"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

News of the Day – 2/7/09

Since its Saturday morning … this post is powered by a cartoon.  Not just any cartoon mind you … but perhaps the cleverest, “works on multiple levels” cartoon of the past 15 years (excepting “The Simpsons”, of course).

(And yes, its part 2 of 2 … I can’t find part 1 … but its still worth it).

Ladies and gentlemen …. I give you “The Powerpuff Girls” in “Meet The Beat Alls”

Torre and Verducci spend much of the book chronicling the rise of the Red Sox and fall of the Yankees, and note that “Athens would prevail over Sparta at last.” The authors rightly contend that the shift in the balance of power between the teams was the result of bad decisions by Cashman and extraordinarily sound ones by Red Sox GM Theo Epstein. …

Those not deterred by its length will find “The Yankee Years” an insightful and non-hagiographic look at a legendary manager and team during one of baseball’s most transformational eras.

  • The Post’s Joel Sherman gazes into the future of Derek Jeter’s next contract … and shudders:

But know this – Yankee officials already talk privately about dreading D(erek)-Day.

After all, what team official wants to tell Jeter he has to take a pay cut or has to move positions or – gulp – just has to move on? How would you like that on your baseball epitaph: You were the Yankee executive who told Derek Jeter thanks for the memories?

Of course, the alternative is not too appetizing either. Because kowtowing to Jeter’s legacy by paying him lavishly and keeping him at short means tying yourself to a late-30s icon well beyond his expiration date.

As if the matter needs complications, Jeter will conclude his current 10-year, $189 million contract on the doorstep of 3,000 hits, a total never reached by a Yankee.

And, really, do we need complications? He is Derek Freaking Jeter. He is the very definition of Yankee. How do you explain being tied to Alex Rodriguez for 10 years, but cutting relationships with Jeter?

[My take: Has any reporter even approached Jeter with the question of whether he’d be willing to switch positions, try CF, if the team asked him to/needed him to?  Maybe Jeter’s performance in ’09 and ’10 will be poor enough that the public outcry over letting him go will be softened a bit?  (Admittedly, that would probably mean the Yanks miss the playoffs those years.) Perhaps he’d like to rejoin Torre with the Dodgers in 2011?]

  • The News reports that Brian Bruney has slimmed himself down, and looks forward to an even better ’09:

Bruney, who figures to be an important part of the Yankee bullpen this season, lost about 16 pounds over the winter, meaning he has dropped approximately 40 pounds since the end of the 2007 season. He is now 219 pounds – the first time he has been under 220 since his junior year of high school – and eager for a potential breakout year.

“I think earlier in my career, I took a lot of things for granted,” said Bruney, who will turn 27 on Feb.17. “I didn’t see the opportunity in New York as something that was once in a lifetime, which it really is. I’m getting older and I had a kid. I’m not young anymore, man.

“I thought it was time to figure things out and really do what I know I can do. I don’t want to be one of those up-and-down guys, great one day and horrible the next. I want to be consistently good. Eating healthy, exercising, things every pro athlete should do to maintain a high level, I didn’t do. I started doing it last offseason and last year was one of my better years.”

The Yankees will devote all their resources to rebuilding Posada’s arm, but that process will take up most of the seven weeks in camp. Conceivably, the Bombers might have to convert him into a full-time DH in early April.

In one sense the Yankees stand to gain, as Jose Molina, the Plan B catcher, would represent a defensive upgrade. He threw out 44 percent of potential base stealers last year while building up a deep reservoir of good will with the Yankee pitchers.

But can the Bombers carry the light-hitting Molina (.216, .313 slugging percentage) and his backup, Kevin Cash — for very long, especially if Bret Gardner wins the everyday job in center field?

Possibly, but that’s only if the Bombers are getting tangible production elsewhere in the lineup, including DH. Posada will siphon away some of Hideki Matsui’s at-bats in this regard, forcing him to return to the outfield. And therein lies a subset of unanswered questions. Just as the Yankees aren’t sure if Posada can still throw, no one knows if Matsui — coming off knee surgery — still can play defense, not to mention generate home run power.

  • With a week to go till pitchers and catchers, PeteAbe offers an early Spring Training preview.
  • Nick Swisher was on his way to possibly becoming a Brave, until they asked the Yanks to eat part of his salary, writes Jayson Stark.
  • Damaso Garcia turns 54 today.  Garcia was a 2B blocked by All-Star Willie Randolph on the ’78 and ’79 teams.  He was dealt after ’79 to Toronto, where he became a two-time All Star himself.
  • On this date in 1996, Dave Winfield announces his retirement from the game at the age of 44. Winfield compiled 3,110 hits, 465 home runs and 1,833 RBI during a 22-year career with the Padres, Yankees, Angels, Blue Jays, Twins and Indians.

and finally … perhaps THIS should have been given to Phil Rizzuto to assist him when he was doing the “play-by-play” for “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”

til Monday y’all …

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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1 TheGreenMan   ~  Feb 7, 2009 3:13 pm

A reporter with Yahoo! asked Jeter the big question in this interview the other day:


"BLS: My brother, when he plays the baseball games on the Xbox, loads up his teams with infielders. He has you and A-Rod playing all over the place. If the Yankees came to you in a couple of years and said, "Derek, we'd like you to move to second base or the outfield," would you ever consider something like that?

DJ: I'm considering this year right now.

BLS: That's it?

DJ: Yeah, I can't answer questions down the road. "

2 Simone   ~  Feb 7, 2009 3:54 pm

I'll be the first to comment. I think after today's news about Alex, the point about Derek is moot. The Yankees are not longer going to be interested in dissing Derek due ot the fact that they are tied to Alex and his fraudulent home run record. The Yankees and Derek will make an accommodation and find a way to keep it going. Derek will move to another position and take his pay cut, the Yankees will not make the pay cut too big so he isn't embarrassed. All will be well.

3 OldYanksFan   ~  Feb 7, 2009 4:30 pm

Look... When Bernie became GOB, fans were willing to say good-bye. As much of an icon as Jeter is, if his performance continues to decline, we will give him 2011 at $10m+/-, let him get 3,000, and say see-ya-later.

As long as he can post a .750 OPS, even with poor D, he is still a decent producer for a SS. In CF, it's a bit less then desirerable, but possible. But if his offense is truly in decline, he won't move, and it doesn't make sense to move, for one year.

If he can put up a .750 OPS in 2011, then maybe we go year to year. However, if his O is no longer adequate for a poor defensive SS, it will also be inadequate for a poor fielding OFer.

Melky, with a .700 OPS, slightly above average D and shotgun arm is as good as Jeter in CF with a .750 OPS and below average D.

There is really no place for Jeter (assuming a .750ish or worse OPS) on the Yankees, unless we lose Cano. It's not good enough for DH or 1B either.

Most assume Jeter wants to keep playing, but at 37 and 3,000 hits, my guess is he will hang 'em up. He ain't Pete Rose. I don't think he will play SS for a bottom dweller just to pad his counting stats (at the cost of his %age stats).

My guess is he retires after 2011.
After all, there are a few starletts he hasn't schtupped yet. He could use the free time.

4 Simone   ~  Feb 7, 2009 4:48 pm

[2] "After all, there are a few starletts he hasn’t schtupped yet. He could use the free time."

LOL! I hadn't thought of that. You are probably right.

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