Dodgers pull PR stunt on Boras

Trying to protect Manny from their fans totally and completely turning on him, the Dodgers released a statement putting the blame for the lack of progress at the feet of Boras.

LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers today received a letter from Scott Boras, the agent for Manny Ramirez, rejecting the offer that the club made yesterday. This rejection is the fourth by the agent in the club’s attempts to sign Manny.

“We love Manny Ramirez,” said Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt, “And we want Manny back, but we feel we are negotiating against ourselves. When his agent finds those ‘serious offers’ from other clubs, we’ll be happy to re-start the negotiations.

“Even with an economy that has substantially eroded since last November, out of respect for Manny and his talents, we actually improved our offer.

“So now, we start from scratch.”

This was a PR stunt to help Manny save face ASSUMING he ends up with the Dodgers. Of course, the ultimate decision lies with Manny, NOT Boras. Manny has to do something he’s been reluctant to do during his entire career: take responsibility for his actions.

This release calls the bluff of Boras. It also invites the Giants to recontact Boras and get creative. Maybe the Dodgers go up a bit, say 2/$50m. But what if the Giants do that first? Talk about a death blow… It’d be like the Yanks snatching Teix from Boston, though the difference being Boston didn’t “need” Teix like either NL West team needs Manny. Whichever team lands Manny becomes the presumptive favorite in the NL West. Continue reading Dodgers pull PR stunt on Boras

Hughes Exhibits No Change in First Start

Phil Hughes looked pretty solid in his Spring debut, yesterday. 2 innings of no hit, no run ball is nice. 90-92 on his fastball, for the first outing of the year is nice. Working hitters inside for a change is nice (despite nicking a couple guys). His curve didn’t have the nasty bite it had at the end of last year, but it was nice. But one thing that hasn’t changed is… well… his change. Granted, the kid is still only 22, but that is the pitch that many pundits point to as the key to his becoming an ace Continue reading Hughes Exhibits No Change in First Start

Yankee Starters In Control

Earlier this week, Chris took a look at the (very impressive) average fastball velcoties of the Yankee’s starting rotation. Reader OldRanger astutely pointed out the following: As (I think) we all know, speed without Command & Control means nothing. Even without a lot of movement, C&C covers a lot of sins. OldRanger makes a great point. Looking at fastball velocity tells us a piece of the story, but we also have to take control into account. Here are the Yankee starters ranked by BB/9 in 2008, and then fastball velocity: C.C. Sabathia: 2.09 BB/9m, 93.7 Mph Andy Pettitte: 2.4 BB/9, Continue reading Yankee Starters In Control

The Insane Awesomeness Of Mariano Rivera

Beyond the Boxscore has an article up about Mariano Rivera and his cutter, otherwise known as the Hammer of God. It is a fascinating post that uses various methods to display how incredibly amazing that one pitch really is: But it’s not Rivera’s stat line that makes him an anomaly, especially since it’s not that far removed from his career numbers. What made Rivera’s 2008 so different was his nearly complete reliance on one pitch to achieve it, and it wasn’t even a traditional fastball. I’m talking of course about what some have dubbed the greatest pitch in the history Continue reading The Insane Awesomeness Of Mariano Rivera

Skipping Joba

From George King III (NY Post): The Yankees are contemplating skipping Joba Chamberlain during the first trip through the rotation for two reasons:One, with a 150-innings limit on his electric right arm it would be a way of attaining that goal. Two, it would allow the Yankees to open the new Yankee Stadium with CC Sabathia, their $161 million ace. “It’s in the mix,” manager Joe Girardi said yesterday when asked if skipping Chamberlain was an option. Sabathia will open the season in Baltimore on April 6. Because the Yankees don’t play on April 7, Sabathia could return April 10 Continue reading Skipping Joba

Jorge regaining his power stroke

Jorge Posada hit a homer and a double in yesterday’s 5-1 win over the Rays. Both hits were big for the Yankees, not in terms of a win, really, but because they demonstrate that Posada’s shoulder is healing well after the severe shoulder injury which sapped him of his power in 2008. Here’s Posada’s take on last season’s difficulties. “I don’t want to say it was a lazy swing, but there was no extension,” Posada said. “I wasn’t able to drive the ball righty or lefty, because the shoulder was weak. It was just a really messed-up swing.” Although Girardi Continue reading Jorge regaining his power stroke

Hughes hopes

From Bryan Hoch (MLB): “I feel like if I can stay healthy and pitch well wherever I’m at, I’ll do pretty well,” Hughes said. “I’m just trying to get ready, and if I do go to Triple-A, I’ll just be working there to get back up.” I’m a huge Phil Hughes fan, however, I’m also one of those guys who believes he is an injury-prone pitcher. Yes, none of the injuries have been of the arm variety — that’s true — though I would argue that the injuries he has succumbed to (rib, hamstring), have been caused by poor mechanics. Continue reading Hughes hopes

Pujols: "It's not about the money"

Well, we’ll see, won’t we (emphasis mine):

Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt liked what superstar Albert Pujols said upon arriving at camp about winning being more important than money to him when it comes to his next contract.

I’m not going to lie to you: It’s not about the money all the time,” Pujols said when he got to spring training. “It’s about being in a place to win and being in a position to win. If the Cardinals are willing to do that and put a team together every year like they have, I’m going to try to work everything out to stay in this town.”
[…]
While both sides are tossing bouquets toward each other, the type of money it would take to execute a Pujols extension — word is, he’d seek $25 million a year for 10 years — would be almost unprecedented territory for a team outside one of the very major markets. So while extending Pujols is a possibility, it’s certainly no sure thing. Considering Pujols’ true market value and the Cardinals’ prudent spending past, it’s probably going to take some serious compromising on both sides to get it done.
[…]
At least DeWitt hopes money isn’t what drives him.

Ya think? Can the Cardinals both build a winner around Pujols while simultaneously affording a $25m contract? Let’s see that happen.

It’s ALWAYS about the money. Just ask Teix, Sabathia, Burnett, Lowe, Manny, ARod, Zito…

Continue reading Pujols: "It's not about the money"

Another patch

At least it’s better than the Mets sleeve patch:

The New York Yankees will wear a new cap for the entirety of the 2009 season featuring a patch on the back commemorating the opening of the new Yankee Stadium. The patch is the first of its kind to appear on the back of an official MLB Authentic Collection cap, incorporating the MLB logo in its standard location to maintain the traditional Yankees cap design.

Of course, it’s just another way to separate your dollars from the comfyness of your wallet.

(click on the image to the right to see a larger version)

Continue reading Another patch