Preview: New York Yankees Update
New York Yankees Update
“Red Sox Nation? What a bunch of [expletive] that is. That was a creation of the Red Sox and ESPN, which is filled with Red Sox fans. Go anywhere in America and you won’t see Red Sox hats and jackets, you’ll see Yankee hats and jackets. This is a Y
A-ROD COURTING BUD
Taken from various media reports:
Alex Rodriguez has officially filed suit against MLB and Allan H. "Bud" Selig with “tortious interference with existing and future contracts."
The suit alleges that in its investigation of Anthony Bosch’s Biogenesis anti-aging clinic the “defendants have engaged in vigilante justice.”
“They have ignored the procedures set forth in baseball’s collectively-bargained labor agreement; violated the strict confidentiality imposed by these agreements; paid individuals millions of dollars and made promises of future employment to individuals in order to get them to produce documents and to testify on MLB’s behalf; bullied and intimidated those individuals who refused to cooperate with their witch hunt; and singled out plaintiff for an unprecedented 211-game suspension -- the longest non-permanent ban in baseball history.”
Rodriguez also claimed that MLB paid $150,000 in cash for Biogenesis records, claiming they had been stolen and "we're handed off in a bag at a Fort Lauderdale restaurant."
The suit attacks the investigative tactics MLB used in its probe of Biogenesis and Rodriguez’s suspected involvement in procuring performance-enhancing drugs from Bosch. Bosch is believed to have handed over evidence of email and text messages with Rodriguez, detailing their transactions, as well as evidence that Bosch administered PEDs to Rodriguez.
Rodriguez is represented by sports law expert David Cornwell and criminal-defense attorney Joe Tacopina.
A-Rod's lawyers have said Bosch could not be trusted because he had been paid off.
A-ROD WILL WALK
WHAT? NO WAY!
That is the usual reaction I get since I have been telling people that over the last few months.
Now I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, but I have a friend who is, and he tells me that if Alex Rodriguez takes this to Federal Court, MLB will be embarrassed.
This is due to baseballs anti-trust exemption as a legal monopoly. Under the anti-trust exemption, Rodriguez has the right to appeal the arbitrators decision to Federal Court.(image)
So, Team "A" heads to court with Team "Bud".
Team Bud lays out to a federal judge circumstantial evidence that they bought from a criminal, which an arbitrator on MLB's payroll used to decide against Rodriguez.
Good luck with that.
Additionally, lets not forget Ryan Braun-1. The MLB paid arbitrator sided against
MLB and Braun walked. MLB then FIRED
the arbitrator because of his decision.(image)
"Your Honor, it is not unreasonable to believe that my client cannot get a fair hearing from this arbitrator due to his fear that his employment with MLB might be terminated if he decides against his employer, a past practice which was demonstrated in the Braun vs MLB case."
If Bud was smart, he and "A" would agree on a monetary settlement to a charity or just drop it all together.
Unless, Bud wants to be embarrassed as he walks out the door.
POSTSEASON POSTMORTEM - 2012
|The Boss would not be happy today|
If George was alive, there would be a big meeting in Tampa today. At the conclusion of that meeting someone would leave without a job. Justified or symbolic, the first ax would fall. The Boss would apologize to the fans and angrily announce that the 2013 season begins TODAY.
Everyone would laugh, George is overreacting again, what a tyrant! Well, the last time the Yankees were swept in a best of 7 was 1976 to the Big Red Machine. The 2012 Tigers are an 88 win team and not the '76 Reds. The '76 Yankees were competitive in that series, this group didn't show up.
After game 4, there was none of that fire or determination to fix what just happened. What we got was a monotone manager and an equally as monotone general manager talking about disappointment and adjustments.
There is no need to rehash the numbers or detail the failings of Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher, Eric Chavez and "The Player Formerly Known As A-Rod." We all know what they DIDN'T do.
And poor Nick Swisher, not only did he choke again in the postseason, Swisher's wife, JoAnna Garcia, learned that her NBC sitcom, “Animal Practice,” was canceled. Remember when NBC scheduled "Animal Practice" to debut in the middle of the Olympic Closing Ceremonies and bumped The Who?
In the coming days this blog will do what the Yankees hierarchy did not do after the sweep, that is look into the future and begin the 2013 season.
Rest in peace Mr. Steinbrenner, you are missed. Especially today.
SIGN UP FOR THIS?
It is amazing to see how some people will drink Girardi's Kool-Ade and pretend that this collapse (and that's what it is) is no big deal.The latest consumer of the beverage is Richard Justice of MLB.com. I encourage you to read his article now then come back and continue with this one.Yankees lack healthy bodies, not heart - Richard Justice -MLB.comMy take on what was said:"All things considered, it's surprising they're still tied for first place after 135 games. If Girardi had known in Spring Training how it would all play out, he surely would have signed up for a share of first place on Sept. 5."How about this: If Girardi had known on June 11, when they had a 10 game lead, would he have signed up for a share of first place on Sept. 5? Would you? I think not."More was expected of Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova. But they were never supposed to be the keys to this strange season."Mr. LongballAnyone that expected Phil "Mr. Longball" Hughes to more than an average .500 pitcher was fooling themselves. Hughes' pitches are not measured in MPH, they are measured in FEET. He is a serviceable #4 starter that will see better days in a lesser teams uniform."Girardi has perfected the art -- and believe me, it's an art -- of answering every question the same way. He never raises his voice. He almost never seems irritated."Except for when he is smug and bats his eyelashes at you. Ever notice how when he thinks he is above and beyond he bats his lashes at you? Makes you want to chuck the remote at the TV."The Yankees were not poorly constructed. They are not poorly managed. They do not lack heart. They lack bodies."The Over ManagerYes, they ARE poorly managed. They are OVER MANAGED. His constant "mixing and matching", as he calls it, hurts more than it helps. I don't care if the opposing pitcher throws with his left hand, right hand, big toe or other appendage, if Alex Rodreguez is hurt, I don't want to see Jayson Nix or Casey McGehee at 3rd when Eric Chavez is on this team. Sometimes your tired starter is still better than some of the scrubs he runs out of the bullpen. 100 pitches...take him out, put in a scrub. Insanity. Too many times Girardi does not put the best possible team on the field and that is his #1 job. Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart are better hitters than Russell Martin. The defense between the 3 are equal but Girardi keeps putting Martin out there with his .190 average. This week we saw Girardi at his best by trying to out manage a fellow over manager versus Baltimore. Fail."In 49 days, their lead in the American League East has gone from 10 games to zero. In that time, they've gone 20-25. They've averaged 4.4 runs per game. Their ERA is 4.00. Neither number is particularly good. Neither number is awful, either. "10 to ZERO and 20-25 IS awful! This team was built for more than 4.4 runs per game and with some of the pitchers on this team 4.4 doesn't cut it."With Sabathia, Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda and Hughes pitching well down the stretch, the Yankees are good enough to make the playoffs."GM Brian CashmanAgain, expecting more from Hughes than he is capable of delivering. Nobody should expect anything out of Pettitte. We know his reputation, but to count on anyone coming off of an injury is not a smart move. Brian Cashman needed to get a starter at the trade deadline and failed to do so. Instead, he got an outfielder and a scrub infielder."They never expected to be playing with this roster, but that's the hand they've been dealt. Girardi must somehow get his guys to take a deep breath and worry only about themselves."The problem here is that Girardi is not the right guy to lead this. How long will it be before we see Jeter getting "rest" while Eduardo Nunez makes 2 errors at short and another game is lost? It WILL happen. When will another pitcher, who is pitching well, be removed for a lefty/righty mix and match, only to have the next pitcher blow the game?"They're in more trouble than they ever expected to be, but noth[...]
DON'T BE A KNUCKLE HEAD
Take a breath Mets fans. I know you are all very excited over the wonderful season that R.A. Dickey is having but don't go ordering his Hall of Fame plaque just yet or hanging #43 on the outfield wall.Historically, knuckleballers are .500 pitchers (as starters) over a career with a knack for double digit loss seasons. Most of their compiled records are due to longevity since most pitch into their 40's as relievers. While R.A. might win 20, don't be shocked if he loses 15 next season.Here is a brief history of the knuckleball and some of its more famous users:History: (from Wikipedia) The identity of the first pitcher to throw a knuckleball is uncertain, but it appears to have been developed in the early 20th century. Lew "Hicks" Moren (1906) of the Philadelphia Phillies was credited as its inventor. However, Eddie Cicotte apparently also came up with the pitch while at Indianapolis, and brought it to the modern major leagues two years later in 1908. Since Cicotte had a much more successful career (and also gained later notoriety as one of the players implicated in the Black Sox scandal), his name is the one most often associated with the invention of the pitch today.Hall of Famer Phil Niekro is probably the greatest of them all. Niekro's 318 career victories are the most by a knuckleball pitcher. He also amassed 274 losses in his 24 year career with the Braves, Yankees, Indians and Blue Jays. "Knucksie" lead the NL in losses in 4 consecutive seasons between 1977 -1980. He won 20 games twice and lost 20 games twice. He pitched a no-hitter in 1973 and his #35 was retired by the Atlanta Braves in 1984 even though he didn't retire until 1987. He actualy played for the Braves AFTER they retired his number.Joe Niekro (brother of Phil), went 221-204 with the Cubs, Padres, Tigers, Braves, Astros, Yankees and Twins over 22 seasons. His best season was 1979 (21-11. 3.00) with the Astros. He had double digit losses 11 times. including an 18 loss season in 1969. In 1987 Niekro was suspended for 10 games when umpire Steve Palermo discovered a nail file in his pocket. Neikro died in 2006. His family sponsors the Joe Neikro Foundation which is committed to aiding in the research and treatment of aneurysm patients. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/TXLmh1dG5fY" width="420">Hall of Famer Hoyt Wilhelm, primarily a reliever, (52 starts / 1070 appearances), went 143-122 in 21 seasons with 10 teams. His best season was 1952 (15-3, 2.43). He pitched in a NL leading 71 games, all in relief. Wilhelm retired with the lowest career Earned Run Average of any Major League hurler after 1927 (2.52) who pitched more than 2,000 innings.Charlie Hough went 216-216 in 25 seasons with 4 teams. Hough ad 13 double digit loss seasons, including 12 in a row between 1982-1993.Wilbur Wood went 164-156 with the Red Sox, Pirates and White Sox. Between 1971 and 1974 Wood went 22-13, 24-17, 24-20 and 20-19. In 1975 he was 16-20. In a 6-1 loss to the California Angels, on September 10, 1977, Wood hit three consecutive batters in the first inning. Wood started both games of a doubleheader for the White Sox against the Yankees on July 20, 1973. (He lost both games).Tom Candiotti compiled a 151-164 record over 16 seasons with 5 teams, notably the Indians and Dodgers. Candioti lost 10+ games 10 times and won 10+ games only 8 times. His best season was 1988 (14-8). He lead the NL in losses with 15 in 1992 and the AL with 16 in 1996. Candiotti appeared briefly in Billy Crystal's 2001 movie "61*" as pitcher Hoyt Wilhelm and was was inducted into the International Bowling Hall of Fame in 2007.Recently retired Tim Wakefield finished with a 200-180 record over 19 seasons, 17 with the Red Sox and 2 with the Pirates. Wakefield started 463 out of 627 appearances. He lost 10+ games 11 times and lead the AL in [...]
If one were to watch the news coverage of Mariano Rivera's injury, and were able to edit out what happened, you'd think he died and fans are ready to sew on the black arm bands on their 42 shirts.
Mariano Rivera got hurt. It's a YUGE (as Mike Francesa would put it) obstacle for the Yankees but one that they can overcome.
As Alex Rodriguez put it last night "we are the New York Yankees and nobody is going to feel sorry for us, guys are going to have to step up."
"A" is right and it starts with HIM. It also starts with Teixambi and Cano. These guys need to start hitting NOW.
Life without Mo will be a lot easier if they need to rely on a closer less often. This team has the capability of staying out of save situations if guys step up, as "A" says.
Then we hear "is Robertson ready to be the closer?" Should Soriano assume the role based on his experience in closing games for Tampa Bay?"
The answer is YES to BOTH. Rafael Soriano has the experience and David Robertson has the talent. Soriano and Robertson should share the role and then slowly increase Robertson's games until he's the full time closer come mid September. There is NO reason to throw him into the closer spot all at once.
The final step will be to move Hughes into a set up spot where he has succeeded in the past when Andy Pettitte arrives.
Another amazing thing to hear is "why is he shagging fly balls!!??"
Please...anyone with half of a Yankees brain knows that this has been his routine since his minor league days, some 20 years worth. Most true Yankees fans knew this and I never heard "is it safe for him to be doing that?" over the last 18 years, so lets not start now.
So, is this the end of Mo? I say no. Mariano Rivera is a proud man. He feels that he let his team down, which is absurd. Derek Jeter last night said "he'll be back" and I think so too.
Mariano Rivera will leave baseball on HIS terms. If he is physically able to return in 2013 (maybe 2012), he'll be back.
Anyone doubt him?
PLAYOFF CHANCES - OLD AND NEW SYSTEM
New playoff system (2 wild cards in each league instead of 1) vs Old…Using the statistical projections for this upcoming Major League Baseball season, here are the chances for every MLB team under baseball's new playoff rules and their percentages under the old system. Team New Old ARI 32% 27% ATL 51% 38% BAL 0% 0% BOS 80% 56% CHC 27% 20% CHI 9% 8% CIN 52% 42% CLE 31% 27% COL 12% 12% DET 70% 67% HOU 0% 0% KCR 1% 0% LAA 71% 54% LAD 7% 6% MIA 60% 45% MIL 34% 26% MIN 1% 1% NYM 4% 2% NYY 94% 84% OAK 1% 0% PHI 66% 55% PIT 0% 0% SDP 10% 8% SEA 0% 0% SFG 57% 53% STL 60% 50% TBR 55% 29% TEX 85% 73% TOR 4% 1% WAS 28% 17% CREDIT: A version of this article appeared Mar. 12, 2012, on page B11 in some U.S. editions of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Yankees, Red Sox To Get Wild Boost. HAT TIP: The I-Man[...]
A-JEI ON HIS WAY...OUT!
The Yankees and Pirates are about to complete the trade that would send A-Jei Burnett to Pittsburgh for cash and two minor league scrub roster fillers.
The Pirates will pay $13 million of the $33 million the Yankees owe Burnett, (who has better control throwing whipped cream pies than fastballs), through 2013.
In a relationship that even eHarmony could not make, A-Jei gets to serve out his contract in obscurity with small crowds, no expectations to win, a new catcher to complain about and a new manager to bark at when he is removed for giving up 7 runs on 10 hits in 3 innings. Meanwhile, the Bucs get to continue their strive for mediocrity by gettting a guy with a nasty breaking pitch and a good
fastball, who will give them 200 innings, go .500 over the 2 years, who looks like a comic book and will show up with the occasional black eye. BUT, if A-Jei can put something decent together this season, the Pirates might be able to pawn him off to a contender at the trade deadline for a couple of
suspects prospects better than what they sent the Yankees.
The deal is pending MLB approval and the appropriate physicals.
Robbie Cano (don't 'cha know?) will be on NBC's "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno tonight at 11:30 p.m.
In case you missed it..click on Robbie....
YES HOST ARRESTED FOR D.U.I.
YES Network studio anchor Bob Lorenz, 48, was charged with driving under the influence after allegedly falling asleep at the wheel and nearly crashing into a pole Wednesday morning near Norwalk, Conn.
Lorenz listed his occupation as "actor" on his arrest report and he declined to reveal his profession to the bail commissioner at Norwalk Superior Court. After his arraignment, Lorenz was asked if he was an anchor on the YES Network, and he replied, "No. I get that all the time."(image)
In an incident strikingly comparable to the Tony LaRussa DUI case
, Lorenz, a three-time Emmy Award winner, was allegedly sleeping behind the wheel of his car with his foot on the brake and the car in drive on Compo Road when police arrived at 3:05 a.m. according to police. When police woke him up, the vehicle accelerated through an intersection. He stopped the vehicle feet away from a pole on the right shoulder of Greens Farms Road, police said.
Police allege that Lorenz was slurring his speech while talking to officers and his breath smelled of alcohol. He failed a field sobriety test and later refused a breathalyzer test, according to police (LaRussa blew a 0.093).
Lorenz was charged with operation of a vehicle while under the influence and was held overnight on $500 bond. He was arraigned Wednesday afternoon at Norwalk Superior Court, and released on a promise to appear in court. Judge Maureen Dennis ordered him to undergo substance abuse evaluation and treatment.
His next court date is Feb. 29.
There was no comment from the YES Network.
The YES (Yankees Entertainment and Sports) Network is owned by Yankee Global Enterprises LLC, which also owns the New York Yankees.
HUGHES SIGNS, AVOIDS ARBITRATION
The Yankees avoided arbitration with Phil Hughes, reaching a one-year deal worth $3.2 million. Hughes gets a $500,000 raise despite an injury plagued 2011 season.
Pitchers Hiroki Kuroda and Michael Pineda were added this week, so the Yankees have 7 starters.
The Yankees could move Hughes to the bullpen or find himself wearing another uniform.
HUGHES TO KC RUMOR, COLON, DAMON, PENA
The website SPORTSGATHER.COM
reports that the Yankees might be willing to ship Phil Hughes to the Royals to acquire Billy Butler. I have never heard of this site, so take it for what its worth.
More well known sources say:
Carlos Pena tells ESPN
that he has spoken to the Yankees.
YANKS SIGN KURODA
The Yankees have agreed to a 1-year deal with Hiroki Kuroda, pending a physical. The deal will be around $11 million.
The Yankees' rotation now has CC Sabathia, Kuroda, Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova, A.J. Burnett, Freddy Garcia and Phil Hughes.
That's 7 starters, so someone is going to the pen and someone is going, period.
Also, it would seem that Bartolo Colon is out of the mix.
In 2011 Kuroda went 13-16 with a 3.07 ERA for the Dodgers.
MONTERO TRADED TO MARINERS
The Yankees have acquired right-handed pitchers Michael Pineda and 19-year-old Jose Campos (Single-A) from the Mariners in exchange for catching prospect Jesus Montero and pitcher Hector Noesi.
The 22-year-old Pineda was an All-Star in his rookie season of 2011. He went 9-10 with a 3.74 ERA in 171 innings of work for Seattle. He also struck out 173 with 55 walks.
Montero was the top prospect in the Yankees organization. He made his major league debut in 2011, appearing in 18 games. He hit four home runs and drove in 12 runs in 61 at-bats.The move also opens up a competition for the back up catcher position between prospect Austin Romine and veteran Francisco Cervelli.
All I know is that this Pineda guy better be good or Cashman is toast!
Preston Mattingly, the 24-year-old son of former Yankees star and current Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, agreed to a minor league contract with the Yankees.
The Yankees said he will report to minor league spring training.
The younger Mattingly hit .232 with five doubles, five home and 19 RBIs in 53 games last year with Class A Great Lakes and Rancho Cucamonga.
He was drafted by the Dodgers in 2006, then traded to Cleveland in 2010, released by the Indians the following April and then signed with the Dodgers. He was a six-year minor league free agent.
Preston becomes the third Mattingly to suit up in the Yankees orgainization.
Taylor Mattingly played minor league ball for the Yankees in 2003 and 2004, reaching their Class A affiliate in Staten Island before quitting professional baseball after a shoulder injury.
In 2009 Taylor was arrested on misdemeanor charges of shoving his mother and spitting in her face after she allegedly sent him an insulting text message.
RETURNING FEAR TO THE BENCH
There was a time that the Yankees had something on the bench that no other team had. That was "fear", a pure threat sitting on the bench. The likes of Daryl Strawberry, Chili Davis and Ruben Sierra (maybe throw in Tim Raines).
Opposing managers were conflicted trying to decide if to make a pitching move that could end up bringing one of these players off of the bench. Their presence alone was a threat, just sitting there, holding a bat.
This factor has been missing for a number of years now. In 2011 the Yankees used Andruw Jones as the big bat off the bench. While Jones was a good player for the Yankees, nobody was afraid of him.
Who can the Yankees bring in, at a reasonable price, to fill that role? I submit the name of Vladimir Guerrero.
Guerrero who will be 37 going into next season, hit .290/13/63 with 30 doubles for the Orioles last season for $7.5 million.
If he is willing to accept the roll of a part-timer, for less money, the Yankees could be a viable home for Vlad.
JETER GIVES HIS BALLS TO THE LADIES
Sources have reported that Derek Jeter gives autographed baseballsaway to his one night stand partners at his Trump World Tower bachelor pad.
Jeter's one night stand ladies were provided a car for those girls to send them home in the following day. The interesting thing was that there was a gift basket full of gifts waiting in the car to be given to those women.
Included in the gift basket were signed baseballs!
The New York Post
says that ol' #2 ended up hooking up with a girl who he had hooked up with once before, but he seemed to have forgotten about the first time and gave her the same identical parting gift, a gift basket with a signed Derek Jeter baseball.
What a guy!
COUNTDOWN TO SPRING TRAINING
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MA & PA STAYING HOME
The Yankees have reportedly extended their contract with WCBS-AM 880 radio to continue broadcasting their games through the 2012 season.
This would seem to indicate that Ma & Pa Pinstripe (John Sterling and his "Yankees componere" Suzyn Waldman) return to the Yankees broadcast booth with the play-by-play, Broadway anecdotes and show tunes.
The Yankees have an option for 2013, but a long term deal is in the works. There have been rumors that WFAN would part with the Mets when their contract expires and the Yankees would then move from WCBS to WFAN. Both stations are owned by CBS Radio.
Photo Credit: Ed Murawinski (Murawinski/Daily News)
BIG POOPIE WANTS TO BE A YANKEE?
(image) David Ortiz interview with ESPN:
He made several hints that he might even consider defecting to the Red Sox long-time rivals, the New York Yankees."I have a lot of friends there and all they talk about is how great things are, even when things are going bad, so, that's something that's good for them. It's a good situation that a player can be involved in," Ortiz said.
Read more HERE
KENNEDY: NO RULES, 20 WINS
There was a time when Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy were the future of the Yankees pitching staff and the Yankees had a plan to make sure that these young pitchers would be brought along slowly in order to prevent injuries down the road.
In the 3 way trade with Arizona and Detroit that brought Curtis Granderson to the Yankees, Ian Kennedy was sent to Arizona.
Now free of the pitch count rule and innings limits rule, The Diamondbacks gave Kennedy one simple instruction: GO PITCH.
So while the Hughes and Chamberlain
have suffered with injuries and inconsistency due to Hughes Rules and Joba Rules, Kennedy has become a 20 game winner with 216 innings pitched.
It will be interesting to see what the Yankees do with prized prospects Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances. Will they be allowed to pitch freely or will the have rules that will set them up for failure?
Oh yea, I never heard of "Nova Rules" and he's won 15 games.
A-JEI IS HERE TO STAY
What should the Yankees do with A-Jei?
The over-manager intends to send him out for his next start.
“He’s starting on Wednesday,” Joe Girardi said. “His numbers aren’t that bad. If you look at the numbers of Hughes, I mean, Hughesy made one good start. We look at the whole year, and A.J.’s been decent for us.”
(Quote from Chad Jennings
This is a ridiculous statement. This cluck couldn't hold a 12 rum lead through 5!
First of all Phil Hughes was not right from spring training, so to compare the two is stupid. Second, I will put Hughes out there before A-Jei in a heart beat and to say that A-Jei has been "decent", really puts the over-managers logic into question.
So what are the Yankees options? As I see it they have 2.
They keep him on rotation and sacrafice Hughes or Nova to other duty or the minors or they sit him.
The Yankees could ask him to accept a stint in the minors to work it out for a few weeks, but he probably wont accept.
Bullpen duty would be worthless and who would you bump?
He probably has or will clear waivers, but nobody in their right mind would claim him anyway.
A trade is out of the question. A-Jei has a 10 team no trade clause, but then again, who'd want him? I read someone's suggestion of a Burnett-Barry Zito swap. Headache for Headache. Giants might be interested because Zito is due more money through 2013. But, we know that will not happen.
The Yankees wont relese him, he's due 16m for '12 and '13.
I'd sit him.
Let him ponder over his situation, seach or the nearest tattoo place or Percing Pagoda. Let him rot and maybe he will reconsider the minors stint.
Eitherway, A-Jei should not make his next start and "pie" duty should be relegated to another player.
A-Jei is here to stay.
IRABU FOUND DEAD
BREAKING: Former Yankees pitcher Hideki Irabu was found dead at his California home yesterday. Suicide is suspected.Irabu, 42, has had a troubled post-baseball career. He was arrested in Gardena, California last year for drunk driving.Back in 2008 he was arrested for assaulting a bar manager in Japan after allegedly consuming 20 glasses of beer.He was also arrested for a DWI-related offense in May of 2010 in California. The San Diego Padres purchased his contract from Japan in 1997, but he refused to sign, saying he'd only play for the Yankees. Eventually he was traded to New York and signed a four-year deal worth $12.8 million. Spring training 1999, an overweight Irabu failed to cover first base on a ground ball. It was the second outing in a row that Irabu had showed a lack of effort. This prompted George Steinbrenner to call Irabu a "fat pu**y toad." Two days later, Steinbrenner apologized.From Pete Caldera, Bergen Record via Twitter: Joe Girardi caught Hideki Irabu's 1st game in the majors, a 10-3 win vs. Detroit at the Stadium, 7/10/97. Derek Jeter had 4 hits.He played in six seasons in the big leagues (NYY, MON, TEX) and went 34-35 with a 5.15 ERA.FROM BASEBALL REFERENCE:January 13, 1997: Purchased by the San Diego Padres from Chiba Lotte Marines (Japan Pacific).April 22, 1997: The San Diego Padres sent players to be named later, Gordon Amerson (minors) and Homer Bush to the New York Yankees for Rafael Medina, Ruben Rivera and $3,000,000.May 29, 1997: the San Diego Padres sent Hideki Irabu to the New York Yankees to complete an earlier deal made on April 22, 1997. December 22, 1999: Traded by the New York Yankees to the Montreal Expos for players to be named later and Jake Westbrook. The Montreal Expos sent Ted Lilly (March 17, 2000) and Christian Parker (March 22, 2000) to the New York Yankees to complete the trade.September 6, 2001: Released by the Montreal Expos.December 27, 2001: Signed as a Free Agent with the Texas Rangers.Irabu was released by the Rangers in 2002[...]
To match the weather on the east coast this week, I took a lot of heat over my Kemp to Yanks story. Mostly from one person in particular. That's fine with me, I can take it. I made my points to him in rebuttal and as of now, I still stand by that post and my source.Funny thing is a man by the name of Pat Dean at Bleacherreport.com reported the same thing that I did 3 days later. I must say that I was very excited to see that, however, a few hours after it was posted, either BR or Mr. Dean pulled it. A message sent to Mr. Dean asking why he pulled it was not answered. A cached copy of the page can be found here. Unlike others, I did not ask his source. I would not do that, however you will notice that his story is very similar to mine. So this leaves 2 questions for Mr. Dean: 1. Did he get this information through his own sources or 2. Did he use me as his source? I took the time to read some of Mr. Deans other postings and they are quality articles, I was impressed. I doubt Mr. Dean used this blog as his source.Home experiment: Between now and the deadline, take note of the rumored trades spewed out by the "credible" sources. Remember, it's perfectly fine if they are wrong because they went to "J-School" and I did not.On to other things.....Seems to me that Mark Teixeira is transforming into Jason Giambi (with a better glove). Tex came to the Yankees with a reputation of being a "hitter" not a "slugger". With his talent as a hitter, he should be able to go the other way on occasion to neutralize "the shift". Instead he insists on trying to slug his way through it and his batting average shows it. I can see Giambi and Big Poopie trying to slug their way through the shift but not Tex, being the "hitter" we were told he was.It is absolutely absurd that Sergio Mitre (DL) is on this team and Adam Warren is not. I am "old school." Back in my youth, pitchers that were brought up from the minors always went to the pen. Ron Guidry was a starter in the minors, got a call up and went to the pen. Al Leiter and Andy Pettitte started out in the Yankees bullpen. That was the way it was, today it is different. When Mitre went on the DL, Warren, Dellin Betances or Manny Banuelos should have been called up for pen duty to see what they can do. I don't believe in this "stretched out as a starter" stuff. They get a taste of the big league and the Yankees get to see what they can do against big league hitters. Its a win-win. But, that's the old school theory.First we had "Joba Rules" and he got hurt, twice. Then we had "Hughes Rules" and he got hurt. Ian Kennedy escaped "rules" and is 11-3, 3.22 with Arizona. Keep in mind that last season Hughes was 10-1 when his "rules" required him to skip a start to save innings. That makes him 9-10 since the skip. The Yankees need to reevaluate their "rules" before they ruin Betances, Banuelos and Warren too. Word is that Rafael Soriano and Eric Chavez will be back with the big club too. Here is a flash: Soripavano is a bum. If Girardi takes David Robinson out of the 8th inning slot, he's a fool.As for Chavez, it will be nice to have him back but how long until Nick Johnson's replacement pulls another Nick Johnson?That is all....[...]
FINALIST FRANCESA ON THE FAN
(image) The National Association of Broadcasting has selected WFAN afternoon host Mike Francesa as a Marconi Award finalist for Major Market Personality of the Year. Also in the running: Funkmaster Flex from WQHT/Hot 97 NY, Kevin and Bean from KROQ in Los Angeles, Dennis and Callahan at WEEI-AM in Boston, and Patrick Ellis at WHUR in Washington.
The award will be announced on September 15 at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner in Chicago.
I'm sure this is a kick in the pants to Francesa critics like Phil Mushnick and Bob Raissman.
Another radio note, good guy (image) Len Berman has decided to give up his update gig with radio legend John Gambling on WOR, he will be replaced by another good guy, WNBC's Bruce Beck.
Beck will also be taking over the WNBC Sunday night sports wrap up that is currently being hosted by Francesa. Francesa announced yesterday that he is giving up "Mike'd Up; The Francesa Sports Final" after 7 seasons to spend more time with his kids.