A year ago in April, we issued a Tabloid Declaration of Independence. Spurred on by a winter of rumors, some true, others nowhere near reality, we declared that with a few exceptions — Mark Feinsand’s news reporting being the most notable — we would no longer be linking to stories in The Post or The Daily News.

At the time, Joe wrote, “Every day, these publications assail our better senses and bring us little in the way of opinion and insight. We are constantly bombarded with fabricated rumors, flimsy analysis, and half-baked opinions that do not pass muster to the educated fan.”

We felt that we could provide intelligent and well-reasoned analysis that far eclipsed what many of the tabloid writers were producing on a daily basis. Our analysis would be as fair as we could make it and our reasoning as transparent as possible.

By all accounts, we had a successful summer doing so, and over time, we struck a balance between accepting what the tabloids say as analysis and what they report — or sometimes “report” — as rumors. In fact, we’ve even linked to a Post piece over the last few weeks about concerns surround Joba’s velocity in Spring Training. While those concerns may be George King’s and King’s lone, they deserved a nod.

Yesterday, though, I was served a firm reminder of our tabloid ban when seven or eight RAB readers e-mailed me the same story and a few others linked to it in the comments. That story dealt with A-Rod, of course, and it was printed not in the sports section of The Daily News but rather on George Rush’s gossip pages. In a nutshell, Rush claims that A-Rod is one of the Spitzer Madam’s other clients and that A-Rod allegedly told one of the high-priced prostitutes that he took steroids. (It’s here if you insist on reading it.)

In a time when New York City’s mass transit is in the midst of a financial crisis, as the nation’s economy founders, a gossip column’s story about a baseball player’s hiring a prostitute is somehow considered front page news. What’s next? Dog bites man?

Not only am I reminded why we eschew the tabloids as reliable news sources that strive to bring a level of intelligence to the daily discourse, but I again see the A-Rod Double Standard at work. Will George Rush look into the lives of the other Major League Baseball players, the vast majority of whom have probably earned or paid for their fair share of one-night stands? Will we see a catalog of Joba’s exploits? Jeter’s ladies? Or do we just get tales of A-Rod because he’s the $270 million whipping boy?

I don’t even think I want to know the answers to those questions.

In the end, then, at the end of March, 11 months after issuing a tabloid ban, we’re right back where we started. If sports gossip is your game, try Deadspin or any of the countless other sites that have reached for the lowest common denominator of reporting. We’ll keep trying to raise the discourse, and while we don’t always succeed and while we’ve made our mistakes, the least we’re going to do is rely on sourced articles that hack-job gossip pieces with dubious motives behind them.

Categories : Rants
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cashman-and-halWay back in November PeteAbe posted his list of the twenty most important Yankees, and Ben said we’d follow that up by posting our own list shortly thereafter. Well, four months later seems like as good a time as any to roll out our lists. That’s right, lists. I’m going to present my list of the twenty most important people in the organization today, and tomorrow Joe’s going to follow up with his version. Ben will post his list on Wednesday, then we’ll wrap this whole thing up on Thursday, podcast-style.

This list is a ranking of the most important people in the Yankees organization. It can be anyone – players, coaches, front office personnel, groundskeepers, clubbies, literally anyone on the payroll. We’re ranking them based on their importance from this day going forward, and not just in regards to the 2009 season. Obviously there is no right or wrong answer to this, it’s just my opinion.

Fun starts after the jump.

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Categories : Analysis
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  • Nady has leg up in right field competition
    By

    For much of the winter, at least since the Mark Teixeira signing, there’s been plenty of debate as to who will start in right field for the Yanks. Two able-bodied vets are vying for the job: newly-acquired Nick Swisher and contract-year Xavier Nady. Via Bryan Hoch’s Twitter feed, we learn that Nady is the current favorite. This doesn’t appear based on spring performance, as Nady isn’t exactly lighting it up. Pete Caldera notes that “Nady has more in the bank with Girardi based on last season.” So was it really a competition at all?

    Update (11:45 a.m.): Hoch’s Twitter feed just lit up again, letting us know that Kei Igawa has been optioned to AAA. Not huge news, hence no new post.
    · (97) ·

Last week was another good week in Yankeeland, as the team rolled to nine straight wins thanks to strong performances from CC Sabathia, Chien-Ming Wang and Joba Chamberlain. AJ Burnett struggled for the first time in pinstripes, but the important thing is that the members of the rotation are there for each other. Jorge Posada‘s return from offseason shoulder surgery continued to go well, as he threw out three potential basestealers on Sunday. A-Rod is ahead of his rehab schedule out in Vail, another plus.

Off the field, we learned that the Yanks are going to open the New Stadium to the Bronx community, and that they really don’t care about A-Rod‘s shenanigans. The center field job is apparently still up for grabs, but me thinks it’s not as open as the team wants it to appear.

Please take a second to answer the poll below and give us an idea of how confident you are in the team. At some point in the next few weeks I’ll create a permanent link to a graph showing the change in fan confidence over time, but for now this will have to hold you over. Don’t worry, I’ll pretty it up eventually. Thanks in advance.

Given the team's current roster construction, farm system, management, etc., how confident are you in the Yankees' overall future?
View Results
Categories : Polls
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The Yankees made the hundred mile trip down to Port Charlotte to take on the defending AL champs today, riding the high from a nine game winning streak. Al Aceves took the mound as CC Sabathia threw in a minor league game back in Tampa (more on that later), giving up a run on two hits and walk in two and two-thirds innings. He also hit a batter and threw a wild pitch. Steven Jackson gave up a pair of unearned runs while recording four outs, and Damaso Marte walked a batter in his first spring action with the team. Kei Igawa, who had been pitching like Superman lately, struggled this afternoon, putting eight runners on base (four hits, four walks) in just two and two-thirds innings pitched. He only managed to give up one run however, and struck out four.

The Yanks offense mustered only six hits against a pretty strong sextet of Rays’ arms. Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner both went 1-for-2, although Gardner was caught stealing and Melky was hit by a pitch and threw a runner out at second. Xavier Nady, Nick Swisher, Cody Ransom and Angel Berroa combined for eleven hitless at-bats. Swisher drew a walk and committed a throwing error at first, Nady threw a runner out at second, and Ransom committed a fielding error at second. The most productive Yankee on the day was Robbie Cano, who went 2-for-3 as the DH. Overall it was a pretty forgettable day.

While the team was busy losing 4-0 to the Rays, the most important news of the day came out of the home base in Tampa. CC Sabathia pitched against a team of minor leaguers, giving up one run on seven hits and walk in five innings. He struck out three and threw 51 of 81 pitches for strikes. Jorge Posada caught him, and he threw out three of the four baserunners that attempted to steal second. After the game he said his shoulder feels 100 and is he’confident in his ability to throw. That is ginormous.

Brett Tomko starts against the Phillies in Clearwater tomorrow afternoon while Chien-Ming Wang will throw in a minor league game. The regular season starts two weeks from Monday. Woo hoo.

Comments (19)
  • Scout’s take on Pena, Nunez
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    Ken Rosenthal spoke to a scout recently about two players who have gotten a lot of exposure this spring thanks to the WBC, Eduardo Nunez and Ramiro Pena. “They’re two of the better young kids I’ve seen … two legitimate core players for the future,” the scout said. “They’re not that far from being major-league ready — they have some tools and they know how to play.” While no one questions their defense, there are concerns about their offense, however the scout added “Their offense will not keep them from playing — they have at least survivor skills with the bat.” Survivor skills with the bat? Who does that remind you of? (h/t Steve H) · (44) ·

CC on the mound

I know it’s not the best picture in the world, but Andy from Sunny Daytona sent along this shot of CC Sabathia on the mound in his minor league game this afternoon. He also sent along these shots of the infield, the umpires chatting it up at home plate, and young Jose Mojica taking a lead off first. The season can’t come soon enough.

Anyway, use this as your open thread for the night. The Devils, Rangers and Nets are all in action tonight, plus Team USA is taking on Japan in the WBC semifinals. Anything goes here, just be cool.

Categories : Open Thread
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  • Yanks acquire minor league catcher
    By

    Via Scot Gregor of The Daily Herald, the Yankees have acquired catcher Chris Stewart from the White Sox for a player to be named later. You probably remember that Stewart was with the Yanks last year, going 1-for-3 with a strikeout in his lone game with the Bombers. He hit .279-.352-.371 in 86 games with Triple-A Scranton last year. This probably spells the end for Kevin Cash. (h/t MLBTR) · (16) ·

  • Gammons sees Yanks in on Holliday
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    Matt Holliday stands to be one of the most sought-after free agents come October. Today, Peter Gammons checked in on the A’s outfielder. Holliday is concerned with his upcoming 2009 campaign, but Gammons speculates on the future. Early indications are that the Angels, Red Sox and Yankees will be competing for Holliday’s services if he proves he can hit outside of Colorado this year. Of the Yanks, Gammons writes, “There are scouts who believe Holliday’s natural center/right-center power is best suited for Yankee Stadium.” · (49) ·

Today’s game on MLB Network is blacked out in the New York area because YES is a bunch of fascists exercised their contractual right to keep it off the airwaves in their market, but for those that live outside of NY, here’s your game thread for today’s action. CC Sabathia is pitching in a minor league game, while this squad will face David Price and the rest of the AL Champion Rays:

Gardner, CF
Melky, LF
Nady, RF
Swisher, 1B
Cano, DH
Ransom, 2B
Berroa, 3B
Pena, SS
Cash, C

Scheduled Pitchers: Al Aceves, Kei Igawa, Damaso Marte, Steven Jackson

First pitch is scheduled for 1:15. Enjoy the game, lucky bastards.

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