• Yanks hold Melky out of winter ball
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    We’re a day or two late on this one, but MLB Trade Rumors linked to this article in the Dominican daily Listin Diario about Melky Cabrera. The Yankees, it seems, have invoked the fatigue clause and have ordered Melky to sit out Winter Ball this year. While the paper in Spanish speculates that this move may be a part of any deal for Johan Santana, the truth is that Melky faded pretty badly down the stretch last year and probably shouldn’t be playing baseball until Spring Training. · (8) ·

Pardon me while I rant about something barely related to the Yankees for a few minutes…

On the same day that the friend-of-free-media and Russian President Vladimir Putin won Time Man of the Year honors, the NCAA released their new Live Blogging Policy. This is such a ridiculous step toward censorship. It’s rather shocking.

As The Big Lead noted, the NCAA will somehow try to enforce rather stringent live blogging rules. For football games, reporters are graciously allowed three updates per quarter and one at halftime; for basketball, it’s five times per half, once at halftime and twice per OT period; and for baseball, it’s just once an inning. The full draconian rules are available at the NCAA’s site as a PDF. This is a sad day for bloggers everywhere.

Ostensibly, the NCAA is worried about blogs somehow replacing live broadcasts of the game. If some blogger is allowed to update their live blog as often as they want, what’s stopping them from giving a text version of the play-by-play?

In reality, that’s a pretty weak argument. No one I know is going to sit a computer refreshing a blog while reading the play-by-play for the BCS Championship game. And if I were the NCAA, I’d be much more concerned with those online who are actively engaging in copyright infringing retransmissions of NCAA telecasts.

Blogs serve a journalistic purpose and provide an outlet for fans to share their common interest. Alienating sports sites and attempting to limit their post frequency during games is not only a form of censorship, but it’s bad business practice as well.

Categories : Rants
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  • The Alex Rodriguez Center For Children Who Can’t Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too
    By

    Alex Rodriguez isn’t shy about his association with the Southwest Miami Boys & Girls Club — he has a field there named after him. And now he’ll have the $1.5 million Alex Rodriguez Education Center, which projects to open in April. “It will include a state-of-the-art computer laboratory, an area for Internet use, classrooms for homework study and a huge teen center, where the older kids can meet.” A-Rod himself kicked in a third of the overall costs.

    Say what you will about his character and his intentions, but nothing bad can be strewn from this. Helping underprivileged kids is one of the most noble things someone can do, no matter if their intention is to enhance their image, or if it’s true altruism.
    · (10) ·

Caught this bit on Johan and the Sawks in this morning’s Pioneer Press (not sure if you have to register every time — I did this time around, under the name Abe North). It’s nothing earth-shattering, though it does imply that the Twins are holding out for Lester and Ellsbury, as they damn well should.

Supposedly, Dan Haren set the bar high in a prospects-for-talent exchange. I don’t really buy into that, but it’s not my opinion that matters. The only one who can decide the price for Santana is Bill Smith. Thankfully, he’s not caving at this point, and seemingly won’t trade the lefty to the Sawks unless Ellsbury and Lester are included.

My question: How desperate are the Twins to unload Santana? Are they fronting now, hoping to get the Sox to bid against themselves and dish both players? Or are they asking for the moon because they’d be content to head into the season with Santana at the top of the rotation?

The longer the Red Sox hold out, the better perspective we’ll get on the actual landscape. This is because the Sox are in a position where their need isn’t necessarily to get Santana — their rotation will be one of, if not the tops in the AL with or without him — but rather to keep him away from the Yankees. They’ve got a standing offer that (I think) they’re pretty sure Minnesota won’t accept. But should the Yanks raise the stakes, they could easily improve the offer.

Unfortunately, by naming so many untouchable players, the Yankees aren’t doing themselves any favors. Not that I disagree with what’s going on. Under no scenario would I dish Hughes and Kennedy. But the constant lists of untouchables certainly creates a level of ill will in negotiations. This was brought up, actually, by Jim Callis in an ESPN chat:

Yankees fans and some of the local media seem to have this notion that clubs ask the Yankees for more than they ask for other teams for. But if you talk to some of the teams that try to trade with New York, they’ll tell you that the Yankees declare far too many untouchables.

If the Twins are bluffing, we could see a mad scramble for Santana in January. If not, I don’t see either the Red Sox or Yanks going out of their ways to improve their offers. Both teams, I think, would be content to see him open the season in Minnesota.

Categories : Hot Stove League
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Dec
19

We done here?

By in Analysis. · Comments (29) ·

I was thinking this morning: Are the Yanks basically done with the off-season? It seems so. With six starting pitchers, a slew of relievers and potential relievers, a decent number of outfielders, and an entire infield save for a definite first baseman. Check it.

C: Jorge
1B: Shelley/Betemit/eventually Miranda
2B: Robbie
3B: Alex
SS: Jete
LF: Damon
CF: Melk
RF: Abreu
DH: Matsui/Giambi
Util: Betemit
C: Molina

That’s only 12 guys (not counting Miranda, who will start the season in AAA). Since we’re not going with 13 pitchers, there’s still room for one more guy on the roster. The Yanks have done plenty fine with one utility infielder for the past few years, so I’d hope they add an outfielder — unless Betemit is getting the bulk of the time at first. In which case having someone like Alberto Gonzalez on the roster would be useful.

Pitching:

SP: Wang
SP: Pettitte
SP: Hughes
SP: Joba
SP: IPK
SP: Moose

That’s six, so six relievers:

RP: Mo
RP: LaTroy
RP: Farnsworth

And then you have the next three slots for the following players: Jon Albaladejo, Ross Ohlendorf, Chris Britton, Brian Bruney, Edwar Ramirez, Jose Veras, Chase Wright, Sean Henn, Kei Igawa, Jeff Karstens, Darrell Rasner, Scott Patterson, and then the converted starter-types: Alan Horne, Jeff Marquez, Steven “Don’t Call Me” White. Further, we should have access to J.B. Cox and Marc Melancon by late May/early June, as they’ll be ready for Opening Day, and will likely open in Tampa.

So what’s left of the off-season for the Yanks is basically compiling a decent minor-league invite list, though Mark Newman thinks that “[MiL free agents] don’t want to sign with us for obvious reasons.” That being less of a chance for playing time. A minor-league free agent has a far better shot of making, say, Houston’s roster than the Yanks.

Here’s the only question I’m left with: Do you carry all six starters from the beginning, or do you let one of them — presumably IPK — work out in the minors a bit so you can experiment with four relievers at a time, rather than three?

Categories : Analysis
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We’re a bit Mitchell’ed out around here, but I’m breaking the steroids embargo to bring you this hot news: Roger Clemens has vehemently denied the allegations against him in the Mitchell Report.

His statement, if you please:

“I want to state clearly and without qualification: I did not take steroids, human growth hormone or any other banned substances at any time in my baseball career or, in fact, my entire life. Those substances represent a dangerous and destructive shortcut that no athlete should ever take.

“I am disappointed that my 25 years in public life have apparently not earned me the benefit of the doubt, but I understand that Senator Mitchell’s report has raised many serious questions. I plan to publicly answer all of those questions at the appropriate time in the appropriate way. I only ask that in the meantime people not rush to judgment.”

Who knows the truth? Not I.

Categories : STEROIDS!
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From Variety: (wait…Variety? What’s up with that?)

Guy Oseary, the former record company executive whose personal management stable includes Madonna, has signed his first athlete, Alex Rodriguez.

The New York Yankees third baseman, considered by many to be the game’s top player, has signed with Oseary, who personally manages Lenny Kravitz and magician David Blaine in addition to Madonna. He is also a partner in Untitled Entertainment, whose clients include Hilary Swank, Penelope Cruz, Naomi Watts and Ashton Kutcher.

“He’s focusing on baseball and needs someone whose interests are aligned,” Oseary told Daily Variety, explaining the rare move of an athlete signing with a manager whose expertise is music and film. “This is to help him have more control of his image and brand.”

Rodriguez quickly dropped Boras and, after seeking the advice of investment guru Warren Buffett, negotiated a 10-year, $275 million deal to continue playing with the Yanks.

Too bad Oseary missed out on that fat $15M comission check from A-Rod‘s deal. What do you think, does this mean A-Rod is looking to land more TV spots and possibly, gasp, movie roles?

(hat tip to MLBTR)

Update by Ben: PeteAbe updates this story with a clarification:

There’s a story in Variety that Alex Rodriguez has dumped Scott Boras and hired a Hollywood dude as his agent. The story is not entirely true, I’ve been told. Boras remains Alex’s baseball agent. This latest move is for other ventures.

But Boras used to handle everything for Alex.

The Cold War continues.

Categories : Hot Stove League
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Dec
18

Tuesday Tidbits

By in News. · Comments (4) ·

A couple of things for you to devour on your lunch break, since nothing much is going on in Yankeeland:

  • Some people aren’t too happy with current plans to replace the 22 acres of park used for New Yankee Stadium. The plan, as it stands now, is to put an artificial field atop Garage A, along with handball courts, basketball courts, a 400-meter track, and children’s play equipment. One side says that it’s not the same as an open-field park with real grass and trees. The other side says that “the rooftop park is all recreation activities, where you wouldn’t have a lot of trees anyway.” Plus, they say, a street-level park would likely be designed with artificial turf, anyway.
  • Fans in Schenectady, NY, will be able to see 21 games next year on MyTV4. Is this the upstate equivalent of My9?
  • If you’re going to hawk a Mickey Mantle card on eBay, make sure you can deliver the goods, lest ye end up in the slammer.
Categories : News
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