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

Hairston likely to make decision soon, Yankees “pessimistic”

Though they’ve acquired both Matt Diaz and Russ Canzler in recent weeks, the Yankees’ search for a right-handed hitting outfielder marches on. The top spot on their wish list remains former Met Scott Hairston, and via ESPN New York, it appears that a decision on where he will be signing could be coming from Hairston this week. According to Wallace Matthews, Hairston’s agent, Casey Close, said the outfielder is likely to make a decision in a “matter of days.”

Hairston is pretty much a straight platoon hitter with a career .825 OPS against lefties, but he does bring a bit of versatility in the outfield to the table, anyway. He had a career year for the Mets in 2012 and attempted to parlay that into a multi-year contract this winter, but given how long he’s lingered on the market I assume he hasn’t found anyone willing to make that sort of commitment to him, and may well find himself taking the best one year offer he can get.…

Read more

Cashman: Jeter will be ready on Opening Day

From bad news on the injury front to good news: Brian Cashman told ESPN New York that things are going well with Derek Jeter‘s rehabilitation from ankle surgery, and that the Yankees’ captain is on track to be back for Opening Day. “It’s all in the doctors’ hands right now,” said Cashman. “But he’ll be ready on Opening Day.” As far as I know, this is the first time anyone in the Yankees’ organization has issued such a definitive statement on Jeter’s schedule, which is a good sign.

Though Jeter hsan’t been cleared to resume baseball activities, he is out of a walking boot and has been running on an underwater treadmill and biking. Casey Close, his agent, says that this won’t be a big deal, as Jeter typically doesn’t begin preparing for Spring Training until late January anyway. “His timetable would have been relatively the same as it is now,” Close said.

Now the Yankees just have to hope there are no significant lingering effects on Jeter’s production as a result of the injury.…

Read more

A-Rod’s doc blames hip for bad October

Joel Sherman has an exclusive in today’s Post with Dr. Bryan Kelly, the doctor who will be performing Alex Rodriguez‘s hip surgery (hopefully) this month. The main takeaway: A-Rod’s left hip is a total mess, and is absolutely the reason that he was so dreadful in the postseason this past season. “I was more surprised that he was able to play at all with a hip that looked like that,” Kelly told the Post. “Most people would not be able to play with a hip function like this and the imaging that looked like his.”

Alex has officially been diagnosed with a torn labrum in his left hip and an underlying impingement, and according to Kelly is still 2-4 weeks away from an operation. That’s because the doctors want to treat the inflammation around the injured hip and begin building strength in the leg in order to make the rehab process easier for A-Rod, making a successful comeback more likely.…

Read more

On the Money: 1/7/2013

For tonight’s edition of On the Money, John Sickels of Minor League Ball joined us to talk about his list of the Yankees’ top twenty prospects. Topics included why Mason Williams is just a smidge below Gary Sanchez and Tyler Austin in Sickels’ eyes, the state of the system’s pitching talent, whether there’s any hope remaining for Dellin Betances, and why you shouldn’t get too discouraged by Dante Bichette Jr.’s disappointing debut in full season ball. For the latter part of the show, our own Tamar Chalker joined us to talk about prospects, non-prospects, and idiosyncratic regional weather patterns. I won’t lie, we run a bit longer than originally planned, but it was great to catch up with Tamar as we prepare for a new season, and great to get a chance to talk about the guys who show up in The Farm Report far more often than they do on the top prospect lists. Enjoy

Listen to internet radio with IIATMS Radio on Blog Talk Radio

Read more

Yankees not interested in Thome

The Yankees are looking for a DH to help round out their roster, but according to Mark Hale they aren’t interested in Jim Thome‘s services. Thome has always been a little bit of a white whale for me, as his pull-side power profiles beautifully for the short porch at Yankee Stadium, but that ship has probably sailed due to age. Injuries limited Thome to 58 games between Philadelphia and Baltimore last season, and Thome hit just .257/.348/.396 for the Orioles. He’ll be 42 this season, assuming he doesn’t retire, so I can’t say I blame the Yankees for passing on him, even if I am disappointed that he never got to play in pinstripes.

Read more

Sosa is a marginal Hall candidate

When we devoted an entire episode of On the Money to talking about the Hall of Fame, I mentioned late in the show that I regarded Sammy Sosa as a borderline candidate, and that I’d be unlikely to support him over Kenny Lofton or Larry Walker if only allowed to vote for 10 candidates. That got a little bit of push back, both from Mike Bates at the time and others since, so allow me to expound upon my case against Sosa.

First of all, it should be noted that Sosa’ overall body of work makes him a borderline case, statistically, to begin with. Even with the prodigious home run totals and the fact that he was a much better defender than most people probably remember, Sosa finished his career with a total fWAR of “just” 64.1, good for 120th all-time amongst position players, and wedging Sosa directly in between Norm Cash and Bill Dickey on the all-time leaderboard. I’m not saying that WAR should be the end all be all of the discussion, or even a vital part of it, but as far as starting points go, that’s pretty damning for a guy in the 600 home run club.…

Read more

Sickels’ top Yankees’ prospects

It doesn’t get the same amount of attention that the lists put out by Baseball America or Baseball Prospectus do, but John Sickels’ annual prospect rankings may well be the most unique of all of the prospect rankings that come out annually. That’s because, in addition to his own unique perspective and preferences on prospects, Sickels assigns a traditional letter grade to prospects, adding an additional level of depth and context above a simple stacked list of players. He put his list of the Yankees’ top twenty prospects out back before Christmas and, as always, it’s worth a once-over if you’re into the prospecting thing. The top of his list is fairly non-controversial, but there’s some interesting selections in the 8-15 range.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot: Sickels will be joining Stacey and I on On the Money tonight to talk about his rankings, as will our own minor league editor Tamar Chalker. The show goes live at 9:00 P.M. EST, and can be listened to here.

Read more

Steroid hysteria is really not good for Cooperstown

While, as always, I respect his opinion and the amount of thought and genuine care he puts into these things, I think Ken Rosenthal badly misses the mark in his latest column on the Hall of Fame. Rosenthal’s main premise is that it won’t be a big deal if no one gets elected to the Hall of Fame this year, that above all else, the “debate” is good for the Hall, and that no major changes to the voting process are needed. I’ll take each in turn.

As far as no one getting elected goes, I think Rosenthal is really missing the forest for the trees in his analysis. Sure, in theory, not electing anyone shouldn’t be a big deal, but in a very tangible sense, the Hall of Fame is bleeding money, and induction weekend is a vital part of keeping the institution afloat. They might not share it with the writers, but I’d bet dollars to dimes that when no one is looking, the people responsible for running the place aren’t the slightest bit happy about the possibility of a weekend featuring no one but long dead and mostly forgotten inductees from the pre-integration era, especially not with the huge potential afforded by this stacked ballot.…

Read more

Yankees unlikely to re-sign Soriano

With Rafael Soriano languishing on the free agent market as teams blanch at the prospect of giving up a draft pick (or, more accurate, the signing pool money associated with that pick), there’s been an undertone in the rumor mill that his most likely landing spot for the 2013 would be back in the Bronx. I’m a little bit skeptical of that, both because I think the Yankees will be happy to wait out the market and see what pick they’ll get as compensation when Soriano inevitably signs a deal somewhere, and (more notably) because the Yankees don’t really have an opening in the bullpen with Mariano Rivera and Joba Chamberlain both healthy. That’s a sentiment apparently shared by Brian Cashman as well. “I cannot talk about players on the free-agent market,” Cashman said. “But I am not looking for bullpen help, I can tell you that.”

And before you throw out the surprise signing of Soriano back in 2011, remember that the Yankees didn’t have an elite set up man like David Robertson at the time, and at the beginning of the season Robertson was merely a nondescript middle reliever who got most of his action warming up in the bullpen.…

Read more