"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

News of the Day – 1/16/09

This one is for you Todd … thanks for the vivid pictures you painted with the keyboard, and thank you for the “real” work you did at the ACLU.  The blogosphere is mourning your passing …. from Curt Schilling to PeteAbe to Tyler Kepner.  Even the guys at Deadspin noted it.

Here’s the news:

  • The Times has an editorial in their “Opinion” section on the Stadium funding issue:

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the development agency should renegotiate this latest round of what has always been an incredibly generous deal for one of the richest teams in the country. At a very minimum, they should insist that the Yankees pick up more of the city’s share of the project, which now amounts to $362 million.

About $326 million of that money will pay for demolishing the old stadium, building new infrastructure and replacing 22 acres of city parkland that was lost to the new stadium.

Yankee officials like to say that they are the ones paying to build this stadium, not the city’s taxpayers. That is only partly true. The public has subsidized the project in many ways — providing generous tax-exempt financing and a variety of other assistance like rent abatements.

Meanwhile, the total $362 million price tag to the city has almost doubled since the project was announced in 2006.

  • The wonderful Neil DeMause of Field of Schemes.com has been doing yeoman work on tracking the costs associated with the Yanks and Mets new stadia.  He also covered Day 2 of the Industrial Development Agency’s hearings, for the Village Voice.
  • John Harper of the News writes that the end of the NY football season brings the baseball teams to the forefront sooner.  And here’s his thoughts on the Yanks:

In Cashman’s case you can debate the excessive spending but you can’t say he hasn’t signed the right guys, especially in the case of CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira. He filled glaring needs with elite players in their prime, and in keeping with his goal of recent years, made the Yankees younger in the process.

It doesn’t mean he was right to pass on the trade for Johan Santana last winter, but if his long-term plan was indeed to get a pitcher such as Sabathia while holding onto all of his young pitching, you can understand his thinking. Of course, it would help if Phil Hughes or Ian Kennedy blossomed as Mike Pelfrey did for the Mets last season, and Sabathia needs to deliver the way Santana did.

  • LoHud’s PeteAbe had a nice post about our late friend Todd Drew, and posted a link to a guest column Todd wrote for LoHud early last year.
  • PeteAbe also makes the case for keeping Andy Pettitte in pinstripes in ’09:

Yes, Pettitte was 4-7, 5.35 in his last 13 starts. But Pettitte had a sore shoulder and he kept pitching because the alternative was Kei Igawa. He took the ball every five days until the Yankees were eliminated.

Pettitte also was pitching without the benefit of having had a full offseason of conditioning. He admitted that the Congressional investigation interrupted his usual routine. Sure, it was his fault for taking PEDs in the first place and working out with Roger Clemens and policeman of the year Brian McNamee. But the fact remains, he didn’t get his work in.

Beyond that, consider the stats beyond wins and loses. Pettitte was one of 33 pitchers to throw at least 200 innings last season. Pettitte is one of 21 pitchers to have thrown 400 innings in the last two seasons. That means he has stayed healthy enough to pitch, he has merited being sent back to the mound, he has saved the bullpen. Oh, and this was while pitching in the AL East.

  • USA Today’s Paul White makes an extensive organizational review of the Yankees, and likes what he sees for 2009.
  • Brian Bruney, Xavier Nady and Melky Cabrera were three of the 111 players to file for salary arbitration.
  • Zell’s Pinstripe Blog has a bunch of new photos from inside the Stadium.
  • Happy 32nd birthday to Colter Bean.  Bean had three weak cups of coffee (hey … Bean …. cups of coffee … isn’t that cute?) with the Yanks from 2005-2007.
  • Ron Villone turns 39 today.  Villone has had a 14-year career (over 1,100 IP) despite a 4.75 ERA.
  • Jack McDowell turns 43 today.  McDowell went 15-10 with a 3.93 ERA in his one season with the Yanks (1995).
  • The immortal Steve Balboni turns 52 today.  The burly slugger spent five years with the Bombers over two different tours of duty.  His Yankee totals: .214/.286/.415 with 41 HRs and 116 RBIs and 219 Ks in 766 ABs.
  • On this date in 1974, the Baseball Writers Association of America selects Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford for the Hall of Fame. Mantle becomes only the seventh player to make it in his first try. His 536 home runs with the Yankees ranked second only to Babe Ruth and he played in more games (2,401) than any other pinstriper. Ford retired with more wins (236), more innings pitched (3,171), more strikeouts (1,956), and more shutouts (45) than anyone in club history.
  • On this date in 2001, Dave Winfield is elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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1 standuptriple   ~  Jan 16, 2009 10:33 am

What are the chances the arbitrator gives Melky a pay cut?

2 Raf   ~  Jan 16, 2009 10:47 am

I'd say there's a very good chance Melky gets a pay cut. Bruney may as well.

Villone has had a 14-year career (over 1,100 IP) despite a 4.75 ERA.

It's great to be a lefty!

McDowell went 15-10 with a 3.93 ERA in his one season with the Yanks (1995)

The company line was that they couldn't afford him after signing Cone & Rogers. I thought he would've stuck around longer than a year, but the organization seemed to make a good call on him as he posted 4 more subpar years before retiring.

His (Balboni's) Yankee totals: .214/.286/.415 with 41 HRs and 116 RBIs and 219 Ks in 766 ABs.

Amazing he got as much playing time as he did. It's not like he had outstanding platoon splits either. IIRC, the organization was really high on him.

3 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jan 16, 2009 12:04 pm

Actually Balboni was a lefty-killer during his second Yankee stint (slugging ~.500 against lefties), and who else did they have in '89 and '90 anyway?

McDowell will forever be the guy who gave up Edgar Martinez's series-winning double and flipped off the Yankee Stadium crowd. I hated him even before either of those events, dating back to his time with the White Sox.

4 Mattpat11   ~  Jan 16, 2009 12:31 pm

I have some recollection of being at the game with Black Jack flipped the crowd off. I don't know if that's a true memory or different things running together or what.

5 OldYanksFan   ~  Jan 16, 2009 12:50 pm

Frankly, early on, I wanted to get Tex, and stay pat...just getting some good deals in a depressed market. That stategy was financially responsible but would NOT give us a good shot at the PS THIS year.

But Cashman went all out and spent some big money. Now that that is done, we almost HAVE to make the WS (if not win it) or we will have egg on our faces. That being the case, I say GET ANDY! At this point, he fills the most important hole that needs to be filled. If we have some pitching injuries, or Joba and/or Phil disappoint, it will be a fight to get into the PS.

So my feeling is we are in a all-or-nothing situation, and Pettitte could be the difference between being in the WS or not. Obviously we might make it without him, but at this point, he is a good insurance policy.

If need be, they could dump Nady and just platoon Melky and Brett. While they are a downgrade from Nady....
Pettitte + Melky/Brett >>>> Nady.

6 Raf   ~  Jan 16, 2009 1:09 pm

and who else did they have in ‘89 and ‘90 anyway?

IIRC, When Winnie went down, they had Phelps, Hall, Pags, Slaught, Barfield & Balboni among others.

1990 the wheels completely fell off; Barfield, Maas, Winfield & Balboni were the only power threats on that squad, IIRC.

7 Raf   ~  Jan 16, 2009 1:14 pm

McDowell will forever be the guy who gave up Edgar Martinez’s series-winning double

Watching that game (I taped it), I noticed every pitch McDowell threw in that inning was up in the zone. I think it was also his game to lose, as I don't remember anyone being up in the pen.

8 zack   ~  Jan 16, 2009 2:22 pm

Of course Harper's argument is completely illogical. Pelfrey is, of course, 2 full years older than Hughes and it took him 2 similarly bad call ups the years before, in the NL mind you, to finally "blossom," albeit with not so great splits. But nevermind that. Its much easier to just say, "hey, here's a young touted pitcher, and here's another, they should be compared against each other!"

The Santana trade has nothing to do with Pelfrey, and it doesn't really have anything to do with Hughes last season. The issue was never if Hughes would blossom immediately.

Oh well, old hat, I know...

9 Bruce Markusen   ~  Jan 16, 2009 3:48 pm

When Winfield got hurt in the spring of 1989, they didn't have Hall or Barfield yet. They acquired Hall in spring training as a direct response to losing Winfield. They also made springtime trades for both Balboni and Tom Brookens, again after it was announced that Winfield would miss the season. And then in mid-season, came the deal of Al Leiter to the Blue Jays for Barfield, who actually took Winfield's place in right field.

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