If you think the Yankees and Red Sox are the MLB equivalent of the Hatfields and the McCoys, you’re probably right. To a degree. Really, it’s mostly the fanbases who despise each other. The players, again for the most part, are simply wearing the uniform of their employer. Sure, everyone knows there’s some extra sauce when the Sox and Yanks go at it –rightfully so– but it’s great to hear that there’s a bigger sense of fraternity at play.
Bridget survived, and doctors re-attached the leg—but her body rejected it, and it had to be removed. She would need a prosthetic leg, and although the Red Sox had been financially generous to Johnson, money was still a problem, Long told the roomful of Yankee players.
One by one, they wrote out checks to help—significant checks, though none would say how much. They were said to be just as generous as the Red Sox players, who themselves had ”passed the hat” and opened their wallets to help the Johnsons through.
Long gathered it all up and mailed it to Tennessee, where Ron Johnson had just spent 34 straight days living in the hospital with his daughter, as she healed and learned to adjust to life without her leg.
I’m sure if the sides of the story were reversed, the Sox players would do the same thing. As would any other team, I hope. I know not every player is blessed with the ability to be self-aware and outwardly appreciative for the fortunes they have received. Regardless, I’d like to think each locker room has enough “good guys” in it to make sure those involved in the game but not as lucky are taken care of. [Chalk this up to my ascribing positive attributes on people I have never met, just because I want them to be good people. ]
Minor league guru John Sickels was able to speak with Mark Newman, Yankees Vice President for Baseball Operations (aka VP of Prospect Hugging). The interview is very well done with a handful of tasty morsels. Read on:
SICKELS: Let’s move to the pitching. You mentioned the depth you have in high ceiling arms that are close to the majors. Let’s run down the list. Dellin Betances. He seems recovered from injuries now, and looked good in his first outing. Is he a starter or closer, and what level does he begin at?
NEWMAN: Definitely a starter. Three-pitch guy, plus curveball, plus changeup, hit 96-97 in first game. There are some concerns about his durability until he proves otherwise, but we think he’ll be fine. He has a great work ethic, I love the physique, his mechanics are consistent. His walk rates have gotten better. With the injury behind him we think he’ll be durable now. He will start off in Double-A.
SICKELS: Manny Banuelos opened lots of eyes in the Arizona Fall League. I saw him down there and he’s just incredibly smooth.
NEWMAN: Yeah, he is a smaller guy but wow, great stuff. It is hard to fathom how a guy his size, throwing that easy with the ball coming out of his hand the way it does, can throw so hard. He was at 93-95 yesterday. I have no worries about his arm. His delivery and athleticism scream durability. He’s going to Double-A with Betances.
There’s a lot more in this interview so have at it.
I’m playing a bit of catch-up as I was off-grid for most of the day yesterday. My apologies.
One of the tidbits that we didn’t discuss much here was the news that Mark Teixeira has fired his agent, Scott Boras. The headline reads rather bold, but the truth is, this is largely cosmetic. Boras will still be paid his commission every year of Teixeira’s contract, so shed no tears for Big Bad Scotty B.
“Sometimes, business relationships just run their course,” said Teixeira, who has been represented by Boras throughout his major league career.
“Now that the contract is over with, I don’t want to be ‘Scott Boras client,’” he said. “I want to be Mark Teixeira, baseball player, helping this team win championships.”
“Scott did a great job getting me my contract,” Teixeira said. “I wanted to be in New York from the beginning, and everything that I’ve asked for has come through so far. And from here on out, there’s no reason to worry about the contract. It’s all about winning championships and helping out the community.”
So what does it mean to be a “Scott Boras client”?
(click “view full post” to read more)
These were taken by my former neighbor and softball teammate and now Baseball/Sports Photographer, MetsBlog.com writer Michael Baron. Michael was at the Pirates-Yankees game today. His entire photo stream could be seen here and he’s allowed me to put some of them up on the site. Almost makes you feel like you were there…
Click on any to enlarge.
More pics after the jump!
With their respective teams more focused on the blots on their permanent records than the promise of their baseball records, it’s apparent that both pitchers would benefit from a change of scenery, a clean slate and new voices in their ears. Either one could burn the team acquiring them by failing to live up to their limitless potential or succumbing to worse injuries, but then, that’s the nature of every single pitcher on the planet; staggering towards entropy is what they do. Either could burn the team they leave behind by blossoming in their new environment. Liriano could become a frontline pitcher in a major market and put himself in line for a handsome payday when he reaches free agency. Chamberlain could thrive with a move back to the rotation, armed with stuff that’s still more than decent and a pitching philosophy that doesn’t involve attempting to blow it by every hitter.
So there’s that, which is fine by me. As Brien discussed the other day, if the Yanks can get Liriano while keeping the Killer B’s and their highly regarding catching trio of prospects, that’s a great move for the Yanks. Jaffe agrees:
So count me as somebody who says that if Brian Cashman can swing a deal for Liriano without touching the core of the Yankees’ vaunted system, he absolutely should, because the lefty is the type of risk the Yankees can afford, and the best pitcher the Yankees are likely to acquire until just before the July 31 trading deadline, if not longer. And if Twins general manager Bill Smith can find something within the Yankees’ system which fills additional needs — middle infield insurance, another near-ready arm — he could reap the benefit of unlocking the full potential of a pitcher who’s been misused, and fortifying a contending club both in the near-term and the longer one.
Sorry my Twins-supporters.
Baseball players have long served as pitchmen for seemingly every product possible, from cereal to booze to tobacco. The American Express commercial from the Major League movie is among my most favorite, even if it’s not real:
Everybody: Hello. Do you know us?
[Everybody, except Rick, puts on their caps]
Everybody: We’re a Major League Baseball team.
Jake Taylor: But since we haven’t won a pennant in over 30 years, nobody recognizes us – not even in our own home town.
Eddie Harris: That’s why we carry the American Express card.
Rick Vaughn: No matter how far out of first we are, it’s cool. You know, it keeps us from getting shut out at our favorite hotels and restaurant-type places.
Pedro Cerrano: [pointing to us] So if you’re looking for some Big-League clout, apply for that little green home-run hitter.
Roger Dorn: Look what it’s done for US. People still DON’T recognize us but…[Roger snaps his fingers]
Lou Brown: We’re contenders now.
[Also dressed in a tuxedo, Willie slides into home plate and holds up a green credit card]
Willie Mays Hayes: The American Express card: Don’t steal home without it.
Why bring this up? Because we have a video of Red Sox outtakes today that’s wonderfully awesome and clumsy and awkward. Click “view full post” for the video.
Bud Selig has an amazing autonomy as Lord of MLB. As Brien noted and discussed the other day, Selig floated the Mets $25m to cover operating expenses and the team is again looking for more money. Some people unabashedly hate Selig; I’m not one of those. I think he’s done more than enough good for the game to help balance out some of the things I do not like. Most of what I know and think about Selig has to do with his impacts on the on-field activities of this great game. It’s what goes on behind the scenes that can go unreported and unnoticed.
Crusty ol’ Murray Chass is back doing what he does best: reporting. Chass discusses Selig’s contradictions within his own office, notably with regards to MLB’s hiring practices:
The sense that I got from an official in the commissioner’s office was that Selig believes the rules he established for clubs’ hiring practices don’t apply to the commissioner, that he has to be free to hire the people he believes are best for executive positions and that he feels his office has a very good record in minority hiring.
That is the Park Avenue office itself. [...]
Selig, who is trying to revive interest in baseball among black youngsters, interviewed no black candidates for the job he handed Torre. Message sent.
(click “view full post” to view more)
- Forlorn Twins fans will surely lament the news that former-Twin-now-Cardinal Nick Punto needs hernia surgery and will miss up to three months
- Brian Roberts, the Orioles excellent leadoff hitter and second baseman, has been suffering from a sore neck. Seems minor, but remember that he’s been prone to back injuries the last few years.
- That jolly bundle of sunshine known as Vincente Padilla needs elbow surgery, too.
- A few Yanks are suffering from bronchitis
- And Hank continues from foot-in-mouth disease.
And for the catcher segment of the injury report:
- Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy broke a pinkie and will miss about a month due to the surgery to repair it.
- Yanks’ Russell Martin will also be a bit behind, but Joe Girardi is not too concerned.
- Uber-catcher Joe Mauer brushed off the need for knee injections of lubricant. I’d be very concerned. Maybe not for 2011, but this guy’s going to have to transition from behind the dish eventually because of those knees.