We’re having some serious issues getting the actual radio show up and running, so we’re going to be doing it old school style for the foreseeable future. If you have any questions you want us to answer during today’s show, email them in to Joe or myself via the links to the left. · (14) ·
The Week of Torre continues late Wednesday into Thursday. In this installment, we find out from Wallace Matthews that the Yankees want to include an NDA in future player and manager contracts. Instead of non-disclosure agreement, though, they’re going with a “non-disparagement” agreement “in order to prevent any more tell-all books.” So former employees can disclose parts of their tenure with the Yankees, so long as they’re not portraying the team in a negative light. Sounds like the makings of some compelling literature.
The Yankees only want former employees to write books which are “positive in tone.” Well, of course they do. No one in the Yankees front office is happy that Joe Torre wrote this book. It says some mean things about them. They’d prefer it if they could control that type of speech so they wouldn’t have to deal with the PR issues.
That doesn’t mean that Torre shouldn’t be able to write it. He lived it, supposedly, so why shouldn’t he be able to chronicle it and sell it to anyone willing to buy? That’s the point, isn’t it? People will buy it, so he and Verducci wrote it. That’s what they wanted, and that’s what they’ll get.
As we’ve seen over the course of the week, this has not been without fallout. Matthews tells us in another column that “David Wells will be named the team nutritionist before Torre is invited back to the Bronx.” The player reaction obviously hasn’t been positive. Even some fans are turning against the legendary former skipper. Everyone’s getting theirs, it seems.
Like an overnight post I did on Mark Teixeira back in December, this is my last post on the Joe Torre fiasco. Hey, when I said that about Tex the Yanks signed him the next day. Maybe something cool will happen today.
Tom Kasinski took a pass over Yankee Stadium this week and found the stadium awash in colors. From the WCBS 880 newschopper, he snapped the blue shot, above, and photos of the new home decked out in red, pink and green. Outside of the weird space ship effect, the stadium looks like it’s just about ready for the mid-February completion date. As much as I don’t like the idea of moving out of The Yankee Stadium, I’m excited to see the New Yankee Stadium up close and personal.
Earlier today it was announced that the Diamondbacks and free agent righty Jon Garland agreed to a one year deal guaranteeing him $8.5M, with a mutual option for a second year thrown in for good measure. Let’s take a quick look at how Garland compares to another recently signed free agent pitcher.
2008: 196.2 IP, 1.51 WHIP, 4.76 FIP, 4.12 K/9, 2.70 BB/9, 1.05 HR/9, 1.79 GB/FB, +1.9 WAR
Last Three Years (avg): 205.1 IP, 1.40 WHIP, 4.49 FIP, 4.38 K/9, 2.29 BB/9, 0.99 HR/9, 1.23 GB/FB, +3.2 WAR
2008: 204 IP, 1.41 WHIP, 3.71 FIP, 6.97 K/9, 2.43 BB/9, 0.84 HR/9, 1.80 GB/FB, +4.4 WAR
Last Three Years (avg): 211.1 IP, 1.43 WHIP, 3.90 FIP, 6.77 K/9, 2.75 BB/9, 0.88 HR/9, 1.65 GB/FB, +4.1 WAR
Holy schnikees. Pettitte’s got him beat in every category except WHIP and walk rate over the last three years, and even those are tiny differences. Of course, there is the little matter of Garland being seven years younger than Pettitte, but age isn’t much of an issue when talking about a pair of one year deals. Sure, the chance of Pettitte regressing is better than the lack of Garland regressing, but a full win regression? Not bloody likely.
So somehow, someway Jon Garland managed to get more guaranteed money than Andy Pettitte. I thought the Yankees were the ones that always overpaid?
(Oh, and as BtB points out, the D-Backs could have had Randy Johnson, who was worth nearly two more wins than Garland in ’08, for roughly the same amount of money. Ouch).
Here’s your Open Thread for the evening. The Rangers are in Pittsburgh while the Knicks and Nets are each in action at home. Also, I’m helping Dave out over at Blueseat Blogs, so make sure you check it out. You know what to do, just be nice.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks it strange that The New York Times Company owns a stake in the Boston Red Sox. It’s not only that, though. They own 17.75 percent of New England Sports Ventures, which also includes a stake in Fenway Park, 89 percent of NESN, and 50 percent of NASCAR’s Roush Fenway Racing team. This morning, NYTCo announced that they’ve hired Goldman, Sachs & Co. to “explore the possible sale” of this asset.
Hey, maybe this is where Mark Cuban gets his in… · (17) ·
As baseball rapidly approaches the two-week mark until Spring Training, a few potential impact players remain unsigned. One of them is a 29-year-old with a career OBP/SLG of .381/.518 who has hit 40 or more home runs five seasons running.
Among some Yankee fans, signing Adam Dunn would cap off what has been an excellent off-season. Today, Buster Olney chimed in:
Dunn might draw interest from the Yankees, a team for which he is perfectly suited, if they could shed the contracts of two of Xavier Nady, Hideki Matsui and Nick Swisher. Abreu, Dunn and Varitek can go someplace and bust it for one year, and if they have strong seasons, they can hope the economic troubles will have less bearing on the market next offseason than they have this winter.
If that argument — that Dunn should wait a year — sounds familiar, that’s because iYankees pontificated on it last week. With the Yankee outfield picture unsettled beyond 2009, Dunn could land himself a deal from the Bombers in about ten months’ time.
Of course, Dunn’s defense raises some eyebrows, but his bat is not in doubt. The Yanks could probably move one of Nady or Swisher if they’re willing to take a less-than-ideal return. They probably can’t move the less-than-healthy Hideki Matsui, and they probably don’t want to move both Swisher and Nady. An outfield of Damon-Melky/Gardner-Dunn doesn’t inspire much confidence.
But Adam Dunn is a tempting target for the Yanks, and until he signs, he’ll be on the periphery of Yankee interest. If the price is right, they just might pounce.
We all think … no wait … we all know we can be highly successful Major League General Managers. It’s a piece of cake. Sign this guy, trade these guys for that guy, cut that dude, deal this guy for a bag of balls to free up money, so on and so forth. It’s never as easy as we make it sound, but most of us will never get a chance to find that out for ourselves. Until now.
2K Sports’ MLB Front Office Manager is basically the baseball version of NFL Head Coach. It puts you in the GM chair and bombards you with all the team building stuff every real life GM has to deal with. (Luckily you don’t have to deal with the shareholders or marketing people or politicians though.) Billy Beane and Brian Cashman both consulted on the project, and the game is true to life in almost every way possible. There’s waivers, the arbitration process, 40-man rosters, the Rule 5 Draft, no trade clauses, performance bonuses, Type-A and B free agents, unhappy superstars, pissed off owners, you name it.
As you can probably imagine, the game is menu heavy. You’re kept up to date on all the major news around the league via email, although you’ll have to dig around for the smaller moves yourself. Beane also acts as your “advisor,” emailing you with advice and instructions for some of the more complicated parts of the game. The filing system for the emails is a little stupid, but it’s not terrible. I’ve seen come complaints about the intricate menu system, but I don’t have any problems with it. I think it’s pretty easy to navigate, actually.
According to a recent study by the city’s Independent Budget Office, the City of New York will have to pony up nearly $80 million more than originally expected to replace the 22 acres of parkland lost to the new Yankee Stadium. This project will now cost around $195 million. Who would have guessed?
Crain’s Daniel Massey has more:
Design revisions, project additions, unanticipated cleanup of hazardous materials and construction inflation have driven costs up by $78.6 million, the report said. While the Yankees are financing the stadium — with the help of city and state subsidies — the parks are being paid for by the city.
“The city pledged to provide new recreational facilities of equal or greater fair market value to those displaced,” the report said. “Since the plans were announced, the costs of these projects have risen significantly.”
According to the original 2005 estimate, the cost of the replacement parks was projected to be $116.1 million. But design revisions and the addition of new projects have added $30 million to the cost. Unanticipated hazardous waste cleanup and environmental remediation cost an extra $7.6 million, and additional site work and safety increased costs by $10.9 million. A greater-than-expected rise in construction costs accounted for $7.6 million of the increase, while construction delays added $6.2 million.
The factors driving the remaining $16.3 million cost increase are not yet clear because portions of the project are still out for bid, the report said.
Furthermore, the replacement parks project won’t be complete until 2011 at the earliest, nearly a year behind schedule. Joyce Hogi of the Bronx’s CB4 isn’t happy. “The kids that played in these parks will be adults and parents by the time we get the replacements,” she said to Crain’s.
In the end, this is of course no different from countless other city projects. Along Second Ave., the long-awaited Second Ave. Subway has run into countless delays and budget problems, the Atlantic Yards and Hudson Yards projects are a mess, and even the Fulton St. Hub, part of the Lower Manhattan post-9/11 redevelopment plan is stuck in neutral.
This one is, of course, on the city and not the Yankees. But it is a prime example of bad planning. The area needs these parks, and it’s a shame they won’t be ready on time.