Steinbrenner, Martin not elected to Hall of Fame

George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin were not elected to the Hall of Fame by the Expansion Era Committee today. Both received less than eight votes, well below the dozen needed for enshrinement. Marvin Miller, father of the player’s union, fell one vote short.¬†Former Yankee exec Pat Gillick was the only candidate to be voted in.

Gillick, a current Phillies adivser, served as the Yanks’ scouting director in the mid-1970s. He was the architect behind the Blue Jays’ back-to-back World Series teams in the early 1990s. “We are thrilled to have Pat as the newest member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, and we welcome him into the Hall of Fame family,” Hall of Fame Chairman of the Board Jane Forbes Clark said. “Pat’s consistent excellence as a talent evaluator and team builder has been evident at every step throughout his brilliant career, constructing three World Series champions with his teams making 11 postseason appearances.”

In early November, we considered Steinbrenner’s candidacy. While his impact on the game is undeniable, he remains a very controversial figure in baseball history. He was suspended twice from the game, spied on his players, did he best to wreck the Yankees in the 1980s and managed to change completely the financial structure of baseball. He’ll again be considered by the Expansion Era Committee again in 2013 for possible induction in 2014.

Yankees want to bring Aceves back on minor league deal, Rockies interested

Via Joel Sherman, the Yankees are interested in bringing the recently non-tendered Al Aceves back on a minor league contract, though the Rockies are one team willing to give him a big league deal and a 40-man roster spot. Not only did Ace miss basically all of the 2010 season due to disc issues in his back, he recently had surgery to repair a broken collarbone suffered during a bike accident. The rehab from that will have him behind in Spring Training.

The Mexican Gangster was awesome in 2009, but his back is such a question mark that giving him a 40-man roster spot is pretty risky. I hope something gets worked out, but I fully expect him to bolt for a team willing to give him a big league deal.

Fan Confidence Poll: December 6th, 2010

Season Record: 95-67 (859 RS, 693 RA, 98-64 Pythag. record), finished one game back in AL East, won Wild Card, lost in ALCS

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Weeks of Jeter entertainment come to an end

When a conflict comes to a resolution, we’re normally able to take a step back and reflect on it. With the Derek Jeter contract negotiations, that’s not necessary. The situation was pretty transparent from the beginning. The Yankees set the tone with their initial offer, one that no other team would dare match. From there it was just a matter of when Jeter would accept the situation. But while we won’t learn much by looking back at the situation, we did get something out of it. We were entertained.

The way the negotiations played out was insanely entertaining. Six years and $150 million? That was worth a good chuckle. It might have been true, but chances are it wasn’t. Even four to five years at $23 or $24 million was comical. Then came the quotes from the Yankees brass. Sure, it was mostly unnecessary — especially when it involved Hank. But the frustration was palpable. The Jeter camp was being unreasonable, and it appeared to have gotten under the Yankees’ skin.

More than the negotiations themselves, the commentary about the negotiations provided high entertainment. Whether on Twitter, in an article, or in the comments section, we saw people provide all kinds of rationale for why Jeter deserved to get paid what he wanted, or why he should take the Yankees’ offer. (Though the term rationale might be generous when describing the former.) It also led to a short-lived, but still entertaining, collection of terrible articles about the situation.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I had fun during those few weeks. Maybe I got a little worked up at one point or another, but that’s going to happen when arguing something about which I’m passionate. I can see why people might have been annoyed at how it played out. Seeing multiple articles every day about one player’s contract negotiations can become grating. But even if it did become a bit too much on one day, it all reset the next day. The conversations began anew, and we were entertained all over again.

It might not have been all that entertaining, of course, had there been a chance that Jeter would leave. We all knew that no matter how this played out that Jeter would play shortstop for the Yankees in 2011 and beyond. Because we knew this we could view the negotiations in a different manner than we see them with, say, Cliff Lee. There’s a real chance Lee signs elsewhere and helps a Yankees rival. With Jeter it was the furthest thing from our minds — or at least most of our minds.

I’m glad it’s over. The entertainment factor in this was definitely coming to a halt, so drawing it out any longer would have become obnoxious. But it was fun while it lasted. I don’t wish that all negotiations played out in this way, but with Derek Jeter it worked. Now that it’s over we can forget the annoyances and remember the conversations and debates. That’s what made this whole situation interesting and entertaining.

Sunday night Lee rumor round-up

As the Winter Meetings kick off, the rumors are flying. For Yankee fans, Cliff Lee will be our guy of the week. Already we have news. Jon Heyman reports that the Rangers won’t go to six years for Lee. Meanwhile, Yahoo’s Tim Brown says that Lee would return to Texas if they guarantee him a sixth year. If that’s not an agent looking for guaranteed years and dollars, I don’t know what is.

Open Thread: The Red Sox’s play for Mo

I didn’t quite have a chance to explore this angle in my afternoon ode to Mariano, but check out what Anthony McCarron had to say about the Red Sox’s bid for Rivera. It sounds as though Boston truly tried to pry the future Hall of Fame closer out of the Bronx.

The Yankees may have had some uncomfortable moments, however, when they heard that Rivera’s agent, Fern Cuza, had talks with the Red Sox and even fielded a two-year offer from the Yanks’ ancient rivals. While Rivera did not seem close to leaving for Boston, he didn’t say he’d never pitch for the Red Sox.

“They talked to Fern, they were interested,” Rivera said. “I really appreciate that. I know there was interest and I respect that. I respect the organization and the front office of the Red Sox. Like I said, I have to thank God and be grateful for that, that they were thinking of me.

“It was respect. The rivalry we have against each other and the tremendous organization. Just take it in consideration and the Yankees did what they were supposed to do and that’s the end of that.”

I appreciate how Rivera says the Yanks “did what they were supposed to do.” They have him his years; they gave him his dollars; and they get to keep Rivera. I’ll always wonder if the Red Sox were interested in Mariano simply to drive up his price in New York or if Theo Epstein pushed hard to find someone, anyone, more reliable than Jonathan Papelbon. For what it’s worth, Mariano Rivera has always said he respects but would never pitch for Boston. We didn’t have to test the strength of his claims.

Meanwhile, what a day, eh? Adrian Gonzalez isn’t on the Red Sox. Jayson Werth is on the Nationals, and the Winter Meetings don’t even officially start until tomorrow. Mike and Joe are on location in Orlando, and we’ll have plenty of coverage from the meetings.

In local action, the Giants and Knicks both won today while the Nets and Islanders did not. The Rangers are playing right now, and the Jets’ highly anticipated showdown with the Pats isn’t until tomorrow. You’ve got the Steelers and the Ravens for Sunday Night Football. Enjoy the open thread.

Jayson Werth lands in … Washington?!?

The first big move of the winter meetings has just gone down, with Jayson Werth agreeing to a (get this) seven year contract worth $126M with the Washington Nationals. Yes, the Nationals. That works out to exactly $18M per season. Clearly, the market is rather inflated right now, so any idea of a five year contract for Cliff Lee probably went out the window. The bidding starts at six.

Update (5:14 p.m.): Joel Sherman tweets that the Red Sox offered Werth four years. Today has, so far, not been a great day for the Bostonians.