About @Jason_IIATMS

IIATMS overlord and founder. ESPN contributor. Purveyor of luscious reality.

Solving the "who is 'scottboras.com'" riddle?

So who is that dastardly “scottboras.com” that Gammons was once complaining about? Well, if you believe Rich Lederer of the Baseball Analysts, it’s none other than Jon Heyman of SI.com.

If you’re wondering how Heyman got wind of the news before any of the Boston beat writers or columnists, be aware that he had Mark Teixeira going to the Yankees before anyone else and, according to his biography, also “broke the story of Barry Bonds going to the Giants in 1992…Alex Rodriguez going to the Yankees in 2004, A-Rod opting out of his $252-million contract in 2007 and Manny Ramirez going to the Dodgers in 2008.

Varitek. Teixeira. Manny. A-Rod 2x. Bonds, vintage 1992. Do you notice anything in common? Yes, all of these players are or were represented by Boras at the time of their signings. It is plainly obvious that Heyman, known among fellow writers as scottboras.com, is getting fed such stories by Scott himself, which is fine and dandy except there is more going on here than meets the eye.

You see, Boras throws Heyman a bone on a Tek or Tex signing but also uses him to spread rumors about the level of interest and terms in ongoing free agent negotiations to create a false sense of demand. Teams that fall for this trick wind up competing against themselves, which is exactly what Boras desires.

Rich goes on from there, analyzing seemingly every Heyman story, particularly the ones around Manny. Let’s just say it isn’t the kindest portrayal of the Heyman/Manny/Boras dryhumping reporting. Continue reading Solving the "who is 'scottboras.com'" riddle?

I didn't realize that Selig was represented by Boras

I had no idea that Selig had such a lucrative contract. And he has the stones to warn teams about spending too much when he’s collecting an $18.35 million salary? Good lordy.

According to tax filings obtained by the Sports Business Journal, Selig’s compensation climbed past $18 million for the fiscal year ending Oct. 31, 2007. His $18.35 million salary in 2007 represented a 22 percent increase over the previous year, according to the trade journal.
[…]
In 2007, only four players (Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Roger Clemens, Jason Giambi) — all members of the New York Yankees — made more than Selig.

That’s absurd. I don’t even feel like making some “revenue sharing” joke. You can, though. Continue reading I didn't realize that Selig was represented by Boras

Baseball > Football?

Still buried at work but I wanted to share these 10 reasons why baseball is better than football, from Richard Justice. Some are true, some are profoundly silly (ballparks, for example. He omitted the tailgate, which makes ANY event better). Have at it:

10 reasons baseball is better than football
  1. Parity
    MLB has more parity than the NFL. This wasn’t always true. It is now. As the great Jayson Stark points out, since 2000, eight different MLB franchises have won the World Series. Meanwhile, seven NFL franchises have won the Super Bowl since 2000. Since 1970, 18 MLB franchises have won the World Series. Fifteen different NFL franchises have won championships in that span.
  2. Skill level
    Hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to do in sports. Throwing a baseball from 60 feet, 6 inches is the second-hardest thing. The NFL has some phenomenal athletes. None of them is as gifted as Albert Pujols, Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt.
  3. Diamonds
    It’s still one of God’s greatest creations. It’s perfection on every level. Next time you walk into Minute Maid Park, take a moment to appreciate it. From the perfectly trimmed grass to the raked infield dirt to the chalked lines, it’s about the base place on earth to spend a few hours. No matter how bad a day I’ve had, stress flows from me when I see a big league diamond.
  4. Ballparks
    Baseball’s worst parks are better than football’s best. If you’ve ever spent an evening at Dodger Stadium, you’d understand. It’s both tranquil and energizing if one place can be both. If you’re really lucky, you’ll someday stand on the right-field concourse at AT&T Park and admire the view of the bay, the odor of garlic fries, the majesty of the place.
  5. Home runs
    Ever see Will Clark launch one? Or Junior Griffey? Lance Berkman? The home run is the greatest thing in sports. It combines a high skill level with amazing power. That instant when the ball is soaring out of the park is indescribable. Have you ever enjoyed anything more than Jeff Kent’s game-ending home run in Game 5 of the 2004 NLCS? Or Chris Burke’s 18th-inning shot that ended a 2005 NLDS series against the Braves?
  6. Season
    A baseball season is perfect. As Bart Giamatti wrote, ”
    It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come out, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.
  7. Cheerleaders
    Football has ’em. Baseball doesn’t.
  8. All-Star Game
    Baseball’s mid-summer classic is a celebration. Of great players. Of the game itself. Football has nothing even close. The Pro Bowl? Do they still have that?
  9. MLBPA
    Baseball players have a union that has represented its members better than any other on earth. Baseball is better for having a strong, independent union. Pity the poor retired NFL players that have trouble having their gruesome conditions cared for.
  10. Labor peace
    Thanks to Commissioner Selig, baseball has it. Football is headed for a shutdown in 2011.

Continue reading Baseball > Football?

How to get yourself invited to a SuperBowl party every year

Create one of these badboys and you will always have an invite to some great SuperBowl party. If you need further inspiration to check out this masterpiece, the recipie starts like this:

To kick off the construction of this pork medley you’ll need to create a 5×5 bacon weave.

Seriously? A bacon weave? This could only end VERY WELL (if you exclude the trip to your cardiologist).

You’ll reach pork Nirvana is no time flat!

Of course, you don’t have to make this only for the Super Bowl, but too many and you get fast-tracked for a dirt nap. Continue reading How to get yourself invited to a SuperBowl party every year

Update on Yanks pitching prospects

Chad Jennings has a good update on the upper level Yankees pitching prospects, including one on my boy Eric Hacker. Guys profiled include: Phil Hughes, Humberto Sanchez, Ian Kennedy, Phil Coke, Alfredo Aceves and even Kei Igawa. Because I got to interview him here, Hacker’s review is below:

Eric Hacker
Right hander
25 years old
Where he’s been: Hacker is older than you might expect because he too has been hampered by injuries which cost him all of 2004 and 2006. When he’s pitched, though, Hacker has a 2.70 ERA in the minors and he was outstanding last season in Tampa and Trenton.
Where he’s going: I’ve been thinking he’ll open back in Trenton, but Hacker is on the 40-man and he’ll turn 26 before opening day, so a push to Triple-A has merit, especially if he gets in some games in big league camp and opens some eyes on the major league coaching staff.
Ticket to New York: Consistency. Health is too obvious and goes without saying. Hacker doesn’t have massive strikeout numbers, but he also doesn’t walk many guys and he gets a lot of outs on the ground. If he’s steady in Triple-A, he should earn a shot. That consistency, obviously, requires that he not go back on the disabled list.

I’ll be down in FLA right after P&C report. Eric, if you’re reading this, I’ll give you a call/email when I am down there. How’s about a tour of the ballpark/facilities? Continue reading Update on Yanks pitching prospects

What's in a name, anyways

Not quite the Chad Johnson/Ocho Cinco hubbub from this past NFL season, but it seems that Russell Martin of the Dodgers is changing the name on the back of his jersey.

As the lettering on the back of his jersey will attest this spring, it’s “J. Martin” this year, and that’s not the only change Russell Martin would like to announce.

The “J” is Martin’s way of paying tribute to his mother, as it represents her maiden name — Jeanson. Martin’s legal name is Russell Nathan Jeanson Coltrane Martin.

Now, THAT is some name. Any name that can stuff “Coltrane” in as the third middle name is a prodigious name by any definition. I wonder what his monogrammed towels look like.

Down in the same article, Martin give credit to Manny for reminding him and others to have fun while playing this game. Good advice, methinks:

“I think we all learned from him, realizing that you don’t always have to be stone-faced to be successful,” said Martin.

“This guy is smiling and having a good time, laughing it up, and he’s hitting homer after homer and driving guys in and really supporting the team and carrying the team to the postseason. It made me realize that you’re supposed to have fun in this game. If you have fun, then you enjoy it, and it’s going to be a better experience.”

Continue reading What's in a name, anyways

Quota reached: No Sheets, no Manny, no mas

Evidently the Yanks have hit their limit. No, not with regards to their payroll ceiling. Not with the amount of tax breaks they can get. Not with the number of luxury boxes sold.

Free agents, baby.

Try to follow, it’s rather confusing and esoteric, but interesting nonetheless:

Under the rules, “if there are from 39 to 62 [Type A and B] players [during a given offseason], no team can sign more than three.”
[…]
According to an unofficial list compiled by the Sports City Sports News Service, this year there were 63 Type A and Type B free agents — 29 Type As and 34 of the Type B variety. A Type A player is one who’s ranked among the top 20 percent of his group — pitcher or position player. A Type B player is among the top 40 percent. The Elias Sports Bureau does the annual independent rankings.

“If there are more than 62 such players, the club quota shall be increased accordingly,” the Basic Agreement also says.

If there were more than 62 this year, we should have agreed on an increased quota,” [Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of labor relations] said. “We did not. I think if [the Yankees] were contemplating signing another Type A player, they would’ve read the agreement and asked us what we wanted to do. They would’ve said they wanted to sign a fourth player and we would’ve had to do something with the union.”

Teams own Type A’s do not count against this quota, however.

As far as the remaining Type A free agents and what their availability means:

“It’s always been our position that if [a player] goes past the Draft, the compensation goes away,” Manfred said, adding that it has never happened.

Remaining Type A free agents: Bobby Abreu, Orlando Cabrera, Juan Cruz, Adam Dunn, Orlando Hudson, Mike Mussina (retired), Oliver Perez, Ben Sheets and Jason Varitek.

If Cabrera and Cruz and Varitek (if he declines the Sox offer today) wait until June, they can join any team without that team having to offer a first round pick as compensation. We can all agree that it’s preposterous that a middle reliever like Juan Cruz should never be saddled with a Type A designation. I can’t see any team giving up their first round pick for a middle reliever, no matter how good he is.

UPDATE (11:50am, 1/30/09): This is making me dizzy. Now it seems the Yanks haven’t come close to the quota.

10:44am: Brian Cashman told Peter Abraham the Yankees could sign up to eight Type A free agents if they wanted to.

10:05am: One reader asks a question I can’t answer: if the quota is three Type A/Bs, how were the Giants able to sign Jeremy Affeldt (B), Bob Howry (A), Randy Johnson (B), Edgar Renteria (A), and Juan Uribe (B)? Does it only apply to Type A/Bs who were offered arbitration? Is the quota three of each type?

7:45am: Just wanted to add the info from a January 6th Nick Cafardo article, where he stated that this year’s quota is nine Type A or B free agents. Everyone I’d spoken previously to believed the Yankees have not approached any quota. I know the CBA allows for more Type A/Bs to be signed if you lose them, and the Yankees lost Bobby Abreu and Mike Mussina. We attempted to tackle this in October and came away confused.

Still, Bloom talked to MLB’s executive VP of labor relations Rob Manfred for his article and it seems highly unlikely that Manfred would be wrong. – Tim Dierkes

Continue reading Quota reached: No Sheets, no Manny, no mas

Boomer bashing

While driving home last night, I flipped to ESPN Extra (1050 ESPN local feed via XM #141) during a commercial break from MLB on XM. I hadn’t flipped to that channel in weeks, if not longer. I just happened to since I recently modified my presets. When I did, I heard Michael Kay breathlessly tell me to stay tuned, that if I hadn’t yet heard Boomer Wells’ interview from earlier, it’d be worth staying for. I was hooked. I love me some Boomer Wells interviews. And when they rolled that interview, it was awesome. Boomer unchecked, rambling, honest. (You can check here, at the 1050ESPN site for the audio/podcast). If you can’t check out the audio, just check in to The Daily News for their take on the interview.

You’ll hear a lot about the “I’d probably just knock him out” comment, but you have to realize that he was laughing and a sense of context is really needed. His tone was one of mocking Torre and his decision to do this book (or the Dead Torre Scrolls as I call them). From the article:

Torre has been criticized for publicly calling out players in his book, something he said he’d never do when he was still managing in pinstripes. But Wells called that notion “BS” to begin with.

Joe called guys out from time to time,” Wells said. “He always said you’ll never hear anything from him in the media or the papers, and that was BS … Joe didn’t respect a lot of people in my eyes.

Continue reading Boomer bashing