On Hot Stove Rumoring For The Sake Of Rumoring, Or “Hey, Did You Hear About The Yankees And Max Scherzer?”

Scherzer vs TOR

BREAKING: Still not a Yankee. Not even close

Has everybody had a chance to check around the Yankosphere and baseball blog circuit yet today?  If you have, you were no doubt bombared with stories about the Yankees and Max Scherzer kinda, sorta, maybe, possibly being linked.  Via Jon Heyman:

“So far this offseason, there hasn’t been much that’s new and interesting tied to the Yankees– baseball’s most storied franchise and usually among its most active winter players.

And there has been very little, if anything, that’s been linked to right-hander Max Scherzer — baseball’s top free-agent pitcher.

So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that there’s a chance that the Yankees and Scherzer may start becoming tied together, at least in terms of talk. It’s a match that might make sense.”

At face value, no.  That wouldn’t be a surprise.  Big money players are always linked to the Yankees during hot stove season, and they have a very apparent and widely-known need for starting pitching.  …

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Choo-Choo!! Time To Fire Up The A-Rod Hate Train Again

Alex Rodriguez Arriving at  MLB Offices  in NYC

Courtesy of Splash News

Alex Rodriguez‘s suspension has been lifted, he’s back on the 40-man roster, and he’s working out in preparation for his return to the field in 2015.  You know what that means, right?  Time for the New York media to get their collective A-Rod smear games back in action!  Yeah!!  Because a guy who’s already been outed as a steroid user for the better part of the last 15 years, targeted and treated by MLB and the media as the biggest PED offender in the history of organized sports, and had his reputation and credibility completely destroyed in the process obviously needs to be the focus of more steroid-related stories, right?

For instance, did you guys know that A-Rod paid off his cousin who was his drug handler back in the day to keep him from going to media and telling his story of Alex’s PED use?

“In court documents filed last week in Miami, federal prosecutors say Rodriguez paid $900,000 last year to settle a threatened lawsuit by Yuri Sucart, who had worked as Rodriguez’s personal assistant.

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The Puerto Rico Rays? Sí, se puede…

Yankee fans following road trips to A.L. East rivals may not have to visit one of MLB’s most humdrum parks and cities much longer: frustrated with MLB-low attendance and a notoriously weak park, the Tampa Bay Rays’ owner “has discussed moving the club … to Montreal.” Believe or don’t believe reports that “play[ing] to a half-empty (or worse) stadium night after night … wore on Maddon” in his decision to leave the team he managed for nine years. But clearly the Rays, despite being roughly tied with the A’s as the team most praised for innovative decision-making, are also roughly tied with the A’s as MLB’s most troubled team; the hit they’ll take from losing simultaneously one of the most respected GMs and one of the most respected managers just compounds their structural attendance and park problems.

Yet a team looking for a more devoted fan base would be making a curious decision by shacking up with Montreal, the one city MLB jilted by permanently confiscating its MLB team for lack of local support.…

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The One Where I Rant About Mark Teixeira’s Perceived Lack Of Desire

Teix Foul Territory

Mark Teixeira was a guest host on “Mike And Mike” this morning and a quick sample of tweets I saw makes it sound like he was pretty entertaining.  If you’re a Mark Teixeira fan, you probably already knew this and probably checked it out.  What you might have missed was this post by Wally Matthews last Friday that took some jabs at Teix’s desire and quoted an anonymous “baseball insider” who suggested that Teix’s off-field interests are part of the reason he has declined on the field over the past few seasons:

“A baseball insider I spoke with this week said Teixeira’s ‘outside interests’ — he is financially involved in real estate holdings, a chain of juice bars, and is working to create what he called a “marriage of baseball and social media” — had become a point of concern, with some wondering how badly he still wanted to be a baseball player.”

I’m not even going to get into whether or not it’s fair or right for writers to be taking shots at Teix’s perceived level of desire and effort when the guy has already said he’s going to work out all offseason to make up for how poorly his body held up this year.  …

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Report: Yanks Don’t Have “A Serious Interest” In Yasmany Tomas

Well this isn’t good news:

“According to an industry source, the Yankees don’t appear to have a serious interest in Cuban defector Yasmani Tomas.”

This report by George King cites an anticipated price tag in the $100 million range as the primary reason for the Yanks passing on Tomas, which I don’t and will never understand.  I don’t care how much money they spent last offseason or on whom.  The Yankees still possess the greatest financial advantage over the rest of MLB and they should not be afraid to use it.  If the goal really is to put a “championship-caliber” team on the field, how can you pass on a 24-year-old with grade 70 right-handed power and a plus outfield arm?  Where is that guy in your farm system right now that allows you to say you can’t afford that player?

“What’s that?  Potentially the next Jose Abreu and we can lock him up through the best years of his prime without sacrificing a draft pick?  

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It Could Be Worse, Gang. The Yankees Could Have Ned Yost As Their Manager

Ned Yost

Every page in his binder says “Sac Bunt” in size 150 font. Courtesy of Getty Images

If you didn’t watch last night’s AL Wild Card game, you’re probably bummed out that you missed an all-time postseason classic and you should be.  It was an incredibly dramatic, entertaining game.  If you did watch it, you’re probably wondering how the Royals managed to win that game against such insurmountable odds.  Not the odds put against them by their opponent, oh no.  The odds put against them by their own manager.

Ned Yost put on a clinic in how to lose a winner-take-all game last night.  He lifted his ace starting pitcher early despite him pitching pretty well, went to a rookie starter in relief who had thrown 70+ pitches only 2 days ago, and watched as that rookie gave up a go-ahead home run.  When that 6th inning started to spiral, he elected not to go to his best reliever in the ‘pen to shut down the inning.  …

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Thank You, Brett Gardner

Thank you:

“I feel like things have been slipping away for a few weeks.  To be honest, I haven’t looked at the standings the last couple of days because at this point they don’t really matter. We’ve got to win every day. Until we’re five, six, seven games out with five, six, seven games to go and eliminated, I’m still going to hold out hope, and I still believe in the group of guys we have here. I still come to work every day and play hard, but like I said, we’re not in a good spot right now, and it’s a shame because our pitchers have really stepped up the last couple of months and done a good job. As an offense, we haven’t…

“As well as we’ve pitched, we didn’t need to be great.  We just needed to be good. And we haven’t been…

“You feel like you’re due at some point.  I don’t feel like it’s been a couple of games.

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Monday Afternoon Food For Thought: What’s Your Working Definition of “Well”?

The Yankees managed to squeak out 1 win this weekend, but let’s be real.  They got ragdolled by the Orioles, just like they’ve been getting ragdolled by the Orioles all season.  With 14 games remaining and 5 separating them from the 2nd Wild Card spot, The Captain offered up this insight on the team’s standing:

“We need to continue to come out and play well, and more importantly to win games. We’re at the point now where playing well isn’t good enough.”

At the most basic level, I agree with what Jeter’s saying.  The Yankees do need to win games if they want to keep up the facade that they’re in playoff contention and they can’t be content to just play well.  There are no moral victories to be had here.  Factoring in all the context that comes with the Yankees’ present situation, however, this statement is borderline idiotic.

What are we talking about when we talk about the Yankees CONTINUING to play well, Derek?  …

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Wednesday Afternoon Food For Thought: This Is Lame

MLB_JETER_PATCH_1280_090314_2_kpjt2z1d_t453ox43

Courtesy of Yankees.com

Via ESPN:

“The New York Yankees announced Tuesday that the team will wear a patch of Derek Jeter’s final-season logo on all player hats and uniforms from Sunday, the day that the shortstop will be honored at Yankee Stadium, through the end of the season.”

I’m sorry to all you readers who are still diehard Jeter slurpers and think this is cool.  It’s not.  It’s lame.  Super lame.  Derek Jeter isn’t dead.  He’s retiring.  He’s not even retired yet.  Why does anybody need to wear a patch honoring him before he’s even retired?

And it’s not just patches.  Click that link and read the whole article if you haven’t already.  It’s hats, shirts, autographed jerseys, special edition magazines.  The Yankees aren’t going to make the playoffs and reap the rewards of that extra revenue for a second straight year, so they’re going to milk every last monetary drop out of the Derek Jeter teat while they still can.  …

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