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

Yankees 10th in Law’s organization rankings

The Yankees’ farm system isn’t quite as impressive at first blush as they were at this time last year, but they still have a lot of talent (albeit towards the bottom of the system), and they still stack up pretty well against the rest of the league. In fact, Keith Law thinks they have a top ten system, putting them in the tenth spot in his just released organizational rankings. That corresponds pretty closely with the rankings of Baseball America (11th) and John Sickels (14th), putting the Yankees squarely in the top half of the league. After trading away Jesus Montero and having Manny Banuelos and Jose Campos go down with injuries in 2012, that’s a real testament to the work Brian Cashman and the front office has done in investing in player development recently.

On a quick programming note: You should probably expect light blogging from me over the next two days. I have a small parade to attend tomorrow that will occupy most of my day, and as for today, well frankly I’m far too distracted/exhausted to find many interesting things about baseball.…

Read more

Silly unions doing union things

It’s been a while since we had some fun with a Lupica column here, but this A-Rod/PED business was just made for him, wasn’t it? There’s not really much of a point in hashing through the whole column, which is more of an exercise in pointless analogy than anything else, but this shot at the players’ union really does take the cake:

It is still early in the game with Rodriguez, you have to know that. Of course the Yankees want him to decide, when and if he recovers from hip surgery, that he is nothing more than a shell of the player he once was, either retire at that point, so they can score insurance money off him, or decide to settle with the Yankees so they can release him once and for all.

Or — this appears to be even more of a longshot — they want the commissioner of baseball, Bud Selig, to hit him with a drug suspension so they can start exploring ways to void his contract, even though the Major League Baseball Players Association will fight to protect guaranteed money in baseball the way gun nuts protect their guns.…

Read more

Happy February!

It isn’t the best month of the year by any means, and heck, I started my day by waking up to a couple of inches of snow and cancelled schools, bu I’d be ying if I said I didn’t immediately realizing that it’s February 1st, and that the dreaded black hole that is January is finally over. This year wasn’t even that bad by comparison, what with my local football franchise going on an incredible playoff run and all, but I’m still ready for baseball to come back.

We’re getting close everyone. Today is truck day, if you actually recognize that as a thing, and pitchers and catchers report in 11 days. And just three weeks from tomorrow, the Yankees will take the field in Orlando for a Spring Training game with the Braves. Hooray!

Read more

The CBA as mythical beast

I’m not going to get down in the weeds with every single one of these articles, but for the record let me say that this is both ridiculous and reckless nonsense from a major media outlet:

If baseball’s investigation corroborates the Miami New Times’ story about Tony Bosch and his ballplayers, what if Selig stood at his bully pulpit and decided to turn Alex Rodriguez into the honorary sacrifice of the steroid era? What if A-Rod, the guy who confessed once before and may yet again, becomes the skin Selig displays on his wall to ward off future intruders?

[…]

That might be asking too much, but by the power vested in Selig by the new Joint Drug Agreement, he doesn’t need a positive test to dole out suspensions. If he has evidence, he can suspend Rodriguez — or, if you’d prefer, El Cacique — for 50 games or more.

Calcaterra gives it the full fisking it deserves here. Long story short: No, Bud Selig can not suspend A-Rod for more than 50 games (at least not without some extraordinary new details coming out first) because the CBA explicitly prescribes the punishment for violating the JDA, and A-Rod can’t be arbitrarily singled out for an exception.…

Read more

Yankees “on verge” of deal with Hafner

Rumors started swirling yesterday that talks between the Yankees and Travis Hafner were getting serious, and today Chad Jennings reports that the two sides are so close that the agreement could be announced as early as today. In fact, he says that an agreement has already been reached, and it’s now all about haggling over the contractual language. No salary figures have been disclosed, but it’s believed the deal will be close to the $1.1 million salary the Yankees gave Raul Ibanez last winter.

According to Jennings, the plan is to use Hafner strictly as a platoon DH.

Read more

A-Rod’s injury likely not caused by PED use

If there’s any hope at all of the Yankees getting out from under the second half of Alex Rodriguez’s record contact, it’s the possibility that his continued use of banned substances led to his recent hip injury that will sideline him for mos t of the 2013 season. It’s not a slam dunk, but depending on the wording of the contract and the view of whomever makes the final decision, such a revelation could at least give the team a fighting chance.

Unfortunately for them, there doesn’t seem to be much of a chance that’s the case. “I still don’t think any PED would have had an effect on the injury or the surgery,” said Dr. David Geier, via Dan Martin. “They can impact tendons and muscles, but not what he had.”

“Even if this turns out to be true, it wouldn’t impact the hip joint. His problem was one of anatomy. I can’t imagine any effect.”

Another doctor also told Martin that he doesn’t see how Alex could be deemed unable to play as a result of the surgery, so forget all of that stuff you read about insurance payouts yesterday.…

Read more

Report: A-Rod could be done with Yanks

The Yankees might not be likely to void Alex Rodriguez‘s contract, but according to a report from Bill Madden and others in the Daily News, A-Rod may have played his last game as a Yankee anyway. According to the always available “sources familiar with” the situation, A-Rod could up and decide to retire, or “settle,” walking away from the $114 million left on his contract.

Yeah, right.

The logic of the piece seems to be that diminished performance will push A-Rod to walking away altogether.

“I don’t know why he would want to go through the pain of rehabbing and trying to play up to the caliber of player he was, and come back to a game where nobody wants him,” a “baseball official” told the reporters. “If he did that, he’d be a part-time player and presumably unable to achieve any of the incentive clauses in the contract or even the milestones.”

Personally, I think this sounds like a guy who doesn’t spend much time paying attention to professional athletes, who always seem to think they’re just a quick fix away from figuring it all out once again.…

Read more

UPDATED: On the Money: A-Rod blowout

Not tired of this A-Rod business yet? Then IIATMS has you covered! Join Stacey and me for an impromptu episode of On the Money to cover all of the bases. Stacey and I will share our full thoughts on the matter, and Bryan Hoch of MLB.com will join us to share the latest news. Show starts at 9:00, and you can listen live here.

Update: Here’s the show:

Listen to internet radio with IIATMS Radio on Blog Talk Radio

Read more

A-Rod is not Bagwell

I’ve got something of a reputation for defending guys accused of using steroids, especially when the accusers are overtly indifferent to quaint concepts like “proof,” but I’m gonna have to get off the boat here:

Ryan Braun never had a chance. He was guilty in the eyes of the public from the moment his positive test for synthetic testosterone was leaked. Alex Rodriguez is guilty of everything the Miami New Times report says he is – guilty, that is, if you listen to what the public has already decided about the situation. Jeff Bagwell is guilty too, just because.

Slow your roll a little bit. Ryan Braun’s sample was improperly handled so, officially, the positive test result never happened. As such, there’s technically no evidence at all that he broke any rules. The case against Bagwell, such as it is, is that he played during the steroid era and had big muscles. This, tp put it mildly, is no evidence of any kind, circumstantial or otherwise.…

Read more