About Brien Jackson

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.

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. We’ll still be on top of any developing news and what have you though, rest assured, and if that just doesn’t do it for you, On the Money is going to a four day a week schedule now that February has arrived, and Stacey and I will be live at 9:00 P.M. through Thursday. I apologize in advance for my meandering into football talk tonight. Continue reading Yankees 10th in Law’s organization rankings

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.

Never change man.

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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! Continue reading Happy February!

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.

The thing I want to note, however, is this apparent trend in which some columnists have decided to write columns on the premise that the CBA is a mere set of guidelines subject to the whims of the commissioner and not, you know, a legally binding legal document that Selig has no choice but to abide. I understand that it makes good copy and that this is all just noise at the end of the day, but frankly, you’d think people who are supposed to be professionals might be just a little bit embarrassed by the sheer volume of ignorance they’re trafficking in. Between this line of thought and yesterday’s “insurance fraud ain’t no thang” thread, I daresay the nation’s baseba writers are coming away from this looking even more ridiculous than Alex. Continue reading The CBA as mythical beast

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. Continue reading Yankees “on verge” of deal with Hafner

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

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.

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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. The problem with accusing these guys is that it’s all done based upon suspicion, with no real evidence backing it up.

Say what you will about some of the dumb responses various columnists have pumped out over this news, but there’s no question that there is at least evidence that A-Rod has been juicing. An actual newspaper reviewed hundreds of documents detailing the sale of banned substances to A-Rod and others by a clinic operator who is being investigated by the federal government. It’s true that those documents could be fabricated, but that’s a pretty wild assumption that shouldn’t be given the benefit of the doubt.
Continue reading A-Rod is not Bagwell