Powered by quite possibly the best 5 minutes ever in “Taxi” …
Here’s the news:
- Brian Cashman states he’ll never write a book like Torre’s latest, and has some other interesting tidbits from a charity event in Pleasantville:
Someone skeptically asked if Cashman was really satisfied with the situation in center field, and he responded that he expected Melky Cabrera to bounce back after a dismal season last year.
“At the same time,” he said, “I’ve got a kid named Brett Gardner that’s hungry and wants that job.”
- Over at Newsday, Tom Verducci states his case on the merits of the book, including this:
“He told me he didn’t want to tell any tales or have it be a tell-all book,” Verducci said. “That’s exactly what we told publishers.”
Things got more complicated when Torre left the Yankees, and Torre did tell some tales many believe violated the sanctity of the clubhouse.
Verducci said he warned Torre “people will pull things out of context,” but he dismissed the notion the book crosses any lines.
“I don’t think the book goes into any rooms that were unlit,” Verducci said. “He may illuminate things further, but you think about Alex Rodriguez fitting into the clubhouse; was that a surprise he had trouble?
[My take: Detailing that Kevin Brown was found hiding and curled up in the corner of a room after an awful pitching performance isn’t (almost literally) “going into any rooms that were unlit”?]
- The News’ Vic Ziegel doesn’t understand what the fuss is about with the book:
There was hardly a shock in the well-written pages, no reason to stop a single press, nothing hotter than PG-13. OK, here’s one thing that might have a shelf life: Expect a bunch of headlines this season playing off the nickname A-Fraud.
A-Rod needs careful handling? David Wells isn’t David Niven? The night Kevin Brown cried? (Who knew the indifferent Brown had tear ducts.) Torre and Brian Cashman were drifting apart? None of that should have surprised even the casual baseball fan.
For some reason, though – maybe because the book was touted as an inside-out look at the Yankees – a few pre-publication leaks suggested the perfect storm. No, sorry, “The Yankee Years” is no tsunami.
If there’s a mystery here, or a complaint from the e-mailers who love to complain, it’s why this book was written in the first place. Why did Torre, who insisted everything that happens in the Bronx stay in the Bronx, decide to break the 11th commandment and violate the sanctity of the clubhouse? Funny, but Torre doesn’t think he was The Great Violator.
- Johnny Damon supports A-Rod … and doesn’t plan on reading the book.
- The DFAed Chase Wright has found a home, and ex-Yankee Ramiro Mendoza is apparently back from the pitcher’s graveyard. Both of the have the Brewers to thank.
- While CitiGroup is getting heat over its $400 million naming rights deal with the Mets in the midst of their bailout, Bank of America (another troubled firm) continues to negotiate with the Yankees for sponsorship rights.
- If you have a BP.com subscription, run over there to read Christina Kahrl’s excellent analysis of the dilemma faced by the Yanks regarding the declining defense of Derek Jeter, with a possible (logical?) solution (moving him to CF). Here’s a snippet:
When Jeter was able to provide a Wins Above Replacement mark of 6.9—a mark that includes his defense—as recently as 2006, the debate was puerile, if not downright academic. Ask any GM if he’d like a seven-win player at shortstop, and he’ll say yes. …
However, with Jeter’s WARP down to 3.5 in 2007 and 2.5 last season, and with his overall offensive contributions coming down from MVP-worthy to “merely” very good, especially in the power department, we start getting into questions over whether or not his recent decline as a defender might really re-spark the question of whether or not Jeter really belongs at short, or if the Yankees might not be better off putting him at another position. …
Obviously, getting Jeter’s buy-in is a real-world problem for a team with a real-world need for a center fielder, because the margins are too thin in the tough AL East for the Yankees to really rely on the wrong Cabrera in the lineup. Crying over last year’s spilled Melky won’t help you catch up to the Rays and Red Sox, but signing Orlando Cabrera, providing the team with a useful-enough hitter and a slick-fielding asset at short could make a small but important difference to a bad defensive ballclub.
[My take: In the “timing is everything” category, I think if “Mr. Torre” were still manager, and was somehow convinced that the time had come to move Jeter to CF, that Jeter would do it without hesitation. Now …. with Mr. Torre gone, I don’t know if Jeter would oblige so easily.
Also of note, with the addition of strikeout pitchers Sabathia and Burnett, Jeter’s D deficiencies will be obviated slightly. Its not going to as big an issue in 2009 as it would have otherwise been had the Yanks signed guys like Derek Lowe and Randy Wolf.
If I remember the fielding metrics, Jeter is good going back on pop-ups and on foul balls. One “could” extrapolate that and say he could gauge flyballs to the OF (though diving for balls in the CF/RF gap may be an issue) :-)]
- Here’s a light and flaky puff pastry piece with Jeter at SI.com.
- Happy 54th birthday to Mike Heath. As a 23-year-old rookie, Heath was Munson’s primary back-up on the 1978 team. He was then included in part of a major trade (along with Sparky Lyle, Larry McCall, Dave Rajsich, Domingo Ramos, and cash) to the Rangers for Dave Righetti, Juan Beniquez, Mike Griffin, Paul Mirabella, and Greg Jemison (minors). He then went on to play 13 more seasons, despite amassing more than 400 ABs in only two of those years.
- On this date in 1921, the Yankees purchase ten acres of land in the Bronx, to be used as the site for their new park.
- On this date in 1935, 39-year-old Babe Ruth is released by the Bombers.
- On this date in 1942, the Boston Braves obtain outfielder Tommy Holmes from the Yankees for Buddy Hassett and Gene Moore in one of the best trades in Braves history. Hassett will hit .284, then join the Navy and never make it back to the major leagues. The much-traveled Moore will never play for the Yankees. Holmes couldn’t break into New York’s All-Star-packed lineup, but he will be a .302 career hitter and will win the Most Valuable Player Award in 1948 after leading his team to the National League pennant.
Finally … happy 75th birthday to Henry Louis (Hank) Aaron!