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News of the Day – 12/5/08

We made it to another Friday, so powered by The Two Ronnies, here’s the news …

  • And on the Sabathia, C.C. rested: Tyler Kepner of the Times has an analysis of the dance between the Yanks and Sabathia to this point.  Here’s an excerpt:

Sabathia is a different case entirely, and the reason he is stalling, to those who know him, is just as the (anonymous) general manager suspected: his first choice is not New York. Sabathia is from Vallejo, Calif., near the San Francisco Bay Area, and it is well known that his preference is to play for a team on the West Coast. But the money is elsewhere.

“It’s not that he doesn’t want to be a Yankee; that’s not it at all,” said a friend of Sabathia’s, who was granted anonymity because Sabathia had not authorized him to speak on his behalf. “It’s just the aspect of being out there, his family, that kind of stuff.”

  • First-degree Burnett: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Braves have offered A.J. Burnett a four-year deal (with some reports that there is a vesting fifth year).  The annual salary is reported to be around $15 million.
  • Lowe and (the Yankees are looking in from the) outside: Boston Globe’s Tony Massarotti writes that Derek Lowe has received two offers, one being from the Phillies and the other NOT coming from either the BoSox or Bombers.  However, according to a “baseball source”:

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman will visit with Boras today, when he could make a formal offer for Lowe. Red Sox officials similarly could present an offer to Boras later this week, though it is highly questionable as to whether the Sox have any intention of getting into a bidding war for any high-priced pitcher.

  • Where can one find a good Baldelli in the Bronx?: The Post’s Joel Sherman writes that the Yanks are one of at least six teams interested in FA Rocco Baldelli.  Sherman opines:

For the Yankees, Baldelli would provide some DH support for Hideki Matsui and perhaps a righty bat to play in left field on occasion to rest Johnny Damon.

  • Over at MLB.com, Bryan Hoch sets the table for the Yankees at the upcoming Winter Meetings.  He has some notes on players that could or should be gone from the club by Spring Training, namely Cano, Cabrera, Kennedy, Igawa and either Matsui or Damon.
  • Pettitte to the Dodgers update: Ken Davidoff of Newsday reports that Joe Torre and Pettitte have indeed spoken, but:

“I talked to Andy,” Torre said. “His agent had called the Dodgers to find out about interest, and that’s when I called him. I had talked to Andy much earlier, asking him to come to my (Safe at Home) Foundation dinner. He was always married to the Yankees, the excitement playing for the Yankees.

“I called him only because his agent called (Dodgers’ GM) Ned (Colletti). I certainly would’ve kicked myself (if I hadn’t called). He never said no to anything, but just from talking to him, I know the Yankees are his first choice. I wasn’t about to talk him out it, knowing Andy like I do.”

  • A-Rod will suit up for the Dominican Republic team in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, as per Gordon Edes of Yahoo!Sports.

  • Happy 54th birthday to Gary Roenicke (long-time Oriole, played with Yanks during 1986).
  • On this date in 1984, the A’s send OF Rickey Henderson and P Bert Bradley to the Yankees in exchange for pitchers Jay Howell and Jose Rijo, OF Stan Javier, and minor leaguers Tim Birtsas and Eric Plunk. On the same day, the Yankees trade C Rick Cerone to the Braves for P Brian Fisher.

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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1 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 5, 2008 9:26 am

Cashman and Boras met. I'd be surprised (and disappointed) if all they discussed was Lowe.

2 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 5, 2008 9:48 am

Hey - anyone else see this study?


Seems like we can expect good things out of Swisher this year - and that maybe Nady didn't overperform quite as much as we thought last year.

3 Just Fair   ~  Dec 5, 2008 10:41 am

I have an anonymous friend who may or may not have had a dream. In it his cousin who may or may not have been an acquaintance of C.C. said he could read his thoughts. He found out that.....these articles are tedious to say the least. bah.

4 Raf   ~  Dec 5, 2008 11:18 am

[2] That link you provided also says Some team is going to get a steal in Jason Giambi.

5 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 5, 2008 12:11 pm

Still so little Hot Stove discussion...maybe that's because there has been so little Hot Stove?

I feel like I don't recognize Bronx Banter anymore...I could swear the debates were more lively and posts more focused last year.

6 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 5, 2008 12:13 pm

[5] How many times can we debate CC vs Tex vs Manny anyway? =)

7 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 5, 2008 12:25 pm

[6] At least as often as we debated the Johan trade! All kidding aside, BB seems to be so much more dormant since the change over. It seems to me as if there is "too much" going on instead of just meat and potatoes Yankees news. I know that has made my visits more infrequent. I checked in today hoping the Cashman visits had sparked some interest, but alas the focus has been elsewhere.

8 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 5, 2008 12:42 pm

william, the debates are less lively because you aren't around! LOL.

9 Raf   ~  Dec 5, 2008 12:56 pm

I suppose when we see some action, there will be more chatter? The winter meetings are approaching, and hopefully there will be some moves made. It has been pretty quiet around the league, and I don't see Pedroia or Edgar Renteria being signed as major transactions worthy of a lot of chatter... And I really couldn't care less about ARodonna, or which WBC team Rodriguez plays for.

10 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 5, 2008 1:20 pm

I know, it's been dull. I've been so pre-occupied with the new surroundings and planning for a template overall--which should be in place by pitchers and catchers--that I almost forget NOTHING has happened this off-season, at least for the Yanks. At least compared with other years.

I also feel more consumed with the economy--it has impacted my regular job as it has with almost every industry although my job appears safe for the moment, and the election. The Giants and Jets are good...

Be interesting to see if some of the big pieces start to get moved in Vegas next week.

11 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 5, 2008 1:28 pm

A handful of men are about to get (or about to extend their earnings of) millions and millions of dollars. Meanwhile in baseball... >;)

12 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 5, 2008 1:29 pm

[10] Nothing has happened, but I can recall hundred of posts on the Santana deal, which dragged along for months. I can't really put my finger on it, but things definitely seem different. Perhaps the economy is the big factor. I know I've been a lot busier at work thanks in no small part to staffing cut backs, and perhaps debating baseball seems trivial in these uncertain times. Personally, it's times like these that make me dive into baseball even more.

If I had one suggestion, it would be to reign in the volume of posts and the divergence from theme. Instead of 5 or 6 random posts, one or two solid baseball themed entries might better focus debate. For example, the Goldman post is a perfect conversation starter, but I can see it easily being swamped in the numerous entries today. What I have always enjoyed in the off season are the posts that lay out an issue, provide a perspective and then serve as a launching pad for debate. Human interest and daily recaps are nice, but they don't seem to generate that interaction.

13 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 5, 2008 1:45 pm

[12] I agree with you about seeking baseball as a safe haven during hard times, but when the discussion is based on economic factors that I can't possibly relate to at the moment, I couldn't care less. Not to say it shouldn't ever be discussed, but I'll pass this time.

14 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 5, 2008 1:53 pm

[13] That's fair, but were you able to relate to those economic factors last season? Recession or not, I'd imagine most baseball fans can't relate to $20mn salaries, so I am not sure why now would be different.

15 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 5, 2008 2:29 pm


My daily recaps are meant as a "catch-all" for news about the Yankees. They are hopefully a foundation for interaction and debate/comments. I do exercise some level of discretion in terms of what I think is "newsworthy", and if I'm not sure about whether to include a particular item, I either leave it out, or ask Alex for his opinion first.

Like Alex, I suspect the site will heat up beginning next week as the Winter Meetings begin.

(I also make this promise ... no Madonna/A-Rod talk) :-)

16 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 5, 2008 2:32 pm

[14] Me, no. I didn't talk about it that much then, if I recall, and if I did talk a lot about it, I must have been hallucinating >;)

17 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 5, 2008 3:01 pm

[15] The recaps can be useful, but I guess I am used to getting that kind of information elsewhere. Still, there's nothing wrong with them to start the day. What always made BB unique to me was that it was very focused...it was a place where you could discuss Johan Santana...again...and again, if that was the most pressing issue. So, while recaps have value, I don't think they are good springboards for discussion and shouldn't be intended for that purpose. To make a long story short, I don't think the recaps are creating the noise that seems to distracting from debate.

18 The Hawk   ~  Dec 5, 2008 3:03 pm

I'm sick of this Sabathia story, dragging on and on. It's like the Santana sweepstakes, except in this case it's one person's fault: Sabathia. I've been a big booster of getting him into pinstripes, but at a certain point procrastination becomes rejection. I have to really wonder if his performance would suffer if he's this hesitant about making the move to the northeast.

19 ny2ca2dc   ~  Dec 5, 2008 3:20 pm

I agree with william, things seem different and I think the volume of posts has something to do with it. Maybe we can all get in the habit of using Dianne's post as the main banter thread, and the others particular to their subject (like the NYC- and human-interest and YS posts).

Also, I miss Cliff. I was hoping he would do a post about the lack of arb offers. Joe Sheehan had a reasonably good post, but I think Cliff would do better. Cliff's long posts a couple days/weeks ago have been grade A - gimme more!

20 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 5, 2008 3:56 pm

Great feedback. Thanks guys. After six full years the site is still a work in progress. I thought more posts would be equal happier readers and it may on some level but I agree that the volume does not make it condusive to building a good thread and getting the good chatter.

Hopefully, the new design will allow for both. Increased content but also a manageable way to create threads which I've always found enjoyable.

There is also simply more quality Yankee sites available now. Pete's site is a one-stop shop for the latest news, River Ave Blues has a nice following. And I always like to have non-Yankee related features on Banter as well.

Always searching for the right balance.

Again, thanks so much for the imput.

21 Joe L.   ~  Dec 5, 2008 4:34 pm

There are about a million Yankee McDonalds out there where they beat the same dead horse day after day. Banter is nice when you want something besides a double C.C.. I like to read things that are different and interesting. Please don’t sellout to the corporate bigwigs and turn this into another chain!

22 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 5, 2008 4:44 pm

[19] That's kind of what I am talking about...while I don't mind getting some links to stories about the arbitration decisions, what I really want is something more focused to foster discussion. The pleasure of the Banter is it has intelligent, dedicated hosts and commenters. That adds accountability to the discussion.

[20] Pete (and WW) is good for news, but severely lacking in fruitful discussion. RAB is definitely getting better, but still a little broad. I can't explain it, but it has always seemed worth it to spend time articulating a viewpoint on BB, while on other sites, the effort has always struck me as a waste.

[21] I like an occasional change of pace too, but it just seems like the added volume is drowning out the double C.C. instead of creating a nice divergence from it.

23 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 5, 2008 5:01 pm

I think we commentors have a lot to do with the feel of the site, almost as much as the stories. I know what's missing: the crossover among other teams' fans and commentors. Whereas we were part of a community among many baseball fans of different teams, here we're pretty much the only game in town (I would include Was Watching, but they appear to be less overtly Yankee-oriented than us), next to disparate sports blogs. Not as much of a potential audience to draw from unless there are a lot of Yankee fans coming to SNY that we're not aware of... but I bet you give it some time and with Alex's planned tweaks, you may see an uptick. But yeah guys, we're kinda on an island right now.

24 Joe L.   ~  Dec 5, 2008 5:26 pm

[22] My point is if you want the same old same old there are a million other blogs doing that. You don’t go to an Italian restaurant and ask if they can serve you a Big Mac tonight because that is what you feel like you just go next door to McDonalds. If you make everything into McDonalds you get nothing but Big Macs. That’s no way to live, man. I saw SUPER SIZE ME!

25 ny2ca2dc   ~  Dec 5, 2008 5:48 pm

[22] "...it has always seemed worth it to spend time articulating a viewpoint on BB, while on other sites, the effort has always struck me as a waste."

YES. This is exactly it. On other sites there is so much people just spouting, people talking past each other and not addressing each other points. I think the threaded comments in RAB encourages this bad trend in that it makes it easy to have so many lines of conversation. I think the Banter is unique in that while the conversation will meander, split, reconverge, re-split, etc, people are actually 'conversing', instead of just 'commenting'.

26 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 5, 2008 6:02 pm

[24] Well, you do get more than Big Macs (Angus with Bacon is nice), but I get your point >;) Also, the circumstances were a bit different between Johan and CC. Johan was not as particular about where the money was coming from and where he wanted to pitch, and very little hinged on Johan's decision except for the particular team he signed with.

But CC is apparently looking for more comfort beyond the money and hopes the market comes to him with that, as opposed to setting the bar like Johan did. He's the top dog on the FA market, and he has the leverage to decide what's best for him as opposed to who can offer the most. Sorry, but like Cashman said, it's his move, we'll just have to wait. You can blame the other players and their agents for waiting for CC to set the market if you like...

27 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 5, 2008 6:07 pm

[25] Agreed.

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