If you said, “The Yankees,” boy, are you in for a surprise.
The Yanks tonight released two pieces of information. The boring one is the tentative 2008 schedule. Yankee Stadium will play host to its last game on September 21 when the Orioles come to town, and the Yanks will close out the 2008 season in Boston for what could be a pivotal three-game series. There ain’t nuthin’ like some drama to close out the year.
But the bigger news — and the bad news — is the cost. It’s going to cost you more than ever to get in to Yankee Stadium. Raise your hand if you’re surprised.
Now, I don’t know how much it costs to sit in the lower decks. Those aren’t my ideal seats, and I never sit there. But the prices are astronomical. The Field Boxes run from $240-$325 a ticket if you buy in advance and $350-$400 for day-of-game tickets. Those are the most expensive seats in the stadium.
But forget those seats. No one can really buy single-game Field Box seats anyway. In fact, I think they’re already all sold out for the entire season. Instead, let’s jump up to the good seats in the Tier. The Tier Boxes last year cost $60 for the so-called MVP seats and, I believe, $40 for the others. In 2008, we’ll be paying $65 and $45 respectively. The Tier Reserve jumps from $18 to $22 with day-of-game tickets going from $20 to $23.
Meanwhile, bleacher seats will now cost $14.
You can bet that the new stadium will see prices even higher than this. Yankee games are fast approaching Knicks games in price, and that’s not a good thing for the average fan.
Ready for this one? The Phillies are interesting in inviting Sidney Ponson to Spring Training. While Ponson, who threw 16.1 nightmarish innings for the Yanks in 2006, certainly won’t solve the Phillies’ pitching woes, he will help them run through the buffet table a bit faster. · (5) ·
I didn’t watch A-Rod‘s 60 Minutes appearance last night. I instead subjected myself to an 18-for-52 performance by Eli Manning. Based on the news stories, it seems as though A-Rod had a few choice sound bites.
My favorite, of course, is word of the Boras-Rodriguez Cold War. A-Rod and his agent of 16 years are no longer talking, A-Rod admitted last night. The Yankees’ $275-million negotiated his own contract this time around, and that after the opt-out debacle the two are on pretty bad terms.
Interestingly, A-Rod admitted that he agreed to Boras’ plan to opt-out but thought it would be handled differently. He wasn’t too happy to see the announcement during the end of Game 4 of the World Series. “When I realized things were going haywire, at that point I said, ‘Wait a minute, I’ve got to be accountable for my own life. This is not going the way I wanted it to go,’ so I got behind the wheel,” he said.
To return to the Yanks, A-Rod had to leave Scott Boras out of the negotiations, and so he did. It’s interesting stuff from A-Rod and a clear sign that Scott Boras did indeed lose this round even if A-Rod won himself a huge contract.
Better prospects than steroids, right? Moundtalk – a site I just stumbled upon and liked what I saw – posted a list of the Top 100 Prospects in baseball. The list was actually compiled by the site’s readers, who submitted their individual lists and had them blended together. Yankee rankings and more after the jump:
- Joba Chamberlain, RHP, Grade A
- Jose Tabata, OF, Grade B+
- Ian Kennedy, RHP, Grade B+
- Alan Horne, RHP, Grade B
- Austin Jackson, OF, Grade B-
- Bradley Suttle, 3B, Grade B-
- Dellin Betances, RHP, Grade B-
- Austin Romine, C, Grade B- (hate grading guys who haven’t played yet, could be C+)
- Jesus Montero, C, Grade C+ (borderline B-)
- Dan McCutchen, RHP, Grade C+
- Brett Gardner, OF, Grade C+
- Damon Sublett, 2B, Grade C+ (love this guy)
- Andrew Brackman, RHP, Grade C+ (could slot anywhere from 9 to 20 depending on what you want to emphasize)
- Jeffrey Marquez, RHP, Grade C+
- George Kontos, RHP, Grade C+
- Kevin Whelan, RHP, Grade C+ (check those K/IP and H/IP, but command?)
- Frank Cervelli, C, Grade C+ (great glove, bat?)
- David Robertson, RHP, Grade C+ (stunning numbers)
- Jairo Heredia, RHP, Grade C+
- Zach McAllister, RHP, Grade C+
It’s a good list and it’s reasonably ordered. Suttle and Romine may be a bit too high, Brackman and Whelan a bit too low, but it’s all a matter of preference. I do however think that Ajax is better than a B- prospect, and Montero is definitely better than a C+. Sickels also posted an excerpt from his book about Alan Horne; check it out here.
I figure this is a good way to get a break from all the steroid stuff. If you’re suffering from baseball withdrawal, Licey is taking on Aguilas in a Dominican Winter League game on ESPN Deportes right now. The broadcast is en espanol, but hey, it’s baseball.
Jon Albaladejo: 24.1 IP, 22 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 8 BB, 18 K in 26 appearances
Bobby Abreu: 0 for 3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K in his lone game way back on November 29th
Wilson Betemit: 10 for 35 (.286), 6 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 7 BB, 14 K in 12 games, last played on December 1st
Frankie Cervelli: 5 for 26 (.192), 1 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 9 BB, 8 K in 13 games
Alberto Gonzalez: 32 for 96 (.333), 15 R, 4 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 6 BB, 9 K, 1 SB, 2 CS in 26 games
Edwar Gonzalez: 15 for 60 (.250), 3 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 1 BB, 15 K, 2 SB, 2 CS in 26 games
Jesus Montero: 29 for 81 (.358), 18 R, 4 2B, 0 3B, 6 HR, 17 RBI, 14 BB, 14 K, 2 SB, 0 CS in 23 games
Ivan Nova: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K in his lone appearance was back on November 19th
Scott Patterson: 21.1 IP, 18 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 17 K in 18 appearances, hasn’t pitched since December 1st
Edgar Soto: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 K in 2 games, hasn’t pitched since November 9th
Edwar Ramirez: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K in 2 games, last pitched on November 16th
Marcos Vechionacci: 27 for 97 (.278), 11 R, 5 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 5 BB, 13 K, 1 B, 0 CS in 34 games
Jose Veras: 8.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 13 K in 9 games
Guillermo Villalona-Bryan: 1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K in 3 games, last pitched on November 21st
Don’t worry about the guys that haven’t played in a while, they probably just went home. I doubt any of them got hurt seriously.
According to the Washington Post, the esteemed former Senator George Mitchell used a different standard of proof for his infamous report than he would have used in a court case. The article — a must-read page two for anyone interested in the legal recourses available to those named in the report — simply shows that backpedaling can’t begin soon enough.
Andy Pettitte became the first newly-named player in the Mitchell Report to admit to HGH use. In a statement released by his agent on Saturday, Pettitte said he used the drugs while recovering from his 2002 elbow injury.
Here’s what Andy had to say:
“In 2002 I was injured. I had heard that human growth hormone could promote faster healing for my elbow. I felt an obligation to get back to my team as soon as possible. For this reason, and only this reason, for two days I tried human growth hormone. Though it was not against baseball rules, I was not comfortable with what I was doing, so I stopped. This is it — two days out of my life; two days out of my entire career, when I was injured and on the disabled list. I wasn’t looking for an edge. I was looking to heal.
“I have the utmost respect for baseball and have always tried to live my life in a way that would be honorable. If I have let down people that care about me, I am sorry, but I hope that you will listen to me carefully and understand that two days of perhaps bad judgment should not ruin a lifetime of hard work and dedication. I have tried to do things the right way my entire life, and, again, ask that you put those two days in the proper context. People that know me will know that what I say is true.”
I have no reason to doubt the veracity of Pettitte’s admission. He used HGH twice while attempting to recover from an injury, and that’s it. It takes a brave man to apologize, and that’s just what Andy Pettitte is. While I’m a little disappointed, I’ll still cheer for Number 46 come Opening Day, and this admission in no way changes my opinion of the Mitchell Report.