players are able to do so.
Posted by: Patrick
Scott Boras issued the following statement:

"I apologize to the Boston Red Sox and Colorado Rockies and their players, Major League Baseball and its players, and baseball fans everywhere for that interference," he said in a statement. "The teams and players involved deserved to be the focus of the evening and honored with the utmost respect. The unfortunate result was not my intent, but is solely my fault. I could have handled this situation better, and for that I am truly sorry."
Posted by: Patrick
The Journal News is reporting that the Dodgers have decided to fire Grady Little and replace him with Joe Torre.

It gets better. The article also notes that Don Mattingly is expected to go with him and become his bench coach. And, apparently, Torre is interested in Kevin Long, too.

Wow. Just... wow. What else is gonna happen? Is Guidry headed over there? A-Rod to the Dodgers? Is the reincarnate of DiMaggio going to coach third? Jeez.

This is bad for us. It would have been better if he stayed out a year or, at least, until we had Mo and Posada signed and we had Andy back under his option. Not that they won't come back to us, but they don't need even more temptation not to and, if the Dodgers come calling for a catcher or a closer... well, hold tight everyone.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham has another from the statements department. This time, from MLB's COO, Bob DuPry.

We were very disappointed that Scott Boras would try to upstage our premier baseball event of the season with his announcement. There was no reason to make an announcement last night other than to try to put his selfish interests and that of one individual player above the overall good of the game.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham has a statement from Donnie's agent.

Don feels both Joe and Tony Pena represent true professionalism both on and off the field and he was honored to be among them as candidates for the managerial position. Don extends congratulations to Joe and wishes him and the organization good luck next year!
Posted by: Patrick
ESPN is reporting that, according to sources, the Yankees have offered Joe Girardi the manager job and Don Mattingly will not be back.

Via my brother, Sean.
Posted by: Patrick
That's some nice news I wake up to. A-Rod has opted out of his contract. I thought he had until 10 days after the World Series? Why the rush? If he is really concerned about the direction of the team - about the manager, about Pettitte, about Jorge and Mo - why couldn't he wait a little bit to see how that played out? Numerous reports indicate that we're getting ready to make aggressive offers to both of them. Granted, Pettitte may not have been cleared up in the next 10 days (edit: it would have been, Buster Olney just said that he has to let the Yankees known within 10 days), but it's possible that he might have and that after the manager was in place and after Jorge and Mo were signed (assuming it happens), he'd be more likely to return.

So, why now? Some speculate that A-Rod simply doesn't want to be in New York. The Yankees wanted to meet with him to discuss the offer. Hank Steinbrenner called him and left messages on his phone. No response. He wouldn't agree to meet with them and he wouldn't return their calls. This would seem to support the notion of not wanting to be in New York.

He leaves New York - the largest stage and the most storied franchise - without a World Series and with poor performances in October. The Yankees have been clear in their intentions not to participate in the free agency bidding of Alex Rodriguez.

Hindsight's a funny business, but I think there will be some discussion as to whether or not this strategy was the best way to go, since it ended as it did. Plenty were in support of it, but was it wise to, essentially, threaten A-Rod and Scott Boras publicly? Couldn't they have just privately had this in mind (i.e. "we will not negotiate if he opts out") and communicated it to A-Rod and Boras the importance of the Texas money? Instead of announcing it to the world? I'm not saying it would have mattered, but by publicly announcing it, not only do you risk offending A-Rod and Boras, but you paint the Yankee organization into a corner. We can't bid on A-Rod now without looking foolish, so we allow the best player in the game to walk because of things we said. Even if it was the right call at the time, it didn't work.

The only way that I could see A-Rod returning now is if Boras has badly overestimated the market. Let's say, for example, that no one is even able to offer him the $27 million he would have made this year. So, then the Yankees offer him an 8 year, $26 million dollar a year contract, totaling $208 million. With the Yankees, if we added 5 years to his deal at $30 million (which, really, we probably would have gone higher), his current deal would have been worth $231 million and we would have received $21 million from Texas, so it would have cost us $210 million. So, we'd actually be saving $2 million dollars and he'd be making $23 million less. In that sort of situation, it'd be taken, publicly, as him crawling back to us. That would enable us to make the deal. Is that going to happen? Unlikely. Boras is at the top of his field, he has to know that A-Rod will command $30 million from someone. As such, A-Rod is gone.

Of course, some people wouldn't want him back, not even at 8 years and $26 million a year. Maybe not even the Yankees. Hank Steinbrenner has said that it's clear that A-Rod didn't want to be a Yankee. For all of his talk, he did produce this line, which gave me a chuckle:

“Does he want to go into the Hall of Fame as a Yankee,” Steinbrenner said, “or a Toledo Mud Hen?”

In the end, this is disappointing. No matter what happens, we're taking a big step down at 3rd base. I liked Alex and I wanted him to succeed in New York. I rooted for him and was happy when he did well. I felt that, generally speaking, many Yankee fans didn't realize what they had in him. He's a great player and a future Hall of Famer. But, he's no longer a Yankee. Life goes on. I've read a couple comments where someone suggested the Yankees should just go young this year and make it a rebuilding year. To be honest, there is probably never a reason for the Yankees to do that - ever - assuming we don't mess things up too bad. With our money and moderate restraint in our farm system, we should be able to field a competitive team every season with a mix of younger and older guys. Let's not lose sight of that.

Via Steve.
Posted by: Patrick
I'm mentioning this because the season he won it for was as a Yankee, of course. From the official site:

Alex Rodriguez's terrific season may soon open a pathway to even greater riches, as the Yankees prepare a lucrative contract extension for the All-Star third baseman. ...

Rodriguez received 24 percent of the American League vote and secured his fourth Hank Aaron Award on Sunday, with the presentation taking place at Colorado's Coors Field before Game 4 of the World Series.
Posted by: Patrick
From Jon Heyman:

The Yankees appear to be focusing on Joe Girardi to replace legendary Joe Torre as manager. Barring an unforeseen development, Girardi could receive the offer Monday.
Posted by: James
According to CNNSI's Jon Heyman, Alex Rodriguez notified the Yankees on Sunday that he's opting out of his contract.

Rodriguez's decision means he will become a free agent and be able to negotiate with all clubs. Rodriguez's bombshell move will shake up the entire winter for the Yankees -- who had hoped to retain him with a big extension -- as well as other big-market clubs that will now pursue him.

Responding to the revelation, Rodriguez's agent, Scott Boras, confirmed he sent word of the opt-out decision in writing Sunday to the Yankees and expected the club to receive it by Monday. Boras also left phone and text messages with the same information for Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.

Instant reaction/analysis? Forget you A-Rod. For a guy that kept reiterating that he has an eye on his legacy and how it was never about the money, this sure reeks of being about the money. Since he never even sat down with the Yankees like they were asking him to, it sure seems like he just wanted out of NY, no?

In any case, Cashman laid it out to you throughout the year and I hope the man sticks to his guns so, so long Alex - enjoy the rest of your HOF career somewhere else and prepare for the worst the next time you step into NY (and Texas...and Seattle...well, I guess he should be used to it by now). Still, this should make his acceptance of the MVP award somewhat interesting though.

Via Big Ben K.
Posted by: Patrick
A-Rod was named, by his peers, the Player of the Year in MLB as well as the Outstanding Player in the AL this season. Congrats to him.

Via Kat O'Brien.
Posted by: James
This is all just hear-say at the moment and we'll all seen ESPN be wrong before but Buster Olney is reporting that the Yankees are planning to make A-Rod quite the offer (really an extension) if and when they meet with him.

The offer could be for something in the range of five years -- beyond the three years Rodriguez is already under contract for, from 2008-10 -- and perhaps $30 million a year. The highest per-workday salary earned to date is the $28 million Roger Clemens received, in prorated salary, for a little less than four months of work this season.
Posted by: Patrick
A-Rod has been named Baseball America's Player of the Year. Not much to say. Congrats to him. Now, we just wait for the MVP to be awarded.
Posted by: Patrick
Yesterday night, Hank Steinbrenner told reporters that he wants to think about the managerial search over the weekend, ruling out the idea that our new manager could be announced today. He went onto say that we will honor the wishes of the commissioner, as far as when it will be announced.

A team source, speaking to the New York Daily News, said that the manager could be named on Tuesday, the next World Series off day after today.

Via Yahoo!
Posted by: Patrick
George King and Joel Sherman report that the Yankees are "certain" to pick up Bobby Abreu's option, but that they want to give Shelley Duncan plenty of at bats in right field and at designated hitter as well as, potentially, first base.
Posted by: Patrick
Tom Kackley, clubhouse manager for the Trenton Thunder, a Yankees Minor League affiliate, put together a charity auction on eBay to benefit the Domestic Violence Project.

There are items signed by Joba, Phil, Kennedy, Godzilla, Alan Horne, Cano, Guidry, Tim Raines and more, including some game used stuff. You can bid on eBay.

Via Peter Abraham.

Posted by: Patrick
Tony Pena interviewed for the manager job yesterday. From Bryan Hoch:

"I'm capable to manage this ballclub," Pena said on a conference call from Tampa. "I'm capable to take this ballclub to the final line, which is to win the World Series. I feel we have great talent in this organization." ...

"There's no question that just being around Joe, I learned so much from him," Pena said. "I have to say thanks to him for the things that I learned. I know that I did a great job in KC, but I think the two years that I spent in New York working for Joe Torre helped me a lot. One thing about Joe -- he never was up and he never was down." ...

"If I don't get the job and they ask me to come back as a coach, I have no problem with that," Pena said. "I'm in love with this organization. I'm very, very proud to wear that uniform."

From everything I've read, Pena wouldn't be a bad choice. I think, in all likelihood, we have 3 good choices in front of us. Peter Abraham has audio from Pena's conference call.

Most indications point to interviews now being over. Peter Abraham, having heard from Brian Cashman says that the General Manager will stay in Tampa and meet with the Steinbrenners tomorrow - a decision is expected to be made at that time and, then, will probably be announced Friday.
Posted by: Patrick
From the press release:

The New York Yankees announced today that they have signed outfielder Jason Rees and catcher Eladio Rodriguez to minor league contracts. Both players participated in the Israel Baseball League's inaugural season in 2007.

Rees, 23, batted .362 (47-for-130) with seven doubles, leading the league in home runs (17) and RBI (50) in 42 games for the league champion Bet Shemesh Blue Sox, managed by former Yankee Ron Blomberg. A native of Newcastle, Australia, Rees was awarded the league's Co-Defensive Outfielder of the Year honors and was named to the IBL South All-Star team. Rees played collegiately at Cloud County Community College and Fort Hays State University in Kansas where he was named Second-Team All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in 2006.

Rodriguez, 28, received the Hank Greenberg Award as the IBL's Co-Most Valuable Player after leading the league with a .461 batting average (47-for-102) and a 1.000 slugging percentage. In 34 games at catcher with the Modi'in Miracle, he led the club with 16 home runs and 44RBI and was named to the IBL South All-Star team. Rodriguez was originally signed by the Boston Red Sox as a non-drafted free agent in 1998 and played seven seasons in their system, hitting .253 (203-for-803) with 38 doubles, seven triples, nine home runs and 98 RBI with the DSL Red Sox, GCL Red Sox, Short-Season Single-A Lowell, Single-A Augusta and Single-A Sarasota. Rodriguez was also named the most valuable player for his native Dominican Republic team in the Central American Games in 2006.

Randy Levine is on the Advisory Committee for the IBL.

Via Steve.
Posted by: Patrick
A-Rod has been named the Major League Baseball Clutch Performer of the Year, according to Bryan Hoch:

The Yankees' year might have been an early loss if not for Alex Rodriguez's heroics. Time and time again, he came through with success in tight situations, helping to lead the club into the postseason.

For his efforts in what will be remembered as a remarkable individual season worthy of praise, Rodriguez has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the 2007 Major League Baseball Clutch Performer of the Year, presented by Pepsi.
Posted by: Patrick
Don Mattingly interviewed for the manager job, yesterday. Peter Abraham has audio from the conference call toward the end of the day and Bryan Hoch puts some of that into text. He felt the interview went OK (though, it wasn't over at the time he was speaking with the press). Abraham thinks we could have an announcement on the new manager by Friday.

Kat O'Brien at Newsday cites sources indicating similar things:

A person familiar with the Yankees' thinking indicated that the interview process will be short. Previously, Cashman and Hank Steinbrenner had estimated that they might interview four to six candidates, but the source said last night: "They really believe that these are the three best candidates." ...

Hank Steinbrenner commented after Girardi's interview Monday, but did not stop to speak yesterday. Cashman does not plan to speak until the search is complete. A person familiar with the Yankees' thoughts said of Mattingly: "He was very impressive; he did great."

Tony Pena interviews today.

Via Dave and Aziz.
Posted by: Patrick
Cliff Corcoran and Kevin Kernan recap Joe Torre's appearance last night on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.

Torre told Bob Costas that he would have accepted the contract as it was (with the pay cut and incentives) if it was a guaranteed two year deal. He also responded to Hank Steinbrenner's comments from a few days ago. From Cliff:

The juiciest part of the interview came when Costas read Hank Steinbrenner's remarks to him. One could see the fury in Torre's face as Costas read Hank's words (I swear his lip was twitching). Joe took a good swipe at Hank in response, but did it in his usual smooth, laid-back fashion. "For some reason he thought I was disrespectful because I was insulted," Torre said of Hank, "but the insult came from the incentive-based situation, and unless you understand what sport is all about and how important winning is to you, I don't think you understand the insult part of this thing."
Posted by: Patrick
Through the Yankees, Derek Jeter released this statement on Torre:

"Out of my great respect for Mr. Torre, I have refrained from comment until he had a chance to address the public.

"In my eyes, Joe Torre is more than a Hall of Fame manager. He is a friend for life, and the relationship we have shared has helped shape me in ways that transcend the game of baseball. His class, dignity, and the way he respected those around him--from ballplayers to batboys--are all qualities that are easy to admire, but difficult to duplicate.

"I have known Mr. Torre for a good majority of my adult life, and there has been no bigger influence on my professional development. It was a privilege to play for him on the field, and an honor to learn from him off the field."
Posted by: Patrick
From the press release:

The New York Yankees are saddened to announce the passing of media relations department intern Matthew Wasser, 22, who passed away tragically early Sunday morning in Waltham, Mass., as a passenger in a cab hit by a person charged with operating under the influence of alcohol.

Matt began working with the Yankees media relations department in the spring of 2007, dealing extensively with local, national and international media covering the team on a daily basis.

Born and raised in Bernardsville, N.J., Matt was to graduate from the College of New Jersey in December, 2007 with a degree in Communications. He is survived by his parents, Marilyn Gottlieb Wasser and Eric Wasser, and siblings Jason and Stephanie.

"A loss of this magnitude is impossible to put into words," said Yankees Director of Media Relations Jason Zillo. "Matt will long be remembered for his boundless enthusiasm and uplifting, selfless spirit. The Yankees family reaches out to the Wasser family during this tremendous time of grief, as we keep his loved ones and friends close to our heart."

Services will be held on Thursday, October 25 at 10:30 a.m. at Temple Sholom on 594 North Bridge Street in Bridgewater, N.J. The family asks that any memorial gifts be sent in Matt's name to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, The American Cancer Society or Joe Torre's "Safe at Home Foundation". To send condolences to the family, visit

Very sad. Our thoughts are with those who were close to him.

Via Steve.
Posted by: Patrick
Mark Feinsand quotes Yankees sources as saying that they plan to make a 3 year/$40 million dollar offer for Jorge Posada. I can get behind that offer. It's a fair amount of money, but Posada should be a Yankee for life and if you take a look at the list of available catchers, you'll see that there is no one that is half the offensive force that Jorge is.

Via Yahoo!

10/23: Mo Softens

Posted by: Patrick
If previous reports regarding the feelings of Mo were to be believed, it appears that he has softened a bit, in an interview on Steiner Sports on SIRIUS. Basically, he says all the right things. It doesn't really matter who manages, the ball is in the Yankees court and he is just being patient and he isn't upset that this wasn't already handled.
Posted by: Patrick
From Ron Blum:

"We want him to stay and I would think he would want to stay. We've made it clear if he opts out, goodbye," Hank Steinbrenner said.

Asked whether Rodriguez's agent, Scott Boras, understands the Yankees' position, Hank Steinbrenner responded: "I think he does now."
Posted by: Patrick
Yesterday, Joe Girardi was the first to interview for the Yankees vacant manager position. Peter Abraham and Ron Blum have quotes from Girardi and Hank Steinbrenner. From the sounds of it, the interview went well.

Donnie will interview today.
Posted by: Patrick
Mark Feinsand reports that, according to a source, Joe Girardi will interview today, Don Mattingly will interview Tuesday and Tony Pena will interview Wednesday.

Via Yahoo!
Posted by: Patrick
ESPN has comments from Hank Steinbrenner on the Torre press conference.

"Where was Joe's career in '95 when my dad hired him?" Hank Steinbrenner told The New York Post. "My dad was crucified for hiring him.

"Let's not forget what my dad did in giving him that opportunity -- and the great team he was handed," Steinbrenner told the paper.

He makes some good points, though I don't think anyone's really denying that Torre wasn't a hot commodity in 1995 and that he both deserves credit and blame.
Posted by: Patrick
Mark Feinsand mentions Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell and Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti as sleeper candidates for the manager job. Realistically, their chances are most likely minimal, but it's something to ponder, anyway.

Via Yahoo!
Posted by: Patrick
Tyler Kepner:

“Everybody in that room wanted him back; I have to disagree with him there,” Cashman said Friday night. “Joe knows I’m an ally because there’s a bond there. But I’ve got to speak for everybody else in the room, and they did want him back, too.”

Like Cliff, I don't think that jibes. If you want someone back, your meeting with him doesn't last 20 minutes because you give them a take it or leave it offer. If they did want him back, it was only on their terms, as Cliff says.
Posted by: Patrick
Updating a previous story, while noting that Brian Cashman has told the coaching staff that they can look into other jobs since he can't guarantee them one, Kat O'Brien spoke with Larry Bowa and he told her that he has not yet made up his mind.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham reports that Cashman has contacted Donnie, Girardi and Pena. Mattingly's agent confirmed his client's interest and said that he will meet with Yankee ownership mid week.
Posted by: Patrick
Update: Bowa is undecided.

The Olympian reports that Larry Bowa is expected to be announced as the Mariners new third base coach, ending his stint in New York. I had read, a number of times, where a blogger or blog commenter had said that Donnie would benefit from having him as his bench coach, assuming he was named manager. I guess that's not going to happen.

Via Peter Abraham.
Posted by: Patrick

"I love Joe Torre to death," Pettitte told Houston's KRIV-TV on Friday. "He meant the world to me. I hate that he's not going to be the manager. I have a big decision to make if I want to play again next year. I figured I would give myself a month to make the decision."
Posted by: Patrick
After watching the full press conference, I'm kind of embarrassed to be a Yankees fan, right now. Not because we let Torre go, but because of how we handled it. After 12 consecutive postseason seasons, after handling himself with incredibly grace and class and succeeding in extremely pressure packed situations, we gave Joe Torre a 1 year, take it or leave it offer. Unbelievable. And when he counters, it's quickly dismissed. Wow. Incredible.

They treated him badly. And this is disgraceful and tasteless. What a load of backhanded nonsense. This is the first big organization decision that the Steinbrenner sons have really been involved in. Is this how we are going to be doing business? If we didn't want him back, then just tell him that a day or two after the season ends. Don't make him a joke offer (yes, $5 million is a lot to you and me, but here... it's not that big a deal, it's just a figure) like he's some first year manager (money aside, that's really what it was... a vesting option if you make the World Series... that's hilarious... are you telling me that most teams who win the pennant don't bring their manager back?!). Where did Randy Levine even come from?

Money talks, no doubt. But, don't be surprised if one or more of Jorge, Mo and Pettitte walks. We've dealt a blow to our efforts to retain them. Not just in the dumping of Joe, but in the how. Bringing in a compatible manager will help, but the way this was handled will still sting.

This is a sad day in Yankeeland. A sad day.
Posted by: Patrick
I liveblogged the Joe Torre press conference earlier today, trying to keep up with the press conference as best as I could. Some of this is verbatim - some of it isn't - but, when it isn't, it's basically paraphrasing what was said.

Torre began with a joke about his bald spot and then made his statement, thanking everyone. He started by thanking George Steinbrenner for giving him the opportunity and "trusting me with his team for 12 years". He then thanked everyone else, from coaches, to players, to trainers, to clubhouse staff, etc.

On the meeting, he said Cash called him on Wednesday explaining that the Yankees made an offer for $5 million with incentives. He confirmed what we knew about them. He decided to go down and talk to all of the participants face to face so that he could get his side out and say everything he needed to say. The meeting probably lasted 20 minutes, the offer did not change and he felt the contract offer - the terms of the contract - were the things he had the toughest time with. The one year for one thing, the incentives for another. He had been there for 12 years and didn't feel that motivation was needed. He felt pretty renewed after each season and didn't think it was the right thing for him or his players. He didn't want to create pressure for his players by making it look like they needed to save his job.

He said that the Yankees organization has been used as a measuring stick and he's been very proud for the past 12 years to be a part of an organization that he feels did very special things and has done very special things in the past. He then thanked Cashman for his support last year during the criticism that he had to deal with (and rightly so, he said).

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
In addition to Buster Olney's article, Ed Price and Bill Madden have a little more.

Torre objected to the pay cut and the one-year deal based on his record, which includes 1,173 regular-season wins as a Yankee, second only to Joe McCarthy among managers in the club's history. But this wasn't a negotiation. After that was made clear, Torre thanked Steinbrenner and the rest of the men in the room for the opportunity to manage the team.

Everybody in the room stood up and exchanged handshakes, and Torre and Cashman shared a hug.

It all took less than an hour.

"We all want you back," Hal Steinbrenner added, "and we hope you'll accept this offer." ...

Once they got over their initial shock, everyone in the office got up and shook Torre's hand. Upon extending his hand to The Boss, Torre said: "I want to thank you for these 12 years. It's been great."

"We appreciate everything you've done for us," George Steinbrenner said. "You'll always be a Yankee."

Via Yahoo!

10/18: Torre Tidbits

Posted by: Patrick
Buster Olney has how the face to face Torre and Steinbrenner meeting went down. He also has a nice piece on what Torre meant to the Yankees. Like Ben said, we should be worried. I think that some Yankee fans that wanted Torre gone or were ambivalent about the whole thing may soon have second thoughts.

And Randy Levine's comments are... troubling. Like I said when I was on Marist Radio this evening, that's not a bad idea, generally speaking. But, we aren't generally speaking here. We're talking about Joe Torre. This is a unique situation. 12 seasons. 12 postseason births. 10 division titles. 5 pennants. 4 titles. You need to motivate Joe Torre? Wow.

Torre will hold a press conference tomorrow at 2 PM ET. Should be interesting.

Edit: Also, check out Tom Verducci's take. Via Peter Abraham.
Posted by: Patrick
Just past 8:30 PM ET tonight, I'll be on 1630 AM Marist Radio, the radio station of Marist College, to discuss today's news of Joe Torre leaving the Yankees. You can listen live online.
Posted by: Patrick
I'm sure that we'll talk more about what Joe Torre accomplished in his time in New York, but I thought that I would throw a post up to say thank you for the wonderful job that he did. If you think that making the playoffs 12 straight years is easy - if you think that any manager could have done it - there is no way. Joe Torre had a historic run as manager of our beloved Yankees. Regardless of what happens from this point forward, nothing can change that.

In a way, I'm happy for him to be leaving on his own terms. He really didn't deserve a lot of the stuff that was said by people within the organization, including those at the top. The Yankees made him an offer they had to guess he might reject, which would save some public face, but he didn't take it. Better yet, he flew down there to tell them no to their faces. Mr. Steinbrenner was at Legends Field when Torre was, according to Tyler Kepner. What a moment that must have been. Maybe we'll see an ESPN made for TV drama about it in 30 years.

Torre led with class and I'm sure he'll leave with class. Managers with this sort of record don't come around everyday. We can only hope, as Yankees fans, that we'll find a manager that'll have half the success that he's had. Good luck to him.
Posted by: Patrick
Torre has turned down a pay cut of $2.5 million guaranteed dollars in the form of a 1 year, $5 million dollar deal. If we made the World Series, he could have made more than this year with $3 million in potential incentives (for making each round of the playoffs) and a vested option for 2009 if we reached the World Series. Both Cashman and Levine say it's time to move on.
Posted by: Patrick
From Mark Feinsand:

Although no decision was made regarding Joe Torre's future during the second day of the Yankees' organizational meetings, it appears that the group of front-office execs was able to agree on something. ...

"I can reaffirm that if Alex Rodriguez opts out of his contract, that we will not participate in his free agency," Cashman said after the second day of meetings concluded. "That is accurate and that is definitive."

Via Dave and Aziz.

10/17: Plan B

Posted by: Patrick
What happens if, heaven forbid, Posada, A-Rod, Pettitte and Mo all leave? What do we do? Let's discuss the options that we have in our system and via free agency. Trades are a little too speculative, so I'm going to avoid them. That said, if we do lose all of these guys, we could very well turn our deep farm system into some players we can use now. I'm not much of a prospect guy, so I asked James those questions and he contributed to this post, as well.


He becomes the best free agent catcher by far. The rest of the free agent class is a whole lot of nothing. The bottom line is that if Jorge walks, Yankees fans need to curb the expectations that they have for a catcher - a lot. Offensively, at least. Because nothing else out there is going to produce like Jorge has. Not even close. Internally, we don't have anything. We need to bring someone in. The scary thing is that Jose Molina could be one of the best available. Nothing against Jose, but let's be honest. He's a career .243 hitter with a .279 OBA and .345 SLG. He can't hit. And that's like every catcher available.

The only other option I see, perhaps a crazy one - definitely a risky one, would be Michael Barrett. His personality is certainly questionable, but he hit .307 with a .367 OBA in 2006. He was far off those numbers this year, hitting .243 with a .281 OBA. But, his lifetime numbers are .266 and .322. He may be willing to take a one year deal to try to have a "walk off year" and get himself back on the map after this poor season and his negative exit from Chicago. He could be the best offensive catcher on the market not named Jorge. I'll take a shot at that.


Internally, Wilson Betemit could be an option. He'll be 26 on opening day. The most at bats he's had in a season is 373 in 2006, split between the Braves and Dodgers. He hit .263 with a .326 OBA, 18 homers and 53 RBIs in 373 at bats. In 2005, he hit .305 with a .356 OBA in 246 ABs. Third base is the position that he has spent the most time at (216 games). We don't have anyone that can come in from the minors and help us.

In free agency, there are really 2 guys that catch my eye. The first is Mike Lowell. There is one huge problem with Lowell - he played above himself this year, hitting .324 with 21 home runs, 120 RBIs and a .378 OBA. He's just not that good. If his contract reflects that sort of player, it'd be stupid to sign him. We'd just be setting ourselves up for another bad contract. So, I'll pass.

The other one is Pedro Feliz of the Giants. Yeah, I know, his average was .253 and his OBA was .290. But, he has had 4 straight years of between 20 and 22 home runs with between 72 and 98 RBIs. Plus, he's playing in more of a pitchers park than Yankee Stadium. So, he does drive in runs and he is a very good defender, from what I've read. He could be a dark horse. Once we get over the fact that he's not A-Rod and he doesn't get on base a lot, we may be able to appreciate the fact that he produces some runs and plays good D. He could be an affordable, durable and not ancient option.

That said, I think I'll take Betemit. Who knows what he'll do, but I'd like to find out. With him coming off the bench, we'll need to sure it up.


We already have Mike Mussina on the roster, so that would be a natural fill in, giving us a rotation of Wang, Hughes, Joba, Kennedy and Moose. But, Hughes and Joba will most likely have innings restraints on them, placing us in need of another starter or, more likely, a tag team of spot starters. From within, to start, perhaps someone like Kei Igawa, Steven White or Matt DeSalvo due to their AAA experience. Later in the year, we would be more likely to see one of the more promising talents - like Alan Horne, Jeff Marquez or Tyler Clippard.

Like Jorge, Pettitte would become the best available at his position if he doesn't come back to us. Beyond him, there isn't a heck of a lot that is very far above average. A lot of older and/or mediocre guys. Kyle Lohse, Paul Byrd, Freddy Garcia - take your pick. I would go with what we have.


Kyle Farnsworth has been a closer before... just kidding. Francisco Cordero is absolutely the guy to sign. He's never played for a big market, but he has pitched 13 games in Yankee Stadium and has a 2.08 ERA. He has a 3.38 ERA in Fenway. He will be 32 years old on opening day and has put together a very good career. He has never had the opportunity to pitch in the postseason and this may be his big opportunity to choose his destination. So, if he wants to get a ring, he may be looking to come to a contender.

The Yankees have some talented youngsters - J.B. Cox, Humberto Sanchez, Mark Melancon - but their time isn't now. Not at closer, anyway. Sign Cordero and allow one of them to grow into the role at their own pace, under him. Melancon could be the first to get a shot at Major League hitters.

Looking at this, the hardest guy to replace is going to be Posada, followed by A-Rod and then probably Mo and Pettitte. Let's hope we don't have to go without any of them.
Posted by: Patrick
Another day, another statement from Howard Rubenstein. Nadda.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham reports that there were apparently 2 separate meetings held in Tampa yesterday. The first had Cash, the New York based executives and the brothers Steinbrenner. The second was the brothers, Felix Lopez and George Steinbrenner. There are different ways this could be spun. I'm not going to speculate...

10/17: OMGLOL

Posted by: Patrick
In the first inning of last night's ALCS game 4 with no outs and no score, in the first at bat of the game, Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia tried to slap the ball away from Victor Martinez with both hands. Picture here.

I never really got all of the nonsense about A-Rod's slap play. I mean, he's A-Rod and people are looking for a reason to bash him (and the Yankees), but it's just baseball. It was the 8th inning of game 6 of the ALCS with 1 out, trailing by 3 runs. You're trying to scratch, claw and fight for any break. Note, I'm not defending A-Rod's play. It was a bad play and he got called on it. I had wanted him to plow straight through Arrojo who would have partially been in the baseline. Just run straight to the baseline and hit Arrojo on the way - no hand movement. It would have started a fight, but that's life - part of his body was in the basepath. Alas, he didn't and he made an out. That's baseball, it happens, move on.

See, I'm not the type of fan who engages in nasty hostilities. I love the Yankees as much as anyone else, but I don't take that to the level of being nasty to fans of other teams or to loudly rooting against others. I'm friendly with some Red Sox fans. When we beat them in 2003, I didn't send them any messages. That was a bad time and, when you win, you win with class, I believe. So, I'm not going to dump on them when they're down. And I didn't. Similarly, I expected them to do the same when they beat us in 2004. And they did.

This A-Rod slap thing really got into the "nasty hostility" category and that is unfortunate. And now, we have this Pedroia "slap play". What to make of it? On the first at bat of the game, even? Pretty much the same that I made of the A-Rod play. It was a bad play, he got called on it, move on. There are certainly some Red Sox fans that could use a little reminding, but there are jerks on both sides. I get a little laugh from it, knowing how some treated A-Rod, but that's it. I'm not forwarding the picture to 500 people, posting it on every sports community online or IMing every Red Sox fan I know. It was a bad play, he got called on it, move on.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham has a statement from Howard J. Rubenstein. Summation: nothing to report. The meetings will continue tomorrow.
Posted by: Patrick
Don Mattingly's agent has commented on the report that cited a friend of Mattingly as a source, saying that Mattingly had told a member of he Steinbrenner clan that he was not ready to manage.

The agent, Ray Schulte, says that he spoke with Donnie and that this is untrue. He goes on to say that Mattingly wants Torre to come back, but if he doesn't, he's ready to go.
Posted by: Patrick
Top Yankee officials begin meetings today to discuss where the franchise goes from here. Joe Torre's future, in the Bronx, at least, could very well be decided today. This comes off the heels of a report by Ed Price, who spoke to a friend of Don Mattingly to learn that Mattingly has told a member of the Steinbrenner family that he is not ready to manage and is uncomfortable replacing Torre.

Via Dave and Aziz.
Posted by: Patrick
Ed Price says that a team official told him that they will discuss recently fired pitching coach Leo Mazzone. His business manager told the Baltimore Sun that Mazzone would have an interest in the Yankees.

Meanwhile, Mark Feinsand says that Guidry seems to be headed out no matter what, with former Yankee Dave Eiland appearing to be the leading candidate (thanks, in part, to his work with the young guys who will now be a big part of our team in 2008).

Honestly, I feel bad for Guidry. I like him and how much of what went on is really his fault? I think it's an unfortunate situation for Gator.

Via Ben and Yahoo!
Posted by: Patrick
From the official site:

When stacks of yellow Sporting News ballots made their way to lockers around the Major Leagues late this season, the very first question asked turned out to be the easiest.

Alex Rodriguez was a runaway selection as the publication's Major League Player of the Year, as selected by his peers, earning 353 of 488 votes cast by big league players. Rodriguez's closest competitor was the Detroit Tigers' Magglio Ordonez, who received 39 votes.

Congrats to A-Rod.
Posted by: Patrick
There are lots of offseason plans for the Yankees floating around. So, let's take a crack at one. I'm going to keep it reasonable - no trades for players we'll be using. Only guys we have or guys that will or will likely hit the free agent market. There are two trades I'd like to see in the realm of addition by subtraction, however.

This offseason, I want us to trade Jason Giambi and Kyle Farnsworth. Yes, I know "I want to trade Jason Giambi" and "I want to buy a Bentley" are similar. They both sound nice - but how's that gonna happen? Cashman was able to deal Sheffield, Randy and Wright and net us good deals (yes, it'll be even harder to trade Giambi), so I'll leave this to him. We owe Giambi $26 million dollars - $22 in 2008 and a $5 million dollar buy out on a $22 million dollar club option in 2009. So, yeah, we'd have to include a good amount of money. But, I'm sick of him taking up a roster spot.

He's terrible in the field, he's always a moment away from an injury and, this year, he couldn't even hit when he was actually available. He didn't even hit against righties - .239 against lefties, .246 against righties. .295 OBA against lefties, .389 OBA against righties. Overall, .236 AVG and .356 OBA. Yeah, he gives us some homers and some walks, but at what cost? When he walks, you pinch run for him or you get one of the slowest baserunners in the game. I don't want him taking any more time at first or really any more spots on the roster.

Kyle Farnsworth has some talent, but it's probably pretty plain to see that he'd be better somewhere that is not New York. He's had his moments, but he can't be relied upon to take a lead. He has some value, even though he'll make $5.5 million. Yeah, he cleared waivers this year, but I think he's definitely dealable if we eat a little of his salary (note: less than half). I don't want him taking a spot away from someone else. It's not worth it.

» Read More

Posted by: James
Don't know how much of this is simple speculation but Ken Davidoff over at Newsday has the following towards the end of his article about the Rocket:

While Clemens likely won't be a Yankee next year, Andy Pettitte almost certainly will. Pettitte, one of the most honorable players in the game, intends to exercise his $16-million player option for 2008 even though he surely could get a long-term deal in the free-agent market.
Posted by: James
If you have a subscription to Pinstripes Plus, this is when you get your money's worth. They have a six-part (so far) interview with Nardi Contreras, the Yankees minor league pitching coordinator, up that is very much worth your time.

If you don't have a subscription, I will see if I can summarize some of the more important points as the day goes on.
Posted by: Patrick
I just wanted to mention the Bring Back Mo! feature on Just launched, if you have a website, blog, MySpace, etc., we have a graphic that you can take and add to your page and if you link to the site, we'll link back to you. So, if you're interested, give it a look. Thanks.
Posted by: Patrick
Brad Hamilton has an interview with Hank Steinbrenner.

"George has taken on a role like the chairman of a major corporation," said team president Randy Levine. "He's been saying for years he's wanted to get his sons involved in the family business. Both of them have stepped up and are taking on the day-to-day duties of what's required to run the Yankees."

"There's always been a succession - and that's myself and my brother," Hank told The Post in an exclusive interview.

He said he and Hal will have final say on baseball decisions as well as the running of the YES Network and the construction of the new Yankee Stadium.

"I'll pay more attention to the baseball part. The stadium, that's more Hal. But basically everything will be decided jointly."
Posted by: Patrick
From Pete Caldera:

"I think it could be that just about everything that's on the table now could be decided by the end of next week," Hank Steinbrenner told AP. "The only thing that's been decided, that we all agree on, is that Chamberlain and Hughes start out spring training as starters."

No shock on Phil, but there had been a little discussion about Joba. I'm behind the move to starter, so I'm happy to see it. The article notes that Moose and Sir Ian may need to compete for the 5th spot. Wang (/Santana?), Pettitte, Hughes, Joba, Kennedy... that makes me a little giddy. Please let the last 3 on that list live up to the expectations.
Posted by: Patrick
Dave and Aziz discuss the possibility of trading Wang for Twins' ace Johan Santana. They note that Peter Gammons reported that 2 hours after our season ended, a call was made to discuss what could be packaged with Wang to get Santana.

I like Wang. He's a good pitcher and he's proven that he can pitch in New York. And while he may not be an ace, he is a very good pitcher. I like how he goes about his business. Quiet, calm, professional. A great fit for New York. He's also under our control for the next 3 seasons.

But, of course, this is Johan Santana we're talking about. He's definitely an ace. He's won the Cy Young twice. And he is only one year older than Wang. He'll be a free agent after the 2008 season and, obviously, any deal for him will result in him signing a new (and large) long term deal. How much will that be? Well, on base salary, Roger Clemens was the highest paid pitcher in baseball this year, making about $17.4 million dollars (the contract was for $28,000,022, but it was prorated from when he actually became a part of the MLB roster). According to USA TODAY, second was a tie between Bartolo Colon and Andy Pettitte at $16 million. Johan is slated to make $13.25 next year.

I'm not very good at predicting this sort of thing, but Carlos Zambrano's recent deal probably gives us a decent point of guidance. He signed a 5 year, $91.5 million dollar extension. That works out to an annual salary average of $18.3 million. Zambrano is not the pitcher that Johan is, in numbers or decoration. It's pretty safe to say that Johan's next deal will make him the highest paid pitcher in the game. So, I'm thinking we may be looking in the $20-$22 million dollar per year neighborhood. Maybe that's conservative, but it seems about right.

For the Santana deal to work, I can't really see us giving up Wang and another premier player or prospect. So, for example, no Wang and Cano/Hughes/Joba/Kennedy. In fact, I don't really want to trade any of those young pitchers or Cano for Santana - at all. Cano is young, under our control and improving. He's already one of the best offensive second basemen in the game. Dave and Aziz float the idea of Wang and Melky, since Torii Hunter is a free agent. Though I like Melky, I could do that as we could find another center fielder. But, would they go for it?

Posted by: Patrick
Congrats to A-Rod on picking up the AL Oscar Charleston Legacy Award.

A-Rod has been selected as the American League recipient of the Oscar Charleston Legacy Award as the Most Valuable Player in leading his club to the postseason.
Posted by: Patrick
Last night on WMAR, one of the things that we discussed was Chien-Ming Wang and the ALDS. I was asked if bringing him around to pitch game 4 on short rest was the right call. I feel it absolutely was and I supported it at the time. Hindsight says it was a mistake, but hindsight is worthless.

The fact of the matter is that Wang is our ace. Whether or not he is AN ace or not, he is OUR ace. He's our horse. You give him the ball in game 1 and you give him the ball in game 4, facing elimination, when your other option is Mike Mussina. It blew up in our face and we lost, but that doesn't mean it was the wrong call at the time.

I like how some people think that Wang just completely forgot how to pitch. He had 2 bad games. He's 38-13 with an ERA around 3.66 in the last 2 seasons. He was 1-1 in 2 postseason games with an ERA of 2.71 or so before these two games. He didn't suddenly turn into a pumpkin. He's 27 years old and, besides being the ace of a team with a payroll nearing $200 million, he'd be the ace for plenty of other teams. He's a high value player that has performed - a player we should be glad to have. So, let's keep these 2 games in perspective.
Posted by: Patrick
George Steinbrenner and his advisors, aides and top people in the organization are expected to begin meetings on Tuesday in Tampa. To be a fly on the wall...

George King says that there are some who would like to invite Torre to the meetings, leading him to believe that he could be back. He also mentions that Torre may need to ponder a pay cut.

I don't know that I might him taking a pay cut. I mean, he was the highest paid manager, at $7.5 million, more than double the second place guy (Lou Piniella, $3.5 million). But, like Joel Sherman, I don't know if I like him taking a pay cut under these circumstances, as some sort of punishment. You know, either we want him or we don't. I want him. But, let's not play money games with him.

Roger Clemens has added his name to the list of Torre supporters. No surprise there. Clemens remains noncommittal about next season.
Posted by: Patrick
I'll be on WMAR Marist College Radio with Ryan Schneider and Dustin Aglietti tonight at 8:40 PM ET. We'll be talking Yankees baseball, of course. Due to my fragile mental state since we lost, they'll be plenty of tears, I'm sure. You can listen live from their site.
Posted by: Patrick
From Kevin T. Czerwinski:

... the California native was named's Pitcher of the Year, leaving Kevin Slowey in the unenviable position of bridesmaid for a second consecutive season. Kennedy finished the Minor League season with a 12-3 mark, posted a 1.91 ERA and dominated at three different levels before taking his act to New York.

Congrats to him.
Posted by: Patrick
As Yankees fans, do we want Joe Torre back? To find out, I polled the Yankees fan blogosphere in a very ESPN Experts style way with a simple question: "Do you want Joe Torre back?" As a fan. Not, do you think he'll be back? And no qualifiers, like "if wants to manage, then no." Just yes or no. No further elaboration. In all, I received responses from 15 different bloggers at 7 different blogs. Here's the breakdown:

Yes (10)
Jen Muller,
Joseph Pawlikowski, River Ave. Blues
Eric Schultz, Pending Pinstripes
Mike Axisa, River Ave. Blues
Ben Kabak, River Ave. Blues
Alex Belth, Bronx Banter
Jim Johnson, The Bronx Block
Eric Haskell, The Bronx Block

No (5)
Mitchell Plitnick, The Bronx Block
EJ Fagan, The Bronx Block and Pending Pinstripes
Steve Lombardi,

So, there you have it. Though it's far from unanimous, Yankees bloggers want Torre back as manager.

(Disclaimer: obviously, I didn't and couldn't have polled every Yankees fan blogger in the world. I e-mailed a bunch of people and made a blog post asking anyone interested in participating to e-mail me. I only included responses that I got - I didn't scour blogs for entries where bloggers either said they wanted or didn't want Torre. So... yeah. Disclaimed).
Posted by: Patrick
Mo spoke with reporters today and Peter Abraham has a report and audio. He says that Torre coming back will definitely factor into his decision a good amount. He will listen to the Yankees offer before becoming a free agent (he didn't say he will absolutely test the market - it depends on how the Yankees approach him). He hopes it will be his last contract. He wants more than 1 year. He will pitch as long as he is able to compete at the level he knows how. So, without getting too excited, he said a lot of the right things and it sounds good as far as him returning to the Bronx.
Posted by: Patrick
Yesterday, with photographers staking out Joe Torre's home in Westchester, the Yankees threatened to kick out any journalistics from papers that kept photographers at the Torre residence. Today, they are following up on that threat, according to Peter Abraham. I like it.
Posted by: Patrick
Congrats to Edwar on being named the Relief Pitcher of the Year.

10/10: Here We Go

Posted by: Patrick
Scott Boras didn't wait very long (actually, he didn't wait at all - this interview was done before we lost the ALDS).

"The right of free agency has probably never been more valuable to a single player than it would be to someone like Alex Rodriguez," Boras said during a phone interview with 1050 ESPN New York conducted prior to the Yankees ALDS loss to the Indians. "The reason being is that he is a stature player, a durable player, an iconic player and he has had a historic season. Again, these are decisions that Alex has to make. He is certainly happy in New York and has enjoyed playing there." ...

"One of the other things that Alex has that some of the other things that Alex has that few players have is he has network value," Boras said. "That means for a regional sports network he has an impact on in that may allow that regional sports network to increase by a half-a-billion to a billion dollars over a 10-year period because of the ratings increase that he will bring. His fan base will subscribe to that network to watch him play and they will sell more advertising. This has certainly been evidenced in New York." ...

"The thing about Alex is he has a chance to play 12 more years and break the all-time hit record," Boras said. "It is a record that he could break. You only have to go and map out that if Alex Rodriguez were to play until he is 45 and he averaged 35 home runs he would have over 1,000 homers. It is a unique platform where he is at at such a young age. The projections are rather mind-boggling when you consider the fact even if he performed at a level that is 15 percent below what he is performing at now, he still would lift many of these records just by the mere fact that he has played this long."

After the presentation that Boras put together for Johnny Damon, you've got to wonder what the A-Rod one will be like. This is what he was made for. Boras failed to secure a 7 year deal for Damon, of course. Could he similarly fail to secure a 10 year deal for A-Rod? You're gut reaction would be no, it's A-Rod, for petesake!

But, how many teams are going to be willing to pay him $30 million plus when he's in his early to mid 40s? For 18 teams, that would be more than 1/3 of their opening day payroll this season. For 28 teams, it would be more than 1/4. His best chance to get $30 million may be with the Yankees. We're the biggest market, we're the biggest spender, we're the team that makes the most sense with all of the financial ramifications that Boras is throwing out there. We want him. And, if we're not bidding if he opts out, he may just lose his best shot at that magical number. If we're not there, who else is going to throw it out there?
Posted by: Patrick
I'm doing a quick survey of Yankees fan bloggers with a simple yes or no question. If you are one, please feel free to drop me a note, if you'd like to participate.
Posted by: Patrick
That's all. Bring him back. I know that some people don't want him back and, hey, we all have our opinion. But, like Joseph says, be careful what you wish for. Don't take the success that we've had for granted. There is not a person in this world that I would prefer to have as the Yankees manager at this moment. Bring him back, bring Jorge back, bring Mo back, bring A-Rod back, convince Andy to pick up his player option. It's our last year in Yankee Stadium. Let's get the band back together (with a few new guys) and let's give this another go.
Posted by: Patrick
As the 2007 season has come to an end, I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who visited and supported this season. Thank you to David, James and Seamus, as well, for a great year.

Even though it ended like it did and it was disappointing, this was some kind of season. Written off for dead before the break, we stormed back, giving the Red Sox a late run and taking the Wild Card. Coming from where we were, that was a huge accomplishment.

We've got decisions to make and, like every offseason, changes are coming. But, don't lose sight of what we accomplished and don't take anything for granted. Reaching the postseason is an accomplishment and a privilege - not a given or a right. To that end, congratulations to the Yankees on what they accomplished this year.

Now, all I have left is Miami Dolphins football (gah). But, there will be plenty to talk about this offseason and we'll have it here. And, before you know it, it'll be time to do it all over again.
Posted by: Seamus
The Yankees came up short in the ALDS for the third year in a row, as they fell 6-4 to the Indians, last night, ending their season and quite possibly an era in Yankees' history. George Steinbrenner, as you all may know by now, has indicated that Joe Torre would not be brought back in the event the Yankees lose this series.

The Yankees dug themselves in a hole before even recording an out, as Grady Sizemore led the game off with a home run. That was only the beginning of the struggles for Chien-Ming Wang, who left the game in the top of the 2nd with the bases loaded and finished with a line of four runs allowed on five hits in just an inning of work.

Mike Mussina put in 4 and 2/3 innings of OK work in, but the two runs he allowed ended up being the difference in the game. The rest of the bullpen did fine, throwing 4 and 1/3 innings of shutout ball.

The big story in this game though, to me anyway, was the Yankees' inability to bring runners across the plate (well, I suppose that would be the problem in any loss). The Yankees put runners on in every inning, but left 10 runners on base and failed to capitalize on some big chances.

To me, the coffin was nailed in the bottom of the 6th inning. Robinson Cano led the inning off with a solo home run to cut the Indians' lead to 6-2. After back-to-back singles by Shelley Duncan and Johnny Damon, the Yankees had runners on first and third with one out before Derek Jeter grounded into his third double play in the two games at Yankee Stadium to prevent further damage from being done.

Hindsight is always 20-20 and it's easy to second guess, but I am a little surprised that Johnny Damon, who was 10th in the American League this year in stolen bases, didn't attempt to steal in this particular situation. Jeter, as hard as it is to come to terms with it, killed us with GIDPs this whole series, and had Damon been on second, Jeter's grounder would have scored a run and brought Bobby Abreu up to the plate with a runner in scoring position.

The Yankees did make a bit of a run at it again in the 9th, as Bobby Abreu homered to make it 6-4 and two batters later, Jorge Posada pulled a ball that was oh-so-close to bringing the tying run up to the plate but went just to the right of the right field foul pole.

Well, it looks like it could be the end of an era in the Bronx and it's really a shame because I like this team a lot. I would like to see the bulk of these guys get one more shot with one year left at the Stadium, including Torre. The team does have some holes though and they are not getting any younger. Next year's starting rotation could very well have five different pitchers from Opening Day of this year if Pettitte does not return, considering that Wang was on the DL to start the season. Abreu's option will probably not be picked up and it remains to be seen if the Yankees can/want to pick him up at a cheaper price.

All of that remains to be seen though. There are four teams still playing baseball in '07, and there are 2-3 weeks left of October baseball to be seen, but next year starts today for the Yankees, sadly.
Posted by: Seamus
On Sunday, I will be participating in the Pokerstars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker, a tournament open to all bloggers around the world. Patrick informed me of the tournament last night, which is a freeroll, meaning I can play for (hopefully) a few hours without blowing any money, so I'll be looking forward to it.

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 2349346

Posted by: James
I get it. Wang blew up tonight (and in game 1). Because of that, I've actually seen a lot of posts on Yankee threads calling for an immediate trade. Read this and understand why if you suggest that he be moved for should really rethink your stance (and understanding of building a quality baseball team).

According to the pre-game press notes, Chien-Ming Wang leads the Major Leagues with 38 wins since the beginning of the 2006 season. He also leads the Major Leagues with a .745 winning percentage during that span with a 3.67 ERA.

He pitches well against good teams. He was 10-5 (the second most wins in the majors) with a 3.20 ERA this season against teams that finished the season with a winning record (107.0IP, 38ER).

He is perfect for the stadium. Obi-Wang has recorded 21 wins at Yankee Stadium (33GS) over the last two seasons, the most home victories by any Major League pitcher since the start of 2006.

And finally, he is a stopper like Pettitte and Jimmy Key (yes, I'm going far back here) before him. The Yankees won 10 of the 12 games Wang started following a Yankees loss in 2007 with a line of 9-2 with a 2.59 ERA (76.1IP, 22ER).

If you want him to be traded for a bag of balls, just stop it. He is a good young pitcher (and cheap). He is clearly not a #1 (though on most teams, he probably would be) but he is a good #2 and a fantastic #3. A #2/#3 pitcher under the age of 30 doesn't come under a team's control that often so just stop it.
Posted by: James
Well, that was sad...but it epitomized the team this season, huh? Quite the tease, eh Steve?

That being said, congrats to the Cleveland Indians and their fans. The Indians were the better team. They pitched better, they hit better, they fielded better and they were clutch. They capitalized and they deserved to win so congrats.
Posted by: James
Any and all baseball fans know who he is! Seriously. Heck, so does the rest of the country - he was on the cover of SI's baseball preview for goodness sakes! And not just a cover and a full-length profile... it was with the tagline of "He's without a doubt one of the greatest players of our generation". Tom Verducci basically wrote that he was baseball enough, we all know who he is and we know he is very good.

If you're gonna talk about unknown Indians, talk about Pronk or Fausto...

Also, stop calling A-Rod, "Pudge Rodriguez".
Posted by: James
Ol' Reliable Pete A has the lineups and a quick note on IPK and Joba's availability.

Joba Chamberlain is available for an inning tonight and Mo for two. Brian Cashman on the Joba Rules: “The rules here in October: The rules are to win.”

Ian Kennedy was not physically ready to be added. But he could be ready for the ALCS.

Johnny Damon LF
Derek Jeter SS
Bobby Abreu RF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Jorge Posada C
Hideki Matsui DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Melky Cabrera CF
Doug Mientkiewicz 1B
Chien-Ming Wang RHP

Grady Sizemore CF
Asdrubal Cabrera 2B
Travis Hafner DH
Victor Martinez 1B
Jhonny Peralta SS
Kenny Lofton LF
Franklin Gutierrez RF
Casey Blake 3B
Kelly Shoppach C
Paul Byrd RHP

Sweet - Kelly Shoppach, while no slouch (.261/.310/.472 this year), is still no Ryan Garko (.289/.359/.483).
Posted by: James
Baseball Reference links for:

Chien-Ming Wang vs. the Indians (includes stats from his first start this series).
and Paul Byrd vs. the Yankees hitters.

If you click on the player name, it actually will take you to a list of all the plate appearances between the batter and the pitcher. Neat stuff.
Posted by: James
Pete A. with the scoop. I guess IPK still hasn't gotten over the back injury.
Posted by: Patrick
A-Rod is up for the MLB Clutch Performer of the Year. Vote here.
Posted by: David
The night did not start off well for the Bronx Bombers. Roger Clemens was ineffective through 2 1/3 and left with his team behind 2-0 and a runner on second. Phil Hughes relieved and Jhonny Peralta hit a fly ball double down the right field line to extend the lead to 3-0.

The Yankees fought back to make it 3-1 on an RBI single from Damon. Phil Hughes held off the Tribe for 3 2/3 and the Yankee bats erupted in the fifth. After one out, Matsui singled to left and that was followed by a fly ball double down the left field line by Cano. Melky then singled to left to make the score 3-2 and set the stage for Johnny Damon. Damon delivered with a three run homer to right to give the Yankees the lead at 5-3.

In the next inning, the Yankees got three more on a two run single from Robinson Cano and help from Trot Nixon who overran the ball allowing another run to score.

Joba Chamberlain followed Hughes and was awesome in the seventh setting the side down in order. In the eighth, he tired a bit and allowed a run before getting Casey Blake to fly to deep right with two runners on.

Rivera finished up with a perfect ninth to preserve an 8-4 Yankee win.

The report on Clemens was a strained hamstring and tonight could be the last time Clemens' pitches for his career.

The series resumes tomorrow night with Paul Byrd facing Chien Ming-Wang coming back on three days rest.
Posted by: James
Phil Hughes just saved the Yankees bacon. Even the doubters...give it up for the kid. He was clutch with a capital C.

One game at a time. Yankee starter to be named later (probably Mussina...which scares me to death) and basically every pitcher on the team (except maybe Joba) versus Paul Byrd.

Byrd versus Yankees. 1-4 in 8 starts (48.2 IP - that's a solid 6 IP per start). 4.44 ERA with a 1.50 WHIP (.290/.339/.495/.834 batting line againt).

19.5 hours until the next game. Let's get it on.
Posted by: James
All is forgiven.

We apologize for anything bad that we might have said about you.

All the best,

Yankees fans all over the world

P.S. If the Yanks win this game, Derek Jeter would like to personally thank you for picking up your teammate.
Posted by: Patrick
From Ian O'Connor:

"His job is on the line," the Yankees' owner said in a phone interview. "I think we're paying him a lot of money. He's the highest-paid manager in baseball, so I don't think we'd take him back if we don't win this series." ...

"He's been good for us over the years," Steinbrenner acknowledged.

Via Peter Abraham.
Posted by: Patrick
You know you're a Yankees fan... when the team enters your dreams. Seriously, I had a dream last night that Phil Hughes had been named the game 4 starter. Not sure why I dreamed that, of all things. I suppose that may have meant that, in my dream, we had won game 3 to force a game 4. Hopefully, that part of the dream comes true.
Posted by: Patrick
Back in May, I talked about the team blog rankings. I mentioned how I'd never seen the Yankees at number one and, at the time of writing, the Mets blogs were first with 417.7 posts per week and we were second with 389.0. If my memory serves, we actually fell to 3rd and perhaps farther, after I wrote that. But, as of this moment, we're first with 361.2 posts with the Red Sox second at 339.3 and Mets third at 322.7. So, for whatever short period of time, we're first.

The top 10 Yankees bloggers/blogs contributing to that figure are Peter Abraham (42.7) Mike, Ben and Joseph (42.7), Steve (41.3), us (27.1), Pinstripe Alley (19.1), Replacement Level Yankees Weblog (17.3), The Bronx Block (16.6), My Pinstripes (16.6), Alex and Cliff (16.3) and Andrew Fletcher (15.9). Nicely done to those and everyone else. :)
Posted by: Patrick
I was just logging into eBay to check how much an item had cost when I noticed a featured auction on their homepage for Joe DiMaggio's passport. Bidding currently stands at $5,433.00 with 1 day and 9 hours to go.

10/06: Easy, Garko

Posted by: Patrick
How to take this quote?

"The other guys on the Yankees were acting like there were bullets flying around their heads, not gnats," Cleveland first baseman Ryan Garko added. "I mean ... this is the big leagues."

This is the big leagues? Was your at bat in the 10th the big leagues, too?
Posted by: Patrick
Bryan Hoch reports that, due to a bronchial infection, Bob Sheppard will miss the ALDS, breaking a streak of 121 consecutive home postseason games called. The streak dates back to game 1 of the 1951 World Series! The lineups that day included DiMaggio, Rizzuto, Berra and rookies Mantle and Mays. Wow. Get well soon, Mr. Sheppard.
Posted by: David
A great pitching performance from Andy Pettitte was wasted. He went 6 1/3 and left with a 1-0 lead. Joba Chamberlain relieved and got out of the seventh OK with a strike out and fly out but faltered a little bit in the eighth.

Grady Sizemore walked and Joba threw a wild pitch to send him to second. Cabrera bunted him to third for the first out. Hafner hit a rope to Mientkiewicz for the second out. With Martinez at bat and Canadian Soldier insects flying all over Joba, he uncorked another wild pitch and Sizemore scored to tie the game at one. He ended the inning without any further scoring and was relieved by Mo.

Rivera worked two scoreless innings and had some trouble in the tenth but struck out Jhonny Peralta with the bases loaded to end the threat. The Yankees couldn't muster anything against Rafael Perez for the second night in a row.

In the bottom of the eleventh, Lofton walked and Gutierrez failed to sacrifice but eventually singled to left to put runners on first and second with no outs. Casey Blake bunted them to second and third and Grady Sizemore was intentionally walked to load the bases. Cabrera popped out for the second out. However, on a 2-2 pitch Hafner lined the ball over second for a game winning walk off single.

The win puts the Tribe up 2-0 with the series headed to New York for a Sunday tilt. The Yankees only run was on a homer from Melky Cabrera. A-Rod, Matsui and Posada are a combined 0-17 in the series.
Posted by: James
-First couple of innings, it's the Melky show. Cabrera makes me look dumb for questioning his place as a starter by gunning down Johnny Pheralta at home to keep the game scoreless in the first. In the top of the third, he gets some good wood on an off-speed pitch and pokes it inside the right-field foul pole. 1-0 Yankees.

-Non-baseball, TBS-related rant:
WHAT IS FRANK TV ABOUT? I mean, I've seen Frank's stand up special on Comedy Central and I thought it was pretty good...but does he just do impersonations? Because if that's it - he just went through a ton of material in all these different commercials (I've counted six so far).

More TBS notes: Frank Thomas comes off as a pretty good guy; knowledgeable but he definitely needs some work to become a better speaker. More often than not, the video clip is over before he starts his observation. Still, I'm not gonna be the guy to tell him to work on that - look at the size guy's dome! He would hurt me.

As for the rest of the panel, I actually find myself really enjoying Cal Ripken. He is well-spoken, provides good observations and is candid. I personally can't ask for much more than that.

-Man, Grady Sizemore can fly. He went first to third as quick as anyone I've seen not named Ichiro!

-Win or lose - even if Pettitte doesn't get another out in the game, he has done an unbelieveable job this start. 5 times this game, the Indians have gotten the leadoff man on and 5 times, Andy's left the inning unscathed. Unbelievable job - this is why he was brought back.

-Top of the 7th, Abreu gets on because of a fielding error. With the heart of the order up, you gotta find a way to get that run home. I know it's easier said than done...but still. Also, if Matsui comes up with RISP, PINCH HIT. For the sake of my sanity, please pinch hit for Godzilla.

-A-Rod is not helping his cause right now...and I'm not trying to make excuses, but you gotta tip your hat to the pitcher on this as well. Also, Matsui stays in...come on Hideki, make Joe look good for keeping you in there and me look bad for doubting you. Hideki grounds out...and Jorge gets good wood on the ball but a great jump and the speed of Sizemore makes it the third out.

-Pettitte is at 88 pitches through 6 and one-third with a man on second and the Yankee killer Kenny Lofton up at the plate. First things first, start warming up Joba and Viz.

-92 pitches, first and second with one out. Here comes Joe and in comes Joba. If this was the Stadium, Pettitte would be getting a standing O. For now, he has to live with me clapping for him from Philly...I hope he can hear me. Heck of a performance.

-Joba to Franklin Guitterez: You can't see me. What stuff this kid has...
-Joba to Casey Blake: 99 mph to ball to right. Yankees out of the inning. 5 pitches, all strikes, 2 outs. See Farnsworth? THAT'S HOW IT'S DONE!

-Heh. Frank Caliendo/Al Pacino makes a good point. Dane Cook - does anyone think that there's two Octobers? Also, of all the guys I would think off...when I think baseball...I don't think Dane Cook. My choice would have been Alyssa Milano...what? She knows her baseball! She's a Dodger's fan but hey, no one's perfect.

-Carmona has been spectacular. Wow. Great stuff and not yet 24. He, C.C. and Sizemore give the Indians a heck of a core to build around.

-Mosquitoes being used as a segue to a joke about the Nats (Nationals) being gnats during the last week...TBS - we know comedy.

-The Yankees go down easy in the top of the 8th. I think that the flies gave Carmona more trouble than the Yankees did in that inning.

-Leading by one and need 6 more outs for the win? That's when you call the firm of Joba and Mariano. 1-800-4THESAV.

-Did I just see Queen Latifah at the Cleveland pre-game? Is she from Cleveland? I thought she was Jersey.

-Really dude? Perspiration is moisture? REALLY? Thank you Mr. Wizard. By the by, great product placement by Off!

-The Indians have stranded 6 leadoff hitters so far this game. Let's hope it gets to 7. Joba doesn't help himself as the wild pitch moves Sizemore to second. The bunt moves him to third. Man on third, one out for Travis Hafner. Irresistible force - meet immovable object. Line drive - WHAT A PLAY BY DOUGGIE FRESH - great reaction.

-That sucked. Wild pitch - here comes Sizemore. Gotta check the replay to see if he was safe...and it looks like he was. Lousy insects. Whenever they start showing closeups, I throw up a little in my mouth. Those suckers are all over Joba and he is pretty much nowhere near the plate. Come on Joba - one more out so the Yankees can take the lead back in the top of the ninth.

-Top of the ninth. Top of the order up...this is where that vaunted Yankee lineup should earn its paycheck. So far, they've put up a horrible 2 hits and 2 walks in 27 plate appearances. Not. Good. Enough. Let's hope the flies mess up Carmona as much as they did Joba.

-I'm not one to comment on someone's fashion choices but I'll say this; that is a very interesting suit/tie combo from Craig Sager.

-Good hustle by Bobby Abreu and not exactly a crisp play from Johnny Pheralta puts Abreu on first and brings A-Rod to the plate. Of course. Who else would be be up in this situation? Naturally, A-Rod works the count to a more dramatic 1-2 so it will be more dramatic when he comes through, right? Well, we'll see. Heck of an at-bat so far from A-Rod. Carmona is dealing some nasty pitches but A-Rod is fighting them off. Well - not that last pitch. A-Rod down on strikes on the ninth pitch of the at-bat on 95 mph heat from Carmona. Great performance by the kid and a start they will be talking about in Cleveland for a long time.

-Bottom of the ninth. Mo in to keep the score tied and he has to start off against Willie Mays Hayes...oh wait, that's Kenny Lofton. Never mind. In any case, Mo mows him well as the rest of the side in 8 pitches.

-Top of the tenth. Matsui is not exactly inspring confidence up there. Jorge with a very good at-bat but lines out to right. Robbie Cano with what seems to be a trend for him tonight - swinging on the first pitch.

-They just posted Carmona's GB-FB ratio: 18-4. Wang (when he's right) like.

-Tony Gwynn with a bad comment. "Both teams showing how they got here - pitching" Really Tony? Couldn't have anything to do with the 950 runs or so that the Yanks scored this season, right?

-Bottom of the tenth - great at-bat by Sizemore. A thirteen pitch at bat that culminates in a dropped third strike from Posada (who is having a pretty bad series all around) who throws the ball over Doug M. at first (Robbie backing up makes the save). A bunt moves Sizemore to second and here comes Hafner with a man on (again). Is it too much to ask for to get Hafner (and then Garko, I would intentionally walk Martinez) to remain hitless with RISP for the game? Well, Mo gets Hafner to ground out and IBBs Victor so here we go. Mo vs. Garko - winning run on third. On the third pitch, Mo hits Garko...say what you will but Garko did not move. He wanted to get hit in that situation and he had an elbow guard on so he took it. Here's Pheralta with the bases loaded...Mo at 37 pitches and 1-2 on Pheralta. He STRUCK HIM OUT. Thank you Mo!

-Can we PLEASE get some offense!?! No such luck from Melky as he puts up a soft fly to right field. Shelley in for Mientkiewicz to try to show a little Chad Curtis type magic. Again, no such luck - good AB though after getting to an 0-2 count. Rafael Perez ends up striking out Johnny Damon on four pitches to close out the inning. Yankees are now 3 for 35 - that's .086 for those keeping track at home.

-Bottom of the 11th and the Indians make it to the soft part of the Yankee pen. Here comes Vizcaino and I am honestly scared to death of what he's gonna be throwing. I hope the rest helped him out...because his 10.13 ERA in September was not exactly awe-inspiring. He doesn't start off well as he walks Lofton on 4 straight pitches. Vizcaino is slow to the plate so Lofton stealing is a very real possibility. He doesn't have to steal as after going 0-2 on Guiterrez, Vizcaino gives up a single to the left side. First and second, no out and Casey Blake lays down a beautiful bunt so second and third one out. IBB for Sizemore and here comes Asdrubal Cabrera with the bases loaded. Also, Damon gets taken out (on account of his weak arm) for Bronson Sardinha...and the infield (and outfield) comes in to try to prevent the winning run from scoring.

-How many times can you give the Indians chances before they come through? 1-2 on Cabrera at this point. He POPS HIM UP TO THE INFIELD! Wow. Here comes Hafner again...the man with the .398 career OBP so a walk is a very real possibility. At least the infield and outfield can move back now. Still, is Hafner due? 2-1 count now. Big swing and a miss and it's 2-2. Slider misses badly - 3-2 count. Come on Luis - can Pronk beat the Viz?

Yes he can. Hafner with the single to right. Yankees lose a heartbreaker. That was an amazing and frustrating game of baseball that lasted four and a half hours. If you're a Yankees fan - you gotta feel sick right now. After a fantastic performance by be undone by bugs. Man, that sucks...seriously, I feel like someone punched me in the gut...and I have no energy left.

All right Yankees, make like 96, when down 0-2, all you gotta do is win the rest of them...because that's the only option you got left. Go do this.
Posted by: James
Pete A. posts the line-ups and I am already annoyed.

Damon LF
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
Rodriguez 3B
Matsui DH
Posada C
Cano 2B
Cabrera CF
Mientkiewicz 1B
Pettitte LHP

So much for the idea of using Giambi. Torre said he gave no thought to taking Matsui out of the lineup. “It’s a different pitcher,” he said. “These are the guys who have done it for us.”

That is simply dumb. Matsui should not have been starting last night against Sabathia. I say this not only because he is a lefty but because he is a lefty who has just come off getting his knee drained. Shelly should have started.

In the same vein, Mientkiewicz should not be starting tonight and Giambi should be. Heck, DH Giambi if you have to and sit Matsui and play Duncan in left. I don't care what it is - be proactive. Heck, be reactive. JUST DO SOMETHING. Cabrera hasn't hit in a MONTH and more often than not, can't get the ball out of the infield. Matsui just had his knee drained. Mientkiewicz has a storm of bad luck hovering around him. Yet, all three are starting this game.

I hope I am proven wrong but as it stands, I really don't get the line-up... and the reasoning (or lack thereof) behind it is infuriating.

Update: Naturally Melky goes ahead and makes Torre look good and me look like an idiot...which is A-OK with me as long as the Yankees win. Still, Matsui does not look good up there - could be the knee - could be Carmona making him look bad - either/or both, he's not looking good.
Posted by: Patrick
(Pettitte was born in Louisiana and Clemens was born in Ohio, but bear with me). This is what Pettitte and Clemens came back for, right? We're down a game and they are pitching back to back starts and can help us get the upper hand in this series with a pair of solid outings. The last time that either pitched in the postseason was in the 2005 World Series, where Clemens pitched game 1 and Pettitte pitched game 2. Clemens had 3 earned runs, 0 walks and 1 strikeout over 2 innings and Pettitte had 2, 0 and 4 through 6.

A good performance would be them combining for 13 solid innings over the next 2 games. 13 innings, 6 ER or less, I'd say. That would give us 3 innings of Joba and 2 innings of Mo. And, hopefully, 2 victories.
Posted by: Patrick
From Bryan Hoch:

The Yankees have thus far declined to name a starter for Game 4 (if necessary), and though it is widely believed that right-hander Mike Mussina will be tabbed, Torre said that he is leaving open the possibility of putting in a dark-horse candidate.

"I'm not discounting anything," Torre said.

Hypothetically, depending on how Chien-Ming Wang pitches on Thursday against Cleveland, he could come back to pitch in Game 4 (if necessary) on short rest. That would leave Pettitte available to pitch Game 5 on regular rest.

Jim Johnson reports that Michael Kay was on Mike and Mike this morning and he said that the Yankees were considering such a scenario. Works for me. Moose can come out of the pen, if need be.
Posted by: Patrick
Well, no, it's certainly not. But, Ken Davidoff pointed out yesterday that the loser of game 1 in every single ALDS the Yankees have played since 2000 has gone to to win the series. That's 7 ALDS series - and every single time, the team that lost game 1 has won the series. Kinda funny. Doesn't make losing a good thing, but it keeps things in perspective.
Posted by: Patrick
Before yesterday's game, while getting off the team bus, a cameraman fell on Doug Mientkiewicz's left leg. After treatment, he started game 1. It turns out that the cameraman was a local freelancer hired by YES, according to Kat O'Brien.

Furthermore, a spokesman for YES said that he was told to stop filming after the players had excited the bus and he did not follow the orders, so he has been "relieved of his duties".
Posted by: James
The game starts well for the Yankees as Johnny Damon homers on the fifth pitch of the game, a 3-1 pitch as Sabathia is uncharacteristically wild. There was a lot of discussion amongst the umps about whether that HR was fair or foul but the home plate ump called it fair. First off, why do you have an extra couple of umps out there if they can't actually do their jobs? In any case, replays confirmed it - 1-0 Yankees.

Chien-Ming Wang takes the hill for the Yankees and after two outs, walks Pronk and then gives up single, single, walk and another single before getting out of the inning on a force out. Wow, 3-1 Indians and Wang's sinker is not sinking early in this game - let's hope he settles down real quick or this will be a long night.

Bottom of the third, first man up and Wang gives up a homer to the second baseman Cabrera who had 3 all year. Wang giving up homers is a bad sign. 4-1.

Top of the fourth. Sabathia has settled down a little bit but that adrenaline is still pumping. 96-97 MPH through the zone, even at the 80 pitch mark. Still, when you throw that hard, sometimes, all you gotta do is get that fat part of the bat on the ball and that's exactly what Robbie Cano does. HR Cano. 4-2 Indians.

Mitchell over at The Bronx Block says it best:

And Ill say something I never thought Id hear myself say&I really wish this series was on FOX. As horrendous as they are with the things they do to a baseball game and their awful announcers, theyre still far better than the horrible crew, the cheap cameras and the lack of enough cameras for multiple angles were dealing with on TBS.

I could not agree more especially about Ernie Johnson. Wow. Anyway, back to the top of the fifth. Mientkiewicz is taken out of the game - that freak accident must have hurt more than he thought. Shelly Duncan comes in for Doug and promptly singles to right. Johnny Damon up next and he works a walk. Derek Jeter up and after a failed sacrifice, DJ flies out to right without moving the runners over. Bobby Abreu bails him out with a solid AB as he pokes a double down the left side. 4-3 Yankees and this could be where the Yankees make their charge. They intentionally walk A-Rod (!) to load the bases for Posada. That makes sense - Posada is probably the slowest guy on the team, would be an easy DP.

AWWWW NUTS. I am amazed but C.C. actually worked out of the bases loaded, one out situation. Posada struck out swinging and he got Matsui to pop out to short. Wow - that will come back to hurt them - I am sure of it.

Bottom of the fifth. Come on Chien-Ming - can you gut out one more inning?

The answer is a resounding no. Walk, fly out, home run to Victor Martinez. 6-3 Indians and a coaching visit to the mound. After a quick groundout, we are treated to more hard hits. Double from Peralta who scores on a Kenny Lofton single (what a game for Kenny) and that is all for Wang. Wow. Easily the worst start of the game 1 starters - let's hope he gets a chance to atone.

Ross O. is in and after that push last inning, it now feels like the Yankees have given up on this game. Franklin Guiterrez walks and Casey Blake doubles both guys in. 9-3 Indians. Ouch.

The Yankees go quietly in the 6th and at this point, I'm just hoping Ross gives them some innings. There's still a long way to go in this game and I don't want Torre emptying that bullpen this early in the series. My wish falls on deaf ears and Ross gets hammered in the sixth. Hafner homers. 10-3 Indians. Victor Martinez follows with a double and after a few ground outs, Kenny Lofton kills the Yankees again tonight as he doubles home another run. 11-3 Indians and in comes Jose Veras to close out the inning.

Rafael Perez is now in and man, he just mows down the Yankees hitters. No one even got a decent look off the kid.

Bottom of the 7th and there is Phil Hughes, who looks very good in the inning. Unless the Yankees stage a rally of EPIC proportions, he will close out the game and we can get to the next game.

The Yankees continue to go quietly (this Cleveland bullpen is no joke) and I think that they feel the same way.

Melky is actually putting together a good at-bat in the ninth. Hopefully, that will carry into the next couple of games because he had horrible at-bats prior to this inning. However, at this point, you have no other option than to play him (though you could slide Duncan to left and shift Damon back to center). The announcer just called Hideki "Kaz Matsui". Someone get that man a line-up card. Giambi comes up to bat and that's a good move getting him an AB since he will probably start in tomorrow's game. He puts together a good AB and singles past the shift. Still, I just want this fiasco over with.

Game over. Cleveland wins and you know what - let 'em celebrate. Good win for Cleveland and a BAD loss for the Yankees but hey, this series isn't over and this team has come off the deck before. Heck, maybe the Indians have even exhausted all their offense and good luck here in the first game. The Yankees got a good look at some of the better options in the Cleveland pen, too - maybe that will help them later on in the series. Hey, both have happened before, so here we go. First to 3 - let's go Yankees.
Posted by: Patrick
Edit: During the broadcast of game 1, they said it was a New York cameraman.

Edit 2: Kat O'Brien says it was a local (Cleveland) freelancer hired by YES.

Well... not quite. According to Mark Feinsand, when he was getting off the team bus, a photographer tripped and fell... right onto Doug Mientkiewicz's (it's taken me the better part of this year, but I am now able to spell his name without double checking) foot. Feinsand says that it's been taped and tested and he should be good to go tonight.

Via Ben.

10/04: C.C. Sabathia

Posted by: James
Before tonight's game, head over to the Bronx Block to see Jim Johnson's breakdown of C.C. Sabathia. It's a very detailed analysis of the very good (and soon-to-be 2007 Cy Young) pitcher. I'd highly recommend reading through the comments as well as there's a lot of good info there as well.

As Jim points out, C.C. has three pitches:

* A mid-90s fastball that can touch upper-90s when he reaches back for it. It’s a flat pitch but gains some life at the end if he decides to climb the ladder. Against righties, he occasionally adds a bit of a cut to his fastball.
* A slider that he can throw from multiple arm angles. When he drops down, it becomes more of a sweeping slurve, and is deadly. He likes to use it as an out-pitch against lefty hitters and he doesn’t often throw it the first time through the lineup. If he’s got both his fastball and his slider working, he’s mercilous.
* A low 80s changeup that he has a lot of confidence with and uses it off his fastbal effectively. He will use it early in the count in the beginning of the game and then later in the count as he works in his slider later in the game.

To get an idea of how often Sabathia throws each pitch, I'd check out Josh Kalk's blog for a detailed player card. There you can find the pitch speed averages, which pitch he throws the most in each count and how he mixes it up between lefties and righties. It's a way to look at a pitcher and I'd encourage everyone to take a look.

In addition, Brian over at Depressed Fan has put together a heck of a resource for anyone taking an interest in this divsion series. From his main guide page, click on the batter vs. pitcher match ups link to find some Excel-based goodness. Also, included are links within that file to scouting reports (from the 2007 season) on each player and their tendencies. AWESOME stuff - way to come through Brian.

Finally, if you're looking for even more data, here's the game preview from Baseball Reference. Lots of good stuff there on both a team and player basis and it all links to each player's individual splits, gamelogs and BR's amazing play index.

Okay, all that's out of the way - LET'S GO YANKEES!

10/04: We

Posted by: Patrick
Watch below. Jeter gets asked a question about A-Rod and what he needs to do in the postseason and Jeter turns it around into what we need to do. As he's walking away, someone asks him for his thoughts on A-Rod's struggles in October and he says, "We. We. We. We. W-E."

Via Pinstripe Alley via
Posted by: Patrick
The AP reports that A-Rod and his wife, Cynthia, are expecting their second child, due sometime in the spring. Congrats to them.
Posted by: Seamus
The Yankees will be in Jacobs Field in Cleveland tonight for Game 1 of their Division Series against the Indians. They will be making their 13th straight postseason appearance, and are actually the only of the eight postseason teams this year that was also there last October. The Indians will be making their first playoff appearance since 2001, when they nearly pulled off a historic upset of the Mariners, who won 116 games, but were sent packing after losing both Games 4 and 5. The Yankees and Indians have met twice in the postseason before, most recently in the 1998 ALCS which the Yankees won in 6 games. They also played each other in the ALDS in 1997, with Cleveland emerging as the victor in five games.

Here's a telling stat about the Yankees' season for you: On July 1, the Yankees were 9 games behind Detroit in the wild card standings, and then rallied back to take the wild card by seven games. That means that had the Yankees been 16 games out almost halfway through the season, they STILL would have been good enough the rest of the way to get in the postseason. This season was quite a roller-coaster ride for the Yanks, probably the most tumultous of the Joe Torre era, as the Yankees went 73-39 (.651) after a 21-29 start, basically emerging from their coffins and rallying back for their first wild card berth since 1997.

The Indians were more-or-less in it from Day 1, getting help from an MVP-caliber start to the season by Grady Sizemore, a career season for C.C. Sabathia, and a breakout year for sophomore hurler Fausto Carmona. The Indians battled back and forth with the Tigers for the A.L. Central throughout most of the season before pulling ahead for good by mid-August.

Here's a look at some of the matchups...

» Read More

Posted by: James
Per Mark Feinsand, Joe Torre has set the ALDS Roster and posted the lineup for Game 1. Big surprise? No Ron Villone. Ross Ohlendorf and Jose Veras are there in his (and Edwar's) stead. I probably would have taken Britton over Veras (because of his control issues).

Jorge Posada, Jose Molina

Doug Mientkiewicz, Jason Giambi, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Wilson Betemit

Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon, Melky Cabrera, Bobby Abreu, Shelley Duncan, Bronson Sardinha

Chien-Ming Wang, Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina, Phil Hughes, Mariano Rivera, Joba Chamberlain, Luis Vizcaino, Kyle Farnsworth, Ross Ohlendorf, Jose Veras
Damon, LF
Jeter, SS
Abreu, RF
A-Rod, 3B
Posada, C
Matsui, DH
Cano, 2B
Cabrera, CF
Mientkiewicz, 1B

Wang, P
Posted by: Patrick
ESPN has posted their experts playoff predictions. Let's break it down.

Predicting, we've got Howard Bryant, Jim Caple, Jerry Crasnick, Peter Gammons, Pedro Gomez, Jonah Keri, Bob Klapisch, Tim Kurkjian, Keith Law, Amy Nelson, Rob Neyer, Buster Olney, Steve Phillips, Enrique Rojas, Jayson Stark, Jorge Arangure Jr., Sean McAdam, Peter Pascarelli, Phil Rogers and John Shea. That's 20 people in all.

Of the 20, 9 have us winning the in the ALDS. They are Bryant, Gomez, Klapisch, Kurkjian, Rojas, Stark, Arangure, Pascarelli and Shea. Of those 9, 5 have us winning the ALCS. Bryant, Klapisch, Kurkjian, Rojas and Pascarelli. All 5 of them have us winning the World Series, as well. They picked the following World Series MVPs: Robinson Cano (Bryant and Pascarelli), Alex Rodriguez (Klapisch and Rojas) and Melky Cabrera (Kurkjian).

Here is how that compares with everyone else. For the pennant:

1. Red Sox - 8 experts
2. Yankees - 5
3. Indians - 4
4. Angels - 3

And for the World Series:

1. Red Sox - 6
2. Yankees - 5
3. Angels - 3
3. Indians - 3
5. Rockies - 2
6. Cubs - 1
Posted by: Patrick
From the official site:

Roger Clemens appears to have been cleared for a Game 3 start after a 69-pitch workout on Tuesday in Tampa, Fla.

Torre said that he heard from club official Billy Connors after Clemens went through the full paces of a simulated game, facing both left-handed and right-handed batters while fielding his position and covering bases.

"It was a very good report," Torre said. "Everything got high marks."
Posted by: Patrick
This is not recent (over 2 weeks old), but it is the first I've heard of it. Former Yankees prospect C.J. Henry, traded last season for Bobby Abreu, has left the Phillies and is mulling a college basketball career.

The article notes that he's also considering signing a deal with another MLB team and that the Yankees, Athletics and Orioles have contacted his agent. There doesn't appear to have been any updates in the story, so I'm guessing no decision has been made, yet.

Via Steve.
Posted by: Patrick
Apparently, LeBron James is a Yankees fan. I'm sure this is old news to some, but I hadn't heard (or maybe I did and simply forgot). Whatever the case, this seems to have upset a number of Indians fans (who are also Cavs fans, I suppose) because, well, he's Cleveland's huge star and he doesn't want Cleveland's baseball team to win. One blog commenter on Cavaliers Corner called him a sell out and a traitor, saying that he should wear his Yankees hat in the privacy of his home, only and that he should remember who pays his salary.

This strikes me as a little strange. As a fan of something, you have to respect fans of something else. In other words, let me put it out there like this: I was born a Yankees fan. I'll die a Yankees fan. It doesn't matter if they never win another World Series. It doesn't matter if the city of Boston decides to pay me $50 billion dollars a year to ... do something ... not sure what ... I'll die a Yankees fan. I won't die a closet Yankees fan, I'll die a Yankees fan. If the Yankees were an NBA team and the Cavs were trying to win, well, that's certainly wrong. But, they are not. Does your employer control what team you root for? Does your locale? No, of course not. Do you just stop being a fan of someone at the drop of a hat? That doesn't sound much like a fan, at all.

Via via Marcel Mutoni.
Posted by: Patrick
Kat O'Brien reports that Clemens threw his simulated game today in Tampa. It was 69 pitches and there was no bad news, apparently. So, it looks like he'll (hopefully) be ready to go game 3.
Posted by: Patrick
Here are the times for the Yankees ALDS series against the Indians:

Game 1: Yankees at Indians, October 4 at 6:30 PM
Game 2: Yankees at Indians, October 5 at 5:00 PM
Game 3: Indians at Yankees, October 7 at 6:30 PM
*Game 4: Indians at Yankees, October 8 at 6:00 PM
*Game 5: Yankees at Indians, October 10 at 5:00 PM (moves to 8:30 PM if Red Sox/Angels series has concluded)

* - if necessary. All times are Eastern. All games are on TBS.

Via Kat O'Brien.
Posted by: Patrick
Joe Torre is considering using Shelley Duncan in game 1 against C.C. Sabathia over Hideki Matsui. Honestly, unless Matsui is injured and requires the rest, I start him. He's a .311 postseason hitter. That said, I won't cry if Shelley starts.

Bronson Sardinha's dad told the The Honolulu Advertiser that he'll be heading to Cleveland with the Yankees.

Finally, Peter Abraham reports that the Yankees sent the following pitchers home on Sunday: Brian Bruney (who was, reportedly, shocked), Tyler Clippard, Kei Igawa, Jeff Karstens, Sean Henn, Matt DeSalvo and Chase Wright. They also told Sir Ian Kennedy to report to Tampa and keep throwing, in case we need him later in the playoffs. Abraham notes that this leaves Britton, Ohlendorf, Ramirez, Veras and Villone for 2 final bullpen spots.

Via Steve.
Posted by: Patrick
Tyler Kepner has the TBS broadcasters' predictions for the playoffs. Of 13 guys, 1 picked the Yankees (Gwynn), 3 picked the Angels, 3 picked the Red Sox, 3 picked the Indians and 1 picked the Cubs (the one who picked the Cubs, Marc Fein, picked the Indians to win the AL pennant, as well).
Posted by: Patrick
Mark Feinsand reports that Clemens had a 49 pitch bullpen session today (no word on how it went) and will throw a simulated game today.
Posted by: Patrick
The Fantasy Baseball League has ended. In the championship match, I defeated Sports!!! by the score of 8-2.

Here are the final standings:

Rank  Team
1. Patrick (YB)
2. Sports!!!
3. Hip Hip Jorge
4. terpballaz
5. The American Idiots
6. The Holy Muffins
7. Seamus
8. yanks#27in07
Thank you to everyone who participated this season. With fantasy baseball finished, we can now turn our full attention to playoff baseball.
Posted by: Patrick
Nike will be unveiling an 80 foot tall billboard of A-Rod tomorrow at the corner of 34th and 7th. Here it is:

Posted by: Patrick
The championship round of the playoffs in the Yankees Bloggers Fantasy Baseball League has come to a close. As such, our season is now over. I'd like to thank everyone who participated this season. It was a lot of fun.

5. Patrick defeats 2. James, 7-3

Just like last week, there was plenty of excitement in this one. I jumped out to an early lead in the 2 week long match up, holding onto it most of the way. But, James made a slow, but sure comeback, chipping away at my lead and, eventually, heading into the final day, had pulled ahead.

After all the dust had cleared on the final day, I had won. I took runs, stolen bases, batting average, wins, saves, strikeouts and WHIP while James took home runs, RBIs and ERA. We went pretty hard at each other over these 2 weeks, with James dropping 16 players and me dropping 15.

My offense was led by Derek Jeter (10 R, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 2 SB, .404 AVG), Carlos Lee (11 R, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 2 SB, .373 AVG), Alex Rodriguez (9 R, 2 HR, 15 RBI, .333 AVG) and Prince Fielder (10 R, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 2 SB, .244 AVG). James got big performances from Chipper Jones (12 R, 3 HR, 11 RBI, .356 AVG), Alfonso Soriano (8 R, 5 HR, 9 RBI, 1 SB, .356 AVG) and Moises Alou (7 R, 1 HR, 10 RBI, .377 AVG).

Pitching wise, for me, Andy Pettitte turned in 2 wins to go along with victories from Nate Robertson, Huston Street, Jamie Moyer, Justin Verlander (13 Ks) and Franklin Morales. Manny Corpas (4), Brian Wilson (3), Joe Borowski (3) and Mariano Rivera (2) had saves. Scott Kazmir had 19 strikeouts. For James, Joakim Soria, Jake Peavy (9 Ks), Adam Wainright (16 Ks), Chad Billingsley and Dustin McGowan (11 Ks) picked up wins and Jose Valverde (2), Bobby Jenks (2) and Jeremy Accardo (2) collected saves. Ted Lilly had 13 strikeouts (and pitched for both teams during this contest).

Final Standings

Here are the final standings for the league:

Rank  Team
1. Patrick
2. James
3. Mike (River Ave. Blues)
4. Ben (River Ave. Blues)
5. Dave (Pride of the Yankees)
6. Aziz (Pride of the Yankees)
7. EJ (Pinstripe Potent., Pend. Pinstripes and TBB)
8. Seamus
9. Jen (
10. Joseph (River Ave. Blues)

Once again, thank you to everyone who participated. Hopefully, we'll do it again next year.
Posted by: Patrick
A-Rod finished his season with the following line (in 158 games): .314 AVG, 54 HR, 156 RBI and 24 SB. I hope that Yankees fans realized what they've seen this year. His OPS this year was 1.067 - the best number of his career. That's saying something. But, even with that in mind, if you enter those numbers into's Play Index to find how many players have had a season with numbers equal or better to those, you find exactly 0 players. A-Rod is the only one. Crazy. Even if you weaken it a bit (.310 AVG, 50 HR, 150 RBI, 20 SB), you only get him. This has been some kind of year. That's what you call a (hopefully not) walkoff year, right there.
Posted by: Patrick
For the last time in the regular season, let's compare the numbers of Joba and Gagne since the trade deadline:

Joba: 18 G, 2-0, 1 S, 0 BS, 23.2 IP, 12 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 6 BB, 34 Ks, 0.38 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, .145 BAA.
Gagne: 19 G, 2-2, 0 S, 3 BS, 17.2 IP, 26 H, 14 R, 14 ER, 1 HR, 9 BB, 21 Ks, 7.13 ERA, 1.98 WHIP, .338 BAA.
Posted by: Patrick
From George King:

A year ago, [Bruney] pitched in three of the four ALDS games. Yesterday, the Yankees told him to go home, opting to not include the right-handed reliever around like they did with Ross Ohlendorf, Chris Britton and Jose Veras.

“I was shocked,” Bruney said.

I understand that everyone needs to be confident in their abilities, but shocked? Your ERA is 4.68, your WHIP is 1.62 and you have not logged a single good, full season, yet in your career. I don't know how you can be all that shocked.

10/01: Monday Notes

Posted by: Patrick
Bryan Hoch writes about a team meeting in Toronto that, the Yankees say, helped turn the season around.

The Yankees' season had been on a path to nowhere for about eight weeks when the clubhouse doors slammed shut in Toronto, the team determined to hash out its differences face to face.

Tact went out the window that afternoon. The words bouncing off the walls of a tiny room at Rogers Centre were scathing and heated. And when the faces of those chastised returned to their natural hues, the slumbering, slumping Yankees were gone. ...

"It was not fun," first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz said. "What we heard from the people that were talking, it was embarrassing. It hit you right between the eyes. To hear what we heard from who we did, as a first-year Yankee, I didn't want to go down as the group that was the first team to not make the playoffs. I didn't want that hanging over my head all winter."

Michael Phillips has various facts and figures on the season. Ron Villone leads the team in opponents BA? Who knew?

Tom Gordon told Tyler Kepner that the Yankees should keep Joba as a reliever.

His reasoning was sound: Gordon said Chamberlain would never be able to sustain 100 miles an hour as a starter, over 200 innings. But because he’s had success throwing so hard, Gordon said, Chamberlain would be tempted to try. That, Gordon said, could backfire and cause him to wear down much quicker than he would as a reliever.

Finally, congrats to Bobby Abreu on reaching 101 RBIs or more for the 5th straight season (and 6 out of 7).
Posted by: Patrick
For yesterday's season finale, Jorge was named the honorary manager and Mussina was named the honorary pitching coach. Jorge then picked Andy Pettitte as his bench coach (apparently he initially intended to get Jeter) and Ron Villone as his bullpen coach, once Mo had turned him down. Bryan Hoch, Kat O'Brien, Peter Abraham and Mark Feinsand all have write ups. From Hoch:

"It was fun until I got here today and they told me all the 'Joba Rules,'" Posada said. "I'm honored. A lot of guys have done this and they've done a [heck] of a job. I hope to win the game. That's the most important thing."

Torre has annually selected one player to take the helm for a day at the conclusion of the regular season, and normally it has been a player expected to leave after the year -- last season, Bernie Williams fulfilled the duties for a day.

But this year provided a tough choice for Torre, who said he had to entertain numerous options before settling on Posada. Mike Mussina was tabbed as honorary pitching coach, while Posada appointed Andy Pettitte as his bench coach. Ron Villone was named bullpen coach.


Posada can be pretty funny. He went out to the dugout to do his pregame interview (as Torre normally does), and Tony Pena made some smart-aleck remark, and Posada quickly opened his interview session by announcing, "I've fired my first base coach (Pena)." At the end of the session, he said he had decided to rehire him.


... His pal Derek Jeter was supposed to be the bench coach but was replaced by Andy Pettitte.

"He was a terrible manager. There were a lot of problems that we're going to keep in-house for now," Jeter said. "He was awful.