"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

News of the Day – 1/29/09

Powered by the treif that is the “Bacon Explosion“, here’s the news:

  • Tyler Kepner offers up more tidbits from the book, including this gem:

The Yankees should have talked to Tim Raines before signing Carl Pavano. Raines, the former Yankee who was coaching with the White Sox when Pavano signed, had played with Pavano in Montreal. During Pavano’s first Yankees season, Raines told Borzello: “He didn’t want to pitch except for the one year he was pitching for a contract. I’m telling you, he’s not going to pitch for you.”

Of course, by then, the Yankees already had a bad feeling about Pavano — team officials were startled to see him rudely rebuke his mother in April, using a mild curse word. Why? He was angry at his mother for wearing a Yankees’ NY in face paint on her cheek to the game.

  • Newsday’s Wallace Matthews has news of a potential “confidentiality agreement” that might be introduced into future Yankee contracts:

The Yankees are considering including a “non-disparagement clause” in future player and managerial contracts in order to prevent any more tell-all books such as “The Yankee Years,” co-written by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a Yankee official said yesterday that some members of the front office staff already are required to sign a confidentiality agreement in order to protect “proprietary knowledge of our business model.” The proposed clause is intended to ensure that future books about the Yankees are “positive in tone,” and “do not breach the sanctity of our clubhouse.” …

The Mets are believed to have included similar clauses in their contracts with former manager Willie Randolph and former pitching coach Rick Peterson. Up to now, the Yankees never have included them in the contract of a player or manager.

  • Matthews also has some of the fallout from the book, from Yankee insiders:

But the fact that he chose to tell it at all, and in a way that Yankees insiders say is, well, unfaithful to the facts (a pack of lies,” one Yankee said) is why the Bronx is burning today.

“I think his ego’s gotten so big that he thinks he can do no wrong,” a Yankees source said. “And the Dodgers winning the division was the last straw. I think he truly believed he had the Midas touch, that he could do no wrong.”

Instead, Torre may have committed the one sin the Yankees find virtually impossible to forgive.

“The same thing he was so upset with Wells and Jose Canseco about, he did himself,” the source said. “He violated the sanctity of the organization, the sanctity of the clubhouse. He broke the trust we had in him.”

  • Tyler Kepner was also at Sacred Heart University on Tuesday night to hear Joba Chamberlain and the Sox Jon Lester address a group of students.  Chamberlain responded to a question about his DUI arrest as follows:

“It ain’t hard to make a phone call,” Chamberlain said. “It ain’t hard to give someone else the keys. As a man, you have to fess up when you do something wrong. A lot of people would run from it, and I would never, ever run from it.”

  • David Cone is reported to have stated in the new Torre/Verducci book that most of the players knew which of them were “juicing”.

According to the authors, players often joked about teammates who worked out with McNamee when he served as an assistant strength coach for the Yankees in 2000-2001, especially players who grew dramatically stronger, bigger and leaner in a short period of time. “He’s on Mac’s program,” was the joke, or “He’s on The Program.”

“They were on his program, guys like Roger, Andy and maybe (Mike) Stanton,” the book quotes Cone as saying. He says he thought McNamee “had some GNC stuff he was putting in shakes, maybe creatine or Andro or whatever you can get over the counter.”

  • Mike Mussina doesn’t think the book will be a distraction for the 2009 team, especially A-Rod:

“He’s the best player that I’ve had a chance to play with,” Mussina told the paper. “And he works hard at it, and if he sat around and worried about everything that happened, he wouldn’t be able to be the player that he is. I was in that clubhouse for eight years. I’ve seen a lot of stuff go on. A lot of stories go out. I’ve seen Alex deal with a lot of things, this past year and in other years. I don’t foresee this as being a major issue.”

  • Mark Feinsand of the News thinks the Pettitte signing is a win for both parties:

The Yankees get to say that they brought Pettitte back at $5.5 million, which is about one-third of what he made last year and 45 percent less than their initial offer this winter.

Pettitte and his agents get to say they can make $12 million with the incentives, which will be $2 million more than the Yankees’ initial offer. Assuming Pettitte stays healthy, he’ll reach those incentives, which are based on innings and days on the roster, not his ERA, WHIP or won-loss record.

When it comes down to it, everybody does win.

All the Yankees wanted was some protection against injury – and why wouldn’t they? After all, we’re talking about a pitcher in his late-30s who had shoulder trouble during the last two months of the season. Why guarantee him the $12 million? If he stays healthy and pitches 200 innings, the Yankees will consider that a great success and be very happy to pay him the $12 mil. If he breaks down, they’re not on the hook for it, and they basically rolled the dice and threw a seven. It happens.

  • The News reports that the price tag for the parkland needed to be replaced by the building of the new Stadium has risen 67% since its initial estimate.
  • Bloomberg.com has the details on the rates attached to the bond offerings for the Mets and Yanks new stadia.
  • John Habyan turns 45 today.  Habyan was a middle reliever on middling Yankee teams from ’90-’93.
  • Mike Aldrete turns 48 today.  Aldrete finished up his career in 1996 with 32 games as a Bomber.
  • Happy 49th birthday to Steve Sax.  Sax was a two-time All Star during his three seasons as Yankee 2B.  Quirky Sax stat … in 1985, he hit only 8 doubles (amongst 13 XBH) in 488 ABs.  The next season he laced 43 two-baggers in 633 ABs.
  • On this date in 2007, Art Fowler passed away at the age of 84.  Fowler was the pitching coach for the Series-winning clubs in ’77 and ’78, and served in that capacity for three separate tours.
  • On this date in 1948, Commissioner Happy Chandler fines the Yankees, Cubs and Phillies $500 each for signing high school players.
  • On this date in 1982, Graig Nettles is named team captain. Nettles becomes the first Yankees captain since the death of Thurman Munson.
  • On this date in 1999, citing shoulder injuries, five-time All-Star pitcher Jimmy Key retires. Key went an amazing 35-10 for the Yanks between 1993 and 1994, and secured a win in the ’96 World Series.

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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1 The Hawk   ~  Jan 29, 2009 9:36 am

That Chamberlain quote is somewhat nauseating. Don't break your arm patting yourself on the back there, fella.

2 Mattpat11   ~  Jan 29, 2009 9:56 am

That Pavano really is just lovely, isn't he? I had forgotten about the thing with his mother.

I'm still sort of surprised that we didn't bring him back.

3 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 29, 2009 10:22 am

[1] He's gonna have to answer questions like that the entire season. He's not running away from his mistake. What more do you want?

4 rbj   ~  Jan 29, 2009 10:22 am

Cussing out your own mother? That's real low. I rarely wish anyone ill will, but in Carl's case I'll make an exception.

15 Days to pitchers and catchers.

5 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 29, 2009 10:28 am

[4] Yeah, that's bad. If that had been me doing that to my Mom, she and the rest of the family would have jumped me right then and there.

6 RagingTartabull   ~  Jan 29, 2009 10:37 am

My profanity laced tirades against my parents kinda tapered off after I passed the "I'm 15 and NO ONE GETS ME!!" stage, but then again this is the Idle we're talking about...and mine usually resulted in the exchange of "What did you just say??" "NOTHING!! (wincing for an inevitable smack)"

7 sonyahennystutu   ~  Jan 29, 2009 10:52 am

I hope the schedule aligns such that he gets to start at the new Stadium. The reception from the crowd will be epic!

That said, it'll be 'interesting' in the chinese curse sort of way to observe his season unfold. Injuries? Lots or starts? We'll see...

8 sonyahennystutu   ~  Jan 29, 2009 10:53 am

Oops..."Lots of starts?"

9 The Hawk   ~  Jan 29, 2009 10:59 am

[3] Hm, well I don't think I intimated there was something wrong with answering questions. "Patting yourself on the back" has a pretty specific meaning, no? You can answer the question without giving yourself credit for doing so.

10 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 29, 2009 11:15 am

[9] Sure, but he can do a lot worse than pat himself on the back for owning up to his mistake. A lot of guys his age wouldn't even acknowledge there was a problem, but he's kinda got a lot of expectations on him, so with the prying eye that is New York media and just to settle down people that are counting on him, to assure yourself and everyone else that you are addressing the issue head on so it won't be an issue anymore is hardly offensive at this point.

Now if he went on a nationwide tour and became a fire-breathing teetotaler, I'd agree with you wholeheartedly...

11 The 13th   ~  Jan 29, 2009 11:45 am

[7] I was thinking about that the other day. And you know whose team plays the first official game at the new stadium...

12 Raf   ~  Jan 29, 2009 11:56 am

[6] If I even thought about saying something profane to my parents, I'd get laid out.

13 Raf   ~  Jan 29, 2009 11:59 am

As for Pavano he never really was that good to begin with, Raines quote or not.

14 sonyahennystutu   ~  Jan 29, 2009 12:05 pm

[11] Whoa - I gotta pay more attention to the schedule! I've sort of ignored it because I think it'll be mid season before I brave stubhub to snag some tix. Much as I'd like to hit opening day I just don't think it's going to happen :(

15 MichiganYankee   ~  Jan 29, 2009 12:36 pm

Cliff, you may want to add a sidebar link for The Yankee Universe (http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com). The bloggers are expatriates of Pending Pinstripes, The Bronx Block and iYankees. They've got some good stuff there.

16 Mattpat11   ~  Jan 29, 2009 1:11 pm

Pavano fell under the Yankee front office's "But loom what happened last year! Surely this means he's turned some sort of corner!" talent acquisition philosophy.

17 Raf   ~  Jan 29, 2009 2:08 pm

[16] It would have been one thing if the year Pavano had in 2004 was outstanding, in relation to his career. It wasn't.

18 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jan 29, 2009 4:46 pm

I dunno, Hawk, I see what you're getting at, but I think by making it explicit that he's admitting his mistake he's driving the point of accountability home to his younger fans. I have no problem with that provided he backs up his words with his actions (meaning no more DUI/public drunkenness and some non-forced community service/charity work dealing with drunk driving or alcohol related issues). Saying the right thing but doing the wrong this is, in my opinion, a worse example than simply being a total fuck up, because at least the total fuck up serves as a pure example of what not to do.

19 The Hawk   ~  Jan 29, 2009 5:49 pm

[18] I just get tired of people saying they're being a man. Just show and don't tell, like they tell you in 9th grade writing class. "Hi, I'm a stand-up guy for taking responsibility for my irresponsible behavior, and I'm here to talk to you about how a lot of people aren't as stand-up as me" ... The requisite humility when you cop to doing something shameful is mitigated by saying "Look, I'm being humble here" Etc, etc. It's like that Chris Rock bit about "I take CARE of my kids" ..."You're supposed to you dumb motherfucker!"

Keep in mind I like Joba.

20 underdog   ~  Jan 29, 2009 6:06 pm

I posted this in the previous thread by mistake. Or not -- I guess it's more on topic there, but likely to be buried. On other hand, maybe it deserves to be buried. On the other hand... I need a snack.

Hey all, I think I was summoned here by dog whistle. (a whistle that sounds like “Dodgersssss….”) ;-) Anyhoo, yes, we at Dodger Thoughts would laugh at an IPK for Matt Kemp trade proposal, or frankly most trade proposals involving Kemp (who is definitely no longer a “prospect.”) But it’s still a free country, you’re free to make silly trade proposals! As long as we can laugh at them. Anyway, doesn’t matter, Kemp is considered untouchable by Dodger management at this point.

It’s definitely true, currently the Dodgers pitching prospects aren’t as high or close as they have been, temporarily at least. Though it depends on how you’re defining prospects; I’d put James McDonald and Scott Elbert (once extremely highly rated, finally made a good comeback after arm surgery last year) up there with most team’s prospects. Both should be on the team this year though so I guess they don’t count as prospects. E Martin and Chris Withrow are talented but def too unproven to put in the conversation anytime soon. Randy Wolf may only be an average or slightly above avg pitcher (a pretty good #4 imho tho) but he’s also not going to cost them either a draft pick or young player in trade. Oh yes and Ramon Troncoso is being talked about as a starter, too, he did well in limited action this winter in attempt to convert. The cupboard’s not exactly bare, is the point.

I still like me some Joba, though.

Anyway, we miss you guys over on the Toaster; have to keep reminding myself to stop by here more often. Cheers.

21 The Hawk   ~  Jan 29, 2009 7:15 pm

[20] I read it! I mean this.

22 Shaun P.   ~  Jan 29, 2009 7:56 pm

[20] Hey underdog - nice to see you! Thanks for the confirmation on what many of us thought re: Kemp for a package centered around IPK.

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