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News of the Day – 3/11/09
Posted By Diane Firstman On March 11, 2009 @ 7:59 am In Diane Firstman,News of the Day | Comments Disabled
With the nation’s economy in the tank, and our best player on the DL, we could all use a good laugh. So, today’s news is powered by the late, great George Carlin:
As for acquiring a fill-in for Rodriguez, Cashman said again on Tuesday that he is not actively searching. “I’m not optimistic about doing anything,” he said. “I’m not going to be proactive in trying to do something.” Cody Ransom, a 33-year-old journeyman, is in line to step in for Rodriguez. “With the team not wanting add payroll, not wanting to hurt the farm system and stuff like that, and we’re going to get Alex back, we’re going to go with what we have in camp,” Cashman said.
“You get to know guys playing against them, as players,” Jeter said. “But one of the good things about something like this is you get an opportunity to put personalities with the players.” Previously, Pedroia and Youkilis had only spent time with Jeter as part of last year’s AL All-Star team. … “I like to keep it loose and have fun,” Pedroia said after yesterday’s workout at Rogers Centre, where Team USA resumes play tomorrow night, having already clinched a berth in this weekend’s second round in Miami. “I think [Jeter] kind of laughs at me the whole time. He probably thinks I’m crazy.” Youkilis said he has always respected Jeter, but spending the past week with him has taken that admiration to another level. “[Jeter] has been unbelievable, and you see why he’s the captain of the Yankees,” Youkilis said.
The recently retired right-hander was a special guest visitor at Yankees camp on Tuesday, escaping the Pennsylvania cold for a vacation and some fun in the sun. He has no regrets about his decision to walk away from the game. “I’m doing nothing,” Mussina said, grinning. “And when I walked through the weight room, I knew why I’m doing nothing. I feel good being retired.” As he would later reveal, Mussina knew last spring that 2008 would be his final season. There was no point during the offseason that he thought about changing his mind, he said, and even when pitchers and catchers began reporting to Spring Training camps, Mussina found himself content. … Mussina’s former corner locker is now occupied by CC Sabathia, and Mussina greeted his replacement, calling him “Mr. Sabathia” and telling him to keep the space.
In the short term, winning is marketing. Much of the complaining about seat relocations, public handouts to billionaires paying millionaires and a cheating superstar, can be overlooked if the Yankees win. But as defined by Yankee fans, winning means winning it all. Long term, is what the Yankees are selling out of step with the zeitgeist? Tom Van Riper wonders, “Sure, the economic slump will only last so long, but some experts think the shock and suddenness of the global financial crisis may have shifted consumer attitudes permanently. For all but the wealthiest, the luxury sports experience could be out for a long time. That means a lot of $1,000 tickets and personal seat licenses could go unsold and unpopulated for a very long time.” That, not A-Rod, is the Yankees’ biggest problem.
When I went down to the Dominican Republic’s World Baseball Classic team practice before A-Rod opted to shut it down for the tournament and have hip surgery, I got to talk to him a little bit. He came right up to me and said, “I really appreciate your support and I was hoping to run into you and thank you.” I told him right back that he’s an easy target, and it’s easy to pile on to the situation. I went on to tell him that I had a conversation with Bob Gibson, and we both agreed that in my playing day, if these things were readily available, we would have all been tempted to use them. I wish him a speedy recovery, and he is missed in the WBC event.
But the Red Sox’s additions were products of a whole different philosophy, not just a whole different checking account. The four free agents they imported — John Smoltz, Brad Penny, Takashi Saito and Rocco Baldelli — cost this team 4 million fewer guaranteed dollars ($12.5 million total) than the Yankees will pay Burnett alone this year. Nevertheless, the upside of those men gives the Red Sox four potential impact players without the price tags, or long-term inflexibility, that come with handing out contracts that run through 2016.
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URLs in this post:
 Yanks: http://www.nj.com/yankees/index.ssf/2009/03/cashman_new_york_yankees_not_a.html
 The Captain: http://www.nypost.com/seven/03102009/sports/yankees/strange_love__yanks__sawx_form_bond_158888.htm
 Moose sighting: http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090310&content_id=3960178&vkey=news_nyy&fext=.jsp&c_id=nyy
 The Biz of Baseball: http://bizofbaseball.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3060:are-the-yankees-a-tarnished-brand&catid=67:pete-toms&Itemid=155
 Jim Kaat: http://kaatskorner.mlblogs.com/archives/2009/03/sizing_up_the_spring.html
 Jayson Stark: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/spring2009/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=3967746&campaign=rss&source=MLBHeadlines
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