Today’s news is powered by a “Pitching 101″ video by former Yankee (and current Blue Jay pitching coach) Brad Arnsberg . . .
- Melky Cabrera may yet be traded:
. . . the Yankees have been telling other teams they would be open to moving Cabrera and suggested that he would be a perfect fit for the White Sox, who currently have Jerry Owens, Brian Anderson and DeWayne Wise competing for the center-field job.
The move would open up more at-bats for newly acquired switch-hitter Nick Swisher, who has lost the competition to be the starting right fielder to Xavier Nady. The club had been trying to move either Swisher or Nady, but teams would be more willing to part with young talent to acquire Cabrera, according to FOXSports.com.
[My take: If they do move him, I sure hope they bring back a good catching or SS prospect.]
- ESPN’s Howard Bryant wonders if Mark Teixeira can emulate another high-priced Yankee free agent acquisition from a different era:
Still, it is Jackson who remains the most relevant. In a universe where the Yankees seem to trot out another contender to his throne every December by signing a free agent who thinks he can conquer the big town as Jackson once did, Reggie is still The One, the standard of the big-money outsider who became part of the New York family simply by delivering on the promise.
Fittingly, while Jackson stands in the hallway cooling down, a white towel around his neck, Mark Teixeira strolls past.
Teixeira is the latest to try to climb the baseball equivalent of Mount Everest: playing in New York as the top-dollar free agent and coming through on the other side. Until the past couple of weeks, he had been able to blend in, a $180 million complementary player. But as collateral damage of Alex Rodriguez’s injury, he blends no more. With Rodriguez — and the bizarre, unrelenting dramas that seem to always accompany him — gone at least until near the All-Star break, Teixeira is the power bat in the Yankees’ lineup. He is the one who will have to create the murmurs in the stands at the new Stadium when it is his turn with two on and one out. He is now the one everyone in New York is waiting for.
[My take: I for one didn’t think A-Rod would be gone till “near the All-Star break.” And, didn’t Mike Mussina produce as expected during his years here? Moose might not have “conquered the big town” (nor was he expected to, as someone who suited up only once every five days), but he just went about his business, pitched well for the vast majority of the time, kept his nose clean, and would be considered a good investment in hindsight.]
- Alex Rodriguez . . . unlikable?:
Alex Rodriguez says he has “given up” hoping to be widely liked, accepting that many people he does not know well simply do not care for him personally.
“I’ve given up on that; it’s just the way it is,” the Yankees third basemen told YES’ Michael Kay in an interview recorded earlier this month that debuted last night on the network’s preseason special.
“I mean, look, I feel like right now that not too many people like me, so I’ve given up on that.
“As long as my teammates like me, and they respect me, and my two daughters love their Daddy, I’m going to go out and do the very best I can. Look, I really screwed up, and for that I’m sorry.”
[My take: If only he wouldn’t be so concerned with everyone liking him . . . people might actually like him! And, I wouldn’t be so sure of his teammates’ respecting him.]
- Newsday (and Lonn Trost) give us a video tour of the new Stadium.
Despite the sagging economy, it seems that no expense was spared in the $1.3-billion ballpark. Trost characterized his job as building “the most expensive stadium in the midst of the worst economy.” He did say thinking about ticket sales has caused him “many sleepless nights. No matter what you do, you can’t make everybody happy.”
[My take: You could have made the better seats a little more affordable. So what if you recoup your investment a year or two later than planned. From a P.R. perspective, it would have been a huge win given this horrid economy. Also . . . about those obstructed view bleachers . . .]
- New Stadium Insider points out an interesting segregation of concession availabilities, as delineated in the new Official A-Z Guide to the stadium:
For now, the most glaring change is the following:
Field Level Food Court
The food court located near Section 126 on the Field Level offers guests a taste of New York with a variety of concessions, including Boar’s Head deli sandwiches, Famous Famiglia pizza and Asian cuisine. Please note that only Field Level and Legends ticket holders have access to the Field Level.
We have mentioned before that one of the most enjoyable aspects of going to baseball games is roaming around the stadium and checking out all of the nooks and crannies of the ballpark. Never before have we been to a ballpark that does not let fans explore the concessions on an entire level of the Stadium. . . .
To prevent us from using the facilities or making purchases on an entire level is really creating social stratification in the new Yankee Stadium that we are not comfortable with. This also means that the middle-class family coming to Yankee Stadium to see their heroes suit up in the pinstripes will not be able to watch batting practice from the Field Level or try to procure autographs from their favorite players.
[My take: Remember when we were joking a bit about the Yanks having a “moat” around the $350 seats . . . perhaps this isn’t too far from reality.]
- Individual game tickets went on sale Tuesday:
The Yankees put individual game tickets on sale for the first season of their new ballpark and said they had sold 170,000 by midday Tuesday. . . .
According to the Yankees’ Web site, as of early evening tickets remained at $2,625 for the April 16 home opener against Cleveland, each with a $59.70 convenience charge.
[My take: $60 for the mere shipping/handling of a ticket . . . I do hope it arrives in a velvet-lined cherrywood box with Certificate of Authenticity. For $2,625, you can fly round-trip to London . . . four times . . . and the meals are included on the flight. Is Mr. Trost losing any sleep over this?]
- There is finally a deal in place to sell pieces of the old Stadium:
Seats, foul poles, dugouts, urinals and numerous other items from the old Yankee Stadium will be sold to fans as part of a $10 million deal between the Yankees and New York City, the New York Post reported on Wednesday.
Demolition of the old Stadium will begin next month, prior to the scheduled April 16 opening of the new Stadium. Specifics on the sale of items will be available in the coming weeks, sources familiar with the agreement told the Post.
The old Stadium is owned by the city, which will receive a guaranteed $10 million, plus a percentage of any profits above $15.9 million, in exchange for allowing the Yankees to sell the city-owned portions of the ballpark, which includes all 57,000 seats.
[My take: Hmm . . . a Yankee Stadium urinal . . . now there’s a conversation piece.]
- Cliff has a post up regarding the passing of two men with ties to the Bombers:
- Jose Vizcaino turns 41 today. Vizcaino was acquired midway through the 2000 season for the one-time World Series hero Jim Leyritz. Vizcaino went for .276/.319/.333 in 174 ABs with the Bombers, while also getting caught on 7 of 12 stolen base attempts. Fun fact: in 1994, he was caught on 11 of 12 attempts, and for his career he was only successful on 54% of his 136 attempts.
- On this date in 1937, on the advice of Ty Cobb, Yankees outfielder Joe DiMaggio reduces the weight of his bat from 40 ounces to 36 ounces.
[My take: That’s still a lot of lumber to be swingin’.]
- On this date in 1951, in an exhibition game at University of Southern California, Mickey Mantle propels a home run estimated at 654 to 660 feet. The shot clears Bovard Field and then goes the width of a practice football field before landing. Mantle has two homers, a bases loaded triple, and drives in seven runs as the Yankees flunk the Trojans, 15 – 1.