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News of the Day – 3/19/09

Today’s news is powered by Belgium (have a safe trip Alex!):

  • As Alex mentioned yesterday, Hideki Matsui will be limited to DH and PH duties until at least June, as per Joe Girardi.
  • BP.com’s Kevin Goldstein ranks the Yanks as the 13th best organization (talent-wise) this year (down from 6th last year):

Why They Might Be Better Than This: Who knows? Maybe Jesus Montero really can catch after all; Andrew Brackman has breakout potential; so does lanky, ultra-projectable righty Dellin Betances; as always, there are plenty of young Latin American talents in the system.

Why They Might Be Worse: Austin Jackson is solid across the board, but he doesn’t really have any star-level tools; Brackman’s had breakout potential for six years without the breakout; after Montero and Jackson, there’s not much to talk about when it comes to position players.

Outlook For 2010: Lots of risk, and lots of upside; this one could go anywhere.

  • The Yankees are opening the Stadium up to residents of Bronx communities on April 2:

The New York Yankees will welcome thousands of their fellow Bronx neighbors for a special preview of the new Yankee Stadium on Thursday, April 2nd at 11 AM. Fifteen thousand free tickets will be distributed by local Bronx Community Boards and the New York Yankees.

Gates open at 11 AM and ticketed fans will have the chance to walk around and explore all areas of the new stadium including Monument Park. At 1:30 PM, fans will get the opportunity to sit and watch the first workout and batting practice in the new Stadium. All ticketed guests will also receive free lunch vouchers which are good for a beverage and their choice of pizza or hotdog.

  • Ian O’Connor has had enough of A-Rod, on the heels of the slugger’s DETAILS photo shoot:

A-Rod is seen kissing his own buffed-out reflection in a mirror in the latest issue of Details. Remarkably enough, he struck this pose while knowing Sports Illustrated was about to drop a hammer that would leave his legacy in a million little pieces.

And there are people who still argue the Yankees are better off with him?

The signatures on his $305 million deal say Rodriguez is scheduled to be a Yankee after President Obama completes a possible second term in office. That would be another nine years of hard living with a diva who makes Whitney Houston look like a low-maintenance act.

A-Rod has admitted to being a steroid-pumped hoax, and yet the fallout from his drug use won’t be the biggest long-term hurdle his employer has to clear. The Yankees have built their future around a selfish and misguided man, and the bimbo eruptions (with the slugger assuming the role of bimbo) keep coming whether A-Rod is playing a healthy third base in the Bronx or rehabbing a surgically repaired hip in Vail, Colo.

  • PeteAbe has a slightly different take on the DETAILS fallout:

Several Yankees, sources said, were scouring Tampa for copies for the Details photos to paper his locker with at some future date. You can bet the boys will have some fun with this. At this point, Alex’s clownish behavior is more amusing than anything else and amusing is good.

[My take: Dennis Rodman called … he wants his “schtick” back.]

  • 2003 ALCS hero Aaron Boone will be undergoing open heart surgery for an aortic valve replacement.
  • Tyler Kepner has some reflections on the Boone news.
  • On this date in 1974, in a five-player three-team deal involving the Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, and New York Yankees, pitcher Jim Perry joins his pitching brother, Gaylord, in Cleveland. Detroit send Perry to Cleveland and Ed Farmer to the Yankees, who send Jerry Moses to Detroit, and Cleveland send Rick Sawyer and Walt Williams to the Yankees.
  • On this date in 1989, with outfielder Dave Winfield sidelined, the Yankees trade catcher Joel Skinner and a minor leaguer to the Indians for outfielder Mel Hall. Winfield will miss all of the 1989 season after undergoing back surgery for central disc herniation.

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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1 The Hawk   ~  Mar 19, 2009 8:55 am

I just had a brilliant idea. Reading a boston.com article with nine predictions about the 2009 season, I couldn't help but notice ... They may be in serious need of a shortstop and a big bat. If ever there was a time, it's now - open up trade talks with Boston.

Reverse the curse!

/tongue in cheek but actually would do it if I could

2 Diane Firstman   ~  Mar 19, 2009 9:27 am


Do you REALLY think they'd want Jeter? :(j/k) :-)

3 The Hawk   ~  Mar 19, 2009 9:28 am

[2] Ha! thanks for getting that out of the way quickly ...

4 Start Spreading the News   ~  Mar 19, 2009 9:34 am

[1] Swap Jeter for Youkilis. Move Arod to short and have Youk play third. Boston press would love the deal but I doubt Theo would.

5 Alex Belth   ~  Mar 19, 2009 9:36 am

D, thanks so much!

I could be off on this, but watching Jeter in the WBC, I keep thinking he's going to have a really poor season. It's not because of how he's played necessarily, just a feeling.

6 Bum Rush   ~  Mar 19, 2009 9:52 am

Yup, for Jeter there's only one way he's going. After a .725 OPS year many people will be questioning whether he should be the SS in 2010. Too bad the same critical columns of the mediots regarding A-Rod aren't directed at the guy who actually hurts the team day in and day out.

The more I think about it, the more I becomes obvious that this is a 90 to 93 win team. And that's without any injuries AND Jorge and Cano bouncing back to cover for the regression of Jeter and Damon. I just don't see how this team is better than Boston or Tampa Bay. Both of those teams have plenty of upside to go with their risks. The Yankees, even firing on all cylinders, have very little room for improvement. I'm not going to hang my hat on Swisher or Gardner making up lost offense. I see a third place team, struggling to score runs, and making a desperate move for Holliday in July.

7 Bum Rush   ~  Mar 19, 2009 10:01 am

And after that third place finish in 2009, here's hoping they hire Davey Johnson to finally push Jeter to the outfield or bench. He's got both the stature NY and baseball to make that happen.

8 Diane Firstman   ~  Mar 19, 2009 10:01 am


I took "Under 97.5 wins" ... I think I'll put some more on that.

9 Diane Firstman   ~  Mar 19, 2009 10:02 am


They COULD win a lot of 3-2 games, if their defense does anything.

10 Mattpat11   ~  Mar 19, 2009 10:06 am

The thing with Alex and these photos is, IMO, that he just can't help himself. He's going to do something stupid. You just have to hope that its stupid nonsense like this, rather than him opening his fat mouth.

11 Diane Firstman   ~  Mar 19, 2009 10:10 am


Too bad the Yanks don't have a Vizquel-type SS to use as a late-inning defensive replacement for Jeter.

Then again, I wonder if Girardi would have the guts to do that.

12 OldYanksFan   ~  Mar 19, 2009 10:24 am

Funny... I'm trying to think of just what I have to do to 'maintain' ARod. Maybe the writer is referring to all the written diareah that Yankee fans are supposed to stay up on?

Mind you, I'm not happy that ARod IS an easy target and continues to make himself an easy target. But so what? He's not a quitter the way Manny is. Hasn't beaten any wives or gotten any DUIs.

The truth is ARod is a star and yellow journalism makes it's money festering on stars. And Brittany doesn't wear panties. I can live with it.

In terms of the team, we are used to relying on the O. If AJ stays 'relatively' healthy and Wang is still Wang, we have a tremendous 1-5. I mean, Andy at #4 and Joba at #5? What other team has that?

I think it will be an interesting year.

13 zack   ~  Mar 19, 2009 10:34 am

God, I Ian O'Connor has really shown himself to be the worst of the worst. There is really no excuse for him...

14 Mattpat11   ~  Mar 19, 2009 10:35 am

I do agree that he should fire whomever allegedly his PR advisor is (I'm still skeptical that this human exists) I don't think getting rid of Madonna's people is the full answer, because Alex was like this long before he found Madonna.

15 Diane Firstman   ~  Mar 19, 2009 10:45 am


" ... because Alex was like this long before he found Madonna."


That makes her sound like her own religion ... :-)

16 Diane Firstman   ~  Mar 19, 2009 10:46 am


Ian O'Connor, George King, Rick Reilly ... biggest discredit to journalism?

17 Mattpat11   ~  Mar 19, 2009 10:59 am


18 Bum Rush   ~  Mar 19, 2009 11:00 am

Then again, I wonder if Girardi would have the guts to do that.

He didn't have the guts to get on Cano until the mediots just about demanded it. So no, I don't see that.

19 zack   ~  Mar 19, 2009 11:03 am

[16] Don't forget Lupica!

20 PJ   ~  Mar 19, 2009 11:16 am


You really must drink all of the Trappist Ales you can get your hands on! I would visit as many abbeys as I could if I were going. There are six such places in Belgium (Orval, Chimay, Westvleteren, Rochefort, Westmalle and Achel) and they've each been brewing ales for more than three centuries. I always recommend doing that for anyone going there for any length of time. Also, watch out for the Walloons!



21 tsengsational   ~  Mar 19, 2009 12:14 pm

I thought [1] meant trading Alex to Boston. I wouldn't take Jeter unless I was a team struggling to fill up seats.

22 Diane Firstman   ~  Mar 19, 2009 12:17 pm


Ummm .... it did .... the Jeter suggestion (2) was a joke ....


23 The Hawk   ~  Mar 19, 2009 12:38 pm

Not enough people are sticking up for A Rod. We've had a couple but the ol' "at least he doesn't beat his wife" aint gonna cut it today. Please look at that photo spread again and bring it!!!

Here's what I have: People need to quit talking about him kissing his reflection. He's not. He's just very, very, very close to the mirror. There's a difference!

24 Rich   ~  Mar 19, 2009 12:39 pm

A few years ago, before A-Jack broke out as a prospect, Goldman completely wrote him off. So I take anything he says with a huge grain of salt.

25 williamnyy23   ~  Mar 19, 2009 12:48 pm

It amazes me how people get so bothered by Arod taking photos. It's one thing to spout such nonsense as a liquored-up fan, but for a sportswriter to actually suggest that a photo spread hurts a team is comical.

[14] Actually, he should probably give them a raise because it seems as if people can't get enough of Arod, which is probably what he wants. The irony is that those who don't like him can't ignore him.

26 Rich   ~  Mar 19, 2009 1:00 pm

Given that O'Connor has produced < 0 evidence that steroids significantly impacted Alex's stats, he has no more proof that Alex is "a steroid-pumped hoax" than I have proof that O'Connor isn't mentally challenged.

27 The Hawk   ~  Mar 19, 2009 1:34 pm

The proof that A Rod is a steroid-pumped hoax was furnished by none other than A Rod. He went on TV and admitted it. Even if it didn't impact his stats he still ended up being not what he'd previously claimed, ie clean.

Not to mention, conclusively proving steroid use affected or did not affect someone's performance five years ago would be ... challenging.

Anyway, why are we talking about steroids? That's so yesterday's news. As I hopefully and correctly guessed, A Rod would continue to pay bizarro dividends even while rehabbing. The photo spread is mint. In fact I'd say it is his crowning achievement of A Rodness.

28 Rich   ~  Mar 19, 2009 2:37 pm

[27] Alex admitted that he did steroids, but since any credible analysis of his stats reveals that the the steroids (taken during the timeframe that he has acknowledged) did not have a significant impact on performance, calling him a hoax is an ad hominem attack, rather than an accurate description of the pertinent facts.

29 The Hawk   ~  Mar 19, 2009 4:52 pm

[28] Putting aside the legitimacy of any analysis that may or may not be brought to bear upon The Rod's lost weekend in Texas, the fact remains - as I have already pointed out - calling him a "hoax" is entirely justifiable given the fact that he purposefully and knowingly presented himself as something other than what he actually is. He said he was clean; he's dirty; hoax.

The only asterisk I'll give you is that "hoax" is probably not the most appropriate term in this case, but that's beside the point, really.

30 Rich   ~  Mar 19, 2009 7:03 pm

[29] If I thought O'Connor was merely trying to say that Alex is a cheater, I would agree, but his phraseology is much more expansive, which would seem to indicate, at least to me, that he intended to paint Alex's entire career, as well as his physical development, as being fraudulent. I think that's patently absurd.

31 The Hawk   ~  Mar 19, 2009 7:19 pm

[30] I agree with that.

32 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Mar 19, 2009 8:15 pm

[16] Rick Reilly is offensive and revolting..a bad writer and even more annoying when he tries to be funny. His attacks on Bonds were disgraceful..yeah, I don't like him.

King and O'Connor just minor league hacks.

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