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News of the Day – 10/19/09

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The Yankees announced on Sunday that they will open the Stadium Field Level and Great Hall to the public to watch the Yankees face the Angels in Anaheim as New York tries to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the ALCS.

“We wanted to provide a place for our fans to come together to cheer for our team, even if the game itself is taking place across the country,” Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said in a news release. “This is a way of saying ‘Thank you’ for their continued support.”

Turnstiles between Gates 4 and 6 will open at 3:30 p.m. ET for the 4:13 p.m. game — broadcast on FOX — and fans can watch it in the Great Hall or in the open sections of the Field Level. Food and concession stands, as well as NYY Steak and Hard Rock Café, will be open and available to fans.

  • MLB.com has their own preview of game 3.

Don Mattingly says he’s ready to be a manager. He has spent a lot of time learning under Joe Torre, and Mattingly feels he’ll not only interview for jobs but would strongly consider taking one if offered.

. . . Mattingly again appears to be the heir apparent to Torre, who says he will manage the Dodgers through next year, the final year of his contract.

Under normal circumstances, there would be a natural transition to Mattingly, but all bets seem to be off because of what could be a lingering and bitter divorce between team owners Frank and Jamie McCourt.

Asked if he would entertain job offers outside Los Angeles, Mattingly said, “Oh yeah, no question. It’s not something I really want to deal with at this time because my focus is here on the team right now. But there’s no question I want to manage. I hope it happens sooner rather than later, but the more you’re around this game as a coach, I feel, the more you learn.’’

Mattingly, 48, is expected to draw the interest of the Indians and perhaps Astros.

[My take: Has Mattingly’s home life settled down enough to devote his energies to the responsibilities of being a major league manager?]

  • Matt Holliday’s free agent wish list could include the Yanks.
    • Tyler Kepner opines . . . we’ve got a peaceful, easy A-Rod:

    . . . In the 12th inning of Game 2, after his game-tying homer off an 0-2 fastball from Fuentes the inning before, Rodriguez watched intently as Mark Teixeira worked the count with two on and two out. When Teixeira took ball three, Rodriguez slammed the knob of his bat to the mud in front of the on-deck circle, shaking loose the weighted doughnut from the barrel.

    He was a caged predator, clawing at the inside of the gate. Teixeira was still batting, but Rodriguez was ready. When ball four sailed outside, Rodriguez stalked to the box. That he flied out was almost irrelevant. He had relished the chance for glory, embracing it instead of shrinking away. A hitter of his talent with the right mind-set is an overwhelming weapon.

    The brain has always been the issue with Rodriguez. With a cadre of image consultants, gofers and gurus, he always seemed to complicate things. It is how he differs most from Derek Jeter, the Yankees’ captain and his former buddy, whose uncluttered mind helps him thrive.

    . . . So what has changed? Rodriguez has caused fewer distractions for himself by limiting his availability to the news media and paring his stable of lackeys. But other questions are hard to answer.

    Did admitting his use of steroids — and privately speaking out against steroids to school groups — unburden his psyche? Has his girlfriend, the actress Kate Hudson, stabilized his life off the field? Did the serious hip surgery truly scale back his personal expectations, as he has said?

    • Sandy Alomar Sr. turns 66 today.  Alomar was the starting 2B for the ’75 squad, before losing his job to the subsequently-acquired Willie Randolph.
    • On this date in 1946, the Yankees acquire pitcher Allie Reynolds from the Cleveland Indians for former American League MVP Joe Gordon and third baseman Eddie Bockman. Reynolds had struggled with Cleveland, losing 15 of 16 decisions during the season. Reynolds will reverse his fortunes in 1947, winning 19 games for the World Series champion Yankees.
    • On this date in 1987, Billy Martin is named manager of the Yankees for a fifth time, replacing Lou Piniella.  Piniella led the Yankees to an 89-73 record in 1987, fourth in the AL East.

    Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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    1 RagingTartabull   ~  Oct 19, 2009 9:35 am

    as much as I love Mattingly, and I really do, I think it was for the best that he didn't get the Yankee job.

    His family issues, plus it being his first job, plus him being a legit franchise icon who if he sucked as a manager it would be hard for fans to call for his head...it was just a bad mix all around.

    I hope he gets a shot to manage soon, and I think it would be best if it were in a non-descript city where he can just get his feet wet and the experience under his belt without all the baggage of a) following Torre or b) being "Donnie Baseball." Cleveland or Houston would definitely fit that bill.

    2 RIYank   ~  Oct 19, 2009 9:36 am

    My first reaction to Matt Holliday is that it's going to cost too much and the deal he gets is going to be too long.
    Then I start thinking, Holliday for Damon is just the upgrade we'd need to compensate for expected lost production from Jeter and Posada (age and both are having excellent years). Suppose you don't resign Matsui or Damon, and you pick up a relatively cheap DH (Dunn? Abreu, also a fourth OF?). Then the money could be a wash. And at the end of his contract, maybe Holiday becomes the DH.

    It's a reasonable move.

    But I can only think about the off-season for about five minutes. It's a better topic for Thanksgiving.

    3 ms october   ~  Oct 19, 2009 9:48 am

    i don't want to lose to a weaver in october, and seeing that it is my month and all, i should get what i want

    4 mehmattski   ~  Oct 19, 2009 10:21 am

    Okay, so when Holliday was in Colorado, the knock was his huge home/away split suggested he was a product of Coors Field. Well, how do those folks explain this:

    Home, 2009: 343 PA, .326 /.408 /.574
    Away, 2009: 327 PA, .299/ .379/ .451

    This despite home being the McAffe Colosseum (multi-year park factor 93) and Busch Stadium (99). Maybe he just doesn't like hitting while wearing gray?

    5 mehmattski   ~  Oct 19, 2009 10:30 am

    So anyway, I would be in favor of letting go both Damon ($13 M) and Matsui ($13M), signing Holliday ($18-20M), letting Miranda be the DH, and still saving money.

    6 RIYank   ~  Oct 19, 2009 10:33 am

    Miranda, hm. Worth a try. But would you be comfortable entering the season absolutely relying on Miranda? I suppose there are a couple of fall-back tactics: (1) Include Nady and play Melky or Brett every game, letting the other OF be the DH, if Miranda struggles with MLB pitching; (2) put together a trade mid-season.

    Argh. More Thanksgiving talk...

    7 Alex Belth   ~  Oct 19, 2009 10:39 am

    Ms October. HERE fuggin HERE, Lady!

    8 monkeypants   ~  Oct 19, 2009 10:41 am

    [5] One could even toy with Montero at DH, if they really are convinced that he wil never catch. Otherwise, he is probably locked in MiL for the next full year at least.

    9 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Oct 19, 2009 11:00 am

    [3] :)

    10 OldYanksFan   ~  Oct 19, 2009 11:07 am

    Matt Holliday: Year - Home / Away - 30 yrs old in 2010.
    2009 - 0.982 / .830
    2008 - 0.997 / .882
    2007 - 1.157 / .860
    2006 - 1.132 / .819

    That's a solid .850 AWAY OPS.
    On average, it appears a player's AWAY OPS is around 50 pts lower then his HOME OPS. So this makes Holliday a 'pure' .875 OPS guy.

    If you look at our team, position by postion, using both typical stats and VORP (or any position dependent stat), my guess is our 3 weakest positions are LF, CF and 5th starter. I will guess we will address 2 or those 3 positions (MelkyGardner may hold on for another year).

    Matsui and JD have both gottem $13m/AAV for around a .850 OPS. Mats is a below average LFer (who can't play OF anymore) and JD has maybe been slightly above average (but worse then that now), but with a costly arm. I expect both (especially JD) to decline some on 2010.

    Based on this, I would say $16m/yr for Holliday is about his Yankee value. I think since our biggest 2010 need is LF, you might go up 1m or 2m.

    Our entire Infield is set.
    Our entire BP is set (including farm hands)

    When we talk about Long and Expensive, can we both define and qualify these terms with numbers PLEASE?

    I would tend to have 2 numbers for every FA we consider.
    One (low) would be a "we-like-you-but-don't absolutely-need-you-and-we-simply-wont-overpay" price.
    One would be "we-really-need-to-fill-this-position-and-doing-so-is-important-to-us-so-we-will-overpay-a-bit" price

    So my 'Value' price for Holliday is 4/$60m and my need (top) price for Holliday is 5/$85m (Of course, 2 opposing factors that effect this: a depressed economy and the fact you typically overpay for the cream of any FA crop).

    So please (RAB had 300+ posts on the 'Holliday Issue', and 75% of them offered little value to the conversation), lets talk about him with numbers (like 5 years max, $17 AAV max, age 34 and 35) instead of terms (like Long, Expensive, Decline years)

    11 a.O   ~  Oct 19, 2009 11:12 am

    Caged predator? Everything Tyler Kepner writes about ARod is obsessive, cringe-worthy shit. Get over your crush, Tyler! Someone please explain to him that he writes for the sports page of what is supposed to be a major newspaper, not People magazine.

    12 Diane Firstman   ~  Oct 19, 2009 11:12 am

    Do we trust Holliday patrolling cavernous LF in the Stadium?

    13 OldYanksFan   ~  Oct 19, 2009 11:15 am

    [5] Not a bad idea, considering the DH spot will sometimes be filled with Posada (30 games?), ARod (10 games?), Jeter (10 games?) and a few others.

    I heard the rumor that the Sox will let Bay go, and go hard after Holliday in an attemp to upgrade their defense and maybe save a few bucks.

    The Sox spent almost nothing for 2009, and I believe Theo will have a mandate to get 2 impact players in the next 2 years (Tek gone, Lowell gone, LF, SS). I believe they will outbid us in these 2 cases. I think we also have to look at the FA class of 2011 to see if there is 1 or 2 OF'ers for us there.

    14 51cq24   ~  Oct 19, 2009 11:17 am

    pretty nice of the yankees to let us come pay $5 per water bottle for the evening.
    actually it is kind of cool, but i'd rather just watch at home with my own tv and my computer.

    i'm not really interested in holliday. what about austin jackson?

    15 OldYanksFan   ~  Oct 19, 2009 11:17 am

    [12] I am under the impression that Holliday is a slightly above average LF'er. Feedback? He will also only be 30 next year.

    16 RIYank   ~  Oct 19, 2009 11:20 am

    I think Holliday is likely to get about $100M for five years. That's what I was thinking when I said too long, too expensive.
    One thing to keep in mind is that there isn't a huge amount of salary scheduled to come off the books after 2010. Jeter and Mo come due, and that's a big chunk of change, but presumably they get re-upped at slightly less. (Mo makes $15M in 2010, Jetes gets $22.6M.) That counts against a big deal for Holliday.

    17 OldYanksFan   ~  Oct 19, 2009 11:20 am

    austin jackson? Not ready for prime time in 2010. This is pretty much the consensus (from what I've read) of the MiLB talking heads. It's seems AJax is an Excellent athlete, but his baseball skills still need work.

    18 RIYank   ~  Oct 19, 2009 11:27 am

    [13] Well, the notable 2011 FA is, of course, Joe Mauer. Did you mean OFs? There's Carl Crawford, but he might be awfully risky since he seems so speed-dependent and you'd be getting him in his 30s.
    Pitchers due that year include Josh Beckett (just sayin') and Cliff Lee.

    19 seamus   ~  Oct 19, 2009 11:33 am

    [18] i hope mauer stays with the twins. just seems like a great fit there.

    20 monkeypants   ~  Oct 19, 2009 11:44 am

    [19] I agree.

    [17] I had a reply that seems to have been swallowed up in the interwebs. Even if Ajax is ready for prime time, he will probably only displace Malky/Gardy in CF, which will still leave a hole at DH and LF.

    21 williamnyy23   ~  Oct 19, 2009 11:44 am

    [5] No team (definitely not one like the Yankees) should ever enter the season with an unproven 27-year old at DH, especially when that player hasn't even dominated AA or AAA at such an advanced age.

    [10] I don't see the value in putting drop dead terms into play at this point. Those kinds of parameters require context that can't be really be defined right now. I think the first step is deciding whether Holliday is desireable at a market rate (whatever that might be) and evaluating what are the alternatives.

    I think the Yankees really only have three options: (1) sign Holliday; (2) re-sign both Damon and Matsui; (3) explore a creative trade. Also, even if they sign Holliday, I don't think that should preclude re-upping Matsui for a one-year deal.

    [15] Holliday actually rates as a well above average left fielder.

    [16] Posada comes off the following year though, and Arod's deal actually declines every season.

    22 Yankster   ~  Oct 19, 2009 11:48 am

    [19] I hope Mauer goes to a far away NL team - maybe the Nationals, so we never have to play him. Besides, I wouldn't mind watching Nats baseball if he was around.

    23 RIYank   ~  Oct 19, 2009 11:52 am

    [21] True, I wasn't looking at the decline in A-Rod's salary, but that's small potatoes.
    On the other hand, you might think that salary inflation will in effect eat away at the current contracts. That's pure speculation, but it's one thing to think about.

    24 williamnyy23   ~  Oct 19, 2009 11:54 am

    RIYank...I saw your post about a rule clarification in a prior thread. A batter is not out if a wild pitch/passed ball makes contact with him after a strikeout unless the umpire deems the contact was intentional. The same rule that applies to a thrown ball would also apply to this situation.

    25 seamus   ~  Oct 19, 2009 11:55 am

    [22] i'd be ok with the pirates so i could watch him play and root for him.

    26 seamus   ~  Oct 19, 2009 12:00 pm

    [24] btw, sorry for being a jerk about it in the game thread. But I was serious about wanting to see a citation of some sort. Does anyone have a link to clarify this?

    27 Diane Firstman   ~  Oct 19, 2009 12:11 pm


    Here are the official rules ... I couldn't find anything related to that situation ...


    28 seamus   ~  Oct 19, 2009 12:16 pm

    [27] thanks. Yeah I think RIYank had scoured the rules too. The closest thing he found was in relation to a batted ball and a runner. Now William says it is the rule that applies to a thrown ball and a runner. I wonder if this might be one of those informal rules or an interpretation such as "because it hits the body of the catcher it is treated as a thrown ball".

    29 williamnyy23   ~  Oct 19, 2009 12:16 pm

    [26] No big deal...there really is no official citation, which is why I could only say it was my informed understanding of the rules. I am very confident I am correct based on my rememberance of past circumstances, but can't document it.

    30 Shaun P.   ~  Oct 19, 2009 12:17 pm

    Who is this Holliday fellow you all speak of? Does he play for the Angels? No? Dodgers? No? Phillies? No? An umpire? No? MLB official? No?

    Then for right now, I just don't care about him.

    31 Yankster   ~  Oct 19, 2009 12:18 pm

    [21] How much of a pay cut can we expect Mats and Damon to take? If Mats drops to $6 million (around Abreu mondy) and Damon drops to $8 million both for 1-2 year contracts, that's got to be very close to what Holliday is worth with a little extra flexibility and age/health issues somewhat mitigated by having two of them.

    32 williamnyy23   ~  Oct 19, 2009 12:18 pm

    [28] It's basically treated as a live, non-batted ball (or even a batted ball once the closest fielder has had the chance to make a play).

    33 seamus   ~  Oct 19, 2009 12:33 pm

    [32] that probably makes the most sense. I'm sure some catcher would have thought to "accidentally" boot the ball into the runner by now...

    34 williamnyy23   ~  Oct 19, 2009 12:38 pm

    [31] I don't think you can expect either to take much of a pay cut coming off the seasons they each had, especially in a short-term deal. If the market rebounds, I think they are both looking at annual salaries in line with what they are getting now. If the market is still soft, perhaps they'll dip down to around $8-9mn. I don't expect an Abreu-like deal will be possible.

    35 Diane Firstman   ~  Oct 19, 2009 12:41 pm


    A.J. Pierzynski resembles that remark :-)

    36 Joel   ~  Oct 19, 2009 1:01 pm

    [34] In the current economic environment and given the glut of DH-types on the market, I don't think Damon or Matsui get anywhere near the $13mm--even for one year--they're getting now. There is also the perception that Damon's power numbers are inflated by the Stadium. Both of these guys could be had for 1-2 years at $5-7mm per year.

    Damon+Matsui 2009 = $26mm
    Holliday+Matsui 2010 = $23mm

    Just tryin' to be cost-conscious...

    37 RIYank   ~  Oct 19, 2009 1:40 pm

    Here's the closest rule I could find:

    7.09 It is interference by a batter or a runner when—

    (a) After a third strike he hinders the catcher in his attempt to field the ball;

    "Hinders" doesn't entail "intentional". On the other hand, not every contact with the ball would hinder the catcher. So the rules leave it open, though (absent some other rule that actually bears on this situation) it's not necessary that the interference be intentional. (This makes sense, since other kinds of interference needn't be intentional -- think of catcher's interference, e.g.)

    38 williamnyy23   ~  Oct 19, 2009 2:50 pm

    [36] I would be surprised if the price tag is that low. I think both players have a good chance at commanding alot more than that, especially on one year deals.

    [37] I think that applies more to a batter physically obstructing the catcher (by blocking his vision, making contact with him, etc) from catching the pitch, not retrieving the ball once it has bounced away from him.

    Like with a thrown ball, the only time interference on a non-batted ball is called is when the contact is intentional. I am pretty sure that applies in this case as well. Also, there is the distinction between making contact with another player and making contact with the ball. Different circumstances call for different ways of handling each.

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