What’s the deal?

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Murray Chass at The Times comes in two flavors. One one hand, we’ve got the Bad Murray Chass who rails against VORP and feels threatens by numbers. On the other hand, we’ve got the Good Murray Chass who, today, takes A-Rod to task for being a phony and puts into words what many of us are thinking.

In his column, Chass writes about how easy it would have been for A-Rod to satisfy himself about the stability in New York. The Yanks named a new manager as soon as the World Series was over, and A-Rod could have called Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte to sound them out on free agency. Rodriguez’s claims of concern over the instability of the future of the franchise fall pretty flat.

Chass gets into the meaty stuff when he discusses the contract extension offer. While Boras and A-Rod didn’t return the Yanks’ calls, they knew that the initial offer would bring A-Rod’s deal up to an average annual value up to $28.5 million. They probably could have negotiated that up to $30 million. What’s another $1.5 million to the Yankees anyway?

So why didn’t A-Rod or Boras get back to the Yanks? I’ll let Chass cover this:

He was either calling the Yankees’ bluff that they wouldn’t pursue him if he became a free agent, or he knows there’s a team prepared to pay him more than the Yankees would have…

For Boras and Rodriguez not even to listen to the offer and not wait until the deadline prompts suspicion. In fact, the commissioner’s office, which was outraged by Boras’s untimely disclosure, is watching developments with a wary eye.

A year ago J. D. Drew, another Boras client, opted out of a contract with the Dodgers that had three years and $33 million left and signed a five-year, $70 million contract with the Red Sox. Drew and the Red Sox denied it, but the Dodgers firmly believed tampering had been involved in the deal.

Frank McCourt, the Dodgers’ owner, chose not to challenge the signing, and the commissioner’s office did not investigate it. The Yankees, however, would not shy from a fight and would file a complaint if they suspected tampering.

Since Will Leitch’s piece in New York magazine hit the stands, these thoughts have been out there. Chass has finally put them to paper.

If I’m the Yankees, at this point, I make life hell for Boras and Rodriguez. When – and not if – Alex Rodriguez signs that next blockbuster deal, the Yanks should press hard on a tampering investigation. Boras and A-Rod wouldn’t have sacrificed so much money if they didn’t have another team waiting in the wings to ink the future Hall of Famer.

This isn’t even a matter of petty revenge for the Yankees. It’s a matter of baseball integrity. Thanks to last week’s New Yorker, we know that Scott Boras is not exactly a good guy and that he is actively working to reshape the finances of baseball in his image. It’s time for the sport to take a stand, and if A-Rod ends up being that Fall Guy, so be it. He should have thought of that before opting out.

Categories : Rants
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Chew on this one, Boston

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No team has ever paid more for a World Series championship trophy than the 2007 Boston Red Sox did. They had an opening day payroll of over $143 million, nearly $30 million more than the Mets. The Red Sox broke their own record in this department that they sent in 2004. So the next time should Sox fan whines about the rich Yankees and claims the Sox are scrappy underdogs who don’t buy trophies, punch them. Or direct them here.

Categories : Rants
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  • Three years, $7.5 million for Girardi; Long to LA?

    That’s the word from ESPN. Nothing big, though it qualified as “breaking” for them. Minus the ink on parchment, it’s a done deal.

    Update from Ben K.: I’m hearing unconfirmed rumors that Kevin Long will join Torre and Mattingly in Los Angeles. While I’d love to see Long stay in New York, coaches are always replaceable.
    · (22) ·

Gotta love it when Scott Boras feigns naivete:

“Intellectually, Alex is tying to understand the difference between his free agency and that of Mariano and Posada,” Boras said by phone yesterday. “Alex Rodriguez has never said he does not want to be a Yankee. Filing for free agency doesn’t mean that. Because Rivera and Posada are free agents doesn’t mean they don’t want to be Yankees.”

Just a guess here, but it could be the $30 million the Yankees lost when A-Rod opted out. That will be equal to about one year of his salary, which is pretty freakin’ significant.

Someone needs to tell Boras that it’s over. Why the posturing with the New York media? Clearly he can get better than eight years, $224 million from another club, so go and freakin’ get it. It’s becoming more and more clear that A-Rod didn’t want to come back, anyway.

Categories : Hot Stove League
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AFL Lineup

AFL Peoria Javelinas (20-4 Win over Team China in 7 innings)

Brett Gardner: 3-5, 4 R’s, 2 RBI, 2 SB. All three hits were line drives – two were up the middle and one over 1B. Now has 11 SB’s / 0 CS
Juan Miranda: 0-2, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K. Had trouble slowing the bat down – He SO on what looked like a 60mph change-up in the 1st inning. Now hitting an even .250. Replaced in the 4th inning.
Reegie Corona: 0-3, 1 K. Hitting .176 overall. Replaced in the 5th inning.
Steven White: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB. Lowered ERA to 10.29

The Chinese Olympic team was a late addition to the AFL schedule. The stats count but these are really just scrimmage games while they prepare for the Olympic tournament. Things didn’t look good for them even before the game started. They instituted something I’ve only seen in beer league softball – they announced the game would be stopped if theres a 10 run lead after the 7th inning. The hitting wasn’t bad but the pitching was terrible. It looked like they were topping out in the low-to-mid 80′s at best.

The only thing that slowed down the Javelinas today was a swarm of killer bees (seriously) in the bottom of the 4th inning. It was a strange scene – some of the Chinese players started laying flat on the ground during a pitching change and no one seemed to know what was going on because of the language barrier. So then everyone sees them looking up at a black cloud of sorts that was hovering in across the right field foul line. Now I’m originally from NJ and have never seen killer bees in my life so I almost did a full stop-drop-and-roll technique as they passed over home plate. The bees didn’t bother anyone and they eventually just flew over the media suites and left the stadium. I’ve been watching for foul balls and bats and such but killer bees was never a thought. I’ll have to file that one away.

The photo’s are on the other side Read More→

Categories : Minors
Comments (5)
  • Joe Girardi will crush you with his legs

    Christening our new Joe Girardi category, let me present to you news from Dan Shanoff’s Quickie. Shanoff, a Northwestern alum like Girardi, shares an interesting story:

    In the football weight room, where all athletes worked out … there are lists of weightlifting records, and the only non-football player ANYWHERE was in the squat, where Girardi was the all-time king.

    So there you have it; all five feet, eleven inches of Joe Girardi, the new Yankee manager, could out-bench NU football players. Look out, Jason Giambi. · (12) ·
  • Eight years, $224 million

    That’s what A-Rod will have to top to beat the Yankees *initial* offer. Chances are, they would have upped that a bit in negotiations, since Boras was starting at 10 years, $300 million. · (8) ·