• Olney updates the managerial hunt, right field situation

    Two items of note from Olney’s blog today: The Yankees, he says, will wait until Tuesday to announce their next manager. If the World Series ends on Sunday, that would give them a week and a half to negotiate a contract extension with A-Rod. But odds are they’re working on one right now.

    Olney also writes, “The Yankees made the decision weeks ago to exercise the one-year option on Bobby Abreu’s deal.” I can’t complain. I know we have one or two Abreu haters around here, but he had a stellar season after a terrible start. There are no better options right now.
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So the World Series is going on. The Red Sox seem to be well on their way toward their second World Series championship in the last four years, but based on the coverage of the Yankees, you would hardly know it.

The Yankees, you see, have found a way to stay not only relevant but on top of the baseball world after being eliminated from the playoffs. I noted this phenomenon last week when half of the top baseball new stories of the day focused around the Yankees, and it’s still true 10 days later. The team has taken to creating a big deal out of nothing, and it’s worked.

First, the Yankees induced stalking-style reporting during their double-secret probation meeting in Tampa about the future of Joe Torre. For days, nothing happened, and that, folks, was the news. “Nothing happens yet,” the headlines screamed as beat writers texted updates to their loyal readers who were breathlessly awaiting news of Joe Torre’s fates. It seemed like the Yankees brass were hammering out a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, and it captivated everyone.

Now, they’re back at it again. The Yankees have turned the hunt for a manager into a media circus. They are interviewing three fairly boring candidates, but each other has been ushered through the same process. Arrive in Florida; interview with everyone; and then get turned loose on the media to see how the candidate in question handles the New York sports writers. Rinse. Repeat.

With the interviews over, the Yankees have once again sequestered themselves away in Tampa, and beat writers are waiting for word of the new Yankee manager. Will the name be released tomorrow during the World Series? Will the Yankees adhere to Bud Selig’s gag request and just leak the name instead?

This evening, though, the reports from Yankee-land have trumped everything we’ve witnessed. Black smoke arose from Tampa, and Howard Rubenstein poked his head out to say: “There has been widespread speculation about who the next manager of The New York Yankees will be. The evaluation process is continuing and there will be no immediate decision or announcement.”

That is, he poked his head out to make news by saying there is no news. And that — not the Red Sox’s 2-1 win — will dominate the New York sports pages.

Welcome to Major League Baseball: It’s the Yankees’ world, and everyone else just plays in it.

Categories : NYC Sports Media
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Tony Almeda is the bad guy in the next season of 24? That’s just messed up. 

AzFL Peoria (8-6 win over Team USA) Jeff Karstens in on the USA squad
Brett Gardner: 3 for 4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 BB - on base 27 times in 13 games
Juan Miranda: 0 for 3, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K
Reegie Corona: 0 for 3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SB - 1.011 OPS batting lefty, .188 righty
Steven White: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

HWB Honolulu (5-3 loss to Waikiki in 7 innings)
Austin Jackson: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K – 3 jacks in the last 5 days
Bradley Suttle: 0 for 3, 1 RBI, 1 K – picked off first

Winter Ball Updates
Gerardo Casadiego: 5.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K in 6 appearances
Frankie Cervelli: 0 for 4, 1 BB, 2 K in 2 games
Edwar Gonzalez: 7 for 25, 1 R, 1 2B, 4 RBI, 3 K, 2 SB in 9 games
Ben Kozlowski: 1.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K in 4 appearances
Jesus Montero: 15 for 39, 8 R, 1 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 5 BB, 5 K, 1 SB in 11 games
Justin Pope: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K in 5 games
Marcos Vechionacci: 11 for 29, 8 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 4 BB, 3 K, 1 SB in 10 games

Categories : Down on the Farm
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  • Jacoby Ellsbury, a hero among Americans

    With his stolen base in the bottom of the 4th, Jacoby Ellsbury just delivered free tacos from Taco Bell to every single American. On October 30 from 2 to 5 p.m., head to your nearest Taco Bell for a free Crunchy Seasoned Beef Taco. Personally, I never realized beef was supposed to be crunchy. · (5) ·

There’s a rumor going that Joe Girardi, if he doesn’t land the job in the Bronx, could end up in Chavez Ravine. While the Dodgers do have Grady Little under contract for a few more season, we all know how well that played out last time.

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Last night, toward the end of that painful 13-1 routing, Tim McCarver and Joe Buck turned their attention back to Game 3 of the ALCS. In that game, for those of you like me who have tried to forget 2004 even happened, the Yankees put a-hurtin’ on the Red Sox. At that point in the series, the Yanks were up 3 games to none, and this where Tim McCarver’s imagination takes over.

McCarver said last night that, following game 3 in 2004, the Red Sox players are already congratulating the Yankees and wishing them luck in the World Series against the Cardinals. I call this story complete and utter BS. In fact, I think McCarver simply just made it up to sound good.

Why? Well, following game 3 of the 2004 ALCS, neither the Yankees nor the Red Sox had any inkling of which team they could face in the World Series. Game 3 of the ALCS was on Saturday, October 16. Earlier that same day, the Astros won game 3 of the NLCS and cut the series to 2-1 in favor of St. Louis. That series would eventually go seven games as well and would end one day after the Yankees-Red Sox series wrapped up.

In other words, even after the Red Sox completed their comeback and the Yankees finished the collapse that should have gotten Joe Torre fired, they still had no idea who they would be playing in the World Series. There’s no way the players would have mentioned the Cardinals following game 3 because the Cardinals simply weren’t destined for the World Series yet.

In conclusion, don’t trust stories that come out of Tim McCarver’s mouth. Who knows what else he’s pulling out of thin air?

For another view on McCarver’s announcing, check out Breaking Balls.

Categories : Rants
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Usually, I’d just post an aside to this article by Tyler Kepner about the three Yankee managerial candidates, but there are a few things I wanted to share. Allow me to quote the relevant parts, and discuss away in the comments.

On Don Mattingly:

Don Mattingly came in as the favorite of the principal owner, George Steinbrenner, and he made a strong impression on Steinbrenner’s son Hank in his interview Tuesday.

“He gave them more than what they expected,” a person who spoke with Hank Steinbrenner said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no decision had been announced. “They liked his aggressiveness and his strength. They saw some fire, and they liked that. He came across as real.”

…Mattingly apparently convinced the increasingly powerful Hank Steinbrenner that he could be more than the quiet leader he is perceived to be. In doing so, Mattingly cleared what is thought to be his biggest hurdle in getting the job. Hank Steinbrenner did not know Mattingly the person, but now he does…

It is doubtful Mattingly would return to the coaching staff if he does not get the managing job.

On the Steinbrenners’ leaving the decision up to GM Brian Cashman:

The feeling among ownership is that Girardi, Mattingly or Peña would all be acceptable choices. Hank Steinbrenner said that he would essentially leave the final call to General Manager Brian Cashman and his staff.

“If the baseball guys are unanimous or near it, that’s the way you’ve got to go,” he said, adding that there were no more interviews to be done.

On Larry Bowa and Seattle:

Bowa has been offered the Seattle Mariners’ third-base coaching job, but he said Wednesday that he was still undecided about whether to accept.

Bowa, Kepner notes, could become the Yankees’ next bench coach. I hope Larry sticks around the Bronx, especially if Mattingly is the next manager.

Reading in between the lines o the article, my money is now on Don Mattingly. I think the Yankees are leaning that way due more to PR reasons than anything else. Losing Mattingly after losing Torre would be a big blow to the public perception of this team, and that is not something the Steinbrenners want to face right now. Public relations aside, Joe Girardi would be a better choice based on baseball acumen. We’ll know soon.

Categories : Hot Stove League
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By in Minors. Tags: · Comments (3) ·


AFL Javelinas (9-5 win over the Phoenix Desert Dogs)

Brett Gardner
: 2-5, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 SB. Reached on a bunt single and stole both bases without a throw. He’s now up to seven SB’s.
Reegie Corona: 1-4, 2 R, 1 BB. Hitting .375 left handed / .000 right handed.
Eric Wordekemper: 1 IP, 1 H, zeros. Topped out at 89mph on the gun.

Miranda didn’t play, but they’ve added one of his AFL hits on YouTube. The game photos are on the other side. Read More→

Categories : Minors
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So Joe Torre. Let’s talk about him. It’s been hours days.

In the aftermath of Torre’s dismissal/firing/decision to quit, the New York sports media, ready to collectively fire Joe in May, were anointing him a saint. He was the Manager Who Stood Up to Steinbrenner. He stuck by his guns and made fools of those Steinbrenner sons and Randy Levine. Hell, even we got into the act last week.

But what if Joe isn’t exactly the saint he was made out to be? He did, as many of you are wont to point out, turn down a $5 million offer to manage the Yankees for another year and could have made up to $8 million. He claims he was insulted by the incentives, but I’m beginning to doubt the man.

Take a look here. In April of 2004, Joe Torre signed a three-year contract extension with the Yanks that carried him through this season. As part of the deal, he would be retained as a senior adviser with the club – the one he called “the last major league team I’m going to manage” – for six years following his retirement. But that’s not the important bit.

The important bit focuses around incentives. Tyler Kepner wrote: “He will also receive bonuses for winning the American League pennant or the World Series, as he did in his last deal.”

Well, well, well. That certainly changes things quite a bit, doesn’t it? Was Joe Torre really that insulted by an incentive-laden deal this year if he had basically been managing on an incentive basis for the duration of his last two Yankee contracts? I find that hard to believe.

Meanwhile, last night on Bob Costas’ show, as Cliff Corcoran details here, Torre said he would have taken an incentive-based deal with a pay cut had the Yankees been willing to offer a second year.

So then, this whole issue boils down to one of two things. Torre, who had long seen the writing on the wall, must have known the Yankees wanted him out of New York, but he wanted to go out on top. So when they publicly offered him a pay cut and a one-year deal, he highlighted the incentives – something in all of his deals – as the kicker for him. He was able to look good while backing out of a deal he probably just should have accepted. With an unstable ownership situation, Torre would most likely have kept his job in 2009 also had the Yankees made the playoffs next year even without a World Series ring. That’s one.

The second piece is pride. Joe Torre always wanted to be the last Yankee Manager at the old stadium and the first at the new one. When the Yankees couldn’t yet guarantee him that experience, he bailed. While the team didn’t need help in making themselves look bad, he took the contract negotiations public and came out unscathed. I’m beginning to think we should question the purity of St. Joe as the Yankees move forward with their managerial search. He surely is not that innocent.

Categories : NYC Sports Media
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