Thursday, January 31, 2008

Update on the Leyritz Situation

From ESPN:

Leyritz pleaded not guilty Thursday to a recently added charge of DUI manslaughter by unlawful blood-alcohol levels. He previously pleaded not guilty to a charge of DUI manslaughter with impairment in the death of Fredia Ann Veitch. Leyritz faces 15 years in prison if convicted.

While awaiting trial, Judge Marc Gold has ordered that Leyritz stay away from drug and alcohol. To prove he is following orders he must take three breathalyzer tests a day.

Along with this comes news that the victim, Fredia Ann Veitch, was also driving under the influence at the time of the accident. The New York Post reported today that “sources close to the case” said Fredia Ann Veitch had a .08 blood-alcohol level at the time of the accident, which is the state's legal limit.

Anything .08 or higher is considered DUI, driving under the influence, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles.

Broward County Assistant State Attorney Stefanie Newman said she "couldn't comment until the toxicology reports are released in seven to eight days."

I wouldn't want to see people start blaming the victim here, especially people like Leyritz's defense team. But you know they're going to. According to witnesses he ran a red light causing the accident and therefore it's his fault. Leyritz also had a history of being a menace on the road, raking up violations everywhere he got behind the wheel.

UPDATE 2/2 - On Friday the toxicology report was released, it showed that the victim, Fredia Ann Veitch, actually had a blood-alcohol level of 0.18, more than double the legal limit.

"It doesn't affect the cause of the crash because he ran a red light," Assistant State Attorney Stefanie Newman said.

Leyritz's attorney, Mike Dutko, told the AP that the this info could change the way the prosecution proceeds.

"Pre-crash conditions and circumstances become terribly, terribly relevant," Dutko said. "There's a lot that needs to be investigated, analyzed and evaluated here."

Yankees Sign Ensberg

According to MLB Trade Rumors, the Yankees have signed Morgan Ensberg. (A hat tip to River Ave. Blues)
...They'll use him at first base (and maybe off the bench). Not sure if it's a minor or Major League deal. Jerry Crasnick confirms it, noting that the Rays and Giants expressed interest.

Ensberg, 32, hit .231/.320/.404 for the Astros and Padres in '07...Ensberg has not been the same since seriously bruising his shoulder in June of '06.
Despite playing just one game at the position in his career, the Yankees are going to take a look at him at first.

With this acquisition the Yankees now have six guys, who will be fighting for playing time at first base - Shelley Duncan, Jason Giambi, Wilson Betemit, Morgan Ensberg, Jason Lane, and Juan Miranda, could all be in the mix going into spring training.

Update: The deal is a minor-league deal, with an invitation to major league camp.

Here's what Ensberg had to say:

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

Update 10:45 PM - Peter Abraham has some more info on the deal. He says that
"Ensberg would make $1.75 million if he makes the roster with an additional $2.25 million available in bonuses based on plate appearances."

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

Phil Hughes Happy to Remain in Pinstripes


With Johan Santana headed to the Mets, Phil Hughes will remain with the Yankees.

“That’s kind of been my goal the whole time, and to finally know that it’s somewhat intact, it’s a good feeling,” the 21-year-old right-hander said today at the Yankees’ minor league complex.

“It’s good to finally have that reassurance of being somewhat stable for the time being. It kind of dragged out longer than everybody wanted it too, but it’s finally nice to be able to concentrate on things we need to do.”

Hughes has also decided to change his number. He said on his blog today that a number change is in the works, but he's not sure what the new number will be.

There was also an Andrew Brackman update in the SI article.

Andrew Brackman, the Yankees first round pick in the 2007 amateur draft, is throwing at 90 feet. The 6-foot-10, 240 pound right-hander from North Carolina State had elbow ligament replacement surgery last Aug. 24.

"It's feeling awesome," Brackman said.

Brackman, who will not pitch in games this season, is scheduled to increase his throwing distance in about two weeks.

Baseball Prospectus Top 100 Prospects

Yesterday it was Baseball America's top 30 Yankee prospects, today Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus came out with his top 100 overall prospects. The only Yankee in the top 10 was Joba, who was ranked 4th. Other Yankees on the list were Ian Kennedy (34), Austin Jackson (47), Jose Tabata (48), and Alan Horne (67).

Here's the top 5:

1. Jay Bruce, of, Reds
2. Clay Buchholz, rhp, Red Sox
3. Evan Longoria, 3b, Rays
4. Joba Chamberlain, rhp, Yankees
5. Clayton Kershaw, lhp, Dodgers

ESPN's Kieth Law also came out with his top 100 list, again the only Yankee in the top ten was Joba, this time at number three. The other Yankees on the list were Jose Tabata (21), Austin Jackson (24), Ian Kennedy (45), and Andrew Brackman (100).

Here's Kieth Law's top 5:

Evan Longoria, 3b, Rays
2. Jay Bruce, rf, Reds
3. Joba Chamberlain, rhp, Yankees
4. Clay Buchholz, rhp, Red Sox
Colby Rasmus, cf, Cardinals

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Baseball America Yankees Top 30 Prospects

The top 10 list came out a few weeks ago, but today, with the release of the Baseball America's 2008 Prospect Handbook, comes the list of the Yankees top 30 prospects. (A tip of the cap to Peter Abraham)

1. Joba Chamberlain, RHP
2. Austin Jackson, OF
3. Jose Tabata, OF
4. Ian Kennedy, RHP
5. Alan Horne, RHP
6. Jesus Montero, C
7. Jeff Marquez, RHP
8. Brett Gardner, OF
9. Ross Ohlendorf, RHP
10. Andrew Brackman, RHP
11. Mark Melancon, RHP
12. Humberto Sanchez, RHP
13. Dellin Betances, RHP
14. Dan McCutchen, RHP
15. Kevin Whelan, RHP
16. Carmen Angelini, SS
17. George Kontos, RHP
18. Ivan Nova, RHP
19. Collin Curtis, OF
20. Jairo Heredia, RHP
21. Juan Miranda, 1B
22. Austin Romine, C
23. Francisco Cervelli, C
24. Dave Robertson, RHP
25. Mike Dunn, LHP
26. J.B. Cox, RHP
27. Mitch Hilligoss, INF
28. Scott Patterson, RHP
29. Edwar Ramirez, RHP
30. Zach McAllister, RHP

The Yankees are ranked 5th in organization talent. In 2004 there were ranked 27th. The Yankees have done a heck of a job taking what was one of the worst farm systems in baseball and turning it into one of the best.

Peter also takes a look at the money the Yankees and Red Sox have been spending on draft picks.

More New Yankee Stadium Updates

The two photos in the middle are from WCBS 880, John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman took a tour of the Stadium yesterday.

Yankees Take a Bigger Gamble Than We Thought

This deal may turn out to cost two GMs their job.

From scouts, to sports-talk radio hosts, to newspaper reporters, everyone is saying that Bill Smith and Twins got fleeced on this deal, and I agree.

There were many bloggers and Yankee fans angry at Cashman yesterday when they thought Phil Hughes was worth the risk, now they're going to be really pissed.

Today we find out from Bob Klapisch that towards the end of negotiations the Twins tried to get the Yankees involved again by asking for a package of Ian Kennedy, Melky Cabrera, and another prospect. The Yankees obviously passed on that opportunity, though, I'm not so certain they should have.

Once the Twins accepted that Hughes was off the table, and still wanted to make a deal, I think the Yankees should have tried harder to make something happen. To me, they had the Twins right where they wanted them.

Was it really worth losing out on Santana for Ian Kennedy? A rotation of Santana, Wang, Pettitte, Hughes, and Joba, sure looks like a championship rotation to me.

Cashman was obviously dead-set on winning, or losing, with the kids. And it may cost him his job. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying I think he should be fired, because I don't. But would I have tried to make a deal without giving up Hughes? Yes.

With that said, I don't have a problem with the Yankees giving the kids a chance.
But what I think doesn't matter, it's up to Hank, and from this quote it looks like this is the deal that will make or break Cashman's future in the Bronx.

"But as far as missing the playoffs - if we miss the playoffs by the end of this year, I don't know how patient I'll be. But it won't be against the players. It won't be a matter of that. It will be a matter of maybe certain people in the organization could have done something else."

Let's all hope Cashman made the right decision. Only time will tell.

Update 3:57 PM: Adam Rubin and Bill Madden wrote an article today, and in it said that the Twins asked for Kennedy and Wang, not Kennedy, Melky and a prospect, like Klapisch reported. If that was the case then this was a no-brainer for Cashman. He would have been stupid to make that kind of trade.

The real question is which paper was accurate with their reporting, The Record or the Daily News?

Update 6:00 PM: Buster Olney was on SportsCenter today, and backed up the Daily News story that the Twins asked for Kennedy and Chien Ming-Wang.

Pettitte Knew About Clemens' PED Use

Well according to McNamee and his lawyers, he did. And they believe he will discuss it during his deposition on Monday.

From The New York Times:
WASHINGTON —Andy Pettitte will soon give a sworn deposition to staff members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and lawyers for his former personal trainer, Brian McNamee, say they believe they know part of what he will say.

Pettitte and McNamee talked in 2001 and 2002 about Roger Clemens’s use of steroids and human growth hormone, McNamee’s lawyers, Earl Ward and Richard Emery, said Tuesday.

As a result, Ward and Emery said they believed that Pettitte, who has acknowledged receiving H.G.H. from McNamee in 2002, will provide the first account of contemporaneous conversations with McNamee about Clemens’s use of performance-enhancing drugs in earlier years.

Emery and Ward said that not only did McNamee and Pettitte talk about Clemens’s drug use on several occasions, but that Clemens might have influenced Pettitte the first time Pettitte asked to use a performance-enhancing drug.

“There was a conversation in the gym where Pettitte came over to Brian and told him, ‘Why didn’t you tell me about that stuff?’ ” Emery said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “It appeared to be after a conversation with Clemens, but he didn’t know what was said in that conversation.”

Ward, in a separate telephone interview, said, “Brian discouraged him at first, and then less than a year later he came back and that is when Brian injected him.”

This is bad news for Clemens. All his efforts to defend himself and save his reputation, would turn out to have been useless if Pettitte testifies that he knew Clemens cheated. But would Pettitte really do that? Would he rat on his friend and former teammate?

Well there are two reasons why he might.

First, if it's true that Clemens played any hand is influencing Pettitte to use HGH, Pettitte may blame Roger for this whole mess, and see this as a way to get back at him. And second, the most important reason, he's not going to want to risk perjuring himself and end up like Barry Bonds.

These tough times for Roger may have just got a whole lot tougher.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


The mind-numbing Santana sweepstakes have finally come to an end.

And he's going to the Mets.

The Minnesota Twins and New York Mets have agreed on a deal sending Johan Santana over to Shea for four prospects. Here are the details from
Bob Nightengale of USA Today:
The New York Mets have agreed to a trade for two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana, giving up four prospects to acquire the left-handed ace of the Minnesota Twins, according to two high-ranking Twins officials with knowledge of the talks and a person close to Santana.

The deal is pending the Mets and Santana reaching agreement on a six- or seven-year contract extension and that Santana passes a physical; they have been granted a 48 to-72-hour window to do so. Santana has a no-trade clause that he will waive if agreement is reached on a contract extension.

The Mets paid a high price in prospects to land Santana, agreeing to send the Twins outfielder Carlos Gomez and pitchers Phil Humber, Deolis Guerra and Kevin Mulvey.

This looks like a steal for the Mets, but frankly, who cares? It's better than Johan going to Boston, or the Yankees having to part with Phil Hughes, who I think will be an ace in this league for years to come. But neither outcome seems to have been a real possibility.

Buster Olney was on 1050 ESPN Radio, and said the Yankees and Red Sox were never really major players in this. The Yankees weren't going to part with Phil Hughes, and Boston seemed to only be in this to bring up the price for the Yankees.

He also said that the deal got wrapped up today because Johan Santana set a Tuesday deadline with the Twins.

Now if what Olney said isn't the case, and both teams were really in this up to the end, then Bill Smith looks like a fool. He trades arguably the best pitcher in baseball, for what ESPN calls "a package which some talent evaluators believe could be the fourth-best offer that Minnesota received." From what I've been reading he looks like a fool anyway to Twins fans who believe he could have gotten a better deal. If I were Mr. Smith I wouldn't read a newspaper or listen to sports-talk radio for the next few weeks.

Pettitte's Meeting With Congress Postponed

From the AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) — New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte's meeting with a congressional committee investigating drug use in baseball was postponed until Monday. He originally was slated to appear for a deposition or transcribed interview Wednesday.

But the date was changed Tuesday, the latest in a series of switches to the schedule of when witnesses will meet with staff members before testifying Feb. 13 before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

"Mr. Pettitte is cooperating voluntary with the committee, and we look forward to his testimony on Monday," panel chairman Henry Waxman and ranking Republican Tom Davis said in a joint statement. "We appreciate Mr. Pettitte's willingness to assist the Committee."

News & Notes

- Jeter answered questions today at his annual golf outing. He spoke about his new and former manger, steroids, and the Santana trade rumors.

- The AP reported today that Joba Chamberlain may start the season in the bullpen, while reported that Dave Eiland said, "Anything can happen, so you don't rule anything out," pitching coach Dave Eiland said in a telephone interview. "But we're going into it right now with Joba as a starter. We're going to see where that takes us." So I guess that's still being figured out.

Peter Abraham reports that Robinson Cano has finalized his deal, here's the breakdown:
2008: $3 million
2009: $6 million
2010: $9 million
2011: $10 million
2012: $14 million or a $2 million buyout
2013: $15 million or a $2 million buyout
- David Cone will be joining the YES network for the upcoming season. He will broadcast about 50 games on YES, and will host Yankees On Deck.

- The Santana trade talks seem to be gaining steam again, but this time for the cross-town rival New York Mets. Also an article out of the Domincan Republic is reporting that
the Mets probably will not give to permission Carlos Gomez to play in the Caribbean Series. This may mean that they want to make sure he remains healthy while his name is being thrown around in trade offers.

- Whitey Ford is going to auction off
his memorabilia collection at this year's DHL All-Star FanFest in New York on July 15 and 16. The collection consists of several hundred items, acquired over Ford's career in baseball.

- Something Super Bowl related, (with a hat tip to Big Blue View) it seems the folks over at The Boston Globe have gotten a little ahead of themselves. Due for release on Feb. 11 is a book titled
19-0: The Historic Championship Season of New England's Unbeatable Patriots.

Now I'm not saying the Giants are going to win (I hope they do), but you would think the people up in Boston would know not to count their chickens before they hatch.

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Pics Just Keep On Comin'

Just found these, they're similar to the ones I posted the other day, but you can see more of the facade going up around the outside of the Stadium.

Bobby Murcer Honored at BBWAA Dinner

I forgot to mention it earlier, but Bobby Murcer also received an award at last night's BBWAA dinner. He was presented with the Milton Richman "You Gotta Have Heart" Award.

NEW YORK -- The fact that Bobby Murcer even made it to the New York Hilton on Sunday night represented something of a miracle. Science said he shouldn't have been there. Common sense agreed. But when it came time for the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America to present its annual Milton Richman "You Gotta Have Heart" Award, there stood Murcer, ready to accept.

Barely one year after doctors diagnosed him with a malignant brain tumor, Murcer took the podium not as a victim, but as a survivor. His determination had helped that miracle happen, to be sure -- and so too, had the determination of others.

"The reason I'm here tonight is because of all your love for me," Murcer told a crowd of writers, players, Hall of Famers and fans at the 85th annual New York BBWAA dinner. "That's what's sustained me and that's what's given me the strength to be here tonight and to fight this deadly disease."

While Murcer was just one winner among many on Sunday, his award meant something more. And the crowd certainly punctuated that, honoring him with a rousing standing ovation after new Yankees manager Joe Girardi presented the award.

"Bobby, you've inspired us with all the hits and the great catches," Girardi said, "but you've never inspired us more than with the way you live your life."

From everything I've heard about Bobby Murcer he is one of the better people in the game of baseball. From writers, to broadcasters, to current and fomer players, they all have nothing but great things to say about the man. It's great to see him receive this honor, but it's even better knowing he's healthy.

Knoblauch Surfaces

Knoblauch has been found, and has agreed to speak to the House committee investigating PED use in baseball.

From the NY Post

The committee issued a subpoena for Knoblauch last week after he failed to respond to an invitation to testify. Knoblauch originally was to give a deposition Jan. 24, a session that was postponed until Tuesday. Under the new schedule, Knoblauch will give a deposition or transcribed interview Friday.

"We are pleased that Mr. Knoblauch has agreed to voluntarily participate in a transcribed interview or deposition with the committee. As a result, the Committee is withdrawing the subpoena," House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Henry Waxman and ranking Republican Tom Davis said in a statement.

Johnny Damon Honored for Work With Wounded Vets

From the AP via

NEW YORK (AP) -- Johnny Damon was trembling as he stepped to the podium. He tried to steady himself, take a deep breath, find some way to choke back the tears.

It was no use.

The Yankees outfielder was overwhelmed by his introduction Sunday night at the 85th annual New York baseball writers' dinner, where he was honored for his work with soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Wow. I'm not that emotional of a person," Damon said after a standing ovation. "But for the freedom that we have, we all should pay more attention to people who go out there and fight for it."

Damon received the Joan Payson Award for community service, named after the former New York Mets owner. In September 2006, he became a national spokesman for the Wounded Warrior Project, which provides various types of assistance to injured servicemen and women.

"This was something that really needed to be addressed," said Damon, whose father, Jimmy, was a career Army officer and served in Vietnam. "I'm going to keep spreading the word. We're going to make these guys come home and live normal lives and feel like they're a part of our country still."

What Johnny is doing for these troops is really a great thing, but this makes me wonder why he would be backing Rudy Giuliani for President? Giuliani is one of the Presidential candidates that would make sure we stay in this war for as long as possible; keeping our troops in harm’s way. Damon says, “We're going to make these guys come home,” well then stop backing Giuliani.

Politics aside, I’m proud that Damon is a Yankee, and helping our troops the way he is. More players should follow his lead. Whether you agree with the war or not, these troops deserve all of our support. We can’t allow ourselves to alienate yet another generation of veterans in the country.

Clemens' Agents Release Statistical Report

The Hendricks Brothers have released a report attempting to show that Roger's longevity was not caused by steroids, but by the ability to "adjust his pitching style."

According to the Hendrick Brothers:
This report will evaluate the career of Roger Clemens, one of the most successful pitchers in major league history. It will examine both the quality and quantity of his pitching over the course of his 24-year career. As of the 2007 season, Clemens was one of the twenty-nine active major league players who were at least 40 years old. Of those twenty-nine, eighteen were pitchers, and twelve of those were starting pitchers.
From the AP:

"Clemens' longevity was due to his ability to adjust his style of pitching as he got older, incorporating his very effective split-finger fastball to offset the decrease in the speed of his regular fastball caused by aging," said the report, created by Randy Hendricks and two associates at his firm.

Hendricks' report, which includes 38 charts, in some ways resembles a salary arbitration case. One of the charts shows Clemens' ERA was lower than the league average in all but two of his 23 major league seasons. The report also compares variations in Clemens' career with those of Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling and Nolan Ryan, and maintains slumps often can be correlated with injuries.

"Of the six years that feature Clemens' best ERA margins, two occurred in Boston, after he had been in the major leagues for several years; two occurred in his two years in Toronto; and two occurred after he switched leagues and pitched for the Houston Astros," the report said.

"Clemens was far from being in the 'twilight of his career' or 'washed up' in 1996, as some have speculated," the report said. "During the 1996 season Clemens ranked first in strikeouts in the American League and tied his own record by striking out 20 batters in Detroit on Sept. 18, 1996. In addition, he ranked sixth in the AL in ERA, second in the AL in hits per nine innings, and fifth in innings pitched. This performance cannot be reasonably categorized as a 'twilight.'"

Here's the report.

Baseball Musings has a great breakdown of the report.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

News & Notes

- First some Johan Santana news: According to the Pioneer Press Santana could be traded within ten days. La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune thinks the next week will be a very critical one for the Johan sweepstakes, and that the Twins may be ready to tell all teams involved for their final offer. Also in the article he says the Twins have disputed reports that were saying that lefthander Jon Lester is off the table.

It seems this deal has been "imminent" since the winter meetings, and obviously nothing has happened, but we will see. I still hope Hank holds his ground and keeps Phil Hughes.

- Peter Abraham and Jack Curry both wrote about the Bernie Williams/Brian Cashman feud that came out of nowhere this weekend. Cashman, who was speaking at William Paterson University in New Jersey, questioned Willliams' commitment to the Yankees, and also complained about Torre's use of Bernie in 2005 and 2006, saying he
looked for ways to play Williams “ahead of guys who could help us win.”

Williams, when told about the comments, was obviously offended.
"I don't think he has any basis to say anything like that," Williams said. "Let me put it this way: Questioning a person's commitment to the team is a very serious accusation, at least in my book."
He also said he would like to sit down and talk to Cashman abou the comments.

I really don't understand why Cashman would go after Bernie like this. I know he was asked about Bernie, but take the high road Brian, attacking a Yankee Legend like this is just stupid.

Hank sits down with the AP to discuss the state of the Yankees, his patience with the younger players, and why nobody should question the Yankees most recent dynasty. Here's a quote from the article that I found to be typically Steinbrenner:

"I will be patient with the young pitchers and players. There's no question about that because I know how these players develop," he said. "But as far as missing the playoffs - if we miss the playoffs by the end of this year, I don't know how patient I'll be. But it won't be against the players. It won't be a matter of that. It will be a matter of maybe certain people in the organization could have done something else."

Cashman, he's talking to you.

- Jon Harper wrote an atricle today about the same interview, but at the end he had an interesting take on the contract Robbie Cano just signed.
Some baseball people wonder if it was a smart move to agree to give Robinson Cano a four-year contract worth a guaranteed $30 million, given that he is still three years away from being eligible for free agency. As one AL scout said yesterday. "He has a tendency to put it on cruise control. He's got a world of talent, but I know the Yankees had concerns at one point about his work ethic. Sometimes young guys get that first big contract and their intensity comes and goes."
This is where the Yankee veterans need to step in and make sure the youngster keeps his head on straight.

- Dayn Perry of Fox Sports lists his breakout candidates for 2008, our very own Phil Hughes was number four of the list.

- Chuck Knoblauch's mother weighs in on her son's whereabouts, “I think I know my son well enough to know that he’s not going to let this pass.”

Saturday, January 26, 2008

This Week in Yankees History

January 27th - February 2nd

January 27th

- Former Yankees reserve OF Alan Wickland (1919) was born. He hit .152 in 26 games in 1919.

1896 -
Former Yankees P Milton Gaston (1924) was born. Milt went 5-3 in 29 games before being traded to the Browns in Urban Shocker trade.

1901 -
Former Yankees P Fred “Lefty” Heimach (1928-29) was born. Fred went 13-9 in 48 games with the Yankees.

1921 -
Yankees obtain shortstop John Mitchel from the Vernon for P Ernie Shore and Bob McGraw and C James “Tuck” Hannah. John hit .262 in 17 games before being traded to Red Sox in the Joe Dugan deal.

1978 -
Former Yankees P Monte Pearson passed away (1908-1978). Monte was acquired by the Yankees in trade that sent P Johnny Allen to the Indians in 1935. He pitched for the Yankees from 1936-1940. His best season was in 1936; he went 19-7 and made the AL All Star team. He appeared in the 1936-39, World Series with the Yankees going 4-4. His Yankee pitching career record was 63-27. He was sold to the Reds in 1940.

1991 -
Former Yankees back-up 1B Dale Long (1960, 1962-63) passed away (1926-1991). Dale was obtained from Giants in August of 1960. Dale hit .366 in 26 games for the Yankees. He was lost in the 1961 AL Expansion Draft to the new Senators. He was re-obtained from the Senators for OF Don Lock (Richmond). He hit .298 in 41 games. Dale was released by the Yankees during the 1963 season.

2003 -
Former Yankees P Bob Kammeyer (1978-79) passed away (1950-2003).
Bob was drafted by the Yankees in the 21st round of the 1972 amateur player draft. Bob went 0-0 in 8 games for the Yankees in 1978-79. In 1980, Bob was named IL Pitcher of the Year, while pitching with the Columbus Clippers. Despite wining 16 games with the Clippers, he didn’t get a real chance to break into the Yankees starting rotation.

January 28th

- Former Yankees P Tom Hughes (1906-07, 09-10) was born. Tom went 17-17 in 54 games with the Yankees.

1906 -
Former Yankees INF Lyn Larry (1929-34) was born. Lyn was purchased from Oakland (PCL) in 1928. He had 3 good seasons with the Yankees, before slipping in 1932. In 1934, he would be sent to the Red Sox.

1916 -
Former Yankees P Bob Muncrief (1951) was born. On November 16, 1950, Bob was drafted by the Yankees from the Cubs in the 1950 rule 5 player draft. He went 0-0 in 2 games with the Yankees.

2001 -
Former Yankees OF/DH/1B Curt Blefary (1970-71) passed away (1943-2001). Curt was signed as a free agent by the Yankees in 1962. He was removed from the 40-man Yankee roster, when they acquired veteran INF Harry Bright during the 1963 season. Curt was immediately claimed by the Orioles. In 1965, he was the AL ROY award winner with the Orioles, hitting .260 with 22 HRs and 70 RBI’s. On December 4, 1969, Curt was traded by the Astros to the Yankees for 1B Joe Pepitone. Curt only hit .212 as a Yankee. On May 26, 1971, he was traded by the Yankees to the A’s for P Rob Gardner. He would play for the Orioles, Astros, A’s and Yankees during his 8 year ML career.

January 29th

- Former Yankees INF George “Hack” Simmons (1912) was born. He hit .239 in 110 games in 1912.

- The Red Sox sell former AL HR king Ken Williams to their rival Yankees for the waiver price. Williams, a lifetime .319 hitter, will be released prior to the start of the 1930 AL season; he will never again play in the ML.

1943 -
The Yankees trade 2B Jerry Priddy and minor league P Milo Candini to the Senators for P Bill Zuber and cash consideration. Zuber, classified 4-F in the draft, will not have a winning season in New York, while Candini will go 11-7 in 1943.

1948 -
MLB Commissioner Happy Chandler fines the Yankees, Cubs and Phillies $500 each for signing high school players.

1955 -
Johns Williams Cox buys Yankee Stadium from the Topping-Webb partnership. He immediately sells the grounds to the Knights of Columbus. He will leave the Stadium to Rice University in 1962.

1960 -
Former Yankees INF Steve Sax (1989-1991) was born. Steve was signed as a free agent replacing Willie Randolph at 2B. He hit .315, .260 and .304 as a Yankee, making the AL All Star team in 1989-90. On January 10, 1992, Steve was traded by the Yankees to the White Sox for Pitchers Melido Perez, Bob Wickman, and Domingo Jean.

1964 -
Former Yankees P John Habyan (1990-1993) was born. On July 20, 1989, John was traded by the Orioles to the Yankees for OF Stanley Jefferson. John spent the rest of the 1989 season at Columbus. He went 11-9 in 154 games with 10 saves. On July 30, 1993, John was traded as part of a 3-team trade by the Yankees to the Royals. The Cubs sent P Paul Assenmacher to the Yankees. The Kansas City Royals sent Karl Rhodes to the Cubs.

1982 -
The Yankees name Graig Nettles team captain. Nettles, becomes the 1st Yankees captain since Thurman Munson, who was killed in a August, 1979 airplane crash.

2007 -
Former Yankees pitching coach and former MLB pitcher Art Fowler passed away. (1922-2007) He was Billy Martin’s longtime pitching coach.

January 30th

- The Yankees raid the Red Sox again, obtaining P Herb Pennock exchange for INF Norm McMillan, P George Murray, OF Camp Skinner, and $50,000. Herb would win 162 games as a Yankee starter finishing a career WP of .643. Herb had 165 complete games in 346 games with 19 shutouts and 700 strikeouts. In 1924, he won 21-9 then in 1926, Herb posted a 23-11 mark. In the World Series, he went 3-2 in 10 games with a 1.95 ERA.

1948 -
Former Yankee HOF P Herb Pennock (1923-1933) collapses and dies from a heart attack. Pennock, who was 53, had been serving as the GM of the Phillies since 1944. He would be inducted into HOF in 1948.

January 31st

Former Yankees OF Tim Hendryx (1915-17) was born. Tom hit .246 in 153 games before being sent to the Browns.

1893 -
Former Yankees reserve 1B George “Tigoa” Burns (1928-29) was born. He appeared in 13 games going 2 for 13, before being sent to the A’s.

- Former Yankees C John “Honey” Barnes (1926) was born. John appeared in 1 game with 1 at bat drawing a walk in 1926.

1929 -
Former Yankees P Duke Maas (1958-1961) was born. On June 15, 1958, he was traded by the A’s along with P Virgil Trucks to the Yankees for P Bob Grim and OF Harry Simpson. Duke would go 26-12 in 96 games with the Yankees. His best season was in 1959, going 14-8. He appeared in 2 World Series in 1958 and 1960 with no record. The Yankees lost him to the new LA Angels in the 1960 AL Expansion Player Draft in December of 1960. On April 4, 1961, Duke was traded by the Angels back to the Yankees for INF Fritz Brickell. Duke would only pitch in 1-game before arm problems shut him down for the 1961 AL season and eventually his MLB career.

1953 -
The Yankees, Indians, and Red Sox retaliate at Bill Veeck, forcing the St. Louis Browns to play afternoon games to avoid sharing TV revenues. Veeck takes his plan to the AL office to make them pay. The plan is rejected.

1958 -
Former Yankees INF Rafael Santana (1988-89) was born. On December 11, 1987, he was traded by the Mets along with Victor Garcia (minors) to the Yankees for OF Darren Reed, C Phil Lombardi, and P Steve Frey. Rafael hit .240 in 148 games in 1988, before going down with rotor cuff injury in spring of 1989. The Yankees released him in August of 1989.

1971 -
The Special Veterans Committee selects 7 men for enshrinement in the HOF: former players Jake Beckley, Joe Kelley, Harry Hooper, Rube Marquard, Chick Hafey, and Dave Bancroft, as well as baseball executive George Weiss, who was the Yankees GM (1949-1960).

1977 -
Joe Sewell, Amos Rusie, and Al Lopez are elected to the HOF by the Special Veterans Committee. Joe Sewell batted .312 over 14 seasons with the Indians and Yankees. He only struck out 113 times in his MLB career. Rusie won 246 games over 9 seasons from 1889 to 1898. Lopez won 4 fielding titles in 19 years as a ML catcher, but it was his .584 winning percentage in 17 seasons as a manager that got him into Cooperstown. He was the only AL Manager to win AL Flags with the Indians (1954) and White Sox (1959) during Manager Casey Stengel’s Yankees Dynasty run of 1949-1960.

February 1st

- Former Yankees P (1950) and Scout (1956-58) Dave Madison) was born. Dave was signed by the Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1947. Dave appeared in 1 game in 1950 with the Yankees with no record. On April 7, 1952, Dave was purchased by the Browns from the Yankees.

1924 -
Yankees purchased OF Nick Cullop (1926) from Omaha. Nick appeared in 2 games with the Yankees before being sent to the Senators.

1926 -
The Yankees sell 1B Wally Pipp (1915-1925) to the Reds. In 1925, a headache had forced Wally Pipp out of the Yankees starting lineup, resulting in his replacement by future HOF 1B Lou Gehrig. Pipp never started another game for the Yankees

1943 -
Former Yankees OF Ron Woods (1967-71) was born. On June 14, 1969, Ron was traded by the Tigers to the Yankees for INF Tom Tresh. He was a weak hitting outfielder. On June 25, 1971, Ron was traded by the Yankees to the Expos for OF Ron Swoboda.

1944 -
Former Yankees reserve OF Paul Blair (1977-79) was born. On January 20, 1977, Paul was traded by the Orioles to the Yankees for Outfielders Elliott Maddox and Rick Bladt. Paul was a late inning replacement for
Reggie Jackson in the OF.

1960 -
Former Yankees P Cecilio Guante (1987-88) was born. On November 26, 1986, he was traded by the Pirates along with P Pat Clements and Rick Rhoden to the Yankees for P Doug Drabek, P Brian Fisher, and P Logan Easley. He went 8-8 in 79 games with 12 saves. On August 30, 1988, he was traded by the Yankees to the Rangers for P Dale Mohorcic.

1966 -
Former Yankees P Darrin Chapin (1991) was born. Darrin was drafted by the Yankees in the 6th round of the 1986 amateur player draft. He went 0-1 in 3 games as a Yankee, before being traded on January 8, 1992, to the Phillies for a player to be named later. The Phillies would send INF Charlie Hayes to the Yankees to complete the trade.

1970 -
The Veterans Committee selects former Commissioner Ford Frick along with former players Earle Combs and Jesse Haines to the HOF. Haines won 210 games for the Cardinals and pitched in 4 World Series. Although he played 100 games in a season just 9 times, Yankees CF Earl Combs accumulated 1,866 hits and batted .325. Frick was MLB commissioner from 1951-1965, but he is best remembered for suggesting that an asterisk be placed next to the name of anyone who broke Babe Ruth's HR record during the 8 additional games on the AL schedule in 1961.

1978 -
Former Yankees INF Erick Almonte (2001, 2003) was born. Erick was signed by the Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1996. During 2003 season, Erick filled in for the injured Derek Jeter at shortstop, hitting .260 in 31 games.

1999 -
The Yankees trade highly touted 3B prospect Mike Lowell to the Marlins for 3 minor league pitchers: Mark J. Johnson, Ed Yarnall and Todd Noel. Lowell, was named minor league player-of-the-year last season, is expendable after Yankees 3B Scott Brosius' outstanding 1998 AL season performance.

February 2nd

- Former Yankees OF Charles “Ray” Demmitt (1909) was born. Ray hit .246 in 123 games in 1909, before being traded to the Browns.

1908 -
Former Yankees P Wes Farrell (1938-39) was born. The veteran pitcher went 3-4 in 8 games for the Yankees

1916 -
Former Yankees C Mike Garbark (1944-45) was born. Mike hit .244 in 149 games with the Yankees.

1930 -
The Yankees waived shortstop Leo Durocher, who batted only .246 in 1929. The future HOF manager will eventually sign with the Cincinnati Reds. He was caught by his Yankee roommate Babe Ruth stealing from him.

1933 -
Former Yankees reserve OF Jack Reed (1961-63) was born. Jack was signed by the Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1953.Jack hit his only MLB HR in 1962 to win a 22-inning game against the Tigers. His best season as a Yankee reserve was in 1962 hitting .307 in 43 games. He later managed in the Yankees farm system.

1936 -
The BWAA announces the results of the 1st HOF vote. Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson and Honus Wagner comprise the inaugural class of HOF members at Cooperstown, NY. Several other ML stars like P Cy Young fail to make the grade, but will enter the Hall in later elections.

1950 -
Former Yankees P Dale Murray (1983-85) was born. On December 9, 1982, Dale was traded by the Blue Jays along with OF Tom Dodd to the Yankees for OF Dave Collins, 1B Fred Mc Griff (minors), P Mike Morgan, and cash. The Yankees had hope that Murray would help out their bullpen, but he wasn’t the answer, going just 2-6 in 62 games with only 1 save.

1958 -
Former Yankees minor league INF Pat Tabler was born. Pat was drafted by the Yankees in the 1st round (16th pick) of the 1976 amateur playe draft. With All Star Willie Randolph entrenched at 2B for the Yankees, Pat was blocked in the Yankee infield. On August 19, 1981, Pat was traded by the Yankees to the Cubs for 2 players to be named later. The Cubs sent Pitchers Bill Caudill (April 1, 1982) and Jay Howell (August 2, 1982) to the Yankees to complete the trade.

1962 -
Former Yankees P Pat Clements (1983-85) was born. On November 26, 1986, Pat was traded by the Pirates along with P Cecilio Guante and Rick Rhoden to the Yankees for P Doug Drabek, P Brian Fisher, and P Logan Easley. He went 2-6 in 62 games with 1 save. On October 24, 1988, Pat was traded by the Yankees with 1B Jack Clark to the Padres for Pitchers Lance McCullers, Jimmy Jones, and OF Stanley Jefferson.

1972 -
Yankees purchase INF Hal Lanier (1972-73) from the Giants. Hal was a weak hitting, reserve infielder, the son of former MLB star Max Lanier.

previous week

(As always I'd like to thank
Fw57Clipper51 for his great contributions)

A few more pics

Here's three more pics that I found today.

Clemens Asked to be on Fox's "The Moment of Truth" is reporting that the Fox show "The Moment of Truth" sent Roger's manager this letter asking him to appear on the show. "Contestants on the show are asked a series of questions while hooked up to a polygraph machine -- and then have to own up to their answers in front of an audience comprised of their friends and relatives." Contestants can win $500K by making it to all the way to the 21st question.

The creator and Executive Producer of the show Howard
Schultz writes, "People have stood in awe at your incredible accomplishments in baseball. This show could let the world know that you are an incredibly courageous person, as well as to clear your name in front of a nationwide audience, all in the name of charity."

Yea I'm sure this is what Schultz wants, Clemens to clear his name -- What he really wants is to have the future hall of famer come on the show and make a total ass out of himself on national television.

Obviously t
here is no way in hell Roger would go on the show, which is a shame because it would make great TV.

A friend of mine has created a new line of anti-Red Sox gear. He's selling many different items, including t-shirts, sweatshirts, caps, stickers, buttons, baby apparel, and even a yard sign. Check them out here.

Yankees To Sign Aussie Prospect

The Canberra Times is reporting the that Yankees are going to sign 16-year old catching prospect, Kyle Perkins. He is expected to sign a seven-year deal with the Yanks today.

Kyle Perkins, 16, joins the world's most renowned baseball club after being spotted by a Yankees scout during last year's under-18 national championship in Western Australia.

The 16-year-old Daramalan College student was told a fortnight ago to expect an offer from the baseballing powerhouse. And today it arrives.

Perkins, who is in Year 11, will join the club roster as a catcher in 2010 after he has finished school.

Until then he is expected to follow a rigorous training regime and a strict diet and put in a lot of hard work.

Perkins has been recruited by the Yankees along with Victorian teenager Nathan Aron.

"This is a life-changing event," Perkins said yesterday ahead of his Australian Provincials debut last night in the Claxton Shield match against Queensland. "I look at this as though it is the opportunity to start another journey."

This will be the second Australian prospect the Yankees have signed this offseason. On January 21st they signed Nathan Aron after his solid performance for Victoria at baseball's Under-18 national championships. Aron, who turns 17 in May, play the infield and outfield, and should also be with the Yankees in 2010.

Hat tip to
River Ave. Blues.

New Photos of the New Stadium

For the main updates page go here.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Chuck is Missing - Day Three

Phil Hughes Talks to

Hughes was recently interviewed by, and was asked about such topics as his blog, the fans, hearing his name mentioned in trade talks, and the spring training, here is some of what he had to say:

About his blog and the fans -

"I don't want it to be all about baseball. This is more about a personal thing and stuff that I do, and what happens to me. It gives people an inside look into who I am, over what they already know."

"The fans, a lot of times, don't get a personal side of what guys are like away from the field," Hughes said. "I've always felt it's my obligation to stay close to the fans, because without them, I wouldn't be in the situation I'm in now. I've always felt it's important to give back in all the ways that I can."

About the Johan Santana trade rumors -
"Obviously, anything can happen, and there's not always a lot of warning for big news to happen or for a deal to go down," he said. "There's always that chance that something will happen, but just from what I've heard from different people, it seems like the longer this goes on, the odds of me staying will be better. I couldn't be more happy about that."
About spring training -
"This will be a good spring for me, I think, coming in a different position than the last two years," Hughes said. "We're going to have a really good team and there's going to be plenty of attention spread around some other guys. With a lot of young guys stepping up and the core from last year coming back, it should be exciting."
The kid works hard, cares about the fans, loves being a Yankee, and also happens to be a pretty darn good pitcher. Is there anything not to like about this guy?

Cano Agrees To 4-Year Deal with Yanks

The NY Post is reporting that Robinson Cano has agreed to a 4-year, $30 million deal with the Yankees. The deal will also probably include a team option for both 2012 and 2013. An announcement from the Yankees will come after Cano passes a physical.

Update: Jon Heyman of has some details of the contract.

The Yankees and Robinson Cano have reached a preliminary agreement on a contract that will guarantee him $30 million over four years and could pay him about $56 million over six years. Once contract language and a physical are completed, the deal will be done.

The agreement is for $28 million over the next four years, with a $2 million buyout in 2012 and 2013, which would bring him to exactly $30 million. The option for 2012 is for $13 million and the option for 2013 is believed to be for about $15 million.

According to the same article the Yankees are also close to a minor league deal with Chris Woodward. "If added to the major league roster, he would get a one-year deal for $700,000 while in the majors and $120,000 while in the minors." Woodward hit .199 with the Braves last year in only 136 at-bats.

Jose Canseco: Dirtbag

When I heard about this a few days ago I didn't even want to post about it, but since nothing is going on today in Yankee-Land, I'm going to.

Publication of Canseco's second book, Vindicated, hit a snag last week after his original ghost writer Don Yaeger, as well as the original publisher, Berkley Books, withdrew from the the project. But all is well now for Jose, as he's found a replacement, and it seem he found the one person who work with just about anyone, no matter how reprehensible they may be.

USA Today:
NEW YORK (AP) — Jose Canseco's sequel on steroids, entitled "Vindicated," will be released on March 31.

Canseco is working with Pablo Fenjves, the ghost writer of "If I Did It," in which O.J. Simpson gave an imaginary confession to how he would have killed Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

So you're working with the guy who helped O.J. write his infamous book about how he'd kill Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman if he did it (O.J. you did do it).

But it couldn't get worse, could it? Well sadly, yes it can. Now ESPN is reporting that he tried to extort money from Magglio Ordonez:

NEW YORK -- Jose Canseco offered to keep Magglio Ordonez "clear" in his upcoming book if the Detroit Tigers outfielder invested in a movie project promoted by Canseco, The New York Times reported Wednesday night.

Ordonez decided not to go forward with a complaint, so the FBI didn't open a formal investigation, the newspaper said. Ordonez spoke to Tigers president Dave Dombrowski, who contacted MLB.

"I didn't want to press charges against him," Ordonez was quoted as saying. "I don't want any problems. He is probably desperate for money. I don't understand why he is trying to put people down."

Ordonez, teammates with Canseco on the 2001 Chicago White Sox, said Canseco didn't specifically ask him for cash.

"One of Jose's friends was leaving me messages," Ordonez was quoted as saying. "I told Dombrowski because I didn't know why he was calling me."

Canseco told the paper that neither he nor any associate asked Ordonez for money in exchange for avoiding mention in "Vindicated," which is scheduled for publication March 31.

"Absolutely not," Canseco was quoted as saying.

Canseco said he unsuccessfully attempted to reach Ordonez. Canseco refused to say whether he would implicate Ordonez with performance-enhancing drug use in the book.

Scott Boras, Ordonez's agent, filed a complaint with the FBI after Canseco spoke with a Boras employee and said Ordonez would be "clear" if the outfielder invested in the movie project, the newspaper said.

Magglio may have done steroids, I'm not going say otherwise, nothing would surprise. Well, Jeter and Mo would surprise me. But even if Ordonez did cheat, this just show how much of a lowlife Canseco truly is.

Who knows who might have already paid him off to keep their name out of the first book?

If Canseco wanted to inform people about steroid users in the game, and get back at the game for what he feels is unfair treatment, I have no problem with that. But sadly that's not what this is about. This is only about Jose and his bank account. It's shameful that he would offer to keep a person's name out of his book for money, but then again, shameful is perfect way to describe Jose Canseco.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Chuck is Missing - Day Two

Clemens' Deposition Pushed Back to Feb. 5th

The depositions for Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Kirk Radomski, Brian McNamee, and Chuck Knoblauch have all been postponed. Here's some on the story from From

WASHINGTON (AP) -Roger Clemens' meeting with a congressional committee investigating steroids in baseball was pushed back until Feb. 5.

Clemens originally was asked to appear Saturday for a deposition or transcribed interview with staff members from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. That panel has called a Feb. 13 hearing where Clemens and his former personal trainer, Brian McNamee, are among five witnesses slated to appear.

The committee announced a new schedule Thursday of pre-hearing meetings with those witnesses.

Chuck Knoblauch, a former teammate of Clemens' with the New York Yankees, was subpoenaed to appear for a deposition or transcribed interview on Tuesday, although the committee said he has yet to be served.

Andy Pettitte, a longtime teammate and workout partner of Clemens', has been asked to appear Jan. 30, with McNamee down for Feb. 7.

The fifth witness, former New York Mets clubhouse employee Kirk Radomski, originally was invited to meet with committee staff on Feb. 1, but his deposition or interview was given Thursday as "TBD" - to be determined.

Cano, Yanks Close to long-term deal

From John Heyman of

The Yankees and star second baseman Robinson Cano are in serious negotiations on a deal that could keep him in pinstripes for up to six years, has confirmed.

The contract being discussed would pay Cano a guaranteed $30 million over the next four years, all arbitration years, and could possibly also include club options for 2012 and 2013. The Yankees would benefit if both club option years are included because 2012 and 2013 will be the first two years Cano is eligible for free agency.

Cano recently requested $4.55 million through arbitration with the Yankees submitting a $3.2-million figure. However, it appears unlikely that he will be going through that process now. News of multiyear discussions between Cano and the Yankees was first reported by

I'm glad to see the Yankees are open to locking up Cano, which is very un-Yankee like. Like I said yesterday this is much smarter than going year-to-year, and potentially having to cough up a much larger contract once Robbie hits the open market in 2010.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Chuck Knoblauch: MIA

A hat tip to Peter Abraham who just posted about this on his blog.

Well remember yesterday, when it was reported that Chuck Knoblauch had been issued a subpoena? Well now it seems the feds can't find him.

From ESPN:
WASHINGTON -- Former major leaguer Chuck Knoblauch had not been tracked down as of early Wednesday evening by federal marshals trying to serve him a subpoena from a House panel investigating steroids in baseball, a committee staffer told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because staffers were not authorized to make public comments on the matter.

Knoblauch, a four-time All-Star who played for the Yankees, Twins and Royals from 1991-02, originally was asked to appear Thursday for what was supposed to be the first of five depositions or transcribed interviews scheduled by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

When the committee didn't hear from Knoblauch or a representative, it issued a subpoena to force the 1991 AL Rookie of the Year to submit to a deposition next Tuesday.

As of 7 p.m. Wednesday, though, that subpoena had not reached the former infielder who, like Clemens and more than 80 other players, was accused of using performance-enhancing drugs in last month's Mitchell Report on baseball's steroids era

The next time we see Chuck it'll be in a high-speed chase while being driven by Al Cowlings in a white Ford Bronco.

But seriously, what the hell is wrong with this guy? Just go to Congress, answer the questions and then you can disappear into obscurity. By avoiding, or running away from the situation, he's only going to get himself into a much bigger problem.

Phil Hughes Discusses His Velocity

Phil had a Q&A on his blog today, and was asked about his loss of velocity during the second half of last season. Here is what he had to say:
After coming back from my injury last season my mechanics were a little out of whack. This led to a little loss of velocity and command. When Dave (Eiland) arrived in September we were able to work out some things and I think that had a lot to do with the success I had at the end of the season. It was nice to finish off the year on a good note so I have something to work toward to get back to my normal self in 2008.
This should put to rest some of the worries regarding his velocity. I really don't know why people are still worried anyway, Hughes was 3-0 with a 2.73 ERA in September, and everyone remembers his great performance in game 3 of the ALDS.
He could be in for a very good year in 2008, especially with Dave Eiland around all season.

BREAKING NEWS: The Yankees Spend A Lot Of Money

ESPN reports that in 2007, the Yankees set a new record high for payroll with $218.3 million, $62.9 million higher than the World Champion Boston Red Sox, who had the second highest payroll in baseball.

The Yankees continue to spend and spend, only to sit in the dugout as they watch other teams celebrate a playoff victory on the field in front of them year after year.

But there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. The Yankees
, it would appear, have already begun to abandoning their past "winning at all costs" philosophy; after all, they claim they aren't trading for Johan Santana because of the money he would cost. And then there's this from the ESPN article:

New York is on track to lead the major leagues in payroll again but its total appears likely to drop. The Yankees have committed $198.6 million to 19 signed players on their 40-man roster. Adding in the midpoints for their three players remaining in arbitration -- Chien-Ming Wang, Robinson Cano and Brian Bruney -- the total increases to $207.6 million.
Attempting to buy World Series Championships hasn't worked, and it's time for a change in philosophy, and I think the Yankees have finally started to figure this out. Spend money, but make sure you spend it wisely.

Cano Wants Long-Term Deal

From Newsday's Kat O'Brien:
Robinson Cano would be open to the idea of signing a long-term contract with the Yankees, his agent, Bobby Barad, said yesterday.

Barad made clear that the Yankees have not broached that topic with him and Cano, and that he has not brought up the possibility. However, should the Yankees seek to lock up their All-Star second baseman well before free agency - as the Mets did with third baseman David Wright and shortstop Jose Reyes - Cano could have interest.

"He wouldn't be adverse to that in theory," Barad said.

Could it get done? That's more complicated. Said Barad: "It depends on, there's so many factors that would determine that." Several of the game's best young players have inked multiyear deals with their clubs early in their careers, including the Indians' Grady Sizemore (six years, $23.45 million) and the Phillies' Chase Utley (seven years, $85 million).
Cano is one of the best second baseman in the game, maybe the best, and with a player like that the Yankees would be wise to lock him up now.

One of the arguments against signing him to a long term deal is that it saves money on the luxury tax if they go year-to-year. But what happens if he has a huge contract year like a lot of players do, and his market value sky-rockets? Now you're going to have to pay a lot more than you would have had you locked him up sooner.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Matsui Still Hasn't Recovered From Knee Injury

From the Let's Go Yankees Blog, via River Ave. Blues, who was tipped off by My Baseball Bias. (I think that's everyone)
This one is from official Japanese MLB website updated on Jan 17th about Matsui. I asked my Japanese housemate to translate for me.

Matsui is going to go to USA 10 days earlier in order to check his right knee condition with the doctor in New York who help him operate his right knee surgery. He will then go to Tampa to check his right knee condition with Yankee Trainers again. This is not a normal action which go to USA earlier for Matsui. He usually trains with his formal Japanese team and then reports in spring training.

Right now, Matsui doesn't feel pain about his right knee, but he can't run . He is not sure he can run or not when he reports to Tampa. He understands he has to fight with Johnny Damon for left outfielder job and wants to do his best. That's why he decides to go to USA earlier.
Can you say full-time DH?

Knoblauch Issued a Subpoena

From the AFP:

WASHINGTON (AFP) — A House of Representatives committee issued a subpoena to force former New York Yankees slugger Chuck Knoblauch to testify at a deposition on baseball doping after he refused to respond voluntarily.

The lawmakers used their power to compel an appearance from Knoblauch after he failed to contact the US House Oversight committee when asked to give a sworn deposition in connection with hearings of Major League Baseball doping.

"The Committee has taken this step because Mr. Knoblauch failed to respond to the invitation to participate voluntarily in a deposition or transcribed interview and the February 13 hearing," a statement from chairman Henry Waxman and ranking minority member Tom Davis said.

Hey Chuck, when the Government calls, respond. Idiot.

Donnie Baseball Changes Jobs for Dodgers

From the AP:

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Don Mattingly won't be alongside Joe Torre in the Los Angeles Dodgers' dugout every game this year.

Mattingly will be moved from hitting coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers to major league special assignment coach for the 2008 season due to family reasons, the team said Tuesday. Mike Easler will replace Mattingly as hitting coach.

"Donnie is prioritizing his family first," said the former MVP's agent, Ray Schulte. "The Dodgers have been very supportive, creating a position so Don can still make a contribution to the team throughout the year!"

Mattingly will now assist with Dodgers' major league coaching staff during spring training and throughout the season.

"I'm very grateful that the Dodgers have allowed me to take care of these family matters and I hope that everyone can respect our privacy during this time," Mattingly said in a statement issued by the team. "I truly appreciate the support of all Dodger fans since joining the organization and I look forward to helping the team win in 2008 and beyond."

If Donnie was still a Yankee I bet these "family matters" would disappear very quickly. If there is really something serious going on with his family I wish him the best, and hope everything gets worked out quickly so he can return to the dugout.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Could there be a smoking gun in the Clemens/steroid case?

On Sunday my attention was wrapped around that football game in Wisconsin so I didn't notice the article in the Daily News about a 2004 meeting between Brian McNamee and Jim Murray - a representative of Clemens' agents Randy and Alan Hendricks - to discuss Roger Clemens' steroid use. The meeting supposedly took place at an Upper East Side Starbucks near Clemens' apartment.

McNamee claims that he explained, in detail, Clemens past steroid use:
"The meeting coincided with baseball's announcement of testing," said Earl Ward, McNamee's lawyer. "Brian wanted to let them know Roger had some problems. They discussed steroid use, and this was as far back as 2003 or 2004, and Murray took notes."
This is the same Jim Murray that was mentioned in the 17 minute tape that Clemens played at his press conference, when the two were discussing former Mets drug dealer clubhouse attendant, Kirk Radomski.
"I did speak ... I told your guys, man. I told Murray. I told him his name ... I told Murray."

"I asked you point blank," Clemens responds, "I said, 'Do you know who this cat is when we were working?' I said 'There's some rumblings about some guys with the Mets. Do you know who this guy is?' You told me 'no.'"

McNamee then goes on to say, "I told Jim Murray. I told Jim Murray. I told him. I told him. I sat down with him in Starbucks on the corner where you used to live, and I told him the guy's name."

If there is evident that McNamee spoke to Mr. Murray in 2004, years before the Mitchell Report, it will be very, very bad for Clemens, and his fight to save his already tattered reputation.

UPDATE: ESPN had this to say about this story on Sunday:

Rusty Hardin, Clemens' attorney, told the Times on Friday that no one from the Hendricks agency mentioned the alleged conversation between McNamee and Murray in 2004. Hardin added that the agency denied that either Hendricks brother ever received a message from McNamee on the topic.

"McNamee never told Jimmy that Roger or Andy were in any way connected to steroids or human growth hormone," Hardin told The Times.
More he said/she said in a case already full of it. Somebody is definitely lying here, and that somebody is going to be in a lot of trouble.