Today’s news is powered by an MRI machine, and this video …
- Jack Curry covers the recent history of A-Rod’s hip health:
When Rodriguez underwent a magnetic resonance imaging procedure for his right quadriceps last May, General Manager Brian Cashman said the results showed an incidental irregularity in his hip. …
But after the finding, the Yankees were seemingly lax about examining Rodriguez’s hip again. Rodriguez, the highest-paid player in baseball, did not have another M.R.I. on his hip during or after the season. Cashman said the irregularity on Rodriguez’s M.R.I. was an insufficient reason to pursue additional testing.
Still, considering how valuable Rodriguez is and how closely the Yankees typically supervise players, they could have ordered an M.R.I. last October to determine if the irregularity had developed into something more significant. The Yankees have $275 million invested in Rodriguez. An M.R.I. costs a few thousand dollars. Cashman said that was unnecessary because Rodriguez did not have a documented injury, often has stiff legs and never reported any pain.
- Tom Verducci writes of the Yankees’ achilles heel … the age of their big stars:
The Yankees have a 37-year-old catcher coming off shoulder surgery (Jorge Posada), a shortstop who turns 35 in June (Derek Jeter), a 39-year-old closer (Mariano Rivera), a 35-year-old outfielder (Johnny Damon), another outfielder who turns 35 in June (Hideki Matsui) and now a 33-year-old third baseman with a problematic hip. None of those position players except Jeter played 150 games last year.
- The Post sizes up possible short-term replacements (both internal and external) for Rodriguez.
- Ken Davidoff thinks the A-Rod hatred might just vanish come Opening Day:
A hip injury has to cause a tremendous concern for the Yankees. However, let’s take a leap and say that this is a condition from which A-Rod can recover, and be something close to his old self.
If A-Rod can return to the Yankees’ lineup sometime in May, then perhaps he’ll actually be appreciated for the positives he brings to the table. Rather than the negatives.
Right now, when everyone is tied in the standings at 0-0, it’s easy to hate the guy. To pick on him for daring to offer praise to Jose Reyes, of all things.
But when the Yankees open the season April 6 in Baltimore, and Cody Ransom is playing third base, we’ll get the full appreciation for the 7.1 Wins Above Replacement Player that A-Rod put up in 2008, a down year for him.
- Brian Cashman briefed the media on the team’s plans for Rodriguez:
Contrary to speculation by A-Rod’s brother earlier Thursday, surgery is not scheduled for Rodriguez. Cashman said that the Yankees hope to treat Rodriguez conservatively, since surgery would likely cost the slugger four months. However, Cashman also said that he will need surgery at some point, and having it before the end of the season is “not off the table.” In question is whether Rodriguez will be able to make it through the upcoming season without it.
Cashman confirmed that Rodriguez will not participate in the World Baseball Classic and has been removed from the Dominican Republic’s roster.
“He’s not going to be active here [at Spring Training], I wouldn’t think, for a while,” Cashman said of Rodriguez.
- PeteAbe recaps Rodriguez’s last four weeks. It sounds busier than Obama’s.
- PeteAbe also spoke to an expert on these types of injuries, and it seems like surgery is inevitable for A-Rod.
- If the Yanks inquire about the Indians’ Andy Marte, they’ll listen.
- Cody Ransom may be the first in line to replace A-Rod:
“Cody is a professional player,” Girardi said on Thursday. “He has experience all over the infield, he has pop in his bat. Cody is one of those guys that gets dirty all the time and plays extremely hard. He has a great attitude.”
[My take: So he's David Eckstein with a higher slugging percentage?]
- Joba Chamberlain wasn’t too concerned over his wild performance on the mound Thursday:
….. Yet Chamberlain was upbeat after the outing, saying that he had just identified a delivery flaw to hammer out.
“That’s the best I’ve felt physically all year,” Chamberlain said. “It’s part of Spring Training, it’s part of the process. It’s just, mechanically, [I'm] not consistently getting over my front side. As far as the ball coming out of my hand and depth on my pitches, it was great.”
- The Biz of Baseball gives an organization report on the Bombers, with some gaudy financial numbers getting tossed around:
Moreover, in business news, the Yankees remain the most valuable team in all of baseball. In the past nine years, the Yankees value as an organization has more than tripled from $491 million in 1999, to $1 billion 306 million in 2008. Let us compare that to, say the 30th rank team in baseball, the Florida Marlins.
If you break down the numbers, the Marlins are a team that profits with less, a case of cutting their margins. In most cases, you have to spend money to make money, but with Florida, they post the largest operating income by slashing player salaries. The Marlins who have a payroll hovering around $20 million made a profit of approximately $35 million, largely due to revenue sharing. On the other hand, “The Evil Empire” posted an operating loss of $47.3 million, largely due to their player payroll and $100 million paid out in revenue sharing. Seems like polar opposites, and that is the case, the Yankees are a brand and the Marlins are a team in the National League East.
- Francisco Cervelli, a possible heir apparent to Jorge Posada, turns 23 today.
- Happy 32rd birthday to Marcus Thames. Thames was a 30th round selection of the Yanks in 1996, and made it into seven games for the Yanks in 2002, before being dealt for Ruben Sierra.
[My take: Would we take him back for CF patrol now?]
- Joe Sewell, who finished up what would be a Hall-worthy career with three seasons with the Bombers (1931-3) died on this date in 1990, at the age of 91. Sewell holds the ML career record for most ABs per strikeout (62.1) and in 1925 struck out four (yes, 4) times in 699 PAs. Oddly enough, in 1927, he stole three bases, but was caught 16 times!
- On this date in 2005, Suzyn Waldman becomes the first woman to be a full-time color commentator in major league history, making her debut with John Sterling on WCBS-AM 880.