Notes: New Jersey Rays, Tino on Yes

Yanks reach one-year deal with Randy Winn
Open Thread: Images of Johnny

Well, that whole Randy Winn thing sure made for an interesting afternoon, didn’t it? I haven’t seen people react so vehemently to a $2-million bench signing in a long time. We’ll have more on the Yanks’ firm budget later, but for now, let’s get to a few stories that didn’t make the cut earlier.

Could the Rays move to New Jersey?

Every few months, the idea of a third team in New York makes some waves. This time around the team in question are the Rays who think their current stadium is rather lacking. Peter Gammons noted that MLB would love to stick a third team in the New York Metropolitan area; WNBC examined locations for a third baseball stadium. It was a veritable rumor by that point.

Today, in the Village Voice, Neil de Mause explores whether or not such a move could be successful. He hits upon the typical issues — MLB’s desire for a third team in the area; territorial rights; antitrust concerns — and concludes that such a move is more of a pipe dream than anything else. I’ve explored the idea before, and while it makes for some good discussion, it probably won’t happen.

YES interested in bringing Tino aboard

With David Cone out at YES, the Yankees’ TV network is looking to fill a former player commentator spot in the booth for approximately a quarter of the team’s 2010 slate. Today, Joel Sherman examines Cone’s departure and believes that YES will look to bring Tino Martinez aboard. Tino served as an analyst as ESPN after he retired, and he was both unspectacular and uncontroversial in that role. Hopefully, the fan favorite will bring a bit more character to the YES booth than what he displayed while with the Worldwide Leader if he does indeed end up in the Bronx.

Non-Yankee-related self-promotion

Finally, I would be remiss if I failed to mention this. In recognition of my transit blogging at Second Ave. Sagas, the Village Voice this week featured me in their cover story on 18 of the city’s best blogs. The excerpt on me and my site is right here, and the print edition features a picture of me on page 18. So check that out.

Yanks reach one-year deal with Randy Winn
Open Thread: Images of Johnny
  • JSquared

    New Commentator: Johnny Damon.

    • JSquared

      ***Congratulations Ben.

    • JMK aka The Overshare’s Garden Apartment Complex

      Oh no you ‘i’int!

  • Kiersten

    If the Rays moved to New Jersey, they’d have even fewer fans than they have now.

    • DP

      In fairness, there are 3 hockey teams in the area.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada
      • JMK aka The Overshare’s Garden Apartment Complex

        That “sport” is like Polo without the horses, right?

  • A.D.

    Presumably the groups that lost out to the Nats are probably the best, if the Rays want to move, put them in Las Vegas, and make them part of the AL West.

  • Ted Nelson

    Tropicana Field was only opened in 1998… If it was such a crappy stadium, why did they build it?

    • Joseph Pawlikowski

      Construction started in 1986, finished in 1990. The Rays moved there in 98.

    • A.D.

      Well the stadium existed before the team did, and they signed a terrible terrible lease to prove they had a place to play and win the expansion bid.

      • Ted Nelson

        Yeah, my mistake.

        • Steve H


  • pat

    It seems like the Rays would have a hell of a time getting out of their lease on the Trop. Here’s a pretty good article describing the process.

    In short, it would take a boatload of money and many years of litigation.

  • pete

    congrats ben. a little peeved by FFF beating this’n out for best sports blog, but hey, what can ya do. helps keep the trolls out anyway

    • Benjamin Kabak


      I think the YES partnership did us in. RAB’s a bit too big and a bit too popular to be at the level for that Voice feature.

      • Steve H

        Yeah, a 500 comment thread on Randy Winn signing for $2 million might mean you’re a little too big and popular for that.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          Heavy is the head that wears the crown.

      • GG2000

        Hey Ben – FYI, you have a bad URL link to your Second Ave. Sagas blog … you spelled “avenue” as “aveneu“. Be that as it may, congratulations on the recognition!

      • pete

        Oh I don’t doubt it, but IMO, that just makes this blog all the better. Despite being one of the bigger yankee blogs out there, RAB manages to maintain not only a high level of admin-generated content, but by FAR the highest level of reader-generated content of any big sports blog on the planet, IMO. Somehow, despite being a large, open, internet forum, RAB has, IMO, by far the best commenting base of any blog i’ve ever read, sports or not. The discussion never veers off-topic the way it does at other blogs (ahem, Lohud), and all of the commenting guidelines are strictly enforced. Almost everybody on here is open to other peoples’ opinions, which typically leads to discussions that, rather than going around in circles because of stubbornness, lead to, as they are supposed to, an improved understanding and contextual perception of every post.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          Why thank you.


  • diehardyankee

    Bring the Rays to Orlando, FL – capital of tourism and where 50MM people visit FL / Disney parks every year. We are building a new stadium – bring them on!!!

    • Jon in Cyclist-Unfriendly Orlando

      Seconded – just so I don’t have to drive 1.5 hours to Tampa when the Yanks come to town.

    • Accent Shallow

      Woof. What’s the point of a city in Florida with no beach access?

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        Seconded. Orlando sucks balls.

        And Disney is the saddest place on earth. It’s a non-amusement park. It’s nothing but a large outdoor stuffed animal mall.

        • JMK aka The Overshare’s Garden Apartment Complex

          Then again, domestically, I can think of no better model of communism than Disney World.


  • Rose

    New Jersey Rays?

    I know some teams keep their names and they tend to not make any sense anymore but that one may take the cake.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      If they turned it to be Devil Rays again that would be pretty cool.

    • WIlliam

      They’d need to go to south jersey. North and Central Jersey is predominantly Yankee territory. No Yankee fans would cheer for a division rival. South Jersey is Philly territory, so it would be OK. The Ocean City Rays does have a bit of a ring to it.

  • Jake H

    Congrats Ben.

    I wonder if Tino would give up his position in the front office to go work for YES.

  • bexarama

    Aaagh the whole “there needs to be a third team in NY, the Yankees have an unfair advantage” is so annoying. Unless that person is also suggesting they plop a baseball team in, say, Vermont or New Hampshire. Or some other part of Massachusetts.

    I love Tino. I hope he would be amazing on YES. But, he was awful on ESPN, and that was when we all got to look at him too during Baseball Tonight. Can’t do that in the YES booth. :(

    • JMK aka The Overshare’s Garden Apartment Complex

      Having lived in Vermont, I can unequivocally say that a baseball team there would fail so epically, it would be unbearably funny. Frankly, it’s not a fair comparison—the Boston market genuinely would not be able to support another team. New York’s can. They shouldn’t for a myriad of reasons, but the situations are not alike.

      Tino was indeed terrible on ESPN; hopefully he’s not as bad on YES.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        Hartford, CT used to have professional sports teams in numerous different leagues, including minor league baseball. It no longer does.

        There’s a lesson in that.

        • JMK aka The Overshare’s Garden Apartment Complex

          I used to be on The Whalers.


          • Accent Shallow

            Relax, Ahab.

      • Big Juan

        Seeing as UVM has cut it’s baseball program, I would agree that VT couldn’t handle a pro team.

        No one would watch; Vermont is a lost cause. They like some sport called soccer a lot here.

  • Stones

    They would have to change their name to the Garden State Parkrays

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      Well done.

    • JMK aka The Overshare’s Garden Apartment Complex

      That’s actually not bad. I was thinking of the Jersey Toll Ray Collectors, but it’s not snappy enough.

    • WIlliam

      I resent that. I mean our governmnet is screwed, our cities are shit, our roads are crappy, and south Jersey- don’t get me started, but the central jersey Princeton area is quite nice. (Yes, I live in Princeton) So yeah, the rest of the state sucks, but I’m in the good part, so I’m fine.

      P.S., Since North Jersey is Yankee territory, I think a southern city is best. I think the Ocean city Rays has a nice ring to it.

  • Warren

    A 3rd team. Is there an outstanding – Why ? – to answer the 3rd team in NJ/NY/Conn area?

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

    Well, that whole Randy Winn thing sure made for an interesting afternoon, didn’t it? I haven’t seen people react so vehemently to a $2-million bench signing in a long time.

    Tommie: Boy, that escalated quickly… I mean, that really got out of hand fast.
    JMK: It jumped up a notch.
    Tommie: It did, didn’t it?
    Templeton Brendog: Yeah, I stabbed a man in the heart.
    Tommie: I saw that. JSB killed a guy! Did you throw a trident?
    Templeton Brendog: Yeah, there were horses, and a man on fire, and I killed a guy with a trident.
    Tommie: Brendog, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that. You should find yourself a safehouse or a relative close by. Lay low for a while, because you’re probably wanted for murder.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

      RRR: You see the naked one in the middle, screaming and beating off hordes of angry mobs with nothing but a spoon? That was me.

      I’m gonna have to lie low for a year or two.

      The one humping the fat chick? JMK.

    • Templeton “brendog” Peck

      and im brick? sigh.

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

    Tino served as an analyst as ESPN after he retired, and he was both unspectacular and uncontroversial in that role.

    YES should just save themselves a boatload of money and hire the Al Gore pull-string talking doll from the Simpsons episode where Bart, Milhouse, Nelson, and Ralph drive to the World’s Fair in Tennessee.

    Same level of scintillating dialogue, fractions of the cost.

    “You are listening to me talk.”

    • Accent Shallow

      Maybe because you are, as we say in Latin, a “dorkus malorkus.”

  • Accent Shallow

    I’m not delving back into that 500 comment thread. Wow.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      Oh, but it’s entertaining. Go for it.

  • king of fruitless hypotheticals


    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      The Las Vegas PokerChips.

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

    From the I Blog New York article:

    As a kid growing up on the Upper West Side, says Ben Kabak, “I was always fascinated by the subway.” He started Second Avenue Sagas, as the name implies, to follow the progress of the Second Avenue Subway project in 2006, but “I quickly learned that there wasn’t enough news on a daily basis to sustain a site that looked only at that project.” So he turned his attention to other transit stories.

    Often, these are quotidian—the introduction of new buses, management changes, ticket blitzes, the inevitable service advisories—but in covering them, he’s learned enough to make intelligent commentary on the subject and to leaven the blog with more fanciful entries, such as an examination of the subway system in Grand Theft Auto’s Liberty City.

    Now 26 and quartered in Park Slope, he has become the go-to source for city news blogs when transit comes up…

    A) You’re a “go-to source”, Kabak, congrats.
    B) Your new nickname is “Often Quotidian Kabak”. Book it.

    • Accent Shallow

      Ben lives in Park Slope? Was it because of the good schools?

      /resists urge to make stroller-pushing joke

  • Mike HC

    No way the Yanks allow another team to come to NY. I can’t see that going down anytime in the near future.

  • Mike HC

    No David Cone next year? He was one of my favorites and was really coming into his own. I will really miss him. Anybody know what he is moving on to?

    And Tino is quite boring and mediocre from what I remember on ESPN. Maybe he will loosen up on YES. While Kay can get extremely annoying and quite muteable, he at least makes a very honest attempt at bringing out a personality in his booth mates.

    • Lanny

      Hes joining the Players Assoc.

  • coolerking

    Really sorry to hear Cone is leaving. He was great. He and Leiter had a habit of saying off-color things that most announcers would never say. Cone had many funny stories and was not afraid to lay into the team when it was deserved. Hope Tino drops the company man approach…Yanks already have too many of those guys.

    • Dave

      Considering the team is really good, don’t need old players telling this group how to play. I’d rather a company guy than Cone who wasn’t very good.

      The Mets need announcers who will rip into the team.

  • Big Juan

    I’m late to the party Ben, but congratulations. It’s great to see you get some recognition for all the awesome work you do.