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Clemens, liniment, where?

Yet more from the Dead Torre Scrolls:

The story comes courtesy of Yankee trainer Steve Donahue who told Verducci about what Roger Clemens did as part of his usual routine to get ready for facing the Mets in Game 2 of the 2000 World Series. Donahue said Clemens’ usual pregame preparation included taking a whirlpool bath at the hottest temperature possible.
he’d come out looking like a lobster,” Donahue said.

But here’s the money quote:

Then Donahue would rub the hottest possible liniment on his testicles.

he’d start snorting like a bull,” the trainer said. “That’s when he was ready to pitch.

And just when I thought I’ve heard it all…now I wish I had.

For a laugh, the old Revenge of the Nerds “Liquid Hot” scene Continue reading Clemens, liniment, where?

It keeps pulling me back in

Just grabbing a great quote from former Yanks (and Rangers, D’Backs) manager Buck Showalter, regarding Torre’s book (emphasis mine):

“I’d have to make up my mind that for sure I wasn’t going back on the field before I ever wrote one,” Showalter said. “I have feelings about it. Obviously I haven’t done it. There’s a certain privilege to having those jobs that you have to live up to.”

Well said. That role is a privilege, an honor. What Torre did is a dishonor to his trusted role and responsibilities.

In case I need to say it again for clarity: I don’t care as much about WHAT he said. It could all be true. What bothers me is that he did this as an active manager. And that he did it TO the team that put 4 World Series rings on his hand, turning him from “Clueless Joe” into “Saint Torre”.

UPDATE (1/30/09, 11am): In Buster’s latest today, he has some good quotes from current front office staff about the Dead Torre Scrolls.

The big question I’d have for him is: Why?” said a National League general manager. “Why would he put his name to something like that? If [Tom] Verducci writes it in his own book, that’s something different. But you have all these people getting [slammed] – and why? For money? Is it to prove a point? Does he have an axe to grind? It doesn’t make sense. I’m interested to see what he says.”

Said another GM: “We all have stories like that, about different guys. But why would he want that stuff out there, with his name attached to it? I know this: If I were playing with the Dodgers, I’d be running in the other direction, because you don’t know what he’s going to write when he puts out, The Dodgers Years.”

Whether it was his intention or not, Torre has hurt a lot of former colleagues, some of whom feel he has either been inaccurate or ungracious in his portrayals, depending on the anecdote.

Continue reading It keeps pulling me back in

Selling a stake in the Sox

The RedSox’ second largest ownership slice is selling. Get your bids ready, fellas.

The New York Times Co said on Wednesday it hired banking firm Goldman Sachs to help it sell its stake in the Boston Red Sox baseball team.

The 17.75 percent stake is in New England Sports Ventures (NESV), which owns the Red Sox, their home field of Fenway park and adjacent real estate.

It also owns half of the Roush Fenway Racing NASCAR team and an 80 percent stake in the NESN regional sports cable TV network.

The Times acquired its stake in NESV in February 2002. Sports bankers previously said the company could raise as much as $200 million from a sale of its stake.

It always struck me as odd that the NY Times was a part owner of the RedSox, but that’s the way conglomerates go. There are some strange bedpartners out there.

The 17.75% stake (if sold for $200m) would effectively value the NESV at $1.127 billion. That’s not the value of the RedSox, but its holding company. I have no idea how the Roush team is valued. When the Yanks were valued at $1.3 billion, I do not think that includes their ownership stake in the YES Network. Network valuations tend to trade at higher multiples. Back in April 2008, when the last Forbes team valuation rankings were published, the Sox were third (behind the Mets and Yanks) at $816m.

Maury at The Biz of Baseball has a bit on this, too. A site worth bookmarking if you’re into the business side of all things baseball.

Continue reading Selling a stake in the Sox

You will say nothing

Looks like the Yanks are finally fed up with the tell-all books. I guess after “Ball Four”, “The Bronx Zoo”, David Wells’ book, the Dead Torre Scrolls was the last straw.

The Yankees are considering including a “non-disparagement clause” in future player and managerial contracts in order to prevent any more tell-all books such as “The Yankee Years,” co-written by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci.

Up to now, we have always operated our employer-employee relationships on a basis of trust,” the official said. “But we never expected what we got from Joe. We may have to get a little tougher on this issue.”

Continue reading You will say nothing

Days until P&C report: 15

Because I am a Munson fan, I’m happy to send you over to FackYouk to check out a nice collection of thoughts, facts and moments about Thurman Munson. Reading this still gives me the chills:

On the approach to the runway, Munson dropped the flaps, but waited too long before giving the plane more power, which resulted in the Cessna Citation I/SP coming up well short of the intended target. Munson had failed to fasten his shoulder strap, was paralyzed during the initial impact and trapped inside the cockpit when the plane finally came to a rest after rolling and sliding for over 500 feet. His flight instructor, David Hall and his friend Kenny Anderson attempted to free Munson, but the plane caught on fire and they were forced to retreat. His last
words were
Get me out of here! Please get me out!” A sad and powerless cry for help, that in no way reflected the way he lived. He was 32 years old.

Continue reading Days until P&C report: 15

More from from the Torre Scrolls

Some new stuff from Tyler Kepner. Seems that Pavano was the joke IN the lockerroom as we have made of him from afar.

The Yankees should have talked to Tim Raines before signing Carl Pavano. Raines, the former Yankee who was coaching with the White Sox when Pavano signed, had played with Pavano in Montreal. During Pavano’s first Yankees season, Raines told Borzello: “He didn’t want to pitch except for the one year he was pitching for a contract. I’m telling you, he’s not going to pitch for you.”
[…]
[Comedians Billy] Crystal and Robin Williams then went into a 12-minute comedy bit, poking fun at various players before turning serious. They told the players to be grateful for the opportunity and for their health. “
And there is somebody we should all pray for, because he has not been blessed with the same great health. So before you go out there, when you hit your knees, say a prayer for Carl Pavano!

The room, the authors write, erupted in laughter.

I’ll read the book and probably love it, but the fact remains that should have been shelved until Torre was done. Continue reading More from from the Torre Scrolls

Lowered Expectations

Buster notes that some of the remaining free agents will have to lower their expectations if they want a contract this year, including former Yankee Bobby Abreu.

As recently as a week ago, the asking price on Bobby Abreu was said to be locked in place, a three-year deal for something in the neighborhood of $16 million a year. But those numbers were based on appraisals made before the motor companies got a bailout, before the Dow Jones Industrial Average shrunk to four digits.

In the past few days, Abreu — like so many other veteran players — has come to grips with the reality that the lush multiyear deal simply is not going to be there for him, and the All-Star who hit 20 homers and accumulated an on-base percentage of .371 this past season is said to be willing to take a one-year deal.

Sorta makes Cashman’s decision not to offer him arbitration look good, doesn’t it? Of course, at that time, Abreu might have declined it anyways. At the time, I thought the decision not to at least offer arbitration (and get the draft pick if he declined) was a mistake as I totally underestimated the way the market for a guy like Abreu would crater. I’m not alone.

Arbitration would have landed him that $16m he wanted. Signing him now might also get him that $16m, but it would take two years to earn it rather than one.


Bonus points for any MAD TV fans out there who appreciate the 2nd picture to the right

Continue reading Lowered Expectations

Calling out Torre

I’ll restate what I said on Sunday about the Torre/Verducci book:

However true it might all be, couldn’t/shouldn’t this have been saved until Torre was out of the game? It reeks of bitterness. Torre has fashioned a sterling reputation in and out of baseball as a wonderful manager of people. I wonder if that will change, at least IN the game, if his lockerroom recognizes that he’s probably taking notes for his next edition?

I’m not questioning whether the players really derisively called ARod “A-Fraud” or if it was all in jest. I really don’t care. The “Single White Female” quip is brilliant.

What troubles me most is how Torre has always (at least since he took the Yanks helm; I can’t speak to his pre-Yanks days very well, admittedly) tried to remain above the fray, the dogs, the sensationalism that followed the team. He was the shield between management and the players, between the press and the players. By putting this book out, now, while an active manager, flies in the face of everything he seemingly stood for. I think it was a major mistake to do this now.

During a quick few minutes to throw down lunch, I read Buster’s take about this situation and what was wonderful to read was Torre’s own comments brandishing David Wells after Wells’ book blew up and pulled back the curtains on the lockerroom. From Buster:

It’s Joe Torre’s book. His name is on it. He got paid for it. He had a chance to read every word, every sentence, every paragraph. He had to approve every passage.
[…]
But he has gone beyond his own code of conduct with his book. In spring 2003, David Wells and a ghostwriter published a book, “
Perfect I’m Not: Boomer on Beer, Brawls, Backaches and Baseball,” and Torre was furious, angry that Wells had aired some of the Yankees’ dirty laundry in the pages. Wells tried to distance himself from some of the words in the book, saying they belonged to the writer, but the Yankees’ manager would not accept that. After a meeting with the pitcher, Torre said this to reporters:

“We talked to him about a lot of things today. I just sensed he was bothered by it. Not by what we said, but by how it came out. How much of it is actually what he said and how much isn’t exactly what he said, I don’t know.

“But there’s no question: It has his name on it, and he has to be accountable for it.”

That’s perfect. Torre must be accountable for every word. And any backlash.

Now it is Torre’s responsibility to be fully accountable for the words in the book that has his name on it, and he must stand behind those words.

If he hides behind Verducci and the suggestion that the ugly anecdotes aren’t his, the explanation will have echoes of “I didn’t knowingly take steroids.” If he embraces the words as his own, he also should acknowledge he has been, at the very least, extraordinarily hypocritical.

Continue reading Calling out Torre