"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

News of the Day – 1/10/09

Powered by Moe Green, here’s the news:

  • Let’s start with a good trivia question, courtesy of Jayson Stark … now that the John Smoltz-Chipper Jones tag team has been busted up after 16 years together, which pair of active teammates has played together the longest? (Answer at the end of this post)
  • Newsday’s Ken Davidoff gives the reasons the Yanks would prefer to keep Swisher over Nady:

1) Swisher’s versatility. He can play both corner outfield positions and first base as well as centerfield (his weakest position). Nady plays only the corner outfield positions.

2) As a switch hitter, Swisher gives Joe Girardi more flexibility.

3) Swisher is signed through 2011 for $21 million. Nady can become a free agent after this season, and with Scott Boras as his agent, he indeed will file for free agency.

4) Although the Yankees like Nady perfectly well, they think Swisher’s upbeat, fiery personality could be an added asset.

  • Over at BP.com, Shawn Hoffman details why a salary cap might actually harm lower-revenue/lower-payroll teams:

Let’s say, in some far-off universe, MLB owners and players actually did agree on a salary cap. With it would come the normal provisions: a salary floor at around 75-85 percent of the cap, and a guaranteed percentage of total industry revenues for the players. Since the players have been taking in about 45 percent of revenues the past few years, we’ll keep it at that figure …

Using 2008 as an example, the thirty teams took in about $6 billion … for an average of $200 million per team. Forty-five percent of that (the players’ share) is $90 million, which we’ll use as the midpoint between our floor and cap. If we want to make the floor 75 percent of the cap …  we can use $77 million and $103 million, respectively.

With a $103 million cap, nine teams would have been affected last year, and a total of about $286 million would have had to be skimmed off the top. Since total salaries have to remain at existing levels, the bottom twenty-one teams would have had to take on this burden, which had previously been placed on the Yankees, Red Sox, et al. On the other end, fourteen teams would have been under the payroll floor, by a total of $251 million. Even discounting the Marlins‘ $22 million payroll, the other thirteen teams would have had to spend an average of $15 million more just to meet the minimum. Some of those teams might be able to afford it; most wouldn’t.

Imagine being Frank Coonelly in this situation. Coonelly, the Pirates‘ team president, has publicly supported a cap. Had our fictional cap/floor arrangement been instituted last year, the Pirates would have needed to increase their Opening Day payroll by $28 million. Not only would the team have taken a big loss, but Neal Huntington’s long-term strategy would have been sabotaged, since the team would have had to sign a number of veterans just to meet the minimum payroll.

Now fast forward to 2009. Let’s say the Pirates’ sales staff runs into major headwinds, with the team struggling and the economy sinking. The team’s top line takes a hit, falling $10 million from 2008. The Mets and Yankees, meanwhile, open their new ballparks, and each team increases its local revenue by $50 million. If the twenty-seven other teams are flat, total industry revenues rise by $90 million (not including any appreciation in national media revenue). Forty-five percent of that, of course, goes to the players. So even as the Pirates’ purchasing power decreases, the payroll floor actually rises.

In other words, without a more egalitarian distribution of income, the system crumbles.

“When you’re down, you expect your organization to pick you up, not kick you when you’re down,” Pavano said. “I’ve had to pick myself up quite a few times the last four years.”…

“A lot of offers wanted me to come to camp and have to make the team,” Pavano said. “Not that I thought I was above that, but I didn’t want to have to be looking over my shoulder. There is some risk on me, and I understand that. I failed for four years in New York, and the perception hasn’t been that great, and I understand that. To have a team like Cleveland step up to the plate, how could I ask for anything more?”…

“I’m not the first guy who’s had injuries in his career,” he said. “I believe in my ability to be a successful starting pitcher and successful teammate. The biggest worry was finding the right fit, finding a place that had the resources to make me better.”

[My take: Dude ... you LIED to your last employer about an injury that caused you to miss work.  In most workplaces, that gets you fired.  Get real!]

  • Filip Bondy of the News reflects on the Teixeira signing, and seems to think that “born to be a Yankee” has some disturbing undertones:

I always get a bit wary when I read or hear things about how a player was born to be a Yankee, or how he is made for pinstripes, or how he is a throwback to another era in the Bronx.

Because we all know these are code words for: The guy is white! That’s what I kept reading about Mark Teixeira, after his introductory press conference. The Perfect Yankee. Somehow I didn’t read anything like that about CC Sabathia, even though his numbers are every bit as impressive.

I’m not saying this is overt racism. I get that Teixeira is a standup guy, and that he appears anxious to play in New York. But I also know that we must be on guard against a dangerous strain of nostalgia that romanticizes the days when the Yankees and other clubs were virtually all white.

Some people still want Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle in the middle of their lineup, not Bobby Abreu and Alex Rodriguez – and not just because of the power to right field. …

[My take: Let's see .... our favorite pitcher is Mariano Rivera ... our favorite position player is Derek Jeter ... we adore Jorge Posada ... we worshipped Bernie Williams .... and when people get on A-Rod, the LAST reason is his ethnicity.  Thus, I do believe Mr. Bondy is an early nominee for "worst blog entry of the year".]

  • We know Rickey Henderson won’t go into the Hall as a unanimous selection, thanks to one Corky Simpson.  Simpson has some thoughts on the reaction to his leaving Rickey off his ballot:

“Rickey deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and if I had my ballot back, he’d have a shot at unanimity — and I wouldn’t be hated by quite so many people,” Simpson said.

“First things first, would I vote for Rickey if I had it to do all over again? Damn right, I would,” Simpson said. “I had no idea my ballot would cause such an uproar.”

“If I had properly researched the situation, I would have voted for Rickey Henderson if for no other reason than he played for nine ball teams,” he said. “Imagine that. He’ll be the first Hall of Famer to have a bronze bust with nine caps stacked on his head.

“Seriously, he was a wonderful player and I simply goofed. I voted for eight deserving men. I could have picked two more — and I wish to heck I had.”

[My take: If he had properly researched the situation????? Was he living under a rock for the past 30 years?  He wrote for the same Arizona-based newspaper for 32 years.  He must have seen Rickey play a lot.  And for goodness sake, we're talking about enshrinement in the Hall .... not picking out what shirt to wear ... you BETTER do some research beforehand if you don't think you know enough about a player.  The "nine caps stacked on his head" may have been an attempt at humor, but it makes a mockery of this man's vote.]

  • Jim Dwyer of the Times takes the Yanks (and the City) to task for the handling of the new stadium funding:

… Even in times of great prosperity, the city could scarcely provide these modest basics. Now, beyond all sense or sensibility, the New York Yankees have appeared with a request for $370 million in new taxpayer-backed financing for a new baseball stadium that will open in April.

This is more. New. In addition to. On top of the $942 million in previous financing, and $660 million that the city is pitching in to replace parkland sacrificed for the new stadium and transportation improvements.

What is the team going to spend the new $370 million on?

Here are some items on the submission filed with the city’s Industrial Development Authority: $10.5 million for “suite level upgrades,” and $5 million more for “public washroom upgrades,” and $1.1 million to “upgrade suite seats, field seats” and areas where disabled fans will sit.

For a better sound and television system in the building, new mounts and screens, a video system and scoreboard, they want $34 million. And $3.9 million for “extensive cabling necessary to accommodate multiple, domestic and international broadcasters.”

To enclose the press box and build a dining room for employees, they’re going to spend $3 million. They also plan to spend $137 million for “food and beverage build out.” …

  • Rich Dotson turns 50 today.  Dotson went 12-9 for the ’88 Yanks, despite a 5.00 ERA.  He was released in June of  ’89 after giving up 69 hits in only 51.7 innings, and striking out a mere 14 batters.
  • On this date in 1992, the Yankees trade 2B Steve Sax to the White Sox for pitchers Melido Perez, Domingo Jean and Bob Wickman.

Trivia answer:  Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, at 14 years and counting.

That’s all till Monday …

Categories:  Diane Firstman  Emma Span  News of the Day

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1 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jan 10, 2009 10:52 am

Re: Dwyer: I in no way wish to defend the Yankees' swindling of the taxpayers, but the money is for the Stadium, what exactly could they have spent it on that wouldn't sound ridiculous in contrast to schools and public parkland?

2 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 10, 2009 10:56 am

Well let's see, Bondy writes as though he never wants to be wrong, then has to point fingers as to why his own analysis did not pan out most of the time, so I don't really consider him an authority on anything except maybe soccer, which is like being an authority on vulcanized rubber, so...

Pavano-no-nanette should just avoid microphones like he avoided starts for a while until he builds a case for Comeback Player of the Year, which I know is asking much, but since he had something to say, why can't I?

I lost a lot of respect for the Hall of Fame over the years, especially last year, so to me the Ricky-not-unanimous issue is a tempest in a teapot. If the HoF was such a serious issue, then the powers that be should initiate stronger criteria for writers to be able to vote for whatever candidate is being considered. If it's such a bothersome issue, then a collegue of this nature should certainly have his qualifications scrutinized as they are now, but if being a writer you cannot logically defend your decision (unlike Simpson, apparently), you should maybe be considered for disqualification. The "properly researched" comment is disappointing; if you made a comment like that in any other position that required serious consideration, you'd likely get fired/removed/repurposed/a golden parachute from that job.

The problem with all that, of course, is that this may create situations where coercion can thrive above or below the line, There is no perfect system for this, but then again I do believe the current selection process has chipped away at the HoF's image as a valid and honorable organization. I dunno if Babe Ruth could have made it unanimously with today's writers, but then I don't particularly care anymore, which is something they should be increasingly worried about.

I wonder why Bloomberg isn't taking more of a hit in the press concerning the Yanks and Mets and this financing mess. Obviously, he encouraged this with his bids to bring the Olympics and the Jets to Manhattan, and his support of Forest City Ratner in Brooklyn. The fact that these projects were either denied or put on hiatus does not absolve Bloomberg in his complicity in passing along sweetheart deals so the relative organizations could "afford" to acquire them. Is he not a big part of the reason why the Yanks and Mets feel as though they can blithely ask for so much more money? Yet no one has taken him to task for continually doing so. Strange...

Finally, who were the executives involved in the Sax trade? Those were relatively quality pickups during a bad stretch.

3 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jan 10, 2009 11:29 am

Sax trade: yet another great swap by Gene Michael.

4 Raf   ~  Jan 10, 2009 11:40 am

Gene Michael on the NY side, Ron Schueler on the White Sox side.

Perez was unhappy with the White Sox moving him to the pen. The Yanks needed to open up 2b for Pat Kelly (who was playing 3b). Wickman & Jean were a couple of A-ball pitchers.

5 PJ   ~  Jan 10, 2009 12:21 pm

This is precisely why I take no awards given out by sportswriters seriously, including the award of the MLB HOF voting process.

Halls of fame from any sports league have no room for members of the press, unless they are actually covering enshrinement ceremonies. The leagues themselves should determine who is enshrined and who is not, period.

Corky Simpson, like one of the senators in his own state, is obviously out of touch with reality. But, those living and or working within retirement communities almost always are.

This is also why we don't allow many of the elderly to drive.

6 ChrisS   ~  Jan 10, 2009 1:40 pm

Thus, I do believe Mr. Bondy is an early nominee for "worst blog entry of the year"

I don't know. I'm not defending Bondy, but it's awfully coincidental that when you list out players described by writers generally as gritty, throwback players they're almost all white guys. FJM had good post on this. Apparently black players not named Torii Hunter or Derek Jeter can't be throwback guys.

If Cash doesn't just keep all 4, between Nady and Swisher, Swisher is just the better hitter and better player. Swisher is coming off of a down season, Nady is coming off of a career year (floated by a great 4 months). Matsui and Damon have no trade clauses in addition to other negatives to being traded. Nady could be converted to something useful (like a couple OF prospects and an arm) because his value is the highest right now of the 4 OFers, and IMO, the most likely to see his OPS+ under 110. Nady's on base skills are nearly all BA and that isn't as replicable as Swisher's, which is, I think, the difference between them.

Or Nady has learned how to hit RHers and he's a much better hitter now than he was previously in his career.

7 Diane Firstman   ~  Jan 10, 2009 1:55 pm


Well .... to what era are you ascribing "throwback", cause if its before 1947 ...

8 OldYanksFan   ~  Jan 10, 2009 2:16 pm

Re: Salary Caps
Actually, if this could be done in a sane way, I would consider the idea. Frankly, the Yankee's 'unlimited' money inflates player salaries, so the teams that go after the big guns, are usually getting less bang for the buck.

A few thoughts:
1) If it were implemented, it would need to be over a 10 year period (as teams have existing long contracts), with maybe a mandatory decrease of 5% closer to the cap per year... but reaching it after 10 years.

2) the floor being 75% of the ceiling would not work in MLB. The FLOOR would actually do more for parity then the ceiling. Right now, the spread is closer to $25m to $200m, so something like 60 to 120, or 50 to 130, would be more real life.

However, wouldn't salaries go way down, and thefore the players percentage be less? Maybe 60 to 150 is more realistic?

And then, the Yanks aren't giving money to small market teams, so they lose even more money.

I think the concept isn't terrible, but the numbers would have to be based on current real time MLB numbers, as opposed to what other sports do. MLB would have to create their own model.

9 Rich   ~  Jan 10, 2009 2:43 pm

The only reason that CC didn't receive the same "born to be a Yankee' and "made for pinstripes" media coverage is that the Yankees weren't his first choice, but I'm confident that if he pitches as effectively as he did the last few seasons, and shows the heart, character, and selflessness that he demonstrated down the stretch while he was with the Brewers, that he will receive a disproportionate share of encomiums. If his contributions lead to the Yankees winning #27, he will become part of the storied Yankee lore.

10 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 10, 2009 3:09 pm

[8] Frankly, the Yankee’s ‘unlimited’ money inflates player salaries, so the teams that go after the big guns, are usually getting less bang for the buck.

?? In most cases, the Yanks don't set the market for these kind of players. I think the real crux of the objections is that the Yanks can afford to get more players than anyone else at high prices. No one was really shocked that the Yanks targeted and eventually signed CC, but the piling on actually began after also signing Burnett. Teix was gravy for the Yankee haters, who would have otherwise said nothing if he went to Boston or the Angels.

If you really look at it, a cap would likely force the Yanks to spend much more on development; signing a even more significant number of international free agents and digging deeper into the American landscape to find overlooked talent from smaller schools and programs. Hell, hire Cliff and the staff at BP and we'll have another dynasty soon enough >;)

11 Rich   ~  Jan 10, 2009 3:27 pm

[10] I think an even bigger objection to the Yankees financial flexibility is that unlike most of MLB teams, when they make a spending mistake, they can more easily write it off, and it produces a much smaller (if any) impact on their future spending.

12 Raf   ~  Jan 10, 2009 4:06 pm


I dunno. The Yanks aren't the first team to sign a player to a bad contract, nor will they be the last. Also most teams are familiar with salary dumps. I don't think the "spending mistake" angle is particularly a valid one.

13 Rich   ~  Jan 10, 2009 4:13 pm

[12] Really? Many MLB teams have frequently complained that if they sign a Pavano, that mistake limits their ability to make a compensatory big money signing. The Yankees are not similarly limited.

14 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 10, 2009 4:15 pm

[11] You may be right, but I don't blame the rich for being rich in this case (and no pun intended >;) , because in this case the Yankees are a business in itself as opposed to being a bauble in an owner's portfolio. The advantage the Yanks have over other teams that cannot be fixed right away with a cap is their marketability: a winning tradition far longer than other teams, a rich history tied to their geographic location, their presence in the largest media market in the nation, and worldwide adulation. The closest teams to them in terms of spending, the Red Sox and Mets, are missing at least two of those aspects. You would have to also relocate the Yankees to (thinking...) Bismark? New Orleans? Biloxi? Cambridge? Butte? and perhaps rename them to affect them as much as many of the other teams intend, it seems.

15 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 10, 2009 4:24 pm

[13] So by that logic, Cleveland has deliberately hamstrung themselves just now and should be pitied for it? Should Selig award them a compensatory draft pick to make up for a bad signing?

16 Rich   ~  Jan 10, 2009 4:34 pm

[14] Your point would be valid if Cleveland gave Pavano a guaranteed contract of approximately $40 million over four years. Instead, they only guaranteed him $1.5 million for one season, and conditioned any additional money on earning performance bonuses.

That type of contract, Pavano's putative character issues aside, makes sense for their business model. I don't see any parallels to the the kind of big money contracts that I referenced in my prior post.

17 Raf   ~  Jan 10, 2009 4:34 pm


So who was the Yankees' big ticket signing to replace Pavano?

The problem with MLB is that they don't know what they want. The Yankees aren't the reason KC made dumb moves to acquire Kyle Farnsworth, Mike Jacobs, Horacio Ramirez, and Willie Bloomquist through trades of FA.

18 Rich   ~  Jan 10, 2009 4:35 pm

Sorry @ [15]

19 Rich   ~  Jan 10, 2009 4:47 pm

[17] There was no one signing that the Yankees made to replace Pavano, but if he had performed as they had hoped when they gave him the contract, it's possible that Clemens, Pettitte, or even Burnett (if Pavano had pitched well enough to merit an extension) would not have had to be signed. (I am not including CC in that group because given his age an ability he is on another level.)

I'm not blaming the Yankees for their financial wherewithal. It's at least partially a well-earned consequence of a superior marketing strategy, a willingness to spend money to make money, as well as their historic tradition, which have all contributed to the value of their brand. I'm merely pointing out that their financial flexibility is often cited by other franchises as being their biggest advantage.

20 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 10, 2009 4:50 pm

[17] You don't remember, Raf? It's all A-Rod's fault...

[18] No big. But what, you're not down with shifting some paradigms without a clutch by moving the Yanks to Cambridge? I think that would outgross The Exorcist in a week!

21 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 10, 2009 4:59 pm

[19] It sounds like those teams want to have it both ways; they want the financial flexibility to compete with the Yankees, but at the same time they want the subsidies that the Yankee's competitiveness and marketability provide. What else am I missing?

22 Raf   ~  Jan 10, 2009 5:19 pm

There was no one signing that the Yankees made to replace Pavano, but if he had performed as they had hoped when they gave him the contract, it’s possible that Clemens, Pettitte, or even Burnett (if Pavano had pitched well enough to merit an extension) would not have had to be signed.

But who's to say they wouldn't have been signed anyway?

In Clemens' case, he was going to NY, Boston or Houston as speculated. And it's debatable whether replaced Pavano's turn in the rotation. Pavano was already on the team when Pettitte returned (Pavano was the 97 season starter), and Burnett was signed after the Yanks severed ties with Pavano. Even so, his signing is independent of Pavano's tenure with the Yanks. If they wanted him to return, they would've brought him back.

23 Rich   ~  Jan 10, 2009 5:39 pm

[21] Of course, they do,and I'm certainly not excusing it, but I can more easily tolerate that kind of complaining from, for example, the Brewers or the Marlins, than I can the bleating from a large revenue team like the Sox or the Mets.

The only reason I want the Yankees to have a smaller payroll is that my primary enjoyment is derived from watching players develop from the time they are drafted though high level ML performances. If the Yankees could establish a mL pipeline that would enable them to field a team of mostly home grown players, it could shrink their expenditures, at least until those players reached free agency. Then, if the pipeline was extremely productive, they would have the enviable task of choosing between which veteran players to retain and which to replace with a top prospect.

That appears to be Cash's plan, although it's still in the early stages.

24 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 10, 2009 5:54 pm

[23] They can always annex KC again >;) But we don't disagree. I think we fans have to defy certain outside influences and remain patient for that to take fruition, but bear in mind that the Yanks also have the (un)enviable task of balancing competition with maintaining and growing profit. It's easier to tell fans to be patient than stockholders. All I'd say is that winning once guarantees little with the bottom line (see Florida); sustainable winning, now we're getting somewhere...

25 Rich   ~  Jan 10, 2009 6:01 pm

[22] No one has perfect knowledge, but I don't think it's unreasonable to think that an effective Pavano would have obviated the need for at least one of those pitchers. The larger point is that their resources enabled them to continue to add expensive starting pitcher despite the Pavano expenditure.

There's alternative way to look at it. One of the reasons Clemens signed with the Yankees is that they offered him a pro-rated portion of a contract with a $28 million AAV. It's not illogical to think that the reason they were willing to pay so much money is that they had a gaping hole in the rotation. A healthy and effective Pavano would have gone a long way toward preventing that hole, and at the very least, it would have likely caused them to bid less for Clemens.

As for Pettitte, Pavano was nominally on the roster when Pettitte returned, but he didn't start a game in the season prior to that return.

Burnett's signing was independent of Pavano's tenure to the degree that Pavano was a nullity during the length of his contract. If, however, Pavano had put up an ERA+ that was close to the 137 as he did in his last season with Marlins during his four years with the Yankees, I think it's likely that he would have been re-signed and that the Yankees would have passed on Burnett, because if the foregoing had occurred, Pavano would have been much less of a risk than Burnett.

The reason they didn't want Pavano back was that he sucked. In my hypothetical, first put forth in post [19], the facts, although admittedly fantastical, are contra.

26 Raf   ~  Jan 10, 2009 6:22 pm

don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that an effective Pavano would have obviated the need for at least one of those pitchers.

It isn't unreasonable to think otherwise. After the 2004 season, they added Johnson & Wright (and Aaron Small) along with Pavano. At the time, they already had Mussina & Brown. Johnson replaced Vazquez in the rotation, Wright replaced Lieber.

A healthy and effective Pavano would have gone a long way toward preventing that hole, and at the very least, it would have likely caused them to bid less for Clemens.

Not with Houston and Boston in the mix. Also, along with Pavano's problems, there was Igawa's ineffectiveness, as well as injuries to Kartsens and Rasner.

As for Pavano vs Burnett, Burnett is the superior pitcher, and all things being equal, Burnett's an upgrade.

27 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 10, 2009 7:04 pm

Bondy's article is drivel...to be honest, I've never taken him serious as a sportswriter, so I wouldn't expect anything else from him. As [9] mentioned, the reason C.C. wasn't "born to be a Yankee" is because he was "born to play on the West Coast". Those teams just couldn't offer enough money. Also, in every Tex article, he is compared to Derek Jeter, so I am not sure how that squares with Bondy's race issue. If Flip wants to do an expose, maybe he should look into the Red Sox' roster composition instead.

As for the salary cap, what most people (and most teams) probably don't realize is that the players in MLB get the smallest percentage of league revenue. As of 2008, MLB players received 52% of revenue, compared to NHL players at 56.7%, NBA players at 57% and NFL players at 59%. I think this illustrates Hoffman's point: if you are going to institute a cap that forces the big markets to spend less, then the small markets not only have to make up that loss, but would also have to cover the increase if a higher percentage is negotiated in the contract (which I'd imagine would be necessary to get the MLBPA to agree).

A salary cap solves in baseball would solve nothing. It might weaken the Yankees for a time, but it would do nothing for competitive balance, especially when you consider most teams do not compete with the Yankees anyway. Also, unlike the NFL, MLB contracts are guaranteed, which means baseball would need something more like an NBA-style cap, which really is a disaster. Not only does it not promote artifical balance (which I actually think is a good thing), it has the effect of forcing teams to enter competive Siberia when they get saddled with Marbury-like contracts. In the NFL, you cut Marbury, but in the NBA you suffer until the contract runs out.

Also complicating a cap in MLB is the money teams spend in player development (is it fair for a team to pay millions to develop a player, but then lose him because of cap restraints)? Unlike the NFL and NBA who allow colleges to do their player development, MLB relies on a team funded system. If you remove the reward, why would teams take the risks? Because the MLBPA would likely require an end to the reserve rules to agree to a cap, it would seriously harm the minor league system (which itself is enjoying record popularity).

MLB isn't broke, but if the powers that be want to bring it to that point, a salary cap is the perfect way to go.

28 Bama Yankee   ~  Jan 10, 2009 7:27 pm

Ah, good ol' Corky Simpson. He is somewhat of a folk hero down here in Alabama:
"Simpson created a national sensation in 1992 when he was the only voter who voted for Alabama over Miami for the entire season in the Associated Press college football poll. He was vindicated when the Crimson Tide won the national championship and served as grand marshal of the celebration parade in Tuscaloosa."
He may be catching flak for his HOF vote, but if he ever moved to Tuscaloosa he'd probably never have to pay for a meal for the rest of his life.

At first I was disappointed to hear about Corky's HOF vote (I was a huge Rickey Henderson fan -- I've had his rookie card since I bought it in a random pack when I was a kid). Then I thought about it a little. Of all the players who have missed the unanimous vote, I'm note sure Rickey should be the first one to get it and there actually could be some good that comes from Corky's mistake. I guess it's sort of a tradition that no one gets a unanimous vote (a bad one, in my opinion), so maybe the problem is not with Corky but with all the other chuckleheads who started the tradition. I'm sure someone will get all the votes someday (how about Jeter? or Arod?). Could it be that all the controversy over Corky's vote might actually be the thing that leads to the end of the tired old tradition?

Like most Bama fans, I guess I view Corky Simpson through "Crimson" colored glasses for sticky up for us back in 1992. Not to mention that even though he left Rickey off his HOF ballot this year, he did include Don Mattingly... So, he's not all bad.

29 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 10, 2009 7:31 pm

[28] I think that any writer who states he didn't vote for a player because he didn't want him to be unanimous (or did vote for a player to keep him on the ballot) should lose their vote. Period. If everyone used the same logic, all-time greats would drop off the ballot, and marginal players would get elected. Relying on other voters to prevent these two outcomes is irresponsible. If voters can't take their responsibility seriously, they shouldn't have a vote. I really wish the HoF would wake up to the poor quality of its voting population and seriously revamp the system.

30 Rich   ~  Jan 11, 2009 12:04 am

[26] Not with Houston and Boston in the mix. Also, along with Pavano’s problems, there was Igawa’s ineffectiveness, as well as injuries to Kartsens and Rasner.

As for Pavano vs Burnett, Burnett is the superior pitcher, and all things being equal, Burnett’s an upgrade.

How many times do I have to say it: my point was hypothetical. If Pavano had remained healthy and effective there would have been a decreased need for the pitchers I mentioned, including Clemens. So what if Clemens signed with Houston or Boston. It's not like he put the Yankees over the top or anything.

Similarly, as I said,, if Pavano had put up an ERA+ over the course of his Yankee career that was in line with his 2004 season (137) with the Marlins, ipso facto, he would be a superior pitcher to Burnett, whose career high ERA+ is 122.

Again, I used the (disappointing) arc of Pavano's career to illustrate how the Yankees are able to overcome financial mistakes to a degree that few teams can. It's really not a controversial point.

31 Raf   ~  Jan 11, 2009 10:18 am

Hypothetical or not, the points still stand, especially in the context of the Yankees' actions before Pavano came on the scene.

For example, the Yankees acquired the 1998 Cy Young award winner after a season where they won 114 games. They acquired Jeff Weaver, despite having a rotation of Clemens, Mussina, Duque, Pettitte & Lilly. If Pavano had performed to the level you mentioned, it does not mean they would not have gotten another pitcher. Because they've done it before.

Again, I used the (disappointing) arc of Pavano’s career to illustrate how the Yankees are able to overcome financial mistakes to a degree that few teams can. It’s really not a controversial point.

It's not a controversial point, it also isn't based in reality. Because the moves the Yankees actually made refutes your claim.

32 Raf   ~  Jan 11, 2009 10:58 am

I'd also like to add that teams that have been stuck with a bad contract usually find a way out from under it, whether it means they eat salary by releasing the player, restructure a contract, covering the difference in a trade, or taking on an equal bad contract. This happens regardless of teams, be they the Yanks or Marlins.

33 Raf   ~  Jan 11, 2009 11:02 am

I just noticed something about the trivia; wouldn't Posada be included as well?

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