• Rollins: Sabathia will end up with Yanks
    By

    There’s really not much new in this Jon Heyman column. Will Sabathia go for home or money? Yeah, no one has a clue. He does talk to a friend of Sabathia, though. Plenty of reporters have seemingly done that this year, asking random Sabathia friend after random Sabathia friend about the pitcher’s intentions. Most of them, it seems, feel he’ll go home. The friend Heyman tracked down: Jimmy Rollins. His take: “New York, American League. They’ve got enough money, and they need him.”

    Of course, this is just as meaningless as the opinions of Sabathia’s nameless friends. That’s the point, though.
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When it became public that the Padres planned to shop Jake Peavy this winter, Yankees fans got a bit excited. Why not? The 27-year-old has been stellar throughout his major league career, and is a veritable ace. However, given his age and his slightly below market contract, we knew that it would take a considerable package of prospects, rife with major-league ready youngsters, to convince Kevin Towers, Sandy Alderson, Paul DePodesta, and company to send Peavy packing for the East Coast.

Then we got news that Peavy doesn’t exactly want to pitch in the AL. He’s more comfortable in the NL, where he has pitched his entire career. Okay, so that’s a strike against Peavy in pinstripes. There was a later report claiming that Peavy hates New York and would not approve a trade here. That’s hearsay, though, and can’t be taken at face value. If the Padres liked what the Yanks were offering, and both teams made it attractive enough for Peavy to make the move, he might still be amenable.

From the latest news, though, it looks like we’ve heard the last connection between Peavy and the Bronx. Tim links to an article in the San Diego Union Tribune in which Peavy agent Barry Axelrod said that Peavy can be compared to top free agent CC Sabathia:

“It’s not that far of a stretch to say this is a free-agent situation,” Axelrod said, “and if there is a guy like Sabathia out there, we would have to look at what any given team is going to pay Sabathia, because he and Jake won the Cy Young award in the same year, and we’re going to put Jake on the same plane as this guy.”

“If it is someplace where Jake is being asked to make massive change and someplace he may not really want to go, it may take more enticement to get him to agree,” Axelrod said.

So we’re back to paying twice for the player. Not that it really matters. If Peavy does in fact require a CC-esque extension to accept a trade somewhere, chances are that team wouldn’t offer the same package as they would if he came as-is. At that point, it’s doubtful San Diego would take a sub-optimal package because of Peavy’s demands.

All this is to say: let’s stop dreaming of Peavy. It’s a nice idea in theory, but in practice it doesn’t look like the Yanks have the players (they’re willing to part with) and the motivation to get this done.

Categories : Hot Stove League
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At 10:19, nearly 30 minutes before the umpires eventually halted play, my dad sent me the following e-mail: “They are making a farce of baseball and the World Series by playing this game now.” At that point, the field was soaked, puddles were forming and no one was really having any fun out there.

A half an hour later, the game was halted, and about forty minutes after that, Bud Selig officially suspended the game until later tonight or whenever this rain stops. In the ensuing press conference, Selig mentioned something that, to me, raised a few red flags. Joshua Robinson has the report on the Bats blog:

UPDATE, 11:24: Selig just explained that if the Phillies had been ahead when play was stopped, the game would have technically entered a “rain delay.” That means that we would have waited here until conditions were playable again. But Selig specified that it would not have been called a Phillies victory. “I wasn’t about to let that happen,” he said…

UPDATE, 11:32: He also reiterated that he did not want to have to call this game a Phillies victory if they had stopped with Philadelphia in front: “I have to use my judgment. This is not a way to end a World Series.”

If Selig was so dead set on suspending this call and not awarding the Phillies the World Championship based on a 4.5 inning game — a decision which I support — why couldn’t the umpires halt play a little sooner? At no point in between 10:00 p.m. and 10:41 p.m. when the game was stopped should baseball have been played. Had this not been a World Series, the tarp would have been rolled out well before it finally made its October debut.

I am loathe to subscribe to conspiracy theories involving FOX, Bud Selig or the Masons, but someone was putting pressure on someone else to get this game in. If Bud had the authority to suspend and not end an official game, he should have done so well before 10:41 p.m. Personally, I’m just going to take the easy route out and as Mike did, blame A-Rod. It’s always his fault anyway.

Categories : Rants
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A recent edition of ESPN’s Outside the Lines program explored the stadium financing issue that I’ve touched upon a bit over the last few weeks. While the video doesn’t really cover any new ground, it succinctly portrays why Congress is involved in this case. It seems to involve over half a billion federal dollars.

In the video, Neil deMause offers up his take on the financing, and Randy Levine attempts to defend the Yankees. No matter your opinion on the stadium matter, I’m not so sure I want him speaking for the Yankees, and that relocation threat sounds just as ridiculous live as it does in print.

(Hat tip to Cliff Corcoran)

Categories : Yankee Stadium
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AzFL Peoria (6-3 win over Scottsdale)
Austin Jackson: 2 for 3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB – picked off second
Kevin Russo: 2 for 4, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI – dude’s now 14 for his last 26 (.538)
Kevin Whelan: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 0-1 GB/FB – only 14 of 27 pitches were strikes (51.9%)

HWB Waikiki had a scheduled off day.

Some highlights from the Caribbean winter leagues:

  • Matt Carson: 5 for 22 (.227), 2 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB in 6 games
  • Frankie Cervelli: 1 for 11 (.091), 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K in 7 games
  • Justin Christian: 14 for 59 (.237), 8 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 4 BB, 11 K, 7 SB in 14 games
  • Reegie Corona: 8 for 21 (.381), 6 R, 4 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K in 9 games
  • Edwar Gonzalez: 5 for 11 (.455), 1 R, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 1 K in 4 games
  • Former Met Victor Zambrano: 16 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 12 K in 3 starts
Categories : Down on the Farm
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The 2008 baseball season may come to an end tonight. It sucks, I know, but there’s nothing we can do about it. The only people capable of keeping the baseball season alive are the Rays, who (putting it bluntly) have played like shit the last two games. When your 3-4-5 hitters are a combined 4 for 44 with 16 strikeouts in the series, you don’t deserve to win.

Scott Kazmir will take to the mound for the biggest start of his life and biggest game in team history. The youngest member of the Rays rotation and winningest pitcher in franchise history will be relied on to keep Philly’s suddenly surging offense in check long enough for their sluggish offense to do some damage. A tall order for the Kazmanian Devil, but he’s up to it.

As if a 3-1 series lead wasn’t enough, Philly is sending their ace to the mound tonight, Colbert Richard Hamels, the kid so awesome that Jeff Lebowski refers to him as “The Dude.” Allowing only 21 hits & 8 earned runs in 35.2 postseason innings, Hamels appears to have entered the realm of “Big Game Pitcher” this year, and would cement that status with a W tonight. He’ll have to deal with a slightly revamped Tampa lineup tonight, but it might be too little too late for Joe Maddon’s boys.

My prediction that the Rays would win the series in 6 (losing only the games Hamels starts) is obviously not coming true, but I hope Tampa manages to extend the series tonight. I’m not ready for baseball to go away just yet.

Tampa Bay
1. Akinori Iwamura, 2B
2. Carl Crawford, LF
3. BJ Upton, CF
4. Carlos Pena, 1B
5. Evan Longoria, 3B
6. Dioner Navarro, C
7. Rocco Baldelli, RF
8. Jason Bartlett, SS
9. Scott Kazmir, P (12-8, 3.49)

Philadelphia
1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
2. Jayson Werth, RF
3. Chase Utley, 2B
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Pat Burrell, LF
6. Shane Victorino, CF
7. Pedro Feliz, 3B
8. Carlos Ruiz, C
9. Cole Hamels, P (14-10, 3.09)

Weatherman says we might be in for a little rain tonight, but it shouldn’t be enough to postpone the game. I’m sure MLB is ecstatic about another World Series game ended after 1am.

Oh, and remember that kinda weird out-of-place “FISHY FISHY FISHY” song that played during the Game Three pregame ceremonies? The creator of the song left a comment on the game thread. How cool is that?

Update (11:35pm): It’s official, they’ll resume the game tomorrow night in Philly.

Categories : Game Threads
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  • Trenton takes home MiLBY Award
    By

    Via Mike Ashmore, Double-A Trenton won the 2008 Minor League Baseball Yearly Award (MiLBY) for the Double-A level. Basically it’s the award for best team Double-A team, which the Thunder certainly earned by winning their second consecutive Eastern League Championship. Last month the Yankees renewed their Player Development Contract with Trenton for another 6 years, which hopefully means many more EL titles and MiLBY’s to come. · (4) ·

Really. I don’t know. We don’t need words for this one. Why Kobe is the only one wearing pants is a question best left unanswered.

Categories : Whimsy
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While the Yanks’ Friday visit to Congress resulted in nothing too exciting, the Yankees did trot out an old excuse about their new stadium. As Richard Sandomir reported, the Yanks would have moved if they hadn’t gotten a sweet land deal from New York.

Randy Levine, the president of the Yankees, told a Congressional hearing Friday that if the city had not issued tax-exempt financing for the team’s new stadium, it would have left town.

“It’s been no secret for many years” that the team would move if it could not save tens of millions of dollars on financing with tax-free bonds, Levine told the House subcommittee on domestic policy. He added: “There was no shortage of suitors. We see ourselves as a paradigm in professional sports.”

Levine refused to be specific about the other suitors, but when asked after the hearing if New Jersey has wooed the Yankees in recent years he said, “Absolutely!”

Yet again, the Yanks have trotted out this strawman New Jersey argument. For the better part of 14 years, the Yanks have used New Jersey and the Meadowlands as a leveraging tool, and it’s been nothing more than that.

Twenty years ago, New Jersey rejected a measure to fund a potential baseball stadium ostensibly for the Yankees, but George Steinbrenner still used the spectre of New Jersey to threaten Rudy Giuliani throughout the 1990s. More recently, as Sandomir notes, the Yanks have had no contact this decade with Meadowlands officials.

At this point, the Yanks and the City aren’t going to admit any wrong-doing with this questionable land deal, and the City’s coffers will probably never get the money it should have. But the Yanks should really stop trotting out this New Jersey threat. With four million fans making the trip to the Bronx each year, the Yanks aren’t about to decamp to an inaccessible site that isn’t even in New York, and to threaten this non-move is to insult their loyal fans.

Categories : Yankee Stadium
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Over the last month of the season and into October, Tim at MLB Trade Rumors has put together off-season outlooks for various teams. You can check out his Yankees outlook here. We posted a link to this when he wrote it, and Bo, our invariably negative commenter, brought up a good, albeit still negative, point. Why doesn’t Tim have bloggers for each team put together these outlooks?

That’s what we’re shooting for today. We’ll include all contract obligations, estimate arbitration raises, and the guys who have a prayer of breaking camp with the team in March. Discuss in the comments, and be sure to make sure I didn’t forget anyone.

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Categories : Hot Stove League, Rants
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