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News of the Day – 2/6/09

Powered by quite possibly the greatest three minutes in WKRP (and perhaps all of sitcom) history …

WKRP in Cincinnati: Thanksgiving Turkey Bomb! @ Yahoo! Video

  • OK … I’m guilty of having been …. ummm …. overly optimistic … regarding the able-bodied viability of Ben Sheets as an answer to the Yanks need for a fifth starter. He’s probably gonna have elbow surgery.

[My take: And he was pushing for a two-year deal during the off-season?]

  • The Bombers offered Andruw Jones an NRI to Spring Training, and he turned them down, reports SI.
  • Derek Jeter will be facing his Yankee teammates, as a member of the US WBC team, in a March 3rd exhibition.

  • You want some more Torre book fallout? Then keep reading this bullet … otherwise keep moving (smile). Mike Mussina was on WFAN radio and made a point of clarifying some Mariano Rivera comments of his from the book:

“The idea of it was not to take any stabs at Mo,” Mussina said on WFAN in New York. “I can’t put into words how important Mo has been to me as an individual player and to us as a team since I went to New York. My accomplishments would not be anywhere near what they are and our team accomplishments certainly would not be what they are without him pitching the ninth inning. “I didn’t mean to take any stabs at him. I was just making a factual comment, and it came out sounding like I was trying to cut him down. I’m certainly not trying to cut him down, because he certainly is legendary, and he’s earned that.” Mussina said that he did not know he was being quoted for a book in his interviews with Torre’s co-author, Tom Verducci, but he does not have a problem with his involvement.

[My take: Wouldn’t it behoove you to ask just how your conversation is going to be used in a book … BEFORE agreeing to the interview?]

  • ESPN’s Rob Neyer read BP.com Christina Kahrl’s analysis of moving Jeter to CF, and responds thusly:

My guess is that if we add Gardner to our equation — if we assume he shares center field with Cabrera, and even gets two-thirds of the playing time — then the benefit of adding Orlando Cabrera and moving Derek Jeter drops to something like zero wins. In which case it’s not worth doing … unless the real point isn’t to win games, but rather to get Derek Jeter into center field for good. Which might make sense, except the Yankees’ No. 1 prospect is actually a center fielder named Austin Jackson, who figures to take over the position in 2010. Jeter’s contract runs through 2010. Given the personnel at hand, the Yankees should probably just leave him at shortstop this season and probably next, and then let him go.

  • Hank Steinbrenner talks to USA Today about his optimism for ’09.
  • Tyler Kepner rattles off “25 Random Things about 25 Random Yankees”. Fun stuff!
  • Pitcher Mark Hutton, who saw action in parts of the ’93, ’94 and ’96 seasons, turns 39 today. Hutton is one of the few Australian-born players in ML history.
  • Bob Wickman hits the big 4-0 today. He was sent from the ChiSox (along with Domingo Jean and Melido Perez) to the Yanks for Steve Sax prior to the ’92 season. Wickman made his ML debut with the Yanks that year, and went 14-4 as a spot starter/long reliever in ’93 (despite walking as many as he struck out).
  • Babe Ruth was born on this day in 1895.
  • On this date in 1998, the Yankees acquire All-Star second baseman Chuck Knoblauch from the Minnesota Twins for pitcher Eric Milton, shortstop Cristian Guzman and minor leaguers Brian Buchanan and Danny Mota, plus $3 million in cash. Knoblauch will bat .265 with 17 home runs in 1998.

And finally … late word from the Will Weiss household! Madeline Eve Weiss joined the “parent club” yesterday. 6 pounds, 3 ounces, 19 inches long. Will says mom and baby are doing fine.

Congrats to Will and his wife!

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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1 Alex Belth   ~  Feb 6, 2009 8:50 am

Congrats to Will and the fam!

2 Shaun P.   ~  Feb 6, 2009 9:16 am

Thanks for the good news, Diane!

Congrats Will, and enjoy every second. They really do grow up awfully fast.

3 Alex Belth   ~  Feb 6, 2009 9:48 am

P.S. Thanks for the WKRP...I had a CRAZY CRUSH on Bailey...pined for her much more than Loni Anderson.

4 PJ   ~  Feb 6, 2009 10:01 am

"OK … I’m guilty of having been …. ummm …. overly optimistic … regarding the able-bodied viability of Ben Sheets as an answer to the Yanks need for a fifth starter. He’s probably gonna have elbow surgery."

Well Diane, since according to the Torre/Verducci book, the Yankees and Red Sox have changed places, it seems Sheets would be a more perfect fit in RSN these days. I mean we all know how true everything in that book is, right? Since "The Great AL East Transformation", it looks like it's the Red Sox who now specialize in reclamation projects trying to hang on to title magic...

Sound familiar?

Happy bonding Mr. and Mrs. Will! Don't lose too much intellect goo-goo gah-gahing! You'll be paying her texting bill before you know it!


5 Bum Rush   ~  Feb 6, 2009 11:09 am

Some dogs never learn new tricks:

"The Dodgers have weighed as backup plans Bobby Abreu and Adam Dunn, with Torre said by associates to prefer the consistently productive Abreu, by far the better contact hitter (not to mention a player Torrre had in New York)."

Hmmm, tough call. Both are terrible fielders. Both know the strike zone. One is 29. The other is 35. Hmmmm.

6 zack   ~  Feb 6, 2009 11:16 am

So can we at least put to bed all of the "The Yankees should have signed Sheets instead of Burnett" claims, which of course were always silly to begin with, as the two weren't really related other than their respective injury histories. Like the Burnett deal or no, clearly Sheets was never an option.

7 Dimelo   ~  Feb 6, 2009 11:16 am

Diane, I have to say that your "News of the day" is one of my top 3 things I have to read first - each day. The amount of content you post each day is seriously amazing.

Great effen job!!!

8 OldYanksFan   ~  Feb 6, 2009 11:18 am

[3] A Man of impeckable tastes! WHAT A BABE!!!!!!

"Doctors told Sheets he could try to pitch through it but that at some point it would probably go. They also told him they wouldn't know when that would be until he got on a mound and threw at maximum effort."

Was the above infomation available to all the GMs looking to maybe sign Sheets? Is there any kind of disclosure/honesty rules, in terms of if a player knows he's injured, about having to disclose the TRUE details?

Will Sheets get signed this year, now that this info is public? Certainly, if anyone signed him for $5m+, it would have been a rip-off. It seems to me this means he MIGHT be able a league average (or better?) pitcher for 2 months. Incentives don't work as you don't want him pitching unless he's healthy. So.... Is he worth $2.5m in 2009 in hopes you get 2 decents months out of him? With maybe a reasonable club option for 2010?

I hope people feel better about Moose. I was STUNNED that people here thought Moose dissed Mo... or thought that Moose had any reason what-so-ever to diss Mo... or that anyone here could believe that any Yankee player could believe anything other than Mo has been TREMENDOUSLY valuable to the ballclub.

9 bp1   ~  Feb 6, 2009 11:19 am

[3] Alex - word on Bailey. Whoosh.

10 OldYanksFan   ~  Feb 6, 2009 11:21 am

[5] Here's another conundrum: Who would you rather has a your team?
a) a CONSISTANT .825 - .850 OPS guy
b) an InConsistant (and younger) .900 OPS guy.

Tough choice!

11 ms october   ~  Feb 6, 2009 11:35 am

[8] girardi made it seem like sheets was quite honest about his current medical condition.
if he is willing to take very little money for this year and a reasonable deal for next year i would be fine with the yanks paying for his surgery and giving him a place to rehab (especially since it's not my money :})

12 zack   ~  Feb 6, 2009 11:40 am

Ok, this is off topic, but my annual debate about whether I sign up for mlb.tv or Extra Innings has once again come up. I went with EI last season, and its main advantage is of course the ability to watch on tv and dvr. On the other hand, this year mlb.tv is offering a dvr feature and hd streams. Plus, its like $100 cheaper.

Did anyone use mlb.tv last year? How was the higher quality stream?

13 OldYanksFan   ~  Feb 6, 2009 12:01 pm

[12] Yeah... I had the MLB.TV 'Premium' package. I think if was $120 for the season. I never got the 'multiple screens/windows' to work, but that wasn't important to me.

The picture quality was very good. Full screen mode on a 19" monitor was about as good as standard TV. I'm fortunate in that my (Comcast) cable provider now offers it for $15/month (new, this year, along with a bunch of other channels).

One good thing about MLB on the computer, is I often watch the Yankees on the computer at the same time as having the Sox on the TV (I get NESN as part of my standard cable package).

Another issue for me, is where is my computer and where is my big TV. I like to be here on Bronx Banter while I am watching the game... so having the game on computer is handy. I don't have internet cable in my living room (big TV), so I would have to Banter on a laptop with a 'long cord' to the den to get cable/Bronx Banter.

I also do NOT have a really good TV yet (32" tube style). Once I splurge for a 42" Hi-Def TV, watching the game on a 19" computer monitor won't cut it.

Also.... if you travel a lot (I don't) having MLB on a (laptop) computer may be an advantage.

I think you have to weigh all the variables.

14 zack   ~  Feb 6, 2009 12:46 pm

[13] thanks, good to hear about the picture quality. mlb.tv is obviously the better deal, all things considered. Especially since it comes with the radio feeds too. Plus the ability to work around blackouts.

I guess it really comes down to whether I want to get away from my computer enough after staring at it all day for work!

15 ny2ca2dc   ~  Feb 6, 2009 1:02 pm

[12] - [14] I also had mlb.tv premium last year, and was less thrilled. I found the higher quality feeds to be less reliable - it would seem to cut out at the most tense moments. And I have a very fast internet connection on a wired fast ethernet LAN and pretty powerful computers. the quality was pretty good though, when it was working. I'm making the same decision again this year, might go with EI if i can get it in HD! I think it will hinge on the "DVR ability" of the new MLB.tv - if that works that would be ideal, it was the biggest downside I felt.

16 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 6, 2009 1:42 pm

[12] I signed up for both last year because I am an addict and like having the games available when I am away from home. If I didn't prefer the comfort of watching the games on TV and flipping with a remote, I would be satisifed with the MLB.TV quality.

17 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 6, 2009 1:45 pm

[8] I think Moose did diss Mo, but did it completely by accident. I also don't think the facts back up even his basic point...the reason the Yankees won less after 2000 was because Mo had fewer opportunities to close out games. If you consider the 1997 ALDS and 2001 WS as elimination games that Mo blew a save, they cancel out. The 2004 blown save in game 4, while definitely un-Mo like, was far from a death blow.

18 sonyahennystutu   ~  Feb 6, 2009 1:58 pm

[18] Nonetheless William, when viewed through the (selective, narrow) lens of ring count, what Mussina said is 100% true.

19 OldYanksFan   ~  Feb 6, 2009 2:23 pm

"I think Moose did diss Mo, but did it completely by accident"
Can you diss someone by accident? I kinda thought the very act of dissing someone was intentional y design?

Whether you believe Moose has a point or not, whether he (unintentionally?) 'dissed' Mo or not...... my point is:
Is this really something we should get upset about? And judge?

Maybe he mis-spoke.... had heartburn... was disappointed because he never got a ring. These guys are human. Do we really want everything they say to be perfectly politically correct?

If we/people/media are going to jump down someones throat, every time they say something that sounds amything remotey like a diss, then we are telling these guys to be on guard, never reveal their humanity, never say anything the least controversial... least we, judge and jury of the planet, come down on them.

It seems Jeter has perfected the art of NEVER saying anything controversial. I guess it's a good skill to know, but I prefer to hear a little more real human interaction... emotions... feelings.

20 Raf   ~  Feb 6, 2009 2:32 pm

Can you diss someone by accident?

Of course you can.

21 PJ   ~  Feb 6, 2009 2:40 pm

[12] I get EI and MLB Gameday Audio to listen to radio broadcasts on the Interwebs while on the road or during those pleasant FOX Saturdays we all love so much. It's $15 and auto renews. There is nothing the matter with Ma and Pa Pinstripe! I'm actually looking forward to Sterling's Teixeira HR catch phrase! Thoughts? I came up with these off the top of my head...

"It's the (Mark Charles) Teixeira era!"
"The Portuguese Prince Pounds (Powders) One into (?) Field!"


22 Diane Firstman   ~  Feb 6, 2009 4:29 pm


Thanks .... comments like that are appreciated!


When our new 1B hits one off the Orioles ... the call might be
"Teixeira Mocking Birds"

A bloop hit ...
"A Tex-as Leaguer for Texieira"

23 51cq24   ~  Feb 6, 2009 8:03 pm

maybe someone can point out to mo (and mike francesa who keeps repeating it) that his statement was NOT factual, even if he meant just postseason stats:

95-00 63 ip 4-0 19 saves 5 er 40 hits 10 bbs 49 ks 0.714 era 0.794 whip 4.9 k/bb 7 k/9
[97-00 (he said 4 years) 43.1 ip 2-0 19 saves 4 er 27 hits 4 bbs 31 ks 0.831 era 0.715 whip 7.75 k/bb 6.44 k/9]
01-07 54.1 ip 4-1 15 saves 5 er 32 hits 6 bbs 44 ks 0.828 era 0.699 whip 7.33 k/bb 7.29 k/9

so basically it's a question of 2 big blown saves (01 gm 7 and 04 gm 4- gm 5 cannot really count against him since he came in 1st and 3rd with no outs and got 3 straight outs and likely would have saved the game had torre not decided to let gordon vomit it up) vs 1 (97 gm 4). the idea that it's mo's fault they never won after moose got there is absurd.

24 51cq24   ~  Feb 6, 2009 8:04 pm

point out to moose, not to mo

25 Rich   ~  Feb 6, 2009 10:16 pm

Most guys liked Bailey, in part because it appeared that she was more approachable then Loni Anderson, and more like a woman that you might actually meet.

If Moose really dissed Mo accidentally, it may have been because he gave his thoughts inadequate reflection before uttering them.

26 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 6, 2009 10:35 pm

[23] Exactly...I mad the same point with those numbers a couple of days ago, but too many people kept dwelling on the "blown save". The reason the Yankees won less after 2000 is because fewer starting pitchers pitched well enough to give Mariano enough opportunities to save games (or, as in 2003, Torre decided to give someone else a chance to pitch before Mariano even got in the game).

If Mussina's point was only a few flukes prevented him fro getting a ring, that could have done without calling into question Mariano's relative accomplishments. Heck, if he wanted to dwell on Mo, he could have said if only Mo had been a better fielder, I'd have a ring.

27 OldYanksFan   ~  Feb 7, 2009 12:51 am

I just came upon what looks like a very intelligent blog.
Any of you guys see this before?

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