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News of the Day – 2/13/09

In recognition of it being Friday the 13th, and all the news regarding a certain similarly-numbered Yankee, today’s news is powered by this clip … ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Stevie Wonder

Here’s the news

  • Would the Commish really suspend A-Rod after his admission of steroid use?

[My take: That’s the LAST thing the Yanks need.  A fidgety A-Rod sitting on the pine for what … 50 games?]

“From (2004) on, we’ve had the testing procedures in place — that’s the best I can go off of,” Cashman said. “I’m not here to represent that I’m confident about anything of anybody. I think we’ve lived through a tough stretch that shattered that confidence level. If you asked me that question five years ago, I’d be giving you a different answer. But I’ve been educated quite a bit, unfortunately, over this course of time. So I’m not gonna maybe make the same mistakes I’ve made in the past … so I’ll give you a blanket, ‘I’m not confident about anything in the past anymore.’ ”

Asked if he knew then what he now knows about Rodriguez, would he have re-signed the All-Star third baseman, Cashman said, “you can’t take us back that way.”

  • Would Alex be willing to speak to youth about the dangers of performance-enhancing substances?  A congressmen wants to know:

A congressman has extended an invitation to baseball star Alex Rodriguez to discuss steroids — at an anti-drug event in Maryland.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) wrote a letter to the New York Yankees slugger this week, asking him to attend the “Powered by ME!” conference in Timonium, Md., this April. Cummings is a senior member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which heard pitcher Roger Clemens last year deny he used steroids or human growth hormone. The FBI is investigating whether Clemens lied when he made those denials. …

“In light of your recent acknowledgment that you used steroids in the past,” Cummings wrote, “I believe you are in a unique position to send a strong message out to our young people that they should refrain from using performance-enhancing substance.” The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter Thursday.

  • PeteAbe gives us the rundown of Joe Girardi’s presser down in Tampa:

Alex has yet to apologize to his manager.

Jorge Posada is doing well but won’t catch games until mid-March. He’ll DH until then. The Yankees hope he can catch 100-110 games and he might get some extra time in April depending on his shoulder.

There is less concern for Mariano Rivera. He’ll need only 8-10 innings in the spring to get ready.

If the season started today, Xavier Nady is probably in right. But Nick Swisher will get a shot. “We have seven weeks to decide that,” Girardi said.

Hideki Matsui had his knees checked out and they are fine.

  • How about some good news?  The Baseball Assistance Team is naming an award after the late Bobby Murcer:

B.A.T. announced the creation of The Bobby Murcer Award, which will be presented to the team in both the American League and National League whose players contribute the most amount of money to B.A.T. through the Major League Baseball Payroll Deduction Program. The award will be presented during the 2010 Annual B.A.T. Dinner.

“Bobby was very proud of the work he accomplished for B.A.T.,” said Kay Murcer, widow of Bobby Murcer. “Our family is deeply grateful that his legacy will continue in such a tremendous way through the B.A.T. organization.”

A few numbers are missing from the roster, not officially retired but not issued, either: 6 is still held out for Joe Torre, 21 for Paul O’Neill, 35 for Mike Mussina and 51 for Bernie Williams. The Yankees didn’t issue 53, either, but new Angel Bobby Abreu is not coming back.

Nick Swisher took 33 from Brian Bruney, who switched to 38, the number he often wore in the minor leagues. It’s just a coincidence, but 38 is also the number of pounds Bruney has lost since the end of the 2007 season.

  • Are there really beams that obstruct some views from some seats in the new Stadium?  These pictures seem to say “yes”.]

Poll time …

[poll id=”10″]

  • Drew Henson (yes, THAT Drew Henson … the Drew Henson who at Michigan started at QB ahead of a guy named Tom Brady) turns 29 today.  Henson appeared in 9 NFL games and 8 MLB games in his sporting career.
  • Todd Williams (15 relief appearances in 2001) turns 38 today.

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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1 Alex Belth   ~  Feb 13, 2009 8:32 am

D First!


What a great way to start the day.


2 Raf   ~  Feb 13, 2009 8:33 am

If the season started today, Xavier Nady is probably in right. But Nick Swisher will get a shot. “We have seven weeks to decide that,” Girardi said.

You GOTTA be kidding me.

3 lentnej   ~  Feb 13, 2009 9:10 am

Can any young parents testify if Sesame Street is still ALL THAT?
Why is Selig "saddened" by Arod's outing? He knows there are 103 positive tests from 2003. Heck, he probably could find out the names since the tests were neither anonymous nor confidential. This should not be news, saddening or otherwise to the commissioner.

4 rbj   ~  Feb 13, 2009 9:11 am

Happy Pitchers & Catchers Day!!

Oh, and I was born on the 13th (though a Tuesday) so I have no qualms about wearing that number.

5 Yankee Mama   ~  Feb 13, 2009 9:13 am

Now you're talking! I needed to get the Grammy version of Superstition with Stevie and the I-just-don't-get-it- Jonas Brothers out of my psyche. Thanks for bringing the funk back.

Cashman has grown cynical. Welcome to the working week.

As for the obstructed views. That area in the photo was also my least favorite area in the old stadium. It's like a black hole.

I was talking to one of the owners of the Nats who told me that it was easy and no great added expense to make their new stadium green or eco-friendly. That said, am I the only one who finds it irreprehensible that the Yankees made not attempt to lessen their impact of the carbon footprint as well as the community, which is us the taxpayers? A-holes!!

Do they live in a vacuum?

One last note-I like the no. 13, but it seems to not be doing much the Alex.

6 RagingTartabull   ~  Feb 13, 2009 9:15 am

umm I believe his full name is "Superprospect Drew Henson"

7 The Hawk   ~  Feb 13, 2009 9:16 am

I wrote this in another thread last night, y'all

The idea of suspending A Rod for this is beyond idiotic. So now you’re gonna punish people when they fess up to 5 year old misdeeds - that were on the record all the time, but were LEAKED?
If he does that, he needs to get the other 103 and suspend them, otherwise A Rod is getting whacked for his sort-of apology.

8 Yankee Mama   ~  Feb 13, 2009 9:20 am

[7] Agreed.

9 ms october   ~  Feb 13, 2009 9:41 am

when is bud selig going to crawl back in the hole he came from?

10 Shaun P.   ~  Feb 13, 2009 9:47 am

[7] The worst (or funniest) part of it is that Bud knows that he can't suspend A-Rod, because he doesn't have the power to do that. The agreement that led to the 2003 survey testing specifically said there would be no penalties for anyone who tested positive. The whole point of the testing was to be a survey, not for punishment! It would take a court or an arbitrator about two seconds to laugh Bud out of their presence. He'd come off looking like a senile fool. I'm pretty sure he has too much pride to do that.

And can you imagine the fire and brimstone the MLBPA would unleash? That might be fun to watch.

Who does Bud think he's fooling with this tripe?

11 kylepetterson   ~  Feb 13, 2009 10:01 am

[10] The least powerful Commissioner in pro sports vs. the most powerful union in pro sports. I've got a feeling that Bud knows that it wouldn't have worked out too well.

[5] I don't think your the only one who cares about their carbon assprint, but your in the minority. Build a good stadium, period. Hell, the building/maintenance/everyday running of the damn thing is giving work to a ton of people, so I say build the biggest, most expensive monstrosity you can. Go for the gold!

12 Diane Firstman   ~  Feb 13, 2009 10:23 am


My favorite performance of my fave Stevie song ...

13 Diane Firstman   ~  Feb 13, 2009 10:24 am

If I may toot my horn for just a sec .... I get my name mentioned on page A25 of today's New York Times. (print version only, alas)

14 Dimelo   ~  Feb 13, 2009 10:27 am

Suspending ARod or even thinking about suspending him is just another stupid thing to come out Selig's mouth.

Why can't they find those pictures Selig has of little boys in his basement already? That would make me so happy, he's a waste of human flesh.

15 Mattpat11   ~  Feb 13, 2009 10:28 am

Bud Selig needs to go. He's done enough damage. Just leave somewhat gracefully.

16 ms october   ~  Feb 13, 2009 10:30 am

[13] congrats! care to share for what? - don't tell us a hot dog incident :}

17 Yankee Mama   ~  Feb 13, 2009 10:31 am

[11] But, eco-building is the gold standard. It's sooooo trendy. So new Millenium, man. Same jobs whether they're raping the environment or not.

I hear the clubhouse is downright opulent. I can't wait to watch Kimberly Jones ask what Alex was thinking during the at bat when he struck out in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and the bases loaded to lose the game while we specators ogle at the fine marble from Massa-Carrara. Home forclosures? Nah, it's a myth.

So Donald Trumpish.

I'm in a mood. My kids will attest to that.

18 Diane Firstman   ~  Feb 13, 2009 10:36 am


I betcha Alex is thinking, at that moment, "Kimberly Jones sure has a nice stimulus package". :-)

19 kylepetterson   ~  Feb 13, 2009 10:39 am

[17] Oooh, so Mother Nature needs a favor?! Well maybe she should have thought of that when she was besetting us with droughts and floods and poison monkeys! Nature started the fight for survival, and now she wants to quit because she’s losing. Well I say, hard cheese.

20 Diane Firstman   ~  Feb 13, 2009 10:41 am


Its the print version of comment #132 here ...

Within 5 minutes of my posting my comment online, I got an e-mail from an assistant editor from the Times blog, asking me if they could run it in today's paper.

No hotdogs (or humans) were harmed in the making of this event ... :-)

21 Mattpat11   ~  Feb 13, 2009 10:43 am

That must be a lot of fun Diane. I always loved when I was one of the people asked the question of the week in our local weekly paper.

22 Shaun P.   ~  Feb 13, 2009 10:44 am

[19] Mr. Burns posts on the Banter?!?

23 Diane Firstman   ~  Feb 13, 2009 10:45 am


Ack ... I'm having flashbacks to the "Homer at the Bat" episode :-)

24 Shaun P.   ~  Feb 13, 2009 10:46 am

[13] [20] Good for you Diane!

25 kylepetterson   ~  Feb 13, 2009 10:48 am

[22] Good call.

[23] If you watch the dvd commentary on that episode they say that every player was great to work with except for someone who's name rhymes with "manseco"

26 Yankee Mama   ~  Feb 13, 2009 10:54 am

[19} There you go, blaming a chick. Don't be a disprespectful son. Nobody can fool Mother Nature.

Nice Diane, immortalized in print.

27 Rich   ~  Feb 13, 2009 11:27 am

There is a < 0 % chance that the odiously disingenuous Selig will suspend A-Rod for failing a test the results of which were supposed to be confidential.

28 Mattpat11   ~  Feb 13, 2009 11:45 am


There's no reason to ever believe a word Bud Selig says, regardless of the situation.

29 JohnnyC   ~  Feb 13, 2009 12:28 pm

Since Selig obviously knows the names of the other 103 players who tested positive, how was he going to get away with only censuring ARod? Well, after all, he made his first fortune selling used cars.

30 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 13, 2009 12:40 pm

Today's my sister's birthday; I'm sure she has no problem with it being on a Friday, especially since it's Holy Weekend and all...

31 Diane Firstman   ~  Feb 13, 2009 12:41 pm


So did Marge Schott (actually her husband) ...

32 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 13, 2009 1:25 pm

[3] I'm not a young parent, but I can testify that Sesame Street is no longer "all that" and hasn't been for a while, if you are comparing it to pre-Elmo and the before the passing of Jim Henson... however, if you're a little child (who reads Banter?), you probably know not these things of which these things I speak (life Before Elmo???) >;)

33 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 13, 2009 1:42 pm

[20] Awesome... awesome to the max!
(wrong show, but who cares? >;)

34 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Feb 13, 2009 7:11 pm

[32] Youtube playlist on repeat..the little ones will soon demand it! Awesome Stevie clip, thanks for that Diane.

[22] genius..

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver