Book excerpt: Torre's distrust of Randy Levine

Well, it appears that my disdain and distrust of Yanks President Randy Levine was shared by Joe Torre (in third person):

On How the Yankees Do Business
If Torre’s relationship with some of the higher-ups in the Yankee organization was sometimes strained, the book suggests that it was most difficult with Randy Levine, the Yankees president. The book paints a stark picture of a genuine, trusting Torre clashing with the savvy, calculating Levine, who was at one time a trusted adviser of Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Torre was particularly disturbed, it seems, by Levine’s willingness to find a way to avoid honoring the contracts of players struggling with issues off the field. As the book puts it, “The Yankees’ reaction to a player in crisis often included exploring the possibility of getting out from under the responsibility of having to pay the player.”

Good ol’ Randy. Endearing himself to the lower ranks for decades. Continue reading Book excerpt: Torre's distrust of Randy Levine

Staggering picture of the day

In case you missed it, as most have, Jose Canseco “fought” Danny Bonaduce over the weekend. Canseco’s about 6’4″ and from the looks of this picture, Bonaduce must be a foot or two shorter. The fight was a draw. No, really. (No drug testing for either “boxer”)

And what the hell did Canseco do to his body? Spend every last cent on a full body tattoo? That explains why he’s doing celebrity boxing, I guess.

Good lord man. He looks like Ralph Feinnes’ character in Red Dragon:

Continue reading Staggering picture of the day

Pettitte Deal Complete

Andy Pettitte is coming back to the Bronx,  according to Peter Abraham. The deal is for a guaranteed 5.5 M with roster time and innings pitched based incentives pushing the possible value up to 12M. The Yankees really come out of this deal looking great, as they held the line and ended up paying less in guaranteed money than they originally offered. It is amazing to me that Derek Lowe got a guaranteed 55 million and three years more than Andy Pettitte. Is that me overrating Pettitte, underrating Lowe, or underlining the desperation with which the Braves acted? I just Continue reading Pettitte Deal Complete

Sheets an option?

If the “cost” to the Yanks is merely a 4th round pick plus salary/bonus to land Ben Sheets, I continue to say that’s a worthwhile risk.

While the Rangers have met twice with Sheets, the Yankees are one of a few teams considering the talented righthander. Sheets has provided a second medical report for teams to review but it isn’t known how it differs from the first. His market has been slow despite a career full of accomplishments.

If Sheets would take a “prove it” contract (say $5m guaranteed this year plus incentives with a $12m team option for 2010), that’d be a great thing for the Yanks. It’s not dissimilar to the Smoltz/Penny contracts the Sox just signed. Or, as I have referred to them, “Lieber contracts“. The Yanks are already eyeballs deep in risk; Sheets’ risk would add little more at little financial burden.

If you told me that Sheets and Joba would combine for 300 good innings behind CC, Burnett and Wang, with Hughes and others filling in the rest, I’d be pretty excited.

I remain disappointed in Pettitte. I’m not riding him out of town on a rail, but I am disappointed in his stance. The only thing teams “owe” its players is the number on the contract. The other stuff (respect, etc.) must be earned from both sides. Pettitte was hugged by the organization last year, right after the Mitchell Report was released. And despite his claims, he did have a mediocre year and a lousy 2nd half. For him to say last year that he was only interested in signing with the Yanks and it wouldn’t be about the money and to now have him holding out due to money is just disappointing. Continue reading Sheets an option?

Who Bats Cleanup?

One logistical question that Joe Girardi will have to address going into the season is how exactly he will construct the middle of his lineup. Namely, there are those who are wondering the order in which he will place Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira. Joe DelGrippo of foxsports.com attempts to address the  issue: And the way to bring Alex back to MVP form is to hit A-Rod third and Mark Teixeira fourth in the new Yankees lineup. A-Rod had his way with pitchers during 2007 when he hit cleanup spot and produced a .314 BA/.422 OBP/.645 SLG with an OPS+ Continue reading Who Bats Cleanup?

Joba's 2009 workload, predicted

After a weekend of book sneak-peeks that made me equally disappointed and disgusted, I’m chomping at the bit for some real baseball “stuff”. Anything really that discusses the on-field product for this coming season.

So when I noticed this article about Joba’s predicted 2009 innings, I couldn’t help but consider it a beacon that Spring Training is indeed less than three weeks away. I can’t wait. This comes from MLBTradeRumors.com leader Tim Dierkes’ article on RotoAuthority:

I asked eleven of my favorite baseball writers to predict Chamberlain’s 2009 regular season Major League innings total. Here are the results:

If Joba pitches 143 innings as a starter (which isn’t mentioned above), that roughly translates to 24 six-inning starts, or 29 starts of 5 innings. From LAST year’s Verducci Year-After-Effect article, Joba’s limit was 149 innings. I think I’d be pleased with 150 quality innings from Joba and fill in the balance with kids from the farm (Aceves, etc.). If Joba makes it to the 100, 125 inning marks unscathed and feeling strong, I’d let him expand his target. He’s got the body to do so.

I continue to maintain that Joba’s got the most value for the Yanks as a starter, at least until Mo retires. Then, if Joba’s still struggling to maintain a 200 inning workload at that point, he could be transitioned into Mo’s replacement (unless there’s some kid —Melancon?— who identifies himself as the heir apparent). Continue reading Joba's 2009 workload, predicted

Dishing dirt "below" Torre

It’s a shame that former Yanks skipper and current Dodgers manager Joe Torre is coming out with a book that seeks to dish dirt; it’s just so “below” what I’d expect from the always-classy Torre. Nonetheless, it’s disappointing to read some of these quotes attributed to his book, from the Daily News article:

In “The Yankee Years,” due to be released on Feb. 3, Torre describes general manager Brian Cashman as a less than supportive ally who betrayed him on several fronts, and says that his star player, Alex Rodriguez, was often referred to by his teammates as “A-Fraud” and was obsessed with his perceived rival, shortstop Derek Jeter.

However true it might all be, couldn’t/shouldn’t this have been saved until Torre was out of the game? It reeks of bitterness. Torre has fashioned a sterling reputation in and out of baseball as a wonderful manager of people. I wonder if that will change, at least IN the game, if his lockerroom recognizes that he’s probably taking notes for his next edition?

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Continue reading Dishing dirt "below" Torre

Lyon Signs With Tigers

Brandon Lyon signs in Detroit, ostensibly to close. As the offseason progresses and other relievers are signed to fill the available setup and closer roles, does the price on Juan Cruz drop enough to entice the Yankees to give up a fourth round pick and reel him in?

Yanks nearing deal with Pettitte

Breaking from KR. Apparently, the deal will be for less than $10 million and could be reached today, however, incentives could push the deal towards the $16 million mark. UPDATE – Buster Olney is reporting that the deal is for “nearly $6 million, with incentives that could make it worth as much as $12 million.” This would be a big win for the Yankees.