"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

News of the Day – 12/24/08

Powered by “A Charlie Brown Ad Agency“, here’s the news:

  • Unless you’ve been under a rock the past 24 hours, you already know this …. Mark Teixeira will be with the Yankees for the next eight years, at about $22.5M per year, with a full no-trade clause and no opt-out clause, as per ESPN.com, the Times, MLBTradeRumors, MLB.com, SI.com, YESNetwork (amongst many many many sites).
  • Here is MLBTradeRumors‘ collection of reactions to the signings (some of which I show down below).
  • Keith Law at ESPN.com applauds the deal from the Yanks’ perspective:

He’s probably the best defensive player relative to his position on the Yankees now, and could be one of only two or three who are above average depending on how the rest of the roster shakes out. He adds significant power to a lineup that had just two players slug over .500 this past year, and his .410 OBP in 2008 would have led the Yankees by 18 points.

Coupled with the loss of Jason Giambi, the signing of Teixeira means a net gain to the Yankees of four to five wins, considering both his bat and his defense. He also eliminates the need the Yankees had for a right-handed caddy for Giambi, since Teixeira is a true switch-hitter with power and patience from both sides of the plate. The Yanks still have to find a solution in center field, unless they decide to give Melky Cabrera the job again and live with the consequences if he continues to struggle. However, if they re-sign Andy Pettitte, they’re just about done.

  • Stephen A. Smith likes the signing too, but still thinks they need Manny.

This is about winning, folks! And I’m not talking about the stretch of seasons from 2001 to 2007 when the Yankees won a minimum of 94 games, before settling for 89 wins this past fall. I’m talking about the world championships those Red Sox captured this decade. The titles they would not have captured were it not for a few of those 274 homers Ramirez hit for them over the course of his eight seasons in Boston.

If Ramirez’s production after being traded to the Dodgers on July 31 — .396 batting average, 17 homers, 53 RBIs and .743 slugging percentage in 53 games — wasn’t enough, perhaps it’s worth paying attention to what the Yankees’ offensive output was this past season. …

Now, imagine if Ramirez and his .314 lifetime batting average were lumped into that lineup. Backing up Alex Rodriguez. Acting as a catalyst for Robinson Cano. And Hideki Matsui, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada. Imagine, for a moment, the run production. The fear it would instill.

[My take: He isn't signing with the Sox, Angels or Rays ... so that's just as good, right?  Smith should stick to wondering if LeBron will be the next guy taking a New York team's money.]

  • Prior to the onset of the mercurial mayhem, our friend Steven Goldman compared the offensive exploits of Manny and Tex.  He ended the discussion with this:

It’s difficult to see what the conflict is about. The Yankees need another bat, they need to improve the defense, and they need younger players. Teixeira is all three. Ramirez meets just one of those criteria, and due to his age and his unreliable nature, we don’t know how long he will meet it. There are two gambles here. The smaller is signing Ramirez. The larger is signing Ramirez and thereby enabling Teixeira to go to their division rivals. Doing nothing at all will not suffice. The Yankees need to eat the chocolate or risk running off the road.

  • Goldman also offered this piece comparing the defensive values of the players:

With Ramirez, the math is different. As Rob Neyer wrote this week, under normal conditions he’s such an egregiously indifferent outfielder that most metrics see him as being worth about 20 runs below average. Those runs have to be held against his offensive totals, such that if Ramirez is worth about 60 runs over the average player with the bat, after fielding is considered, he’s really only a 40-run advantage — or less than Teixeira. Another way of looking at it is to say that Teixeira adds about five wins over the average player with his bat, then gives his team another with the glove. Ramirez gives his team six wins with the bat, but also contributes two losses with the leather.

  • Joel Sherman of the Post reasons that the Yanks learned their lesson from not signing Carlos Beltran:

… For them it came down to remembering Carlos Beltran vs. Johnny Damon, and forecasting Teixeira vs. Matt Holliday.

The Yankees essentially learned from history. They were in a very similar situation four offseasons ago. At that time, after the 2004 campaign, they also decided upgrading their rotation was the top priority. So when the choice came down to whether to add the high-end lefty starter or the switch-hitting defensive stalwart represented by Scott Boras, the Yankees picked Randy Johnson over Carlos Beltran.

That proved a mistake, and not just because the Big Unit was such a huge disappointment. But because a year later the Yankees had to address the center field issue anyway, and they no longer had someone as gifted as Beltran available. Instead, they had to spend big money on Damon, who quickly proved he was more a left fielder than a center fielder. The repercussions are still being felt: Brett Gardner currently tops the Yankees’ depth chart in center.

  • Rob Neyer defends the big money signing of Teixeira by taking apart some criticism leveled by MSNBC.com’s Ted Robinson.  Neyer ends his piece thusly:

Mark Teixeira’s new contract won’t kill baseball, nor will whatever the tattered economy throws at us. I’m not sure if anything can.

  • More from Neyer here.  He now proclaims the Yanks as the team to beat:

The Yankees won 89 games this past season, and they’ve added the best pitcher in the majors and the second-best first baseman. They’re also likely to get more production next year from Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada, and Chien-Ming Wang is probably going to (roughly) double his eight wins of this year.

And what have they lost? They’ve lost Mike Mussina, with Andy Pettitte. …

Possible problems for the Yankees? Good luck. They’re not likely to have much speed in the outfield, and the bullpen may be a little soft after the top three, especially from the left side (though rookie Phil Coke was fantastic in September).

But when your biggest problem is that you’ve got too many hitters, you’re probably in good shape. A week ago, the Yankees were merely another of the fine teams in the American League East, no worse but no better than the Red Sox or the Rays. Today, though?…

  • Over at SI.com, Lee Jenkins assures Yankee fans that Teixeira will “fit in just fine”:

The caricature of the New York Yankees, drawn by the legions who resent them, is that they are 25 bat-wielding CEOs, dressed in button-down shirts and pinstriped suits, carrying Blackberrys and briefcases into a clubhouse that could double as a board room. They are clean-shaven, image-conscious, supremely wealthy and not a whole lot of fun.

Mark Teixeira will fit right into the caricature. Teammates joke that they have never seen him with a five-o-clock shadow, an un-tucked shirt, a hair out of place. One general manager describes him as “corporate” and “businesslike.” Teixiera describes himself as “obsessive compulsive.” Scott Boras, his agent, says Teixeira has “the make-up of a CEO.” Some may be turned off that Teixeira does not often hang around the clubhouse after games, pounding beers and telling stories. But the Yankees, who pride themselves on their professional work environment, will not mind.

Even though Teixeira grew up in Baltimore, cheering for Cal Ripken Jr. and the Orioles, he is a natural Yankee. As a kid, he patterned himself after Don Mattingly. In high school, he played on some of the same fields as Babe Ruth. He loved the game, but he was also interested in the economics of it, just like any Yankee would be. By the time he was 24, Teixeira was already an assistant player representative to the union.

Alex Rodriguez and Teixeira are now going to be teammates in New York, but they have been linked for some time. Both are represented by Boras, both were teammates on the Rangers and both have remarkable all-around skills, not to mention astronomical contracts. Teixeira and Rodriguez both come across as polished and savvy, though Teixeira is much better at avoiding controversy. Still, neither is outgoing enough to be considered an authentic leader. Despite yet another high-profile signing, Derek Jeter remains the unquestioned captain of the Yankees. Teixeira will be content to follow him.

  • At the Times, Jane Heller expresses a sentiment similar in nature to Alex’s in his “U.S. Steel” post:

… I’m sick of having to apologize for loving a team with assets, as if that makes me some sort of “trophy fan” who’s in it strictly for the money. The fact that the Yankees do have money and aren’t afraid to lavish it on the people they care about isn’t so wrong, is it? It’s not as if they’ve roped us all into some giant Ponzi scheme and bled our retirement plans dry.

Actually, I pay no attention to the lifelong, die-hard, truly intransigent Yankees haters. They hate us just for breathing.

But to all the self-loathing Yankees fans that fear their team is buzz-killing the holidays for the denizens of San Diego, Minneapolis and Kansas City? It’s not your fault that the Padres’ owner needs to sell his team; not your fault that the Twins trade away their best players; not your fault that the Royals thought signing Kyle Farnsworth was a smart idea. Sure, you’re tempted to walk the earth in sackcloth apologizing to everyone everywhere, but you’re not responsible for society’s ills. Just get used to the idea that being a Yankees fan means always saying you’re sorry.

  • At Yahoo!Sports, Ronald Blum writes of the response to the Yankees $243M spending spree, and Randy Levine defends the spending:

“As long as we follow all the rules, which we do, provide hundreds of millions of dollars, as we have over the past several years to other teams, and spearhead enormous revenue to the commissioner’s office, networks and other entities, people should allow us to run our business the way we think is the most appropriate,” Levine said.

  • Harvey Araton of the Times thinks the Red Sox blew it big time by not getting Teixeira:

Better yet, he was the Red Sox’ primary target this off-season. With the Yankees cutting in Tuesday, landing Teixeira, the only way the Sox could match that kind of offensive impact on the free-agent market would be to take back, ahem, Manny Ramírez. …

…. Teixeira, though, was as good a fit for the Sox as he will be for the Yankees. Had the Sox signed him, they would have moved Kevin Youkilis to third base, freeing them to trade Mike Lowell, soon to be 35, or to use him to strengthen their bench.

After the Sabathia and Burnett signings, it is difficult to fathom how the Red Sox let this happen, no matter how bad the stench is when dealing with Scott Boras. They still have an excellent club, with pitching and balance and young players with upside. They are always calculatingly happy to let the Yankees spend themselves silly to the point of stupid. Maybe that turns out to be the case with one of the pitchers, Burnett being the more logical candidate. But not with Teixeira, 28, beginning what should be his peak years. He is a player the Sox, who do a pretty fair business themselves, should not have conceded to the Yankees for a few extra million.

  • MLB.com’s Matthew Leach examines the big money spent on top talent this year, and takes a glance at the big names who might be available in the next few years.  (There’s a “box” in the article with links to reactions to the Tex signing and what the “losing teams” will do now).
  • Get into the new stadium for free … kinda (MLB.com):

… full-season ticket licensees will receive complimentary tickets for the first exhibition games to be played in the new Yankee Stadium on April 3-4 vs. the Chicago Cubs, while partial-plan holders will receive the first opportunity to purchase tickets thereafter, via a pre-on-sale (restrictions apply).

Individual-game ticket prices will not exceed $50 for either game. For the inaugural exhibition contests, Bleachers tickets will be priced at 25¢, and Grandstand tickets will be priced at $1.10-the same prices they were on April 18, 1923, the day the original Yankee Stadium opened. Tickets on the Terrace Level will cost between $20-35, tickets on the Main Level will be $20-45, and tickets on the Field Level will range from $45-$50. Remaining tickets, subject to availability, will go on sale to the general public at a date to be determined in the future.

  • BP.com’s Christina Kahrl hosted a Q&A, and had this to say regarding the signing:

It’s exactly the move they should have made, perhaps as much or more than Sabathia, and I’m glad for them that making their mistake with Burnett didn’t circumscribe their ability to work something out where it might really matter. It seems clear they want to leverage the A-Rod/Jeter/Posada team before having to turn the page, and at eight years and $180M, Tex becomes a key component years after Jeter and Posada are gone.

  • Kahrl also had this to say about Nick Swisher’s bad year in ’08 with the White Sox, and his prospects for ’09:

On some level, I think the fact that Swisher’s always been seen as a very emotional player, and that didn’t fit well with a team that’s run a bit… emotionally. Asking him to play center and then later taking him in and out of the lineup didn’t do him him any favors. Yes, he should be hitting 35 homers, but I really wonder how well he’ll adapt to New York. This isn’t Paul O’Neill we’re talking about.

  • Bernie Williams is making beautiful music, and honing his craft, as ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” details in this video.

[My take: Still classy ... even if the "divorce" was a bit messy.]

  • More Bernie news … he’s made his Winter League debut (MLB.com).
  • Don’t call the Stadium during Christmas week … it will be a ghost town,  Buster Olney reports:

For the first time in recent memory, the Yankees’ offices will be closed the week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day; one of the signs of the more measured leadership of Hal Steinbrenner. His father kept the offices open during that week in the past, partly because of what it signaled: The Yankees never rest. To some in the organization, it was false hustle, a needless exercise that took folks away from their families at the holidays.

  • On this date in 2004, Johnny Oates passed away due to a brain tumor, at the age of 58.  Oates finished his playing career as a back-up catcher for the Yanks in 1980 and 1981.  He then went on to a respectable career as a manager, first with the Orioles (’91-’94) and then with the Rangers (’95-’01, including three division titles, and an AL Manager of the Year award in ’96).
  • On this date in 2002, in a deal which prompts a Red Sox official to call the Yankees an “evil empire”, Cuban defector Jose Contreras agrees to terms on a four-year contract with New York. Contreras, who was considered the top pitcher on Cuba’s national team, was declared a free agent after gaining residency in Nicaragua.

[Thanks to Cliff and Alex for hooking me up with a couple of links I somehow didn't already have.  I think I'm gonna take a nap now.  Either that, or get myself checked for carpal tunnel ... LOL]

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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25 comments

1 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 24, 2008 8:37 am

Diane, you are a MONSTER. Thanks so much for this schmorgesborg o links!

2 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 24, 2008 8:59 am

[1] Couldn't agree more...these recaps have become very robust, especially with the added commentary. Keep up the good work!

Just a couple of observations...

I know economic times are tough, but throttling your investment is not the way to succeed in a downturn. Usually, that approach ensures stagnation during the eventual recovery.

Also, it is interesting to note that the Yankees main business is baseball, and the business of baseball is still pretty good. The Steinbrothers are not engaged in a nasty divorce like John Moores; they didn't lose tens of millions in hedge funds (at least) like John Henry; and didn't get scammed out of hundreds of millions by Madoff like the Wilpons. The Yankees are running a successful business and spending money on great players does not detract from that. The Yankee haters can wring their hands and predict the demise of baseball, but the facts show MLB has never been more popular or profitable, so eventually reality will dispel these myths.

It's been interesting to see the Teixeira deal framed in the context of the upcoming free agent classes in the mainstream press. I've been arguing for weeks now that it wasn't Tex vs. CC as much as it was Tex vs. Holliday. I think the Yankees made the right move.

Looking to the future, because after getting another big FA, there is always more work to be done, I think there is one name that the Yankees should absolutely target next season: Jayson Werth. Unless the Yankees wanted to further torment the Sox by going after Bay, Werth seems to have that perfect combination of talent and grit. He likely wouldn't be a high profile player, so if the Yankees targeted him, they should be able to get him.

Going even further out, Pujols is obviously the next mega player to come free, but that doesn't happen until November 2011, but equally valuable might be Joe Mauer, who comes free after 2010. I can see the Yankees and Red Sox both being in the mix for him, so I am sure he'll be sorely tempted to forgo an extension.

3 The Hawk   ~  Dec 24, 2008 9:29 am

I get why the Yankees got Teixeira, and it is a good signing and I don't think Manny would have worked out. But Steven Goldman's assertion that the two are somehow comparable offensive forces is a little silly. Manny is the most intimidating hitter in the game, by quite a bit. I hate it when people throw up numbers in a perverse attempt to defeat hard-won, hardwired conventional wisdom. There's a reason why one guy is perceived one way and the other another way. It's not smoke and mirrors.

4 Yankee Mama   ~  Dec 24, 2008 9:59 am

Jane Heller couldn't have said it better. Randy Levine was on the money (no pun intended). Anyway, I think the Yankees keep baseball interesting 12 months of the year. Sometimes, we're happy, other times exasperated, if not despondent. We go to the Banter. We vent. We celebrate. We even gloat. In the end, changing alliances is not an option. So be it if "they" hate us. I'm happy to be a Yankee fan.

5 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 24, 2008 10:27 am

[2] As usual I agree with pretty much everything you say William, though I would take slight issue with the notion that baseball has never been as popular as it is now, at least if you limit it to our shores.

I think back in the heyday, call it the 20's into the 60's, when competition for our entertainment dollars, eyes, and thoughts, were much fewer and further between, baseball was more popular than it is today in the United States. For sure today it has a global audience that is much larger. And for sure it's never been as profitable as it is now!
_____

Anyway thanks Diana for all the links. Now I'll have to ignore my family for another few hours :-D

The thing that makes me happiest about this off season (and last!) is what another poster wrote last night (sorry I can't accurately cite, I read about 100,000 words all over the interwebs last night!) - it feels like we're being operated with a long term view and strategy, rather than shooting from the hip with tactical after tactic.

I'm also happy that there is wide-ish discussion of the Tex vs. Holliday notion - it shows more progressive thought than I would've assumed.

It's good to be a Yankees fan today. I don't feel the least bit bad, nor the least bit of self loathing. Cheers for the holidays!

6 Raf   ~  Dec 24, 2008 10:39 am

FWIW, pulled from Fangraphs

Free Agent Values: Mark Teixeira
“If Teixeira is a +5 win player, and we use the $5.5 million per win projection for off-season spending, that gives us a $27.5 million figure for 2009. Again, we’ll factor in a 10% discount off of his current value for the safety of a long term deal, and that gives us something like $24.5 million for Teixeira. Teams are more comfortable giving longer deals to hitters than pitchers, so let’s pencil him in for a 7 year, $171 million contract.”

Cots Baseball Contracts: 09:$20M, 10:$20M, 11-16:$22.5M annually

Free Agent Values: A.J. Burnett
“3.3 wins * 5.5 million per win = $18.15 million in projected 2009 value. We again factor in a 10% discount rate to make up for the fact that he’s going to get a long term deal, and that gives us an annual average value of $16.4 million. Given Burnett’s history, it’s unlikely he’ll get more than four or five years. That puts his projected contract at 4 years/$66 million or 5 years/$82 million.”

Cots Baseball Contracts: 09-13:$16.5M annually

Free Agent Values: CC Sabathia
“5.5 million * 5.5 wins = 30.25 million. That’s what we’d expect Sabathia to be worth if he signed a one year deal, which he clearly won’t do. In exchange for the security of a long term deal, he’ll give teams a slight discount off his current value. At a 10% discount for the safety of a five to seven year deal, that would put his annual average salary at $27 million.”

Cots Baseball Contracts: 09:$14M, 10-15:$23M annually

If these studies are to be believed, the Yanks got these players at a discount.

7 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 24, 2008 10:40 am

As I've always said, damned if you do, damned if you don't. Screw the pundits and full steam ahead...

But I am looking forward to the day when all the players are put in a position of having to defend the Yankees. Cash cap?

Speaking of cash, the Yankees put a bold underline on the Tex deal by signing Kevin Cash from Boston. Sweet.

8 MichiganYankee   ~  Dec 24, 2008 10:41 am

The next move should be to land an impact shortstop prospect who can move into the starting role in 2010. I'm not sure who is available out there, but the Yanks now have quite a few attractive and expendable trade chips:
- Veteran outfield/DH rentals with only 1-year commitments: Mastui, Damon (if the Yanks have exceeded their projected budget, they may want to include one of these in a trade to recover costs)
- League-average corner outfielder in prime: Nady
- Young high-risk/average ceiling center fielders with defensive upside: Melky, Gardner
- Average-to-high ceiling young starting pitchers: Hughes, Kennedy, Aceves, McAllister, Bettances, Brackman
- Average-to-high ceiling young relievers: (Quite a few)
- Experienced slugging lefty 1st baseman whose service clock has not begun: Miranda

Note the value of the Swisher acquisition. Coupled with Teixeira, he frees up Miranda and an outfielder for a trade.

9 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 24, 2008 10:44 am

[8]
I want Victor Martinez behind the plate in 2010 ....

10 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 24, 2008 11:04 am

Hilarious. Over at boston.com over 50% of the respondents to their reaction survey chose what amounts to "good riddance he's not that great a player anyway, I trust Theo et al made the right decision." Talk about denial!!

11 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 24, 2008 11:13 am

[10]

Denial .... perhaps we should call him "Cleo" Epstein ...

12 Jehosephat   ~  Dec 24, 2008 11:21 am

Rob Neyer is right about the state of baseball. It won't be ruined by the Yanks' spending. People were crying about how free agency would ruin baseball. To the best of my knowledge it hasn't. Instituting a salary cap would change our beloved past time into the bland oatmeal that is the NBA where players move from team to team more frequently and there are few "faces" identifiable with particular franchises. If you enjoy the fact that LeBron is probably NY bound as he hits his stride and you enjoy watching Shaq play on his fourth team and you enjoy watching the Sonics move to Oklahoma City??? then call for the salary cap. I prefer to know which players are on my team from season to season. Yeah, free agency has created more movement and salary dumps do occur in MLB, but when I throw almost any team name at you, you immediately associate a particular players with that team. I'm probably oversimplifying this, but I've definitely drifted away from the NBA & the NFL in the last 15 or so years because of the salary cap.

The hilarity of all the negative bloviation on the Tex deal is that the games still need to be played. The Yanks have outspent everyone for years and haven't won a championship since 2000. There are no guarantees. Buckle up and enjoy the ride. If the Yanks win it all, then the haters will continue to hate. If they don't, the haters will continue to hate. You want me (the Yanks) on that wall, You need me (the Yanks) on that wall!

13 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 24, 2008 11:31 am

Wow. This article about Tex seems to have floated under the radar for some reason. At least my radar. But in the middle of the article there is a VERY interesting history of Tex's experience in the draft with the Red Sox that I think is definitely worth a read.

Revenge, served up ice cold?

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/lee_jenkins/12/03/teixeira.boras/

14 Yankster   ~  Dec 24, 2008 11:51 am

Diane,
Brilliant, world class, round-up. Thanks very much.

15 MichiganYankee   ~  Dec 24, 2008 12:09 pm

[9] You don't think that Cleveland will pick up Martinez' option (or, more likely, give him an extension)? Even if they don't, the Yanks are hoping that by the end of 2009, Posada is demonstrating that he still has some mileage left and Montero and/or Romine are projecting as almost ready to catch in the big leagues. Spending big bucks on a FA catcher is definitely a Plan B.

Shortstop, on the other hand, is an organizational black hole in 2011. One or both outfield corners may be as well, but those spots are generally fillable from the free agent market.

16 MichiganYankee   ~  Dec 24, 2008 12:11 pm

[8] My original post meant to say "... who can move into a starting role in 2011." I cannot imagine the Yanks bumping DJ before his contract runs out.

17 The 13th   ~  Dec 24, 2008 12:23 pm

Isn't Victor Martinez regarded as a bad catcher? He can hit, but it seems like the Indians have increasingly used him in a 1B/DH role.

18 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 24, 2008 12:34 pm

Actually, his CS% has improved over the years ... they play him at 1B/DH to save his legs, get another bat in the lineup against certain pitchers

http://cleveland.indians.mlb.com/stats/individual_stats_player.jsp?playerID=400121&statType=1

19 btimmermann   ~  Dec 24, 2008 12:48 pm

What in the world does it mean to be a "natural Yankee?"

Baseball writers use "natural" a lot, like "natural second baseman." I just think if left to their own devices in nature, won't become second basemen.

Or Yankees.

Or even Pirates.

20 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 24, 2008 12:49 pm

Since I don't think this is getting the attention it deserves, let me just copy and paste from the article I linked to above...

"Teixeira instead signed with Boras and was projected as a first-round pick in the 1998 draft. But when the Red Sox asked him beforehand if he would accept a $1.5 million signing bonus, Teixeira thought he could do better. He tumbled all the way to the ninth round, where Boston finally grabbed him. "The Red Sox told everybody that I wouldn't sign, and when it got to a late enough round they said, 'Let's take a flier on him,'" Teixeira told Baseball America in 2006. "So they spoiled me for everyone else." Dan Duquette, then the Red Sox general manager, says it was common knowledge that Teixeira would be difficult to sign. "That's why he went in the ninth round," Duquette says.

The Red Sox still offered Teixeira $1.5 million, but Boras advised his client to go to college instead, take some time to mature, get an education, maybe even meet the girl of his dreams. Ever the ideal client, Teixeira turned down the money -- "It was the most I had ever heard of a high school player turning down," says Georgia Tech coach Danny Hall -- and he met an industrial-design major named Leigh Williams at a party his freshman year. Today Teixeira and Leigh are married with two children, Jack Gordan, who is 2, and Addison Leigh, 1.

Teixeira does not like to revisit what went wrong with the Red Sox, lest he alienate a potential suitor. But the experience clearly bound him to Boras and made him somewhat jaded about the business of baseball. "

21 Jehosephat   ~  Dec 24, 2008 1:02 pm

@ 19

That's incredibly illuminating. Despite all the hullabaloo regarding the $, there seems to be a subtext that players actually want to play baseball in NY, specifically Yankee Stadium. I'm tired of the comments regarding the overall amount of $ spent regardless of the annual expense. It's not like the Yanks wrote a check for $400 million +.

I was listening to MLB Radio this morning listening to someone bellyaching about the Yankees' display of spending in light of the Detroit bailout. That's ridiculous. It's like being angry at your rich neighbor because you pissed you savings away gambling. Get a grip.

22 sonyahennystutu   ~  Dec 24, 2008 1:07 pm

[21] One of my biggest worries re: Torre's departure was that the collective view among players that NY was a great place to come play and win (and yes, get paid) would diminish or go away entirely. I'm glad to see that doesn't seem to be the case. Yes, money talks of course. But I agree that there's more at play here...

23 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 24, 2008 1:35 pm

[18]

Hey .... I think we have a "Griddle" man in our midst .... hi Bob!

A "natural Yankee" .... didn't Carole King sing about that .... ?

I guess Giambi and Sheffield were "artificially-enhanced Yankees" then?

24 Mr. Max   ~  Dec 24, 2008 4:02 pm

I think Torre won AL MoY in '96, according to baseballreference.com....

25 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 24, 2008 5:03 pm
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