Chad Jennings updates us with a few losses in the Yanks minor league system. Angel Chavez has gone to the Dodgers, Raul Chavez is off to Pittsburgh, and Charlie Manning heads to the Nationals. Nothing big, as you can see, though Manning does throw with his left arm, which apparently will get you chance after chance after chance in the bigs. Anyone seen Wayne Franklin lately? · (4) ·
I’m covering over at MLB Trade Rumors tonight, so I’m going through the normal channels to find the latest transactions. You gotta believe this bit from RotoWorld made me snarf my beer:
Dodgers signed RHP Tanyon Sturtze
Yeah, there were 10 other names on that list — including former Yankee farmhand John-Ford Griffin.
The only remaining question: How’s Joe going to burn out Proctor’s and Sturtze’s arms? He’ll be pulling his starters in the fifth inning every game! · (12) ·
…and his name is not Hideki Matsui. The Giants signed Aaron Rowand to a five-year deal today. I’m not quite sure how this would impact the discussions between the Yanks and Giants concerning Hideki Matsui. The Giants do still need a left-fielder, but Brian Sabean probably feels he has his bat in Rowand. · (27) ·
While not nearly as nifty as the dipping set, here’s another great gift idea for the baseball fan in your life: Manny Ramirez’s game-used spandex. Right now, they’re going for $120 on eBay. If that doesn’t float your boat, you can get Terry Francona’s used socks or Kevin Youkilis’ used spandex, which is just a disturbing thought. · (5) ·
“I guess there has been a lot of speculation that we need a true power arm, ace or whatever. I disagree with that,” he said. “I think Wang is an absolute stud. I think he is an ace. I understand he struggled in the postseason but that’s going to happen. I’ve struggled in the postseason before then come back and pitched extremely well. … To say we need (Santana) to be successful, that’s hard for me to say.”
Preach on, Brother Andy.
The Yanks’ once and future ace Chien-Ming Wang would like a long-term deal from the Yankees, but as we know, the Yanks are loathe to give those out to their youngsters. More newsworthy in that Peter Abraham piece, however, is word that Wang thinks his agent is working on a deal. Last we heard, Wang’s agent approached the Yanks about a long-term deal, and when the Yanks told him to make the initial offer, he opted against doing so. That’s no way to run a business. · (26) ·
Damon Sublett | 2B
Sublett grew up in Wichita, KS, where he starred as both a hitter and pitcher for Northwest High School. Sublett lettered all four years, and batted .468 over his high school career. He also throw a complete game one-hitter with 14 strikeouts against rival Southeast, helping the Grizzlies to the state tournament. He was named the team’s MVP and First Team All-State in 2002 and 2004 (his sophomore and senior years), and also earned First Team All-City honors from 2002 to 2004.
It’s non-tender day, one of the more exciting days of the post-Winter Meetings off-season. The Yankees have four such decisions to make: Robinson Cano, Chien-Ming Wang, Wilson Betemit, and Brian Bruney. Tendering contracts to the first three is a no-brainer. There has been some debate about the erratic Bruney, though.
According to Mark Feinsand, the Yanks plan to tender Bruney and have him compete for a bullpen spot in Spring Training. Given his up-and-down 2007, Bruney won’t be in for a serious raise, so the only issue in tendering him is finding other places on the 40-man roster for Alex Rodriguez, Mariano Rivera, and LaTroy Hawkins.
The Yanks likely won’t be players in the newly-created free agent market, as they’re having a hard enough time finding three spots. So while they’ll go and check out Kris Benson’s throwing session, chances are minuscule that they’ll make a serious offer. Same goes for the non-tendered reliever Matt Wise, and projected non-tender Mark Prior.
After reading this article on ESPN.com, my feelings towards the Mitchell report have gotten worse, if that’s at all possible. I’ll excerpt some quotes of note:
From a coach (all of the sources here are unnamed, for obvious reasons):
“They wanted us to speculate. And I wouldn’t do that. They wanted me to say who I thought was using steroids. And when I said, ‘I don’t know,’ they would say, ‘Well, you work most closely with these guys. You work on their bodies every day. You weren’t the least bit suspicious when you saw their bodies change?’
“This was the kind of stuff I was most afraid of, because they didn’t ask me about specific people with specific information that they had. They asked me to guess. I said my guess was no guess at all, because what would happen to me if I said a guy was using steroids who wasn’t? What if I guessed wrong? Then my name is out there, I get fired, and I’m easily replaceable.”
Why are they asking people to guess?
“They didn’t ask us those things because they didn’t have the level of sophistication about what we do,” said a National League strength coach. “They didn’t know the right questions to ask. At no point in my interview did anyone say to me, ‘What can we recommend to make sure this never happens again?’”
Uh, wasn’t the whole point of the investigation to figure out how to never let this happen again? Oh, my mistake. I forgot that it was a witch hunt to bring out the biggest names in baseball.
“I didn’t go in there with a lawyer because I didn’t have anything to hide,” the manager said. “They asked me if I’d ever seen anyone do steroids. I said no. They asked me how I thought the players’ bodies got so big, and I said the players were in the weight room day and night, so it made sense to me. Then he said to me, ‘Well, don’t you know that steroids combined with weightlifting can make you even bigger?’ He said it to me like I was dumb, so I said, ‘No, I didn’t know that.’”
Wow. I didn’t know that! Pass the bull testosterone, yo!
Oh, and don’t forget Mr. Mitchell’s status on the board of directors of the Red Sox. The following is an excerpt from an e-mail sent by John Clarke, a spokesman for DLA Piper, the law firm conducting the investigation.
“Senator Mitchell and the Red Sox have agreed that he would not provide advice to the Red Sox owners until this investigation is completed and he would not receive any compensation from the team. That is the current situation,” Clarke wrote in a Nov. 30 e-mail to ESPN.com. “It is the expectation of the Senator and the Red Sox that he will resume his previous role after the completion of the investigation.”
Oh, then never mind! It’s all cool. He didn’t advise or take money while the investigation was ongoing. That he did those things before the investigation, and plans to continue doing so after the investigation, means nothing, right?
At least one GM is speaking out against this:
“They expected everyone to believe what they say, but they didn’t do anything real to change anybody’s mind. It was just his word,” one general manager said of Mitchell and his investigators. “They think everybody is stupid. They really do.”
So instead of figuring out how to stop this, they’re trying to levy blame on anyone they can. Thanks, Mitchell and Company. I’ll rest easier knowing that you compiled a list of names that people guessed at.
Honestly, I think this report is going to do a lot more to hurt baseball than to help it.
On a related note, I betcha a fiver that A-Rod‘s name is somewhere in the Mitchell report. And I betcha that there’s a token Red Sox reference, but nothing of substance. (And I’m not saying A-Rod because he’s a Yankee, but rather because he’s a big name, and including him would seem to fit Mitchell’s M.O.)