YANKS GET THE GAS FACE
Baseball Prospectus offered two stellar articles on the Aaron Boone situation yesterday. The first was written by Andrew Baharlias, a lawyer who worked as staff counsel to the Yankees from 1997-02 (subscription is required). Baharlias reviews the technicalities of the case, and offers an insiders take on what the Yankees will do now. The second piece “Bye, Bye Boonie,” features the kind of irreverent humor and insight that we’ve come to expect from Derek Zumsteg (again, subscription is required).
“It’s thin,” Cashman said yesterday, referring to the third base market. “This is not the time of year and definitely not the position you want to be looking for. I don’t anticipate finding one externally for quite some time.”
Boone would most likely have been the No. 9 hitter in a loaded lineup. The Yankees can get by without his bat, but they will greatly miss his defense. “The biggest issue for me is defense and support for our pitching staff,” Cashman said. “Boone is a tremendous defensive player with a lot of range. That’s going to hurt more than losing his offense. But we’re not there yet.”
And Bob Klapisch reports:
Of course, no one has yet concluded that Boone’s season is over, at least not until the medical tests are complete. Cashman indicated the third baseman would likely “fly all over the country” to see a number of specialists in the next two weeks. That explains why the Yankees never formally announced Boone’s injury to the public…
Privately, though, executives were startled that Boone was so forthcoming about how he tore his anterior cruciate ligament. Considering he was injured in a pick-up basketball game, a clear violation of his contract, Boone is in danger of being released by the Yankees and having his $5.75 million salary voided. In this case, Boone’s honesty could prove to be expensive.
Said one Yankee executive, “do you know how often GMs hear from a player, “I hurt myself on the treadmill?” And you’re like, “right.” But when a guy says that, there’s nothing you can do.”
After thinking about it some, I have to give Boone some credit for being honest. A cynic will call him a sucker, but it shows that he’s got a conscience. However, as Baharlias surmised, “Unfortunately, New York is the place where contract language trumps contrition every time out; truth is no defense when you’ve signed on the dotted line.”
Looks like the Yankees, and their fans will have to sit on this one for a minute. Unless of course you believe that the Bombers would seriously consider Gary Sheffield’s offer to man the hot corner (hmmm). In the meantime, thanks to Rich Lederer (whose latest piece examines the career of Lefty Grove), here is an excerpt of classic comedy to keep you laughing, or keep you from crying, depending on where you sit…
Costello: What’s the guy’s name on first base?
Abbott: No. What is on second.
Costello: I’m not asking you who’s on second.
Abbott: Who’s on first.
Costello: I don’t know.
Abbott: He’s on third, we’re not talking about him.
Costello: Now how did I get on third base?
Abbott: Why you mentioned his name.
Costello: If I mentioned the third baseman’s name, who did I say is playing third?
Abbott: No. Who’s playing first.