ESPN interviews Joba about the midges, being NEXT and his prolific text messaging. He says all the right things.
After a poor finish by Mike Mussina and terrible starts by Johnny Damon and Bobby Abreu, the Yankees are emphasizing off-season fitness. Mussina and Abreu are both participating in new weight and strength programs while Cashman basically called out the Yanks’ delinquents. “We’re going to do a better job this winter with all of our players, so we can hit the ground running in spring training,” he said.
We haven’t spoken about our favorite third baseman in a while. And as the Yankees and A-Rod wrap up their contract negotiations, let’s check in on how New York’s favorite son is doing.
Selena Roberts, soon to depart The Times, checks in on A-Rod’s properties in Florida. He is not a very good landlord, she finds. In 2004, A-Rod, flush with cash and arriving in New York, decided to he wanted to invest. So he spent $58.7 million for properties in Tampa that, while aren’t slums, are not in much better shape.
Today, those properties are worth just – just – $46.3 million, and residents are none too impressed with the A-Rod management company:
A-Rod is the face on their leaky faucets, and yet his name isn’t in the welcome kit. Rodriguez’s brother-in-law, Constantine Scurtis, is the company manager — the one whose signature is on nearly $50 million in mortgages for properties in Tampa, according to records — but some of the cashiers and cooks who live at places like Newport Riverside know who holds their house keys.
To them, he isn’t A-Rod, a regular-season crackerjack on the verge of a Yankees deal potentially worth $300 million. To them, he is Tight-Rod, an apartment tycoon, who, renters say, has jacked late fees to $100 from $50 on units that run around $600 a month.
“He’s got everything, so why take money off our backs?” ” said Roberto Santiago, standing next to his neighbor, Ruiz.
Throughout the rest of the article, Roberts looks at A-Rod’s philanthropy and notes how he doesn’t stack up too well with Derek Jeter and Tiger Woods. His donations are meager based on his salary, and his big-ticket items have resulted in scholarships and stadiums named after him at the University of Miami. Whether you want to consider Roberts’ piece a hack job looking to tear down A-Rod or an honest assessment of an absentee landlord, it’s not a very flattering look at the future Hall of Famer.
On Wednesday, I wrote about the BBWAA’s decision, inspired by Curt Schilling, to disqualify players with incentive clauses when it comes to award voting. Today, we hear that the Writers’ board decided to table this proposal pending discussion with MLB and the Players’ Association. I hope the writers don’t back down, but I’m not optimistic.
While most relievers on the market have either signed multi-year deals, or are holding out for one, the Yankees are looking at an exception to the norm. They are reportedly in talks with LaTroy Hawkins regarding a one year deal worth about $3.5 million. I’ve never been a fan of Hawkins, especially after seeing him get knocked around with the Orioles in 2006.
Look, he hasn’t pitched more than 60.1 innings since 2004. His WHIP was near 1.30 in 2007, a post-2004 low, because he did something he hadn’t done for two years: allow fewer hits than innings pitched. His walk rates are decent, sitting below 3.00 for the most part. He also doesn’t strike out anyone anymore — he’s had a worse-than 2:1 K/BB ratio since, guess when, 2004.
Hawkins has had three good seasons, and he’s done a good job of fooling teams over the past few years that he’s actually a good reliever. He got incredibly lucky with the Rockies in 2007. Please, Cashman, don’t let that fool you. I understand it’s a minimal risk move, being only one year, but that would be a complete waste of $3.5 million.
He’s better off paying it to RAB. We do more good than LaTroy Hawkins will, and we’d even distribute it to other Yankees bloggers. So see, we all win. Bloggers get money, and the Yankees save themselves the embarrassment of having to cut a $3.5 million player in June.
And that’s quite the dapper beard he’s got. For all you early risers, Joba’s going to be on Mike and Mike at 8 a.m. broadcasting from the Christmas Tree on the Amtrak Level in Penn Station. Go to it.
Sean McNally wants your help. The Yanks have, by his count, around 18 pitchers for six bullpen spots. So go construct the Yankee bullpen.