The article about the Mets I briefly mentioned at the end of this post contains a little tidbit about Melky Cabrera worth examining. The Twins are not impressed with Melky Cabrera and think he would struggle out of the Yankee lineup. As Joe wrote in September and November, we at RAB are not that enthusiastic about Melky’s future either. It took the Twins long enough to make their thoughts on Melky public. · (32) ·
For some reason, the Yanks seem to be interested in Jason Lane as a potential first base solution. Lane, 31, is a career NLer with an offensive line of .241/.314/.457 and one good season under his belt. He’s also played a grand total of four career games at first base. Why bother? · (25) ·
More from Hank this morning via The Daily News:
“What it comes down to right now is giving up a lot (in a trade) and then having to do the big contract, as well. If (Santana) was just a free agent, we could just go ahead and do it. There’s a big difference this way. We have to sign him as if he’s a free agent, plus you have to give up major talent. That’s a tall order.”
Sounds like the Yanks are starting to shy away from the Santana trade, and their line of reasoning is exactly the same one we’ve been employing since, oh, November. Maybe Hank wants to buy a t-shirt. also. · (18) ·
Hank Steinbrenner: the gift that keeps on giving! Gotta love him. Maybe.
One day after we wrote about how Hank is conducting Johan Santana contract negotiations through Kat O’Brien, we get yet another spin on the Johan Santana story. This one comes to us from Pete Caldera, and this time, Hank says that other players on the Yankees think they can win without Santana.
Well, gosh, I sure do hope the Yanks have a good sense of self-confidence. I wouldn’t want them to say they think they’re going to finish behind the Orioles if they don’t land Santana.
Anyway, some relevant bits:
While speaking to some of his trusted veteran Yankees on other matters, senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner also has sought input about a possible deal for Johan Santana.
According to the majority opinion of his players, the team doesn’t need to make a blockbuster deal with the Minnesota Twins to put them over the top. “Nobody would say that we don’t want Santana, but, yeah, they’re pretty darn confident in what we can do this year [as is],” Steinbrenner said during a phone conversation Tuesday…
“We’re still throwing it around and talking about it. It may happen, or it may not happen,” Steinbrenner said. “But a few of our best players seem very confident in the way that things stand right now.”
Hank wouldn’t say which players don’t think they need Santana. However, as Caldera notes, Jorge Posada himself a few months ago said the Yanks sure could use the power lefty on the team.
Additionally, Steinbrenner noted that the Yankees are still in the Santana race despite a deadline because that deadline applied only to the discussions at the Winter Meetings. “Originally, I set a deadline … because the winter meetings [are] a circus,” Steinbrenner said. “And I’m not going to be played against another team.”
Anyway, despite the talk, the Mets may have the inside track on Santana. If the Yanks’ crosstown rivals add prospect Fernando Martinez to their offer, they may emerge as the frontrunners to land Santana.
Congress is delaying their
unnecessary grandstanding hearing featuring the big names in the Mitchell Report.
The congressional hearing involving Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and former trainer Brian McNamee was postponed Wednesday until Feb. 13 so lawmakers can gather evidence and coordinate their investigation with the Justice Department.
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform was informing witnesses that the Jan. 16 session is being pushed back…
“The Justice Department told the committee it would be helpful if we waited until after Radomski is sentenced,” the committee’s minority staff director, David Marin, wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press. “This also gives us more time to delve into more recent developments, gather more information, and depose all witnesses before they testify in public.”
Spring Training starts the next day. What a coincidence. I’m sure this has nothing to do with media attention focused on baseball right before pitchers and catchers report. The circus, indeed.
Confirming what Brian Cashman said last week, Peter Abraham spoke to Voice of the Yankees Howard Rubenstein today about the current upper management power structure. “They share the power,” Rubenstein said of Hank and Hal, the sons of George. “They are equal partners for both business and baseball. I spoke to them about it today and that’s the situation.” Hopefully, having two people in charge won’t leave the Yanks paralyzed when the time comes to make a move but the brothers disagree on it. · (1) ·
January 11 is a rather important date for New Yorkers. First, at 10 a.m., Yankee Spring Training tickets go on sale. If you want home-game tickets to any Legends Field game, you better be ready to go at 10 a.m. Eastern on Friday morning. Those things sell out in a flash.
Second, no matter your party affiliation or candidate choice, January 11 is the postmark date for people registering for the primary elections in the State of New York. If you’re 18 or older and live in New York State, please register. New York primaries are on February 5.
There’s been plenty on the Brian McNamee/Roger Clemens front over the past few days. Although I’d love nothing more than to see this whole thing just disappear, it’s not going to, which means we’re stuck with it. First thing I caught on it this morning was a piece on ESPN, where McNamee’s lawyers are looking to expose a conversation between McNamee and Clemens which took place on the day before the Mitchell report was revealed.
“They should ask for the entire tape of the interview back in December. That’s the tape they should ask for,” Earl Ward, one of McNamee’s lawyers, said Tuesday. “According to Brian, they tried to get him to recant. Brian said, look, what I told the [Mitchell and federal] investigators was the truth.”
If that’s the extent of the conversation, I’m not sure how much it helps McNamee’s case. However, if his lawyers are pushing for its release, there’s bound to be a bit more revealing information contained therein.
But then I caught a piece in Slam! Sports which aims to trounce McNamee’s credibility. In fact, just three paragraphs in, we’re treated to this quote:
“I hope baseball is not putting all of its case on this one witness because in my 32 years as an investigator, I would not find him to be very credible,” Florida state attorney office investigator Don Crotty said yesterday.
Crotty’s distrust of McNamee stems from an incident back in 2001, where a number of Yankees were having a party in Florida — which incidentally started in Chuck Knoblauch’s room. Outside, investigators found a woman passed out in a swimming pool. She had been drugged with GHB. McNamee was implicated, but never charged, since prosecutors didn’t think the victim’s case would hold up — because he had slept with a married member of the team. Crotty believed that McNamee was dishonest with him when questioned pursuant to the case.
It also appears that Brian referred to himself sometimes as Dr. McNamee:
An investigation showed his doctorate earned at Columbus University in Louisiana is now Columbus out of Mississippi, since Louisiana closed its operation in 2001 for handing out degrees to many who did “little or no academic work.”
The article says that Clemens actually believed that McNamee had a medical degree.
Also discrediting McNamee is his tenure with the NYPD. Though he was involved in many high-profile cases, including the death of Eric Clapton’s son, he’ll never shed the 30-day suspension he received for his negligence in the escape of a prisoner.
And then we have the issue of physical proof of Roger’s use of steroids. The Blue Jays team chiropractor at the time Roger was with the team didn’t see the telltale signs of steroid use:
“I worked with him daily and didn’t see any signs of steroid use,” Dr. Patrick Graham told The Sun yesterday. “I didn’t notice any rashes, acne or increased muscle mass or structure.”
“I think I would have seen signs of it,” he said, adding he always thought the Rocket’s success in Toronto was because of his newly developed “split-fingered fastball.”
Even after Clemens left the Jays organization, he would come in for a back treatment whenever in Toronto and Graham said he observed no body changes. “I haven’t seen him for two years, but I just don’t think he was on steroids.”
Professional trainer Phil Zullo, of North York’s Pro-Fit, agrees — saying if Clemens took the amount of steroids and the type McNamee alleges in the report, he would have ended up looking like Hulk Hogan. “With the way Roger works out and trains, he would have been a giant,” said Zullo, who did not work with Clemens but has always been known to be against the use of any substances for the amateur and professional athletes he trains.
True, none of this proves that Clemens didn’t do steroids. But then again, is he ever going to be able to prove that?
My stance remains the same as it has since the beginning, in that I don’t think he has to prove that he didn’t. Clearly, my opinion differs with much of the public. But why should Roger have to go to these lengths to defend himself against one person, with a spotty history, who was facing jail time? If there was more than one source of this allegation, then yeah, maybe Roger has to up his defense. But I don’t see the reason to assume the worst when we’re talking about the flimsiest of circumstantial evidence.
Once again, though, it’s my deepest desire to see this story go away.
In a story in which she utterly buries the lead, Kat O’Brien reports that, while nothing new is going on, the Yanks are still interested in Johan Santana. That buried lead, however, comes at the end where she quotes Hank Steinbrenner saying that the Yanks would be inclined to cap any deal for Santana at five years through the 2013 season. “I wouldn’t do it if it were a six- or seven-year contract,” Steinbrenner said. “I wouldn’t go past five, on an extension.” Now, that’s some sensible talk from Hank. · (15) ·