Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

Author Archives: Brien Jackson

Nunez back in utility role

After having enough of his epically bad defensive performances last season, the Yankees demoted Eduardo Nunez to Triple-A and declared that he would no longer play any position other than shortstop. That might have made sense from a developmental perspective, but it made him fairly useless to the big league team since, ya know, they already had a pretty good shortstop.

Since then the Yankees’ stance on Nunez has apparently softened, and Brian Cashman told ESPN New York that Nunez would likely be a utility player once again in 2013. “If he is at the big-league level, he is going to have to,” Cashman said. “We have everyday guys at other positions. If he makes our club, it will be at a utility role.”

I know Nunez is hardly the most popular guy in the Yankees’ organization, but this is obviously the most logical track to take. Presenting Nunez as a shortstop in an attempt to trade him makes a certain amount of sense, but it’s not like other teams don’t know who he is, and you can only leave him sitting in the minor leagues for so long.…

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On the Money 1/9/2013

As a wrap up of sorts to our Hall of Fame coverage for this year , Stacey and I chatted with Craig Calcaterra about today’s announcement of the voting results, and what they’ll mean for future ballots and future voting patterns amongst the BBWAA voters. Craig spends about as much time writing about the Hall and the voting process as just about anyone, so his thoughts on this are definitely worth a listen. After that we switched gears entirely back to the offseason, with updates on the latest rumors and pressing issues surrounding the Yankees with Mark Feinsand of the Daily News. Enjoy!

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BBWAA elects no one to the Hall of Fame

If Jack Morris had ever pitched this kind of shutout he would have been elected to the Hall of Fame years ago. Faced with arguably the deepest ballot in the modern era of voting, a ballot that included a player with 3,000 hits, the greatest hitting catcher of all-time, and the most decorated pitcher and position player in the history of the BBWAA awards voting, the voters reached the result most of us had expected them to beginning last week, and elected no one to the hallowed Hall in Cooperstown.

More important than the simple results, however, are the vote tallies each candidate pulled down, and frankly these are really depressing for the future of the Hall. At the low end of the ballot, Kenny Lofton (and Bernie Williams) failed to get votes from 5% of voters, meaning that he is officially off of the writers’ ballots, an absolute travesty. At the other end of the spectrum, Craig Biggio came the closest to being elected with 68% of the vote, suggesting that he fell victim to the silliest of all arbitrary voting standards, voters who won’t vote for certain guys in the first year, and will likely be enshrined in 2014.…

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Jason Giambi wants to keep playing

There are some dreams I will never give up until they are honestly and truly dead and buried, and my hope of one day seeing Jason Giambi don Yankee pinstripes is one of those dreams. Giambi was seriously considered for the vacant managerial position in Colorado this offseason, but he lost out to Walt Weiss, and now Troy Renck reports that Giambi wants to play another season, and is willing to take a Minor League contract to make it happen. The Yankees have an opening for a left-handed DH, and though he didn’t really produce last year, Giambi hit .273/.354/.636. I don’t know if he has anything left in the tank at this point, but no one is going to seriously regret giving him an invite to camp to check him out, and I can spend a little bit more time dreaming of the Giambino attacking the Yankee Stadium bleachers once again.

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On the Money preview

I know we’ve settled on a Monday/Thursday schedule for our podcasts, but since the Hall of Fame results are being announced today we’re bumping the show up a day in order to properly react in a timely manner. In addition to inevitably hearing me break my resolution not to get angry about the results of the balloting, the great Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports’ Hardball Talk will join Stacey and I to discuss the new class of Hall of Fame inductees, assuming at least someone from this loaded ballot can get themselves elected.

It won’t be all about the Hall however, as the passing of the holiday season has the late-winter rumor mill heating up at last. The Yankees still have a few roster spots to fill out and have been connected to at least a few available players, so we’ll discuss all of that with New York Daily News beat writer Mark Feinsand. The show begins at 8:00, and you can listen live here.

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My (hypothetical) Hall of Fame ballot

I guess I’ve put my contractual obligation to pretend I have a Hall of Fame vote and tell you who would make up my ballot about as long as I can, huh? Honestly, I don’t even have very much energy for arguing this topic anymore, so instead of deep examinations of each candidate, I’m just going to share some quick thoughts about the players who, in my opinion, are worthy of enshrinement. Besides, since none of these guys are going to make it anyway, we’ll have at least another year to scream at each other about their merits.

Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens: Given my none-too-secret feelings about juicers, I don’t think these two really need any explanation. A couple of inner-circle greats who should probably be required selections for any voter who wants to retain the privilege, and yet neither of them are likely to reach 60%. A heck of a way to start this off!

Jeff Bagwell and Mike Piazza: Not on the same level as Bonds and Clemens, but the same basic problem.…

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Heyman: Soriano never approached Yankees

Some reports over the last week have had it that Scott Boras recently approached the Yankees about re-signing Rafael Soriano to a one year deal, as their interim closer has found the free agent market rather lacking after declining a qualifying offer from the Bombers. The Yankees supposedly turned him down flat, preferring to earn a compensation pick and additional draft pool money to adding Soriano to an already well stocked bullpen, but Jon Heyman now says none of that ever happened, and that Soriano wants to be a closer this coming season:

The usual caveats about Soriano being a Boras client obviously apply here, but there you have it.

Elsewhere, ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand says that the Yankees haven’t actually shut the door on a Soriano return entirely, and that there is (at least theoretically) a point at which Soriano could bring his demands low enough that the Yankees would be willing to welcome him back.…

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Yankees surprised by A-Rod’s blabbing doc

We got an unusually detailed account of an ongoing injury situation when Dr. Bryan Kelly, who will be performing surgery on Alex Rodriguez‘s injured hip a week from today, spoke to Joel Sherman of the New York Post and expounded upon the nature of the injury and A-Rod’s chances at a successful rehabilitation. Authorization for that story did not come from the Yankees, however, according to a report from Christian Red in the Daily News. “Kelly was clearly lured in by Alex, who told (Kelly) to talk,” claimed the source for the story. That language is a bit odd, but the rest of the article doesn’t really carry any serious implication that the Yankees are upset about Kelly’s comments like they were when Mariano Rivera‘s rehab doctor prematurely speculated about Mo being able to return for the postseason over the summer.

The Daily News report also attempts to push back at Kelly’s claims that the injury had nothing to do with past steroid use by Alex.…

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Nats shopping Morse after re-signing LaRoche

After weeks of piddling around on the free agent market, Adam LaRoche finally accepted the fact that no one wanted to meet his asking price after he turned down a qualifying offer and re-signed with the Washington Nationals. Between that and trading for Denard Span, that leaves Michael Morse on the outside of their starting lineup and available in potential trades. Mark Zuckerman of Comcast Sports tweets that Morse is “very much” available, and that the Nationals would seek a left-handed reliever and/or starting pitching depth in return.

Morse honestly isn’t much of an outfielder, but as a power-hitting righty who has hit southpaws to the tune of a career line of .303/.357/.503, he carries a big enough stick to be a perfect fit for the Yankees right now. Picking him up for a package built around Boone Logan or Clay Rapada would be something of a dream, but starting pitching depth isn’t necessarily something the Yankees have to offer right now, and you can rest assured that they will not be the only team interested in acquiring Morse’s services.…

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