"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

News of the Day – 5/6/09

Today’s news is powered by a big Happy 78th birthday wish to Willie Mays:

New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez homered twice and played seven innings in the field for the second straight day in an extended spring training game on Tuesday.

Sidelined since undergoing right hip surgery on March 9, the third baseman could rejoin the Yankees for Friday night’s game at Baltimore. A-Rod said a return date has not been finalized.

“I have no idea about Friday,” said Rodriguez, scheduled to play in another extended spring training game Wednesday. “I’m feeling good.”

Rodriguez went 3-for-6 with two homers to center — including one that cleared a 40-foot-high batter’s eye — and also lined a single. He had two plays at third, fielding a grounder and making a spin move to throw out Philadelphia minor leaguer Nerio Rios at first.

  • Jorge Posada takes his strained hamstring to the 15-day DL.  Here’s a little info on just what a hamstring strain is.
  • Rainy days and Mondays (when it rains incessantly to the point that some fans think the game has been called, only to find it hasn’t been called . . . and that aren’t allowed back in the Stadium . . .) always get me down:

Hundreds of irate fans – some who claim Yankee employees told them the game had been rained out – stormed away from Yankee Stadium before Monday night’s game against the Red Sox even got underway and couldn’t get back in, resulting in a an ugly scene at one of the ticket gates.

With rain falling for hours and no start time announced until shortly before 9 p.m., hordes of fans began leaving the Stadium and heading home – some who said they had been advised that the game had been called by Yankee employees who walked the concourse holding pinstriped “How may I help you?” signs.

When a 9:20 p.m. start time was eventually announced over the public address system, a crowd on the sidewalk outside Gate 6 tried to get back into the Stadium, only to have the employees working the turnstiles promptly close the doors in their faces. Panicked fans began racing up and down the sidewalk, trying to find a way back into the ballpark, while others remained at Gate 6 either pleading or demanding to be let back in.

  • Are the Yankees treating the media fairly?  Bob Raissman has some concerns:

The latest episode came during the weekend series with the Angels. Paul O’Neill, a revered former Yankee, now an analyst for the Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network, was asked by security to leave the indoor batting cages, where he was watching Yankees hit, prior to one of the games.

A security guard told O’Neill, the man George Steinbrenner called “warrior,” he could not loiter in the area. O’Neill had another reason to be perturbed. Security would not allow his wife, Nevalee, into the Stadium “wives room.” She was told by security it was for “current” wives only.

Think about it. Here’s O’Neill, a guy who bled for the franchise, trying to prepare for a broadcast. Not only is he told to take a hike, so is his wife. O’Neill was not the only broadcaster ejected from a part of the Stadium over the weekend.

The Angels bring multiple announcers (including voices who work Spanish language broadcasts) on the road. The mouths rotate between radio and TV. At times, some of them are not on the air. During those breaks, they need a place to watch the game. There were two empty Stadium broadcast booths during the series. Angels voices, not on the air, used one of them to chill.

Until they were booted by security.

The Angels broadcasters were told they weren’t allowed to sit in the empty booth. When asked Monday if the voices had been mistaken and were sitting in a private box reserved for patrons, an Angels source said: “No, it was a broadcast booth.” When asked if security invited the broadcasters downstairs to sit in those empty seats behind the plate, the source laughed and said, “no.”

The announcers wouldn’t be able to expense one of those $1,000-plus seats. Still, when it comes to the electronic media, money is an issue. Yankees suits, according to industry sources, have increased the fee they charge local TV outlets to do live reports inside the Stadium. Earlier in the season, sources put the price at $4,000 a pop. After negotiations the price has dropped.

The New York Yankees urged a state judge Tuesday to quash the subpoena from two assembly committees investigating the use of public funds to help build the team’s new stadium, saying the issue has already been fully aired publicly.

Attorneys for the baseball team said Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, a Westchester Democrat, is exceeding his authority and harassing the Yankees with legal action. The new stadium in the Bronx was the subject of 21 local, state and federal approvals and 22 public hearings, they said.

“It’s one of the most exhaustively reviewed and approved public projects in the state and in the country involving a sports team,” attorney Jonathan Schiller said after Tuesday’s court hearing.

Schiller estimated it would cost the Yankees between $600,000 and $1.2 million to comply with Brodsky’s subpoena for private information from the past nine years.

Attorney George Carpinello argued in court the subpoena was also “grossly overbroad” and would require culling the electronic and paper documents of more than 100 people. Carpinello added that the relevant information is held by the New York City Industrial Development Agency and said the Yankees have already provided the committees chaired by Brodsky and Assemblyman James Brennan with thousands of pages of documents plus testimony.

  • Wanna see photos from one my first trip to the new Stadium?
  • As I stated above, today is the 78th birthday of the one and only Willie Mays!
  • On this date in 1915, Babe Ruth, as a pitcher for the Red Sox, had three hits, including his first major league home run, when he connected off Jack Warhop of the Yankees at the Polo Grounds.
  • On this date in 1982, Gaylord Perry of the Seattle Mariners became the 15th major league pitcher with 300 victories when he defeated the New York Yankees 7 – 3 at the Kingdome. Perry became the first pitcher to notch his 300th win since Early Wynn did it in 1963.

[My take: Given his spitball transgressions, Mr. Perry’s election to the Hall is a bit galling.  Its easier to nab a spitballer than someone on PEDs.]

  • On this date in 2007, Hideki Matsui doubles to left in an at-bat against Jarrod Washburn. It is his 2,000th hit between MLB and NPB and makes him the 46th member of the meikyukai.

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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1 Rich   ~  May 6, 2009 9:42 am

This note is from George King, so there is a chance he made it up, but if it's true, it underscores how small their margin for error is:

If the Yankees make an error, chances are good they will lose. In games they have committed an error they are 2-10.

2 williamnyy23   ~  May 6, 2009 9:46 am

[1] I wonder how many times they have made multiple errors in those 12 games because it really seems like when the defense is bad...it's really bad.

3 williamnyy23   ~  May 6, 2009 9:55 am

The Yankees are at a crossroads very early in the season and I am not sure all of the answers are in place. If I was Cashman, I'd do the following:

1) Start seriously assessing Girardi's viability as a manager and compiling a short list of names (Valentine, Showalter, etc.) in the event a change becomes necessary.

2) Keep my ear to the ground on the growing rift between Ramon Castro and Jerry Manuel. If there is something to it, and Manuel really would prefer to keep Santos when Schneider returns, perhaps Cashman can get him cheap.

3) Beat the bushes for a reliable middle reliever (maybe Joe Beimel from the Nats?). Otherwise (or pehaps in addition), start to forumalte a hybrid approach whereby Joba could be shifted back to the pen until the situation is stabilized. I would use Johan Santana's 2003 season as a model and move Joba to the pen until about August.

4) Send Garnder and Berroa down immediately for more viable bench options like Shelley Duncan, while looking to acquire such a player on the trade market.

4 Chyll Will   ~  May 6, 2009 9:58 am

I'm still bothered by the security issue, and I'm surprised that a bigger issue hasn't been made about it in the media and a serious number of fans. Perhaps when they start finding themselves on the s#!+ end of the stick more frequently, they will start massing, but these stories certainly are a major deterrent for considering going. Again, I hope the Yanks don't steadily become the Knicks, a once-class organization reduced to a laughingstock and a blot on the league by an incompetent and insecure scion of previous ownership. It may never get that bad, but even being reminded of it is bad enough.

5 williamnyy23   ~  May 6, 2009 10:02 am

[4] There is a more recent story about Yankee management being very unhappy with how the matter was handled and vowing to improve communication. I don't think the Yankees are taking the matter lightly, nor do I think they are developing the level of paranoia exhibited by the Knicks. Also, I think this issue is an isolated one, as it pertains to what really was a unique set of circumstances.

6 randym77   ~  May 6, 2009 10:05 am

'This Year Will Bring a True Sea Change'

US media expert Jeff Jarvis is predicting a massive shift in the American media market this year -- the death of print newspapers across the country. In an interview, he explains why he believes the future for serious journalism lies with Web sites like Twitter and Google News.

7 Chyll Will   ~  May 6, 2009 10:13 am

[5] I hope you're right. But tell me more about this rift between Castro and Manuel. And wouldn't you at least want to keep Gardiner as a pinch-runner option and LIDR (I know that would be a little harder to justify), but Singleton and Cone made a point about how a fast runner made a difference for the Sux in 2004 and especially during the playoffs; a runner of his speed could disrupt the defense in crucial situations. Unless you would want to wait until the team proves to be a serious contender and then bring him back strictly for those duties...

8 Raf   ~  May 6, 2009 10:19 am

And wouldn’t you at least want to keep Gardiner as a pinch-runner option and LIDR (I know that would be a little harder to justify), but Singleton and Cone made a point about how a fast runner made a difference for the Sux in 2004 and especially during the playoffs

I'd rather not, especially if the Yanks insist on carrying a 13-man staff.

Having a player with Gardner/Roberts' speed is nice but isn't necessary to win. While he was part of it, there were a slew of other things that went wrong with the Yanks in the 2004 ALCS.

9 williamnyy23   ~  May 6, 2009 10:20 am

[7] Last week, Jerry Manuel pinch hit for Ramon Castro with the game on the line, despite the fact that he had 2 hits. To make matters worse, he used Catro's "backup", Omir Santos, as the hitter and pretty much held up the game (he was fined as a result) to do so as Santos had to jog in from the bullpen.

Santos is a journeyman minor leaguer, but reports by Mets beat writers suggest Manuel likes him a lot and would prefer to keep him around when Schneider returns from the DL. That would make Castro the odd man out. Considering his $2mn salary, I think the Mets would be willing to dump his salary.

As for Gardner, no, I don't think he would be useful as a PR because he is pretty much close to an absolute zero with the bunt. What's more, Girardi is not the kind of manager that seems capable of using that kind of weapon anyway. If there was ever a need for him to fill that role, it would be, as you suggest, later on in the season.

10 williamnyy23   ~  May 6, 2009 10:21 am

[9] Make that "with the bat", although his inability or unwillingness to bunt is maddening.

11 RagingTartabull   ~  May 6, 2009 10:22 am

[3] Well allow me to retort...

1) Do you honestly think some sort of "list" isn't out there? Not saying that formal discussions re: a replacement have taken place, but I'm sure Cashman and Hal at least have an idea of "If worse comes to worse, I think we should give [blank] a call." Thats a hell of a long way from actually making a change though.

2) I agree completely with you on this one, it was actually the first thing that went through my mind when I heard about Posada. This is all in a holding pattern until Schneider comes back, and who knows when that will be?

3) I really think yo-yoing Joba from the rotation to the pen can only cause more trouble than good. If Bruney comes back in 10 days or so that is going to go a long way towards stabilizing the pen. I'm fine with taking my chances on an Aceves/Coke/Bruney/Mo pen, of course providing Bruney comes back in effective shape.

4) I think sending Berroa down is a moot point, he's most likely gone by Friday anyway (at least I think we'd all hope so). Gardner is the more interesting case, with Nady out Gardner represents the entire Yankees outfield "depth" Clearly that reflects poorly on Cashman, but it is what it is. I don't think the Yankees can really afford to send him down until a) Jackson seems ready to contribute at the ML level (not be a star or anything, but contribute) or b) Nady and his zombie arm come back.

12 williamnyy23   ~  May 6, 2009 10:30 am


1) I have no idea if one has been composed, but if not, it should be a priority. I also think Cashman and Hal should be discussing under what scenarios they'd make a change. I don't think you can simply give Girardi the entire season to figure this one out. As he says in the commercial for the JG Show, "the training wheels are off".

2) Schneider is eligible to come off now, but it could be another 7-10 days. Still, I wouldn't be surprised if the Mets pulled the trigger early as they salivate over dumping Castro's $2.6mn salary.

3) From the sounds of things, Bruney is more than 10 days away. As of yesterday, he hadn't even picked up a ball. I wouldn't be surprised if his return is still weeks from now.

4) I would make the change now regardless. There are still 2 games until Arod, and having an extra bat could be the difference in one of those games. As for a 4th OFer, if there isn't an option in the organization, I would really crash the phones. Gardner has really contributed nothing his entire stint with the Yankees.

13 Bum Rush   ~  May 6, 2009 10:35 am


Cashman is the problem. When they miss the playoffs, it should be his ass. Who goes into a season with a 34 year old backup catcher to a 37 year old starter? And worse, after 2008? Who goes into a season with Cody Ransom backing up a 35 year old shortstop and a 33 year old third baseman? And worse, Angel Berroa?

How many years will it take for Cashman to learn. He needs to go.

14 Raf   ~  May 6, 2009 10:37 am

As for a 4th OFer, if there isn’t an option in the organization, I would really crash the phones.

If Duncan isn't a viable replacement, Cashman could take a flyer on Catalanatto, Durham, Payton or Roberts... No stats handy, just going off the top of my head.

15 Bum Rush   ~  May 6, 2009 10:39 am

Meanwhile, now you're advocating a decent backup catcher? When there were more than five readily available this off-season? Just like with the backup infielders...

They missed the playoffs last year because of injuries. The same will be true of this year.

Jeter's next. Watch. He missed a ball two steps to his *right* yesterday.

16 Raf   ~  May 6, 2009 10:40 am

Who goes into a season with a 34 year old backup catcher to a 37 year old starter?

He had a 31 year old backup in the minors, but he got hurt...

17 williamnyy23   ~  May 6, 2009 10:41 am

[13] I think you can blame Cashman for the pen because guys like Cruz were available, but I am not going to kill him for not having a better back up for Jeter and Arod, two guys who have historically played every day. As we've discussed before, you simply cannot insist that quality bench players come to the Yankees to never play. As for a better back-up catcher, most teams don't even have a quality starter, so I can't blame him too much for that one either.

18 williamnyy23   ~  May 6, 2009 10:41 am

[15] Who are the backup catchers you think he could have gotten?

19 Diane Firstman   ~  May 6, 2009 10:51 am

[1], [2]

That stat is liable to be quite misleading.

1) The question SHOULD be "did the Yankees make more, less, or the same # of errors as the opposition in that game"
2) How does the Yankees record in such games compare to all other teams

20 Bum Rush   ~  May 6, 2009 10:55 am

He had a 31 year old backup in the minors, but he got hurt.

I hope that's a joke. Because Kevin Cash is. Like Molina and his .277 career OBP.


You should try reading Steve Goldman. You'd learn something!:

As we’ve discussed before, you simply cannot insist that quality bench players come to the Yankees to never play.

And yet, you were wrong. Grudz is still available. DeRosa could have been had for middling pitching prospects. And Loretta cost $1.5 and he's been a backup for a few years now.

William, you keep playing this "Who's better?" card. Educate yourself, and me, for a change. You tell me, who was better and available. You can't say no one, because that's not ignorance of answer, just ignorance.

21 ny2ca2dc   ~  May 6, 2009 10:56 am

Brayan Pena cleared waivers, Cash should check in on him. He can play a little outfield even, and has good minor league numbers. He could take Berroa's spot when ARod comes back, if they don't want to add Shelly.

22 Diane Firstman   ~  May 6, 2009 10:56 am

Jim Edmonds would be a nice 5th outfielder right about now.

23 Diane Firstman   ~  May 6, 2009 10:57 am


I'm a bit surprised Pena cleared waivers .... he was talked about quite a bit during Spring Training, as folks knew he was going to be released.

24 Raf   ~  May 6, 2009 11:01 am

I hope that’s a joke. Because Kevin Cash is. Like Molina and his .277 career OBP.

What are you expecting from a 3rd string catcher?

25 Diane Firstman   ~  May 6, 2009 11:04 am

Current free agents

Paul Bako (37)
Gary Bennett (37)
Rob Bowen (28)
Johnny Estrada (33)
Toby Hall (33)
Paul Lo Duca (37) - Type B, not offered arb
Javier Valentin (33)

First basemen
Frank Catalanotto (35)
Richie Sexson (34)

Second basemen
Ray Durham (37)
Damion Easley (39)
Mark Grudzielanek (39) - Type B, offered arb


Third basemen

Left fielders
Moises Alou (42) - Type B, not offered arb
Frank Catalanotto (35)
Luis Gonzalez (41) - Type B, not offered arb
Jay Payton (36)
Dave Roberts (37)
Shannon Stewart (35)

Center fielders
Jim Edmonds (39)

Right fielders
Geoff Jenkins (34)

Frank Thomas (41) - Type B, not offered arb
Jose Vidro (34)

Starting pitchers
Paul Byrd (38) - Type B, offered arb
Freddy Garcia (34)
Orlando Hernandez (43)
Chuck James (27)
Pedro Martinez (37)
Mark Mulder (31)
Odalis Perez (32)
Kenny Rogers (44)
Ben Sheets (30) - Type A, offered arb

Scott Elarton (33)
Keith Foulke (35)
Aquilino Lopez (34)
Joel Peralta (33)
Al Reyes (38)
Ricardo Rincon (39)
Rudy Seanez (40) - Type B, not offered arb
Mike Timlin (43)
Derrick Turnbow (31)

26 Bum Rush   ~  May 6, 2009 11:08 am


Someone under 30? How many years has Cashman known that Jorge would need to be replaced?


This team would be improved, right now, by signing Valentin and Grudz. Unbelievable. Fucking Cashman.

27 Raf   ~  May 6, 2009 11:10 am

Grudz is still available

He's primarily a 2b, he can play SS, but not very well. Given your comments in [13] I am unsure why you're suggesting Loretta and Grudzielanek when both are older than Jeter and Rodriguez?

28 Bum Rush   ~  May 6, 2009 11:10 am

Frank Catalanotto would help too. Send Gardner down.

29 Bum Rush   ~  May 6, 2009 11:11 am

I am unsure why you’re suggesting Loretta and Grudzielanek when both are older than Jeter and Rodriguez?

Because they're much more capable than Angel Berroa or Cody Ransom.

30 williamnyy23   ~  May 6, 2009 11:15 am

[20] Goldman's list isn't exactly a goldmine of options.

“Gerald Laird, Ivan Rodriguez, Gregg Zaun, Ramon Hernandez, Josh Bard, Brayan Pena, Matt Treanor, Henry Blanco, David Ross, Brad Ausmus, Corky Miller, Ron Paulino, Jason Jaramillo, Michael Barrett, Robinson Diaz.”

The best of the bunch was probably Laird (80 OPS+) and Zaun (90 OPS+). Neither is anything more than a below average bat and both landed in spots with the chance for more playing time. Also, many on the list are as old or older than Posada, not to mention Molina. When you factor in Molina’s large defensive value, I am not sure if any of the names above would rank much ahead of him, if at all. In fact, if Cashman had signed any of the above names, the Yankees would ne in the same boat as they are now.

As for MI, as I keep explaining, it’s not a matter of were there better options, but what is the likelihood those players would sign with the Yankees when the chances of them playing would be nill. Again, the Yankees can’t compel quality backups to come to the Bronx to sit on the bench. While DeRosa would have been a great addition, we don't know if the Cubs and the Yankees were a match. As for the free agents you suggested, Loretta, who has a career OPS+ of 83 in the AL, already turned down the Yankees once before, while Grudz hasn't been healthy for two season (not to mention he can now pretty much only play 2B).

It's easy to declare that the Yankees should get this one and that one, but things don't work that way.

31 Raf   ~  May 6, 2009 11:16 am

Someone under 30? How many years has Cashman known that Jorge would need to be replaced?

Someone under 30? Then why are you suggesting Valentin (33?).

Are you referring to Jorge being replaced as a starter? Because there are a few catchers in the system right now. Yanks signed Posada to a 4 year deal, so assuming you're referring to replacing him as a starter, I suspect they'll be looking to to that either next year or the year after.

32 williamnyy23   ~  May 6, 2009 11:21 am

[25] Here's a thought...how about Pedro for the bullpen?

33 Bum Rush   ~  May 6, 2009 11:24 am

It’s easy to declare that the Yankees should get this one and that one, but things don’t work that way.

And yet, you still haven't named one player. In all of baseball, there has to be one player that satisfies your standards and is better than what they already have. Until you name that player, you just come off as willfully ignorant and homerish.

Hint: Stop confusing what players would choose when many players had no choice (DeRosa and Laird). And money is the best incentive of all.

34 Raf   ~  May 6, 2009 11:25 am

[32] I think Pedro still thinks he can start. Besides, if I were him I'd have the Angels on speed dial.

35 Bum Rush   ~  May 6, 2009 11:27 am


I know it may be confusing but you're conflating my desire (a youngish catcher acquired from another team e.g., Laird) with the current reality. Valentin is available right now. Laird isn't.

36 williamnyy23   ~  May 6, 2009 11:27 am

Most of the names in Goldman's list are well over 30, and nearly all of them signed major league deals. Why on Earth would they instead opt to sign a minor league deal with the Yankees?

37 Bum Rush   ~  May 6, 2009 11:29 am

And why didn't they at least take a flyer on Andruw Jones? That's just plain awful.

Cashman needs to go.

38 Bum Rush   ~  May 6, 2009 11:30 am


Still waiting for one name...just one. Using terms like "most" is a not very clever way around your willful ignorance and homerism.

39 Raf   ~  May 6, 2009 11:34 am

And why didn’t they at least take a flyer on Andruw Jones? That’s just plain awful.

Because Jones didn't want to come to NY?

40 Bum Rush   ~  May 6, 2009 11:35 am

Because Jones didn’t want to come to NY?

Money talks.

41 Raf   ~  May 6, 2009 11:37 am


NEW YORK -- The Yankees' search for non-roster invitees led them to Andruw Jones, but the veteran outfielder reportedly turned down a chance to attend camp without a big league contract.

SI.com reported Thursday that the Yankees had offered Jones a non-roster invitation to Spring Training, ostensibly to compete for the center-field job, but the proposal was rejected.

Jones, who turns 32 in April, batted .158 with three home runs and 14 RBIs in 75 games last season for the Dodgers.

Los Angeles allowed Jones to become a free agent earlier this month. Jones is already promised nearly $16 million over the next six years from the Dodgers, but he is looking for the financial guarantee and roster stability of a Major League contract.

He didn't want to come to NY...

42 zack   ~  May 6, 2009 11:37 am

Ahh, the joys of being .500 again. And again. And again. Is it time for my worries to be ok, or do I still need to be waiting until the middle of the year? Because its May now, and the team still stinks. And its becoming more and more apparent that having multiple players on the DL is the status quo as opposed to the exception.

Although, I don't understand how anybody could advocate for Joba back to the pen after the last two games.

43 Raf   ~  May 6, 2009 11:39 am

He was looking for a ML contract, eventually settling for a $500k MiL contract with the Rangers.

44 Bum Rush   ~  May 6, 2009 11:42 am

He didn’t want to come to NY…

for $500k.

45 Diane Firstman   ~  May 6, 2009 11:45 am

[43], [44]

Really odd, considering the Dodgers were still going to pay him the balance of his 2 year contract with them, albeit over 6 years.

So yeah, I don't think he wanted to be in NY.

46 Bum Rush   ~  May 6, 2009 11:46 am

And Texas doesn't have a state income tax.

47 Raf   ~  May 6, 2009 11:50 am

So yeah, I don’t think he wanted to be in NY.

Which makes sense given the negative experience he had in a "large market" like LA.

48 williamnyy23   ~  May 6, 2009 11:53 am

[37] Because Jones didn't want to come to the Yankees without having guaranteed money!

[38] For what name are you waiting? There isn't anyone on that list who would be appreciably better than Molina when you factor in defense...NONE.

Again, it seems like you are playing fantasy baseball. Brain Cashman can't simply make add/drops. This is the real world.

49 Bum Rush   ~  May 6, 2009 11:57 am

NY income tax rates for that bracket are 7%. Combined with the ridiculous 8% sales tax, that's about 100K difference with 500K in Texas.

They could have just as easily offered more. Who knows if he would have come, but like with every other possibility, they didn't try very hard. They shut their wallet after spending $250 million. At least they know fiscal responsibility in these economic times!

Javier Valentin still sits on the sidelines with Grudz...

50 Bum Rush   ~  May 6, 2009 12:01 pm


So somehow there's not one player better than Molina's .277 career OBP because he throws out maybe 30 runners a year? And there's no one better than Ransom or Berroa?

At least face the truth, William. You're choosing ignorance.

This is the real world.

Yup. The real world where Miguel Cairo and Angel Berroa (and Bubba Crosby in a deciding playoff game) get starts on the NY Yankees.

51 williamnyy23   ~  May 6, 2009 12:01 pm

[49] Heck with broken down has-beens like Valentin and Grudz...why not just get Mauer from the Twins and Wright from the Mets. If we are going to play fanatasy baseball, why not really make a splash. Meanwhile, back in the world...

52 williamnyy23   ~  May 6, 2009 12:02 pm

[50] The only ignornace I am choosing is continuing to respond to your foolishness. I need to learn my lesson.

53 Bum Rush   ~  May 6, 2009 12:02 pm

Cashman needs to be fired. How long before any of this mess becomes his fault? I mean he's only been the GM for 12 years.

54 Bum Rush   ~  May 6, 2009 12:03 pm

broken down has-beens like Valentin and Grudz

If they're that what are Molina and Berroa? Broken down has-beens-who-never-were?

55 sonyahennystutu   ~  May 6, 2009 12:08 pm

Choosing one set of bums over another is a fools errand, borne solely out of frustration with losing.

56 Diane Firstman   ~  May 6, 2009 12:12 pm


Comment of the day

57 randym77   ~  May 6, 2009 12:14 pm

I don't want Javy Valentin. He's not a very good catcher.

If the Yanks are going to acquire a Reds reject catcher, I vote for Paul Bako. He's not young, but he's better than Valentin. He had a decent spring training, and is supposed to be good with young pitchers.

58 williamnyy23   ~  May 6, 2009 12:17 pm

Having a lineup with Jeter, Cano, Arod, Teixeira, Matsui, Swisher, Damon and now Melky should make up for Molina. The Yankees have much bigger problems in the bullpen right now.

59 sonyahennystutu   ~  May 6, 2009 12:21 pm

[56] Thanks :D

I think that among the many problems with much of the grousing (beyond the losing...) is that we assume much - too much - about what is and isn't done or tried by the Yankees front office.

For instance - do we *really* know exactly what Andruw Jones was or wasn't offered in terms of $, years, ML v MiL commitment, etc? Beyond Cashman, Jones, Jones' agent, and a very very very small number of additional people, for the rest of us the answer is definitively "no" despite what may have been reported in any number of outlets.

The reality is that most of us armchair GMs know basically zero about what is and isn't possible in the FA and trade markets. We all have opinions (and you know what they say about those...) and in fact it's those opinions that basically drive talk radio! But unless I'm wrong, NO ONE on this board or any other has a direct line to any GM or agent, AND the status/stature to get accurate information about any of these issues, to say nothing of the actual practical (i.e. budgetary) limitations any particular GM faces.

We all want to win. Duh. And we all have opinions about what should/shouldn't be done or have been done or could have been done. But they're opinions, and not particularly informed ones at that.

60 williamnyy23   ~  May 6, 2009 12:25 pm

[59] That's a good point...with some bigger names, you can put 2+2 together, but for fringe players, we don't really know the details, making it silly to offer a definitive opinion.

61 Bum Rush   ~  May 6, 2009 12:39 pm

Having a lineup with Jeter, Cano, Arod, Teixeira, Matsui, Swisher, Damon and now Melky should make up for Molina. The Yankees have much bigger problems in the bullpen right now.

Jorge is more valuable than A-Rod, relative to positions. How has that worked out so far?

Wishful thinking plus willful ignorance = fanatic


How long has Cashman been GM? How have they finished the last *ten* years? Each year removed from the dynasty, they've gotten worse and worse. It doesn't take a genius to see the pattern. This year will end the same as last. And I expect Cashman's head.

62 Bum Rush   ~  May 6, 2009 12:50 pm

"But unless I’m wrong..."

Can you explain to me why Grudz and Valentin are not working? Did they both announce their retirements? If not, then they're available, especially when starting guys like Jose Molina (career .277 OBP).

63 Start Spreading the News   ~  May 6, 2009 12:52 pm

[49] "NY income tax rates for that bracket are 7%. Combined with the ridiculous 8% sales tax, that’s about 100K difference with 500K in Texas."

You have done your research wrong. Texas also as a sales tax which say for Dallas totals 8.25% New York city's is 8.35%.

64 sonyahennystutu   ~  May 6, 2009 12:52 pm

[61] And you may get his head yet (and probably already would have had George not handed over day to day control of the team to his sons).

BUT - here's *another* in the incredibly long list of things we *don't* know about the last 10 years, or for any of Cashman's tenure for that matter: precisely who is responsible for what? Despite what we've read about the control demands Cashman supposedly made and supposedly was granted about running the team unfettered as part of his most recent contract extension, did that really happen?

Has Cashman been 100% responsible for *every* signing, trade, signing not made, and trade not made? We have ample reason to believe (though we still don't know) that Cashman was *not* responsible for the A-Rod resigning. What else is he not responsible for?

Further, if Cashman *did* get the control provisions he wanted, then he is *not* responsible for what came before - the obvious implication being that many others were making decisions around/above him previously, and it would thus be they who would be responsible, right? I mean, it takes years for draft and trade/no trade actions to trickle up to ML impact, yes?

Seems to me like we're just seeing the beginning fruits of that (e.g. Joba and Hughes not being traded away). Seems like it's too early to judge the results but so far I like what I see.

Similarly, what limits did the A-Rod resigning (again, something which presumably was not "on Cashman" despite the control provisions we assume Cashman received) place on Cashman's ability to make additional signings?

You may scoff at the seemingly odd place to draw the line at additional signings and choose to be fiscally "responsible". But you know what they say - a couple million here, a few million there, and all of a sudden you're talking about real money. Maybe Cashman's mandate was to come in at a payroll roughly unchanged from last year.

Who knows? Not me, that's for sure. And not you either - and that's the problem with all this "of with his head" stuff IMO. Like I said - you may still get it. At the end of the day "someone" has to be responsible, and it's unlikely that any of the Steinbrenner's step up in that regard. Some combination of Girardi's and Cashman's heads seem likely if the Yanks don't make the playoffs (again).

But my guess is that if we were truly omnipotent and knew all, we might not feel so strongly about that.

65 Diane Firstman   ~  May 6, 2009 12:53 pm


NYC's sales tax is 8.375%

(and might be going up again) .... sigh

66 Bum Rush   ~  May 6, 2009 1:01 pm


Thanks. I don't knwo if my point still stands, but that's still a difference of 70k.


By this point, we can safely say he's responsible. But it really doesn't matter if he's the highest level management figure who can be replaced. The Steinbrothers can't be. Something has to change. They already fired the manager and they've continued to get worse. Who are they going to fire to change things, the traveling secretary?

Cashman hasn't gotten the job done - in ten years or in three years. Insanity is doing the same thing time and time again and expecting a different result. He's certifiable. It's time for him to go.

67 The Hawk   ~  May 6, 2009 1:02 pm

I find it hard to believe anyone would get worked up about Andruw frickin' Jones. I mean, come on. Anyway, does anyone think CF is really that much of a problem? Or the problem?

68 Raf   ~  May 6, 2009 1:04 pm

Can you explain to me why Grudz and Valentin are not working?

Because they aren't that good? Maybe their asking price is too high? Maybe they don't want to play in NY?

Valentin signed a MiL contract with the Nationals, the Nationals preferred to take Wil Nieves. Even if you say the Nats are run by morons, to this day no other team has opted to sign Valentin.

69 Bum Rush   ~  May 6, 2009 1:13 pm


Andruw frickin’ Jones:
.341 .491 .682 in 44 ABs


Brett Gardner:
.231 .292 .277 in 65 ABs

Which one is more surprising?

70 sonyahennystutu   ~  May 6, 2009 1:14 pm

[66] I disagree that we can safely say he's responsible by this point. In fact, the fact that his demands for greater control and autonomy became public (not to mention the seemingly obvious disfunction in the FO one could easily observe for years and years) is proof that there was some ineffectual decision-by-committee going on there. And it got us unto a BIG mess - barren farm system (consistently ranked at or near the bottom year after year after year), al sorts of long term, awful, high priced FA signings, etc. That takes a long time to undo, and we're just at the beginning in that regard. Further, we've just doubled down on some of these (see: A-Rod) so in that regard it's two steps forward, one or more steps back.

And I believe Randy Levine is technically senior to Cashman, so it's not right that he's the highest level of management that can be fired. I think Levine can be fired too. I don't know what influence he's had over trades and FA signings, do you?

Finally, the main flaw I find in your logic is that someone else could better navigate both the internal politics and legacy situation they'd inherit when taking over as GM. Possible? Sure. But since we don't know - still - who is responsible for what, putting it all on Cashman is flawed. In fact, anyone taking over as GM *would* inherit a better situation b/c (we assume) Cashman *has* been operating mostly unfettered and has done a decent job of undoing so much of what got us here in the first place (stuff that happened when Cashman was not really running the show even if he was titular GM).

We all know Torre and Cashman inherited the team that turned in the champioship run from 96-00 from actions taken by predominantly by Stick Michael while Steinbrenner was banished from the game. That took some years to germinate and bear the fruit it did.

Whose to say that Cashman's recent autonomy (which I think is now what 2-3 years old) is not a parallel? And that in another year or two of building the farm system - perhaps now by focusing on position players rather than pitching in the draft) won't yield similar results.

Much of your commentary feels like that of someone who has been a fan for 14 years or less, rather than 25 years or more.

71 williamnyy23   ~  May 6, 2009 1:16 pm

[68] Some people just like names.

72 Bum Rush   ~  May 6, 2009 1:19 pm


You really think Levine makes baseball decisions?

And how many more years before you hold him responsible?

Attended my first game in 1983. You do the math.

73 Bum Rush   ~  May 6, 2009 1:24 pm

Some people just like names.

Yeah, like Angel Berroa. And Miguel Cairo. And Bubba Crosby. Starting on a $200 million team.

Did I mention that Jose Molina has a .277 career OBP. In all my years of fandom, there have been maybe five hitters in all of baseball at that level of suck.

74 sonyahennystutu   ~  May 6, 2009 1:27 pm

[72] I don't know whether Levine does or not. But to claim that *you* know is simply false.

As to your question, I would hold Cashman responsible after approx. 5-6 years of seemingly unfettered control of day to day operations. I don't recall whether we're 2 or 3 years into that, but either way it feels like we're about half way into the experiment and so far I like what I see.

In 1983 you could've attended a game as an infant, thus making you an informed fan (obviously using the term lightly) only recently. Regardless, your commentary smacks of someone who ignores or lacks historical perspective, not to mention an acceptance that it is indeed a real world out there and no matter how much we want things to be the way we want them, the reality is that they simply are not.

75 The Hawk   ~  May 6, 2009 1:29 pm

[69] The point isn't whether or not Jones might have done better this year, nor is it to compare him with Gardner.

76 williamnyy23   ~  May 6, 2009 1:30 pm

[74] [75] It's not worth it...trust me!

77 sonyahennystutu   ~  May 6, 2009 1:32 pm

[76] Agreed. Peace out.

78 Bum Rush   ~  May 6, 2009 1:32 pm


Yeah, cause Levine has the final say on whether to carry Angel Berroa.

Wrong again: I was 10 in 1983.

79 Bum Rush   ~  May 6, 2009 1:35 pm

so far I like what I see.

First-round, first-round, no playoffs? I don't.

80 zack   ~  May 6, 2009 1:58 pm

I don't think its unreasonable to cite Cashman for the team's failings, IF they miss the playoffs again.

Whether you like him or not, think him responsible or not, or whatever the case may be, if the Yankees miss the playoffs yet again, or even lose in the first round, the simple undeniable fact is that the team has gotten worse.

Even if you agree with the majority of Cashman's moves, at a certain point you have to recognize that perhaps its time to move on. The team has, despite an enormous payroll, made it to the WS once, past the first round twice, and missed the playoffs once since 2002 and shown a general decline since 2004. Despite a 200M+ payroll, the team has major flaws and is running out back up players well below other team's backups. There is little flexibility or room for change in the roster. Many of the young talent brought up has been spotty at best.

Considering all of those things, and even accepting that perhaps much of where they are now is not Cashman's fault but George's, there is still plenty of reason to expect more and ask for consequences.

The fact of the matter is that with 200M+ to spend, Cashman has not put together a roster and minor league system that is noticeably better than the Rays, Red Sox, Dodgers, Angels, Cubs, Phillies, or Cardinals.

81 williamnyy23   ~  May 6, 2009 2:05 pm

[80] Except for Boston, the Yankees track record since 2002 is a lot better than all of these teams by far. Having said that, I agree that Cashman deserves some of the blame for the team's deficiencies, but on the whole think he has done a very good job in his tenure. I also think he a unique ability to work with difficult bosses as well as genuine concern for the organization that would prevent him from doing something completely selffish and stupid to save his job (i.e., see the Scott Kazmir trade).

82 Raf   ~  May 6, 2009 2:27 pm

Despite a 200M+ payroll, the team has major flaws and is running out back up players well below other team’s backups.

Of course, for a while, they were running starters that were well above other teams starters. That should be mentioned, since that's where a bulk of that $200M+ payroll lies.

83 randym77   ~  May 6, 2009 2:36 pm

Dunno about Grudz, but Valentin is simply not very good. I think he would sign with anyone who wanted him. Nobody does. After he was released during spring training, he came back to visit his previous team (the Reds), hoping to get an offer. None was forthcoming.

Javy is just not that good behind the plate any more. The Reds were using him at 1B a lot towards the end. He's a switch-hitter, but so bad right-handed he might as well be considered a lefty batter.

84 Rich   ~  May 6, 2009 2:40 pm

[53] Cashman needs to be fired. How long before any of this mess becomes his fault? I mean he’s only been the GM for 12 years.

Maybe he should be, but if a person who knew nothing about baseball read your post, they would be shocked to find out that the Yankees won 3 WS and made the playoffs every season but 2008 during those 12 years.

There's a case to be made for firing Cashman, but you haven't made it.

85 The Hawk   ~  May 6, 2009 4:12 pm

Reading the excerpt from A Rod on SI.com, I am more unconvinced than ever about the pitch-tipping. Don't get me wrong - I wouldn't be surprised if it were true, but the way it's written, it seems shady. It's hard to tell if it's one or more players talking about it, first and foremost. She can't be clear about how many people were aware of this habit of A Rod's? And of course, the act itself sounds somewhat vague, especially given the accusatory nature of the anecdote.

86 Diane Firstman   ~  May 6, 2009 4:47 pm

What about cow-tipping? Has A-Rod been accused of that?

(I mean, besides his excursions with Madonna)


87 PJ   ~  May 6, 2009 4:50 pm

[86] "What about cow-tipping?"


Now there's something I'm familiar with!

: )

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