Small item of note: The Mariners have signed Bronson Sardinha to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training. While it would have been nice to have kept Sardinha around for depth, the loss means little in the long run.
We bid you adieu, Kiheimahanaomauiakeo. · (9) ·
Why the man continues to be rewarded I’ll never understand. But the owners have spoken, and they’ve decided to extend Bud Selig’s reign as commissioner through 2012. I remember back in the early 90s when he became acting commissioner, my father said that the owners loved him because he was so easily manipulated.
George Steinbrenner weighed in on the success of Bud Selig:
“In my 35 years in the game, baseball has never had better leadership than it does right now,” Yankees principal owner George Steinbrenner said. “Bud’s ability to bring people together has steered the game to remarkable popularity and prosperity, and I am very pleased that he will carry on as commissioner for the next five years.”
I wonder what his son has to say about it. Kat O’Brien, where art thou?
Scott Patterson | RHP
Patterson was born in Pittsburgh and raised a few miles away in the Steel City suburb of Oakdale. He attended West Allegheny High School and still holds the school’s single season strikeout record. He then headed to Allegheny College halfway between Pittsburgh and Cleveland, a school that has produced a handful of big leaguers (Pirates’ reliever Josh Sharpless is the most notable alumnus, I guess) and the insufferable Trent Reznor. He transferred to West Virginia State University after two years at Allegheny, and was outstanding in his two years with the Yellow Jackets. Patterson was named First Team All-Region and Conference Pitcher of the Year as a senior, and helped the team to the Conference Championship and the #1 seed in the NCAA Division II postseason tournament. Despite his exploits, Patterson went undrafted in 2002 and headed to the Independent leagues.
Two stories of note as the Jim Leyritz saga continues. None of the news is good for the former Yankee and one-time World Series hero.
Leo Standora at the Daily News notes that Leyritz’s BAC was twice the legal limit three hours after his fatal auto accident in December. The details are a bit chilling:
Fort Lauderdale cops said Wednesday a blood test taken nearly three hours after the 3:20 a.m. collision registered a .14 alcohol level. The legal limit in Florida is .08. The amount of alcohol in blood reaches its highest level about an hour after drinking.
A second blood test taken at 7:12 a.m., nearly four hours after the crash showed a .13 level…
Investigators who charged Leyritz with manslaughter said he was clearly drunk, citing his “red watery eyes, flushed face and the odor of an alcoholic beverage.” Leyritz stumbled, couldn’t follow instructions from cops, and missed three of six attempts to touch his nose with his finger, police said.
Still, his lawyer has said the case is “certainly not a slam dunk.” David Bogenschutz scoffed at the notion client had no defense.
I’m not a lawyer — yet, at least — but I have no idea what sort of defense Leyritz’s lawyers are going to conjure up here. It seems to me that they would be better off accepting a plea deal.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that Fort Lauderdale police have said that Leyrtiz will face an additional manslaughter charge. Based on my reading of the Florida sentencing guidelines and the state’s definition of manslaughter as a felony of the second degree, Leyritz may be facing up to an additional 15 years in prison.
If Curt Schilling can blog, so can Phil Hughes. The Yanks’ young phenom seems to have joined the blogging masses. The title — My Weblog — needs some work, but hopefully, Phil will have some good things to say this season. PeteAbe says more is on the way. I’m excited. · (8) ·
You know the drill, folks. Vote, and we’ll listen to you. I think I know what’s going to win though.
– He’s only 23
– He’s already an above-average outfielder
– His stats compare well with Bernie’s
– We don’t need a 40-homer hitting center fielder
All of these points are valid, though they each have holes in them. Let’s go point-by-point.
Time to drop in on the construction in the Bronx. When last we saw the New Yankee Stadium, work on the Yanks’ future home was moving right along. Since the end of the season, the stadium had grown a second deck and an entry way. Today, we’ve got another update courtesy of the AP, the New York Post and Yankees.com, and now the stadium has a name.
The Post – and a hat tip on this one to Curbed – goes inside the construction, and the Yankees are definitely making progress. While they still may be behind schedule, the stadium is coming together. Bill Sanderson reports:
The words “Yankee Stadium,” solidly etched in gold-leafed stone, were hoisted by crane onto the team’s new South Bronx home this week. And now there’s rock-solid proof that unlike countless other sports teams that have given up stadium-naming rights to big corporations, Yankee tradition is not for sale. The words appear on the façade of the stadium’s 30,000- square-foot Gothic-style Grand Hall, which will be the main entranceway to the new ballpark and is expected to offer retail and restaurant space year-round.
“Yankee” went up Monday, and “Stadium” went up first thing yesterday morning, team officials said.
Sounds pretty nifty, right? But what does it look like? Well, MLB.com comes through with a new photo gallery on Yankees.com. For now, you can also see the images in the flickr set embedded below or on flickr in this set.
As Yankee Stadium nears its final season, progress on the new stadium is coming along apace, and I, one of the new stadium’s great detractors, will admit that the House that A-Rod Built sure does look pretty spectacular for now.
David Justice, according to Richard Sandomir, sports media beat writer for The Times, will see his role diminish at the YES Network. According to Justice and YES Network officials, Justice will no longer be an in-studio analyst but will contribute to YESNetwork.com.
Justice had a rough end to 2007: His house was destroyed during the California fires, and his name appeared in the Mitchell Report. All of the involved parties say this changing role has nothing to do with the Mitchell Report and more to do with Justice’s desire to be at home while his family rebuilds their house. I have one thing to say about that: Hal-le Ber-ry. Clap clap clap clap clap. · (12) ·
Steroids. Santana. The Bullpen. Melky. Pick one, and you’re bound to hit a topic that we — and countless other Yankee blogs — have hit upon with more regularity than any of us would like to admit. But we’re almost done with that. As the handy-dandy countdown on the right tells us, Spring Training starts in about four weeks, and it couldn’t come soon enough.
For now, as we slog through the last few weeks without baseball, we’ll spin that Wheel of Topics and land on steroids. As we all know, Congress got to be on TV today. Lucky them. Appearing in front of a few members of Congress were Senator George Mitchell, Commissioner Bud Selig and Executive Director of the MLBPA Donald Fehr. If you want to read the news coverage, The Times has article on the way Congress latched onto the stimulants issue, another article on the day’s events with a focus on the Congressional inquiry into Miguel Tejada and a George Vecsey Sports of the Times piece on the hearings.
For the purposes of this post, I don’t care about what happened at the hearings as much as what didn’t happen at the hearings. Missing from the hearings were much mention of the NFL, the NHL or the NBA. Missing from the hearings were talks of Michael Vick’s questionable moral decisions representing a league filled with many players who have faced legal troubles. Missing from the hearings were talks of steroid use in football, referee scandals in the NBA and general PED use across sports that aren’t baseball.
This double standard — baseball must hold itself to some unattainable, drug- and cheating-free standard that has never existed in the history of the game — just has to stop. As witnesses to Congress, Selig and Fehr were deferential toward Henry Waxman’s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which somehow holds sway over baseball. But as the figureheads of baseball, it’s time for them to go something of an offensive. How can they sit there mostly passive while the NFL elects steroid users to the Pro Bowl and EA Sports awards them with video game covers?
Personally, I have stopped caring about steroids in baseball. Once upon a time, I cared about this scandal, but in the ensuing years since this scandal became more and more of a front-page issue, I grew less and less concerned. Does it matter what people did in the early 2000s? There is no Delorean. We can’t change the past.
Instead, Congress, baseball, whoever should focus on what the game can do to improve in the future. But beyond that, the powers that be, the grandstanding masses, should look beyond baseball. They should look at football and see what’s going on there. They should look at basketball and the Olympic athletes who will do just about anything to gain a competitive edge. It’s become an overplayed Internet meme, but leave baseball alone. Go fry some other fish for a change.
I can only laugh and wonder at the irony: Mark McGwire was right when he said he wasn’t there to talk about the past. Why talk about the past? It looks good for politicians and doesn’t solve the problem. Three years later, nothing accomplished.