News! Transactions! Huzzah!
Wilson Betemit has agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.165 million. So, uh, good move.
For what it’s worth, PeteAbe thinks the Yanks will settle with Cano, Wang, and Bruney before arbitration hearings begin on Feburary 1.
Over at Pinstripe Alley, jscape2000 chimes in with his views on Bud Selig’s undeserved contract extension. He sums up my views in a few sentences:
A strike, a steroid scandal and a sham investigation, and a revenue sharing program that allows the owners to pocket obscene amounts of money without improving their teams? Not to mention draft-slot guidelines that stink of collusion, no international draft, and a screwy (Selig-designed) Japanese posting system. I wish it was this hard for me to get fired from my job.
Some day soon, I’ll write more at length on Selig’s tenure. Despite the bad, Selig has led MLB through the good as some of you noted in the comments to Joe’s post. But part of being a good leader is knowing when it’s time to step down, and Selig has long passed that point. · (4) ·
Over the last 18 months or so, some of the Yanks very best pitching prospects went down with major arm injuries. It was frustrating and almost laughable at how many quality arms went down with Tommy John surgery, but at the same time it’s a testament to the kind of pitching depth the organization has when they can lose that many guys still have arms like Hughes, Joba, IPK, Tyler Clippard and Ross Ohlendorf make contributions at the Major League level.
A popular comment amongst…uh, commentors is that “Player X [who went down with a major injury in 2007] will be ready to help the bullpen by midseason,” and you know what? That statement is completely wrong. Pitchers have to relearn their mechanics and find their control after such a long layoff, and that process can be painstaking at times. Guys who rely on command and control need even more time to get things back to once they were.
Just like Brian Cashman, I can’t predict the future, so the info presented here is basically just my best educated guess, if that makes sense. We’re all hoping these guys get healthy and dominate in 2008, but in reality we should hope that they just finish the year strong. Fun starts after the jump.
Over the last few days, we’ve had a few not-so-friendly arguments break out in the comments. We’ve since removed many — if not all — of the offending comments, and I just wanted to take a chance to remind you all to play nice in the comments. Try to refrain from nasty name-calling; don’t provoke each other; don’t post your personal information, or anyone else’s, on a public forum. Remember: We’re all, for the most part, Yankee fans here. It’s fine if we disagree about something, but don’t turn it into a war. We don’t like policing the comments as much the overwhelming majority of you don’t like reading juvenile fights.
Not a huge milestone, but today is the day teams and players exchange arbitration figures. Wilson Betemit, Chien-Ming Wang, Brian Bruney, and Robinson Cano are due raises. Teams and players can negotiate contacts up until the hearing, so today is just a formality. As PeteAbe notes, the Yanks never give out long-term contracts to arbitration guys. They even went to a hearing with Derek Jeter before the ’99 season — and lost. · (6) ·
On April 1st, Triple-A Scranton will head down I-476 to take on Double-A Trenton in an exhibition game at Trenton’s beautiful Waterfront Park. As Chad Jennings notes, the 2007 Trenton Thunder team, the Double-A Eastern League champs, will be honored before the game. This is a pretty cool idea by the Yanks, of course this wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining without the farm system Cashman & Co. have built.
Frankie Cervelli, Justin Christian, Colin Curtis, Eric Duncan, Brett Gardner, Edwar Gonzalez, Alan Horne, Austin Jackson, Jeff Marquez, Dan McCutchen, Juan Miranda, Scott Patterson, PJ Piliterre, David Robertson, Jose Tabata, Marcos Vechionacci, Kevin Whelan, Steven White. All on the same field. Tickets go on sale Monday, get yours here.
Small item of note: The Mariners have signed Bronson Sardinha to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training. While it would have been nice to have kept Sardinha around for depth, the loss means little in the long run.
We bid you adieu, Kiheimahanaomauiakeo. · (9) ·
Why the man continues to be rewarded I’ll never understand. But the owners have spoken, and they’ve decided to extend Bud Selig’s reign as commissioner through 2012. I remember back in the early 90s when he became acting commissioner, my father said that the owners loved him because he was so easily manipulated.
George Steinbrenner weighed in on the success of Bud Selig:
“In my 35 years in the game, baseball has never had better leadership than it does right now,” Yankees principal owner George Steinbrenner said. “Bud’s ability to bring people together has steered the game to remarkable popularity and prosperity, and I am very pleased that he will carry on as commissioner for the next five years.”
I wonder what his son has to say about it. Kat O’Brien, where art thou?
Scott Patterson | RHP
Patterson was born in Pittsburgh and raised a few miles away in the Steel City suburb of Oakdale. He attended West Allegheny High School and still holds the school’s single season strikeout record. He then headed to Allegheny College halfway between Pittsburgh and Cleveland, a school that has produced a handful of big leaguers (Pirates’ reliever Josh Sharpless is the most notable alumnus, I guess) and the insufferable Trent Reznor. He transferred to West Virginia State University after two years at Allegheny, and was outstanding in his two years with the Yellow Jackets. Patterson was named First Team All-Region and Conference Pitcher of the Year as a senior, and helped the team to the Conference Championship and the #1 seed in the NCAA Division II postseason tournament. Despite his exploits, Patterson went undrafted in 2002 and headed to the Independent leagues.
Two stories of note as the Jim Leyritz saga continues. None of the news is good for the former Yankee and one-time World Series hero.
Leo Standora at the Daily News notes that Leyritz’s BAC was twice the legal limit three hours after his fatal auto accident in December. The details are a bit chilling:
Fort Lauderdale cops said Wednesday a blood test taken nearly three hours after the 3:20 a.m. collision registered a .14 alcohol level. The legal limit in Florida is .08. The amount of alcohol in blood reaches its highest level about an hour after drinking.
A second blood test taken at 7:12 a.m., nearly four hours after the crash showed a .13 level…
Investigators who charged Leyritz with manslaughter said he was clearly drunk, citing his “red watery eyes, flushed face and the odor of an alcoholic beverage.” Leyritz stumbled, couldn’t follow instructions from cops, and missed three of six attempts to touch his nose with his finger, police said.
Still, his lawyer has said the case is “certainly not a slam dunk.” David Bogenschutz scoffed at the notion client had no defense.
I’m not a lawyer — yet, at least — but I have no idea what sort of defense Leyritz’s lawyers are going to conjure up here. It seems to me that they would be better off accepting a plea deal.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that Fort Lauderdale police have said that Leyrtiz will face an additional manslaughter charge. Based on my reading of the Florida sentencing guidelines and the state’s definition of manslaughter as a felony of the second degree, Leyritz may be facing up to an additional 15 years in prison.