"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Come Together

The Yankee coaching staff is virtually set for 2005. Mel Stottlemyre, Don Mattingly, Luis Sojo and Roy White are all expected to return. Joe Girardi will replace Willie Randolph while Neil Allen will become the new bullpen coach. Last week, the New York Times reported that Stottlemyre would not come back. But now, it appears as if he will. According to Anthony McCarron in the Daily News:

“I have an interest in coming back, that I’ll tell you,” Stottlemyre said when reached at his home in Washington State. “It’s just that we have not gotten together yet. I don’t think I should get any further into it than that. I’ll let any other comment come from the club.

“Hopefully, it can be resolved.”

…There were several published reports in the past week that Stottlemyre, who will turn 63 on Saturday, was not coming back and the coach said he was stunned and hurt by them.

“I’m quite upset,” Stottlemyre said. “There’s no truth to any of them … There’s been everything in there that my wife (Jean) wanted me to retire, everything. She’s been real upset. Please put the word out.

“I’ve been hunting and it was a tremendous trip and I was completely out of circulation. I hadn’t had any talks with club officials. Now I’m trying to catch up.”

In other Yankee news, general manager Brian Cashman, who is attending the general managers’ meetings in Florida, told reporters yesterday:

“It’s more likely going up a little bit than it is going down,” Cashman told reporters in the lobby of the Ritz-Carlton. “Because we aren’t getting any relief of any major free agents involved.

“But again, my preference is to put the best team out there that can win a championship.

“It’s unlikely we’ll have a drastic change in payroll.”

The payroll will increase. It’s a shock, I know.

Extra, Extra

Hot off the press, the first edition of The Hardball Times Annual is ready for sale. I’ve contributed an article–a reworking of a piece I first posted here about my trip to the winter meetings in New Orleans last year. The book also contains work by Aaron Gleeman, Larry Mahnken, Ben Jacobs, Steve Treder, Studes, Vinay Kumar and the rest of the THT staff. There are also guest columns by the likes of Brian Gunn and Bill James. The book is available in traditional book form for $16.75 (plus shipping and tax); it can also be purchased as an e-book for $6.25. Get a jump on your Holiday shopping and check, check it out.

Here is an official press release for the THT Book:

The Hardball Times 2004 Baseball Annual is a product of the writers at The Hardball Times website (www.hardballtimes.com) that dissects all the events
of the 2004 baseball season. Including over 150 pages of stats and graphs unavailable in any other book (including Fielding Win Shares, Wins Shares Value, and groundball/flyball/linedrive percentages); team-by-team batting, pitching, and fielding statistics; and nearly 150 pages of articles and analysis on the events of 2004, including a groundbreaking study on outfield defense by Robert Dudek, and the essay “Ichiro’s Edge” by the legendary Bill James.

Each MLB division is covered in detail with new articles and graphs, and the minors, college baseball, and Japan as well. The book includes a large amount
of all-new material, as well as the best of the 500-plus articles posted at the THT website this season.

The Hardball Times 2004 Baseball Annual is the best way to tide a baseball fan over until spring training. It is available at: http://www.hardballtimes.com/buybook

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver