Posturing on TNYS

Imagine that, a politician making The New Yankee Stadium an issue as the Yanks prepare to close the old ballpark. Shocking, I know.

Notice, I didn’t say that the politician is necessarily wrong, but I just can’t stand politicians. All of them.

Assemblyman Richard Brodsky said the commitment of $550 million to $850 million in taxpayer money was based on an unsubstantiated threat that the Yankees would leave New York. He said in a new report that the team predicted the public investment would generate 1,000 new permanent jobs, but the actual total would be 15.

Brodsky also criticized the deal for not making affordable tickets available to lower income New Yorkers.

Now, Brodsky might be right. Of course, the Yanks mouthpiece refuted those claims:

[Yankees spokeswoman Alice McGillion] said Brodsky’s statements were inaccurate, noting that 1,000 permanent jobs will be created – not 15 as Brodsky claimed, citing public statements by the city and Yankees.

She also said ticket prices are very affordable, with about 35 percent of tickets priced at $25 or less and half the tickets priced at $45 or less.

It is disappointing that Assemblyman Brodsky, for personal aggrandizement, is attempting to insert himself into the final week at the current Yankee Stadium,” she said.
……
The Yankees noted, as did [Mayor Mike] Bloomberg, that Brodsky had twice voted in favor of the Yankee Stadium deal in the Legislature.

I can tell you this much: those tickets will be tough to get as the escalating cost for season tickets will push the “regular folks” who had season tickets higher up the bowl to just keep their costs close to constant.

My question is: Are those 1,000 permanent jobs INCREMENTAL to what were already permanent jobs in and around the Stadium? Was Brodsky’s count of 15 the incremental amount? Or are those 1,000 merely a recounting of those existing jobs and counted as if the Yanks were considering leaving the area? Continue reading Posturing on TNYS

Torre, Santo, Kaat and others

The Veterans Committee, which is composed of the 64 living Hall of Famers, has been handed the list of the 10 finalists for consideration for election to the Hall of Fame. The list includes:

  1. Dick Allen
  2. Joe Torre
  3. Maury Wills
  4. Jim Kaat
  5. Luis Tiant
  6. Gil Hodges
  7. Ron Santo
  8. Tony Oliva
  9. Al Oliver
  10. Vada Pinson

You can prepare yourself now for the Santo debate, which is sure to be a hot one. Was Kaat too much of a compiler? What about Torre?

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Verducci on the end of The Stadium

I know I seem to be worshipping at the feet of Tom Verducci lately –and that’s true– but with good reason. Verducci catalogues his experiences as a young beat writer covering the Yanks thru the years and how that’s changed:

George Streinbrenner would call, and listen to the manager tell stories for an hour or more before a game (no one sits in the manager’s office any more), or pull up a chair or sit at a picnic table in the middle of the room to talk with players about restaurants, current events, movies and maybe even some baseball (writers are no longer allowed to sit at all in the clubhouse, even to conduct interviews with a seated Yankees player, even if the player invites you to take a seat, and so the disconnect between player and writer, and by proxy, to you, widens.)


Verducci also does a pretty good job laying out why the Yanks have been so terrible this year:

It will all be gone soon. The Yankees made sure it would go quietly, without the postseason sendoff it deserved, with a plan for 2008 that could not have turned out much worse. They banked on young pitching and a 900-run offense. But the young pitchers were dreadful, hurt or both. The Yankees got 68 starts from pitchers in their 20s, and the combined record of those pitchers in those games was 17-23.

The offense sputtered because 1) Jorge Posada was hurt, 2) Alex Rodriguez was at his worst in big spots (he has driven in seven runs all year in late-and-close situations, less than half of what Robinson Cano had in a bad year), possibly because he stopped using the whole field (his opposite field hits by year since joining the Yankees: 23, 25, 28, 15, 9, and 3) the Yankees had neither the homegrown talent or the front office smarts to find good complementary players to withstand injuries the way Boston and Tampa Bay did. Xavier Nady was a good addition, but otherwise the Yankees’ support players were dreadful. They gave 18 percent of their total at-bats to non-players Jose Molina, Wilson Betemit, Ivan Rodriguez, Brett Gardner, Chad Moeller, Morgan Ensberg, Shelly Duncan, Alberto Gonzalez, Justin Christian, Richie Sexson, Cody Ransom and Chris Stewart. Those players hit .221. The Yankees had a National League offense, if that. The 7-8-9 spots in the Yankee lineup, excluding pitchers, posted a .295 OBP. The Cubs, with pitchers taking most of the plate appearances, had better production from the nine hole (10 homers, 60 RBI) than did the Yankees (8, 38).

I’ll have a bunch more to say and discuss before we get to the playoffs about my Stadium experiences. Care to be heard? If you care to share any of those Yankee Stadium experiences (good or bad, I won’t discriminate) with me, email them to me and I’ll try to post a bunch. Just make sure you take the time to at least quasi-edit them.

Also, I’ve also got two books to discuss that will get the nostalgia buffs all excited.

Continue reading Verducci on the end of The Stadium

The senseless destruction

Yesterday, I sent Shysterball a link that I had every intention of diving into, but due to work committments, I was unable to address. I thought it worthy of mention and Craig did as well.

So, a day late, I point you to this wonderful rant by Gary Huckaby at Baseball Prospectus.

Tim Lincecum threw 138 pitches against San Diego last night.

Let me make this as clear as I possibly can.

That is utterly, completely, and colossally reckless, stupid, arrogant, and just plain lazy. Send in all the nasty emails calling me a geek who’s never played you like. Feel free to point out that Lincecum’s “just different.” “rubber armed,” or a “freak of nature.” it’s still mind-blowingly stupid, risky behavior.

I could have easily taken the entire rant as it’s beautiful in its simplicity, its brevity, its edge.

Now, to dive a little deeper.

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Sabathia's reluctant romance?

No new news that Sabathia is a California guy. That dream house hasn’t yet been purchased or ground broken. Everyone and their grandmother knows that the Yanks will be aggressive in courting Sabathia. Hank’s said as much.

‘Cept John Heyman had this to say about Sabathia and his (pending) reluctant courtship with the Yanks:

The latest scuttlebutt heard on Sunday is that Sabathia does not want to go to the Yankees, who are nonetheless expected to make the biggest bid for the free-agent star.

A person close to Sabathia said a few days ago that the pitcher does indeed prefer to play in California “if all things are equal” but also insisted that Sabathia has become “more open-minded” about playing in one of the other 17 states, provinces or districts that have major league baseball. That person said that as recently as two years ago he couldn’t have envisioned Sabathia choosing anywhere outside California but now could see it.

Heyman envisions the Angels making a big play on Sabathia, which means that they couldn’t sign both Teix, who they love, and Sabathia. They are incredibly well run but they don’t pull Yankees-level revenues.
So will Sabathia sign for the highest amount and call all of these writers “misinformed” about his dislike/disinterest in the Yanks? Or will he be true to his heart and signs a lesser deal in an area that makes him most happy?
Stay tuned.

Continue reading Sabathia's reluctant romance?

Posada's influence

One thing I haven’t really considered –mostly because I lack the credentials to wander thru the locker room before and after games– is how the impact of Posada’s absence has affected the team.

The Yankees did not expect Posada to duplicate his 2007 season, when he hit .338, but they relied on him for extra-base power and at-bats that wore down opposing pitchers.

They have also missed his presence as a clubhouse enforcer. Girardi is relentlessly upbeat, and the captain, Derek Jeter, is even-tempered and optimistic. Posada, who played only 51 games before season-ending surgery, has a different leadership style.

We’ve missed him tremendously,” Long said. “First of all, Jorge’s one of those no-nonsense guys who will jump in a player’s face, jump in a coach’s face. He’s got that mentality of, “You know what, I don’t really care about this or that, this is how we’re going to do it. If I don’t like what I see, I’m going to tell you.We miss that.”

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Hank's mad as hell and is not gonna take it any more

Seems that Hank’s going to wrest the reigns from whomever seems to be holding them (read: Cashman) and do whatever he damn well feels like this off-season.

“Suffice to say, there’s not going to be any more, on my part, of trying to keep everybody happy. If I want somebody, I’m going to go after him,” Steinbrenner told The Record by phone this afternoon.

Immediately after the season, Steinbrenner plans to review the entire organization. “Just as my dad would have,” he said, adding that George Steinbrenner has equally been dismayed by the Yankees’ fourth-place standing. “it’s been a very disappointing year for both of us.”

Now, he’s also on record of stating that he and his brother, Hal, want Cashman back. Except this time, he’s made it clear that he wants more cooks in the kitchen to help make decisions and evaluate things (read: say yes to whatever Hank wants).

Pete Abraham, beat writer and author of the LoHud Yankees blog, was also all over this:

This should provide comfort to Yankee fans.

I’m going to be reviewing the entire organization,” Hank Steinbrenner told the AP in Tampa today. “We’re going to do everything we can to win next year. we’re not going to wait. Do everything we can that makes sense. we’re going to fix what we have to fix. we’re going to have to look at what has been done wrong over the last five years, which I’ve had one year to try and figure out. Clearly, a lot of mistakes were made.”

In what could be a move that drives Brian Cashman out the door, Steinbrenner is looking at setting up an advisory group to help run the team.

If Brian stays on as GM, that doesn’t mean he won’t be the No. 1 guy,” Steinbrenner said. “But the fact is, the more opinions the better. I think that’s probably the best way. It worked in the 90’s, and it can work again.”

I really like Pete’s work, his frankness and his point of view and I am in 100% agreement that Hank’s new stance could be the one that shoves the crowbar between Cashman and the only organization he’s ever worked for. More opinions don’t necessarily work better. More opinions just creates more confusion and discord. If you have a leadership team you trust (Cashman, Oppenheimer, etc.), let them do their job. If you don’t trust them, fine, find a team you can trust. But to add more layers of bureaucracy to an already top-heavy organization just makes it more unstable.

This can’t possibly end well, can it? Unless, of course, the thoughts that Hank’s all bluster and no bite are actually true.

Continue reading Hank's mad as hell and is not gonna take it any more