Time Captain Earned His ‘C’ Again

[SI.com]

SI.com

In the wake of Joe Torre’s penetrating, venomous pinstriped memoir The Yankee Years, another four-ring wearing dynasty staple must step up to the plate.

Torre and Tom Verducci’s inside look at the Yankees included rips at several ex-Yankees.

For example, the nearly 500 page sure-to-be bestseller completely deconstructs Carl Pavano, and rightfully so.

One particular excerpt describes a locker room scene highlighted by the antics of visitors Billy Crystal and Robin Williams. The comedic tandem capped off a film short and a stand-up routine by urging the Yankees players present to remember to get down on one knee and pray for the health of… “Carl Pavano.”

The book says the entire cadre of Yankees players erupted in laughter. Pretty sure Gene Monohan was elsewhere, cringing.

Similarly, the book describes Torre’s surprise that, as a Yankee, Randy Johnson could be so easily “rattled,” and Torre said he wished he had known it during Game 7 of the 2001 World Series.… Click here to read the rest

Swisher and Nady still on Atlanta’s radar

Here’s David O’Brien (Atlanta-Journal Constitution) on how the Braves see Nick Swisher and Xavier Nady:

Nick Swisher — Pros: He’s only 28, and the switch-hitter is under a reasonable contract for three more years ($5.3 million this season, $6.75 million in 2010, $9 million in 2011, and $10.25 million club option for 2012 with a $1 mill buyout). Before his career-worst season for the White Sox in 2008, he had a .361 career OBP and 80 homers in 1,617 at-bats in parts of four seasons with Oakland, and he’d totaled 60 doubles, 57 homers and 173 RBI during the 2006-07 seasons. Swisher has the versatility to play adequate defense at three OF positions and 1B, though he’s probably a bit of a stretch in CF.

Cons: That contract no longer looks quite as attractive as it did before the market price for OFs took a dive this winter. It’s $22 mill for the next three years with the buyout. And that 2008 season wasn’t just below-average, it was awful.

Click here to read the rest

Larry Lucchino and The Little Team That Could

Once upon a time, there was a scrappy baseball team from a little, hardworking town called Boston. They did their best to scrape by, piecing together a team with a payroll of under 150 million dollars. Although they desperately needed a new first baseman to replace the All-Star they had at the position for the previous season, they could only offer a meager 170M, no match for the evil corporation who came in and snatched the player from their grasp. The team president, little Larry Lucchino, was disappointed, but realized that he still had to push his little gutty team to contend. What was his plan for doing so, you ask? He spoke to the MetroWest Daily News and boldly proclaimed:

“We’re going to outwork and outsmart them,” but he conceded that with New York’s deep pockets, “It won’t be easy.”

Wow, what moxie!!! Little Larry has vowed that his little engine that could will defeat their corporate oppressors by outworking and outsmarting them.… Click here to read the rest

Stark on Torre & A-Rod, Swisher

From Jayson Stark (ESPN):

Hard as Joe Torre tries to spin his thoughts about Alex Rodriguez, we’ve heard from multiple sources that when A-Rod was a free agent last offseason, Torre advised the Dodgers not to touch him.

Well, have fun with… Casey Blake (oh, he’s “gritty”). Too bad Joe didn’t talk them out of signing Andruw Jones, huh?

Also, Stark spoke on Nick Swisher:

After trying to push Xavier Nady as the outfielder they’d most prefer to trade, the Yankees are telling teams they’re softening to the idea of dealing Nick Swisher. The Braves head the list of clubs who prefer Swisher because of his versatility and because he’s three years from free agency, not one.

If the Yankees deal Swisher, it’ll be a dumb move. Keep the guy you can control for the next few years. The Yankees are always big spenders, so maybe a cost-controlled player could help them out next year, you know, when they don’t have any outfielders.… Click here to read the rest