Hal Steinbrenner told me to warn you there is a deadline to read this news …
- MLB.com’s Barry Bloom has an update on construction at the new stadium:
The sod is now in waiting, completely planted in October. This week, a bulldozer turned over the infield dirt and a landscaper trimmed the infield grass with an old-fashioned power mower.
Overall, construction is about 90 percent complete, down now to the trim and the finishes. Almost all of the dark blue seats have been installed, save for the lower-deck club seats and the Legend boxes located down the foul lines.
- Bryan Hoch of MLB.com has some quotes from Mussina and Cashman on Moose’s chances for the Hall:
“I think that’s an argument that people are going to have opinions on both sides,” Mussina said. “There’s some nice things that I’ve been able to do. There’s both sides to the argument. My numbers match up well with guys that are in the Hall of Fame, and of course there are guys that have better numbers than mine.
“I think I’ve done as much as I’m capable of doing at the level I want to do it at. If it creates a good argument, then that’s all the better.”
“There’s no question in my mind he’s a Hall of Famer,” Cashman said. “What he’s done in the period of the steroid era, unfortunately, in the American League East — I don’t care what that record is. Some people say 300 wins is an automatic plateau.
“What he did to get 270 total wins, with all those things combined — in a division where the Red Sox and Yankees have been slugging it out … [in] the toughest division in baseball for at least a decade — I just think it has been spectacular for the length and consistency. He’s one of the all-timers.”
- Some thoughts on the formal passing of the torch from Boss George to Hal:
- Some amazing Boss George era numbers generated on the blog of Jayson Stark at the ESPN Insider site:
“I wonder how much money this man has spent over the years in the name of winning? And here’s the answer: More than $2.3 billion. That’s how much the Boss has plowed into his payroll in his 36 seasons of running this show. Yep, that number was $2.3 billion … Unfortunately, I couldn’t calculate the exact amount, since payroll information isn’t readily available before the dawn of the free-agent era in 1976. But since ’76, the Yankees’ payrolls have totaled $2,323,246,829. And since payrolls before ’76 rarely got much higher than $1 million, it’s safe to assume the final total for The Boss Years will check in somewhere around $2.326 billion. … The Yankees have had the highest payroll in baseball for 10 straight seasons, 12 of the last 13, 17 of the last 25 and, in all, 21 of the 33 seasons in the free-agent era. Only twice in those 33 seasons have the Yankees not ranked in the top five payrolls in the sport — in 1991 (eighth) and ’92 (sixth). Other than those two seasons, there were only three years they ranked lower than second — 1976 (fouth), 1990 (fifth) and 1993 (third). Since the last time the Yankees won a World Series, in 2000, they’ve pumped more than $1.5 billion ($1,529,599,822) into their payrolls in a quest to win again.”
- Congrats to Tim Raines on being named manager of the Newark Bears of the independent Atlantic League, as per ESPN.
- Happy 35th birthday to Ricky Ledee, who managed to amass more than 2,000 ABs despite hitting .243/.325/.412. That may explain why he played for seven different teams (including both NY squads). His best day for the Yankees may have been June 29, 2000, when he was included in a trade for David Justice.
- Lee Guetterman, who appeared in 198 games during a three-year span for the Bombers, turns 50.
- Happy 53rd birthday to Wayne Tolleson. I believe “Tolleson” means “slap hitter” in German, as Wayne SLUGGED .293 in his 2,613 career PAs. In the DH era, that’s the 3rd lowest slugging percentage for anyone with that many PAs.
- Wade Blasingame, whose Yankee career consisted of 17 IP during 1972, turns 65.
- On this date in 1957, in a controversial vote, Mickey Mantle edges Ted Williams, 233 to 209, to win the AL MVP Award. Mantle batted .365 with 34 home runs, while Williams led the AL with a .388 average and 38 home runs, as well as a .731 slugging percentage. Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey fumes at the news, noting that two Chicago writers listed Williams in the ninth and tenth places on their ballots.
- On this date in 1978, the Yankees sign free agent Tommy John, who will go on to win 43 games in the next two seasons.
- On this date in 2006, pitcher Pat Dobson died. His 1974 season for the Yankees was notable for its 34 decisions (19-15), 12 complete games and 281 innings pitched.