When the Yankees’ season unceremoniously ended at the hands of the Cleveland Indians in October, Bob Sheppard was out with a long bout of laryngitis. Until today, we hadn’t heard anything about Bob, and I had just assumed he had gotten better. If he had gotten worse, the news would be out there. In a weekend mailbag, Peter Abraham confirms that assumption: According to Yanks’ Media Director Jason Zillo, “Mr. Sheppard is feeling much better and is scheduled to resume his position behind the mic for Opening Day.” Phew.
Jim Leyritz was reportedly arrested on suspicion of DUI and vehicular homicide early Friday morning. Miami’s Local 10 has more:
Police said Jim Leyritz was behind the wheel of a Ford SUV that collided with another vehicle at the intersection of Southwest Seventh Avenue and Second Street in the Himmarshee area of downtown Fort Lauderdale.
The impact caused the other car to roll over and the female driver of that vehicle was ejected and she died after being taken to Broward General Medical Center, police said.
Leyritz, a fan favorite when he played in the Bronx, currently works for MLB.com. Things do not look good for the King right now.
A couple of things for you to devour on your lunch break, since nothing much is going on in Yankeeland:
- Some people aren’t too happy with current plans to replace the 22 acres of park used for New Yankee Stadium. The plan, as it stands now, is to put an artificial field atop Garage A, along with handball courts, basketball courts, a 400-meter track, and children’s play equipment. One side says that it’s not the same as an open-field park with real grass and trees. The other side says that “the rooftop park is all recreation activities, where you wouldn’t have a lot of trees anyway.” Plus, they say, a street-level park would likely be designed with artificial turf, anyway.
- Fans in Schenectady, NY, will be able to see 21 games next year on MyTV4. Is this the upstate equivalent of My9?
- If you’re going to hawk a Mickey Mantle card on eBay, make sure you can deliver the goods, lest ye end up in the slammer.
From the Nevada Appeal:
Darrell Rasner Sr., Rasner’s father, said his son will resign with the Yankees. By not tendering a 2008 contract to Rasner, the Yankees will be able to remove Rasner from their 40-man roster.
But Rasner will still be invited to the Yankees Spring Training with a chance to make the 2008 Major League roster. Rasner’s father said his son will be given the chance to make the Big League club as a spot starter and long reliever.
Good news. Rasner wasn’t flashy, but he was pretty darn effective early last year before going down with a finger injury. He’s well-suited for a spot starter/long relief role (he throws strikes and keeps the ball in the park), and is a nice guy to have ready to go at the upper levels.
hat tip to commenter steve (a different one)
It’s non-tender day, one of the more exciting days of the post-Winter Meetings off-season. The Yankees have four such decisions to make: Robinson Cano, Chien-Ming Wang, Wilson Betemit, and Brian Bruney. Tendering contracts to the first three is a no-brainer. There has been some debate about the erratic Bruney, though.
According to Mark Feinsand, the Yanks plan to tender Bruney and have him compete for a bullpen spot in Spring Training. Given his up-and-down 2007, Bruney won’t be in for a serious raise, so the only issue in tendering him is finding other places on the 40-man roster for Alex Rodriguez, Mariano Rivera, and LaTroy Hawkins.
The Yanks likely won’t be players in the newly-created free agent market, as they’re having a hard enough time finding three spots. So while they’ll go and check out Kris Benson’s throwing session, chances are minuscule that they’ll make a serious offer. Same goes for the non-tendered reliever Matt Wise, and projected non-tender Mark Prior.
In bullet-point form for all y’all:
- The Shelley Duncan health scare was very serious, according to Duncan. He developed a serious blood clot in his arm and can only do limited upper body work until the January. Doctors say the scare has since passed.
- The Yankees DFA’d Andy Phillips. He cleared waivers but refused the Yanks’ offer of a AAA assignment. He is now a free agent. Best of luck to him.
- Andy Pettitte plans to pitch for the Yankees in 2009 also. The allure of a new Bronx ballpark was too much for Pettitte to pass up. Sounds good to me.
- Luis Vizcaino and the Yankees are through with each other. No big loss there. The Viz had three good months and three incredibly terrible months last season. That’s easy to replace for less than the $4 million a year he wants.
- The Mitchell Report may come out as early as Thursday. Merry Christmas, MLB.
- Finally, for those of you trying to access the mobile version of RAB but failing, point your browsers at http://riveraveblues.com/?mobi to bypass the faulty auto-redirect. We’re working on a better solution but for now, this is the best we’ve got.
With a need for space on the 40-man roster, the Yankees are about to approach “American Idle” Carl Pavano. Their plan is to release him then invite him to spring training on a minor-league deal. Pavano had Tommy John surgery last summer. The minor-league offer may have something to do with collecting insurance money on Pavano’s four-year, $40 million contract that expires after the 2008 season.
Let’s just end this experiment already and let him walk. Maybe Dave Duncan can work his magic and revitalize Pavano’s career, but his days in pinstripes should be over.
(Hat tip to Patrick)