Don’t Trost the Yankees, they’ll throw you into a Levine

It’s been a few days since Yankees’ COO Lonn Trost said some highly questionable things about the Yankees’ new ticketing policies for 2016 and I have been quiet about it because I wanted to take the time to gather my thoughts and express them in a polite and reflective manner. I didn’t want to fly off the handle which is what I would have done had I written something on the day when Trost’s comments first came out. Here they are in case you missed them: “The problem below market at a certain point is that if you buy a Continue reading Don’t Trost the Yankees, they’ll throw you into a Levine

War of Words: Larry Lucchino vs Randy Levine

In case you missed it Larry Lucchino doesn’t like when people lump the Red Sox and Yankees together:

“We’re very different animals. I’m proud of that difference,” said Lucchino. “I always cringe when people lump us together. Other baseball teams sometimes do that. They are still, this year at least, relying heavily on their inimitable old-fashioned Yankees style of high-priced, long-term free agents. And, uh, I can’t say that I wish them well, but I think that we’ve taken a different approach. … If you compare what we did last year in the offseason to what they did this year, there’s quite a contrast there.”

Of course, Randy Levine couldn’t leave well enough alone and he said this – courtesy of Mark Feinsand:

“I feel bad for Larry; he constantly sees ghosts and is spooked by the Yankees. But I can understand why, because under his and Bobby Valentine’s plan two years ago, the Red Sox were in last place. Ben Cherington and the Red Sox did a great job last year winning the World Series, but I’m confident Cash and Joe and our players will compete with a great Red Sox team to win a world championship this year.”

Let the games begin!!

(This will be tonight’s open thread – SG) Continue reading War of Words: Larry Lucchino vs Randy Levine

Alex Rodriguez, Randy Levine and the email trail from hell

In case you wanted a belated holiday gift, here it is: A story from the New York Magazine that exposes emails between Yankees’ President Randy Levine and Alex Rodriguez.

The thing that amazed me the most was the fact that Randy Levine sends emails like a teenage girl. Would it kill him to actually spell out the word you? Good gracious.

Here are a few highlights:

May 17, 2011
Rodriguez hits two home runs, leading the team to a win over Tampa Bay.

Levine: Way to go, welcome back … enjoy start of a roll.
Rodriguez: Yessir!! Our team needs me to hit and lead us.
Levine: U are the man. I told u that for years. U can and will do it.

Apparently typing out the word you is too taxing for Mr. Levine.
Continue reading Alex Rodriguez, Randy Levine and the email trail from hell

Levine speaks

The Yankees’ front office is generally pretty tight lipped these days (with the exception of Brian Cashman, anyway), but team President Randy Levine gave an interview to Barry Bloom of MLB.com in which he discussed a number of topics concerning the Yankees. The very thought of Levine is usually enough to make Yankee fans cringe, and anytime he speaks there’s a palpable sense that embarrassment will inevitably ensue, but in this case at least Levine was about as vanilla as can be. He praised Cashman, Joe Girardi, and the baseball operations department, took a sober view of the team’s place in the standings and the injuries that have plagued them this year, and, to no one’s surprise, declared that the team would be happy to have Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera return in 2013. He did, however, rounaboutly blast the media for the discredited story that ran recently about the Steinbrenners looking to sell the Yankees after the Dodgers fetched $2.1 billion. His one potential faux pas?

MLB.com: There’s been some talk about the Yankees trying to duck under the competitive balance tax threshold rather than continue to pay a 40 percent tax on every dollar spent over that threshold. Next year, it’s $178 million again. In 2014, it jumps to $189 million. How realistic is that?

Levine: We’re going to try and get under the $189 million threshold. We think we can have a great team and do it. The reason it makes sense is that under the new Basic Agreement, there are tremendous financial incentives to do it. In addition to not paying the tax, there are tens of millions of dollars in revenue sharing rebates that will come back to teams like the Yankees if they stay under the threshold.

To this point, most of the commentary surrounding the 2014 plan has focused almost entirely on the luxury tax rate cut teams who are under the threshold will receive, and the supposedly putative new rate that will be levied against repeat “offenders” like the Yankees. That, however, has always been nonsense given that a) in relative terms the difference in the tax rate is neglible and b) the penalty could be avoided at any time it was feasible for the team to dip below the luxury tax mark. The real prize, however, is the tens of millions of dollars tams like the Yankees will stand to receive in revenue sharing refunds in exchange for complying with MLB’s “soft” cap. Given that team officials will freely acknowledge that, its something of a mystery to me why the famously tough, no nonsense, New York media still won’t call that spade what it is. Continue reading Levine speaks

Trost and Levine Take to the Air, Toe the Party Line

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog). Two of the most influential members of the Yankees’ front office took to the airwaves this morning to promote the upcoming Pinstripe Bowl, and not surprisingly, each interview touched on the team’s offseason plans. President Randy Levine, who was a guest on FOX 5’s Good Day New York, and COO Lonn Trost, who appeared on WFAN’s Boomer and Carton morning radio show (hosted by Kim Jones and Chris Carlin), each fielded several questions about what the Yankees are doing, or not doing, and their responses suggested the organization has a coherent party line. Responding Continue reading Trost and Levine Take to the Air, Toe the Party Line

Levine: “Chuck’s delusional”

I do more than my fair share of Randy Levine bashing. Most of the time, I’d like to think it’s warranted. Today, however, is not a bashing. This is hilarious:

Chuck’s delusional. He’s been in the game for a few minutes and yet he thinks he knows what everyone’s thinkingI think he should let Cliff Lee speak for himself. (Greenberg) would really impress us when he keeps the Rangers off of welfare and keeps them from receiving revenue sharing the next three years.”

SMACK! Continue reading Levine: “Chuck’s delusional”

In which I agree with Randy Levine

I’ve never been Randy Levine’s biggest fan, however I agree completely with his thoughts here, minus the creepy sounding first sentence:

“I go to sleep every night hoping that Andy Pettitte makes his decision to come back and pitch another year,” Yankees team president Randy Levine said on 1050 ESPN New York on Wednesday. “That is his decision. He has not made a decision to retire. He has not made a decision to come back.

“He is with his family. Hopefully, over the holidays he will come to peace with whatever his decision is and knowing Andy, he will give it a lot of thought. He has a big heart. There is no bigger Yankee than him. Let’s just hope he wakes up one day in the next couple of weeks and says, ‘I want to pitch for the New York Yankees.’

I hope he returns, too. I’m a big Pettitte fan and would love to see a victory lap.

Also from Levine, which I agree with:

“Cliff Lee is one of the best pitchers there is in Major League Baseball,” Levine said. “He made a decision for himself and his family that he wanted to be in Philadelphia, and that is what free agency is all about and we respect it.”

What’s next, me regularly agreeing with Lupica (I’ve done that already) or Shaughnessy? Continue reading In which I agree with Randy Levine

If Levine is in control, this WILL be ugly

I hope Brian Cashman is truly in control of all contact with Jeter and his agent, Casey Close, as well sitting at the lead seat at the negotiating table. Why? Because I believe Cashman will be able to best balance business and nostalgia. Maybe I am too quick to give Cashman the benefit of the doubt, maybe not. Though, I firmly believe that if Randy Levine is steering the ship, it is bound to get ugly because Randy Levine is a bully.

Said Levine:

“Derek Jeter is a great Yankee and he’s a great player. With that said and done, now is a different negotiation than 10 years ago.” […] “He’s a baseball player, and this is a player negotiation. Everything he is and who he is gets factored in. But this isn’t a licensing deal or a commercial rights deal, he’s a baseball player. With that said, you can’t take away from who he is. He brings a lot to the organization. And we bring a lot to him.”

These are absolutely true statements. However, negotiating in public NEVER works and doing it with your franchise player is unseemly. I’ve tried to not dip into every rumor and article about Jeter’s free agency. This, on the other hand, scares me.

(click “view full post” for Jeter update) Continue reading If Levine is in control, this WILL be ugly

Levine lays the smack down on Attanasio

I’ve done my fair share of Randy Levine bashing over the years, but you gotta just love when the white collars have a slap fight:

“I’m sorry that my friend Mark continues to whine about his running the Brewers,” Levine told ESPNNewYork.com in a phone interview Tuesday morning. “We play by all the rules and there doesn’t seem to be any complaints when teams such as the Brewers receive hundreds of millions of dollars that they get from us in revenue sharing the last few years. Take some of that money that you get from us and use that to sign your players.

“The question that should be asked is: Where has the hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue sharing gone?”

ZING! And Marchand nicely quotes longtime FOTB Maury at BizofBaseball:

In the initial seven years of the luxury tax, the Yankees have paid teams nearly $175 million in revenue sharing, according to the BizofBaseball.com. That is 92 percent of the total revenue sharing that has been doled out.

Take that! Continue reading Levine lays the smack down on Attanasio