Nightly Notes: Hal, Stadium Stuff

Three quick bits to cap off the night:

1. Hal Steinbrenner spoke on WFAN today and discussed a variety of topics, although he didn’t speak at length about The Yankee Years, Joe Torre’s new book that’s due out next month.

2. Also, the new Yankee Stadium continues to cause controversy. This time, however, it’s about the parks that were supposed to be built around the new Stadium. Essentially, the cost of these parks are rising significantly, which isn’t exactly helping burdened taxpayers.

3. Finally, a few months ago we heard about a concrete-testing company that apparently performed fake tests on concrete and steel at the new YS. Well, Testwell Laboratories (nice name) actually sued NYC in order to overturn a license suspension. Of course, they won and the suspension has been overturned, albeit temporarily.… Click here to read the rest

Joba: I'm a Starter

Although some buffoons, such as Kevin Kernan, continue to insist that Joba Chamberlain would serve the Yankees better in the bullpen now that they have added Andy Pettitte, the team has decided to make the logically sound decision. Per Pete Abe:

Joba is headed down to Tampa tomorrow and is ready to start throwing off the mound “Twenty-five fastballs, I’m feeling great,” he said.
The Yankees, he said, told him in November that he would be a starting pitcher and he has been preparing for that. “It’s a relief to have it all settled,” he said.

That sounds like a pretty definite statement, as Joba considers the issue “settled.” This leads me to believe that the team told him that he will remain in the rotation barring some unforeseen circumstance. Considering the depth of the other rotations in the AL East, the Yankees need strong pitching from the 5th spot to match up with hurlers such as John Smoltz and David Price.… Click here to read the rest

Torre responds to controversy

Joe Torre spoke with Jack Curry (NY Times) about the recent controversy regarding he and Tom Verducci’s book, The Yankee Years. In Curry’s interview, Torre manages to tap dance around all of the questions and doesn’t provide much in the form of an apology (I think his comments crossed the line). Instead, in the end he manages to cast himself as a potential victim:

“I’m comfortable with what I contributed to the book,” Torre said, “even though I’m probably going to get more credit or more blame than I deserve, whichever way you want to look at it.”

Don’t worry about the “credit” part, Joe. Now, in terms of “blame,” that’s a different story.

(props to SIH)Click here to read the rest

Chase Wright Designated For Assignment

Chase Wright, one of the Yankees few left handed pitching prospects and # 26 on EJ’s top 30 prospects list, was designated for assignment to make room for Andy Pettitte on the 40 man roster (Pete Abe). The Yankees likely had to choose between Chase and Dan Giese, and felt that Giese was a better bet to help the team in 2009.

Wright is a better prospect than most Yankees fans would give him credit for, as giving up four consecutive home runs to the hated Red Sox on national television is likely to skew opinions about a pitcher’s abilities. Wright pitched very well at both AA and AAA last season, and should be able to give the Yankees or some other MLB club decent numbers out of the bullpen right now.  Although I hope that he passes through waivers, I find it more likely that some pitching starved NL team will nab him.… Click here to read the rest

A-Rod gets that dirt off his shoulder…

From John Harper (Daily News):

Alex Rodriguez told friends Monday that he is “not bothered at all” by the reports that Joe Torre apparently took some shots at him in his forthcoming book, and dismissed talk of an “A-Fraud” persona or any Derek Jeter obsession as old news that no longer applies to his standing in the Yankee clubhouse.

“He laughed at the stuff because he is so beyond all of that,” one person close to A-Rod said Monday. “Personally he feels like he’s in a great space in his life and felt very comfortable last year in the clubhouse and with his relationship with his teammates.”

As for Torre, A-Rod indicated that anything his former manager may say about him couldn’t hurt him because, as one friend put it, “He doesn’t feel like he had any real relationship with (Torre).”

In fact, people close to A-Rod say that he heard Torre characterized him as “a pretty boy” to his confidants during the four years they were together as player and manager, that Torre’s close relationship with Jeter kept him from ever warming up to A-Rod.

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Pettitte and the Kids

The agreement reached yesterday between the Yankees and Andy Pettitte has been widely hailed as a positive move for the organization. As most commentators have noted, the Yankees needed innings at the back of the rotation due to innings limits and injury concerns, and Pettitte usually provides 200 quality frames a season. It seems like a perfect match between player and team, a no brainer move that only took so long due to haggling over price. Mike Ashmore, the Trenton Thunder blogger, stands a a voice of dissent among all the kudos being passed around over the signing:

So was signing him worth holding back the depth of pitching talent in the farm system for yet another season?

Consider the starters that will be without a big league job come April…

Phil Hughes
Ian Kennedy
Phil Coke
Alfredo Aceves
Jason Johnson
Dan Giese
Kei Igawa
Chase Wright
Eric Hacker
Christian Garcia
George Kontos
Humberto Sanchez
Alan Horne

Where do all of these guys go?

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