Today’s news is powered by Jethro Tull, circa 1978:
- The Captain is indeed under the weather:
Television cameras caught Jeter coughing numerous times during the Yankees’ 10-1 victory over the Angels in Game 4, when he went 2-for-5 with a walk.
The New York Times reported that Jeter left Angel Stadium clutching a bottle of NyQuil, and manager Joe Girardi confirmed the shortstop’s illness in a news conference on Wednesday.
“I noticed it on Monday, and he was pretty sick,” Girardi said. “He was still pretty sick yesterday. I’m hoping that he feels better, but it didn’t seem to affect him Monday his first at-bat. That’s just the type of player that Derek is. He’s tough.”
- What’s not eating A-Rod?
Rodriguez said his transformation to a more comfortable and more focused player started in spring training. After acknowledging in February that he had used steroids, then having hip surgery, Rodriguez decided not to have great expectations and to eliminate distractions. That approach has worked.
It has worked so well that Rodriguez would not dare change after getting three hits and driving in two runs in a 10-1 win over the Angels in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series on Tuesday night. When Rodriguez was asked if the toughest part of his day was explaining how he was doing what he is doing, he laughed and said it was not.
“I don’t talk much anymore,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t have to explain myself. That’s a good thing.”
- Jon Heyman handicaps the Matt Holliday sweepstakes:
1. Yankees: They have a trio of corner outfield free agents — Johnny Damon, Xavier Nady and Hideki Matsui (though he’s only DHing this year). They could just try to keep Damon, who wants to return, for maybe $7 million to $9 million a year for two years, and sign a big pitcher instead (though Lackey’s the only No. 1-type pitcher available, and some believe he may prefer Texas). “I’m not absolutely positive we’re going to go for [Holliday],” a Yankees official said. Although, it’s hard to remember too many years when the Yankees didn’t go for the biggest free agent. (Carlos Beltran was a rare one they passed on.)
- Don Mattingly as the next manager of the Nationals?
- Dontcha’ know its Robinson Cano’s 27th birthday today.
- On this date in 1974, the Yankees and Giants trade popular outfielders, drawing the ire of their fans. The Giants send Bobby Bonds to New York for Bobby Murcer. Bonds will play one season for the Yankees before being traded to the California Angels, while Murcer will last only two years with the Giants before being dealt to the Chicago Cubs.
[My take: A part of my baseball innocence died that day. I understood that players got traded all the time, but it was the first time my favorite player was involved.]
- On this date in 2000, in Game Two of the Subway Series, the Yankees extend their World Series winning streak to 14 consecutive games defeating the Mets, 6 – 5. The contest features Roger Clemens throwing the barrel of a shattered bat at Mike Piazza as the Mets catcher runs to first base.
 What a great concert clip, Diane. Gotta love Ian Anderson. Easily my favorite from Tull. Tremendous version of it. ... Let's see if Jeter's locomotive breath helps the Yankees tonight.
Diggin' the Tull clip as well, Diane. I was a total Jethro geek in jr. high. One day I scrawled a Tull lyric on my desk (in pencil), and a buddy of mine who sat at the same desk later in the day scrawled out another line. We exchanged Tull lyrics for about a week. What geeks?! We did this with the Doors at some point as well.
Regrettably, "in the shuffling madness" I never got to see Tull in concert. The one time I had tickets (Broadsword and the Beast tour - Nassau Colisseum 1982!) I was too sick to go. I actually wasn't even that bummed out because I knew the Tull ship had sailed at that point, leaving their best work in the 70's - and the Broadsword album was lame. Their live album "Bursting Out" came out the same year as the clip above. Amazing album, haven't heard it in decades. Gots to download me some live Tull.
 I'm still in touch with my fellow jr. high Tull geek who is now an attorney, and the father of a middle schooler in North Carolina --(he's also a lifelong Yankees fan). Haven't talked to him in about six months, but I just remembered his birthday is tomorrow! Gots to shoot him an email, and a Tull lyric!
It would be stupid to give Damon two years given that he is becoming a DH and they will need that spot for Posada and maybe Montero by 2011, and they have too many long term contracts to sign Holliday.
My favorite Tull is "Thick as a Brick."
I'd be fine with giving Damon 1 year guaranteed with a club option/buyout for the second year...the dollars I could care less, whatever it is I'm sure they can afford it.
I can't get past thinking of Holliday as nothing more than the best FA out of a very VERY uninspiring crop. He's not bad or anything, but do you really get the feeling that the Yankees really need him? And lets not compare him to Beltran '04...this guy is no Beltran.
 Plus, according to this spreadsheet prepared by Cot's, they already have committed:
$166,334,714 for 2010
$132,112,000 for 2011 (and that doesn't include Jeter)
What they should be doing is figuring out how they are going to be able to acquire young players like Hanley Ramirez if and when he becomes available.
 Good call, Rich. The Yankees don't need another left fielder with limited defensive skills. Although, if they don't re-sign Damon, Matsui or Nady -- any of them -- Holliday would provide some solid righty protection in the middle of the lineup and allow Cano to bat second, which is probably where he belongs.
I saw Tull at MSG on St. Patricks Day in the '70s. Words can't describe the mayhem. It was not a peace-loving hippy crowd, but an alcohol infested swamp. That said, they were great if you could get beyond the smell of puke, which I couldn't.
Do you think that Damon could get a 3-year deal else where? I think he'll settle for 2 with an option. I like him, but I don't know if that's the ideal direction for the Yanks.
they have too many long term contracts to sign Holliday.
Players and their contracts can be moved, I wouldn't worry about that too much.
I saw Tull in the late 70's and Ian Anderson gave one of the best performances I've ever seen live. Just a terrific show. Hopefully the Yanks can continue to rake tonight and this game will be another blowout. Go Yanks!
Rock-n-Roll flute. Who'dathunk it?
So, should Jeter sit tonight (or better, stay in bed) and get some rest to get over what ever he has & not infect the rest of the team?
Cano at 9 or 10 mil? Maybe, but not a sure thing.
Swish at 7-9 mil? Maybe, but less of a sure thing.
Even so, they are hardly make a dent.
I think the facts are otherwise.
 Even taking Tull ouf ot the equation. St. Paddy's Day +1970's + MSG = the perfect storm for a pukefest. The Carpenters could've been playing and the place would've been loud and sloppy.
 Boras is Damon's agent, so yes, he's going for at least 3 years, and more likely 4 if he can get them.
Just off the top of my head, among teams that contended in 2009 or will want to in 2010, the Mets, Giants, Braves could use not just a LF, but someone who could hit at/near the top of the lineup - and none of those teams shy away from signing a guy on the wrong side of 35. The White Sox, too, possibly.
And if the Cardinals lose Holliday (I think he stays there - they need to keep talent around or what's the incentive for Pujols to stay?) you can add them to the list too.
To me, the smart move for the Yanks is to let Damon go, and keep Matsui.
 If Damon gets four years (let alone three) in this economy, I would be stunned.
 And I agree. Cashman has shown, pretty clearly to me, that he's going to drop big bucks only on young, high-end talents (whether AJ is such or not is another story). Holliday does not fit either part of that equation.
 et al.
If Damon fits within the Yankees budget, what difference does it make if they give him 2 years? There is no law that dictates he must be the starting DH for both years (or either year). Rather, he could to be an excellent bat off the bench, and he will still be able to run a little. There is no reason Johnny, Po and Montero could not get 400 ABs each in 2011, platooning between DH, 1B, LF and the bench.
 Damon could have been the difference between the Giants/Braves staying home, or going to the playoffs and making an extra $20M or so (IIRC, the value of an appearance in the LDS) this year. Sabean and Wren know enough to recognize the value there - and if they don't, Boras certainly does!
I don't see the Mets holding back at all, either.
4 years might be a bit insane, but teams do insane things all the time with free agents; and if Raul Ibanez could get 3 years for his age 37-39 seasons, Damon can certainly get 3, if not 3 and an option.
 Do Po and Mo have long-term contracts? Aren't they up soon? When they do re-up, it won't be for long-term deals, at their age.
The only long-term, unmovable contracts the Yankees have are Teix, A-Rod, AJ and CC.
If Damon fits within the Yankees budget, what difference does it make if they give him 2 years?
Because history demonstrates that players with significant contracts get every chance to play over younger players, who often have higher ceilings if given PT and patience, and with Montero developing fast, and Posada locked in for two more years, I don't want a declining Damon to block him.
Do Po and Mo have long-term contracts? Aren’t they up soon?
Mo one more year (but I could see re-signing him), and Po two more.
I disagree about Swisher at $9 mil in 2011 if the economy doesn't turn around.
 If they want to find a way to make it work, they will. Texas was able to move Rodriguez's $252M contract, Toronto walked away from Rios' contract, San Diego moved Peavy's contract. The Red Sox did it with Arroyo.
It can be and has been done.
Ugh. Please do NOT go after Holliday. The guy had an AL mental block in Oakland. The last thing the Yanks need is a guy who seems to only thrive vs NL pitching. May I remind you that the AL West does not have a ton of quality pitching.
And you thought David Wells spiced up pre and post-game coverage?
Baseball fans, get ready for a bleeping interesting analyst. SI.com has learned that Ozzie Guillen, the colorful and occasionally profanity-laden manager of the White Sox, has been hired by Fox Sports to serve as a pre- and postgame analyst for the network's World Series coverage. He will debut alongside Chris Rose, Eric Karros and Mark Grace on Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m. ET. Guillen will also file reports for Fox Sports Espanol.
I've hated Jethro Tull ever since they won that Grammy over Metallica and Jane's Addiction. And I don't give a shit about Grammys either. I may not have liked them before that or probably had known very little about them, but that bothered my young mind. The association lingers.
 bangs head against desk I hate Ozzie Guillen.
 Blame the Grammy voters, not Tull.
It would be foolish to sign Damon. His age, poor defense, and mediocre bat (very likely to regress) are combined with a relatively high price tag. They should, and I believe will, look for a younger multi-tool player. Or at least a better left-handed hitter.
 Selig said that the A-Rod deal was one of a kind and that he would never approve such a deal again.
Which player/contract on the Yankees is analogous to Rios's?
My suspicion is that Damon will fade dramatically in the next couple years.
I wonder if Matsui really can play the field at all. If he could I'd take him over Damon.
Which player/contract on the Yankees is analogous to Rios’s?
There isn't. But I'd be willing to wager that if Posada, Jeter and Rivera were placed on waivers, that they'd be claimed.
You honestly think that Rodriguez, Posada, Mo, CC, or AJ couldn't be moved? When historically players with big contracts (Hampton, Brown, Abreu, Bonilla, Fielder, Randy Johnson, to name a few more) have been moved?
 It's irrelevant because A-Rod, Po, Jeter, Rivera, Mo, and CC aren't getting moved under any circumstances.
AJ? Maybe if we weren't in a historically bad economy. Let's also not forget that the team that took Brown, Abreu, Fielder, and Johnson when they were in their peak earning years was the Yankees, so we are removing the most deep pocketed suitor.
 Diane, I still haven't completely forgiven Gabe Paul for trading Murcer, even after we got Mick the Quick and Ed Figueroa for Bonds the following year and Murcer returned in '79.
I doubt Matsui can play the field any better than Damon. Sign Johnny or let both walk.
 Doesn't change the fact that LAD, PHI, DET, & ARI signed the players to those contracts. And it doesn't change that those contracts/players were moved.
If the Yankees want to move a contract, they will. If it means kicking a bit of $$ in the deal, they will. If it means taking a lesser package of players, they will. If it means taking on an equally big contract, they will.
 Yes, but if the Yankees were not available to take those bad contracts, many of those teams would have been stuck with those contracts. The Yankees are in the "unfortunate" position of not having the Yankees to dump their bad contracts.
Overpaying an aging player with the idea that you can later waste even more money to get rid of that overpaid aging player is not a smart way to do business and I don't think Cash wants any part of it.
Fortunately, I think those days are over.
 This might be my favorite Tull clip, just for the novelty value
Iommi was with the band for something like 10 days, IIRC.
Overpaying an aging player with the idea that you can later waste even more money to get rid of that overpaid aging player is not a smart way to do business and I don’t think Cash wants any part of it.
I'm sure that the teams/GM didn't have that in mind when they signed those players. And the monies sent usually isn't anything over and beyond what could be the difference in the two (or more) players salaries. It isn't so much wasting money, as they're going to have to pay it anyway whether they keep him or release him.
Taking on Kevin Brown's contract meant not having Weaver around
Taking on Abreu's contract meant having Sheffield's production (maybe better?), without returning anything of premium
Taking on Fielder's contract meant not having Sierra around, who was in turn acquired because the Yanks didn't want Tartabull around
Yanks took on Johnson's contract, extended it, then spun him back to AZ after he requested a trade back.
If a team is stuck with a bad contract, then they will either continue to pay it, or spin it off on someone else using the criteria stated above. The Jays are/were a perfect example with the Rios/Wells contracts.
And the Yanks aren't the only team taking on bad contracts. The Rockies were able to spin off the Kile and Hampton contracts. The Diamondbacks were able to spin off Curt Schilling contract. The Jays and Shawn Green, the Mets with Vince Coleman, the Angels and Jeff Weaver. So on and so forth.
As for Cashman not wanting to have any part of that process, I'll believe it when I see it, as he's pretty much the same as most gm's in that regard.
 Yep. And when Iommi returned to "Earth" (nee Black Sabbath), he brought along Tull's habit of having the band schedule their rehearsals daily, or so the story I recall goes.
I've never been a big Tull fan, but as a huge Sabbath fan, I've always felt grateful because of that. I didn't realize that clip was on youtube; thanks, cult!
 I doubt Matsui can play the field any better than Damon. Sign Johnny or let both walk.
Whoa ho ho! If he can play it as well or even slightly less well, I'd prefer Matsui. Never did I think he could play it better, though.
 I don't think Matsui can play left at all. Maybe for an inning or two in April...
Again, it is silly to talk about 'long', 'expensive', 'moveable'.
What does thi mean?
I understand 5/$75.
I can try and judge if that contract for player X is a good deal or not.
But what does a long/expensive contract for Holliday mean?
When talking about Holliday, can we talk numbers?
What is the MOST you will give Holliday?
Career: ... AWAY only .....................HOME only
Holliday: .284 .353 .454 .808 - .351 .420 .632 1.052
Damon: .285 .344 .437 .780 - .292 .367 .441 .808
Matsui:: .292 .374 .482 .856 - .292 .366 .483 .849
Jeter:::: .312 .379 .448 .827 - .323 .397 .470 .867
As best I can tell, on average, a players OPS on the road is 40-50 lowers than at Home. Jeter is right there. JD is close. Matsui is the rare bird. Holliday has Home numbers obviously inflated by Coors.
Holliday seemed to be an above average defender, with a decent arm
JD is a below average defender with a wet noodle instead of an arm.
Matsui, as far as I can see, is a DH only, who can't run at all.
Hollidays AWAY numbers alone are better then JD's TOTAL OPS.
Considering defense, Holliday is a MUCH better choice, especially if we talk about the future, not the past.
If JD has earned his $13m AAV, it would seem Holliday is worth $15-$16.
However, if he provide 2 or 3 extra Wins over another OFer, how much is he worth to the Yankees... where 2-3 Wins could be the difference between making the PS or not?
Holliday will be 30 in 2010.
5/$90 is a bit more then he is worth (in my mind), but is it worth overpaying $2-$3m a year for a guy who is actually an upgrade for who we have now?
Does having a Holliday type of talent make it easier to have Melky/Gardner/AJax in CF?
If the Sox get Halliday (the pitcher) or Mauer, does this make you feel any differently about us getting Holliday?
Does having a Holliday type of talent make it easier to have NO full time DH, and use DH for Posada and rotating the other elderly... and maybe the best of Miranda/AJax/Duncan/Some other kid (which would actually LOWER or payroll)?
Are there better OF choices in the FA class of 2011?
A decision like Holiday is not made in a vacuum.
 I am not sure why you keep getting hung up on numbers. At this point, the more relevant question is whether he meets the Yankees needs. Assuming trades are out of the question, I think he is.
 Holliday actually rates as a very good defensive left fielder.
 His AL mental block still produced an OPS+ of 125.
My only concern with Holliday is it makes the Yankees more right handed, which doesn't take advantage of the ballpark. Therefore, I think they would also need to either sign Matsui or Damon as the DH.
for an athlete in good shape, jeter sure seems to get sick a lot.
  OYF dies a nice job with the numbers, and william makes a key point: is he a fit. Odds are good he might be.
This, from Vecsey, whom I usually dislike, did make me laugh:
Jabbed with truth serum, McClelland might have said he could not believe that two major leaguers had not leapt onto the base and let the umpires sort it out. Instead, Posada and Cano performed intricate footwork and arm gestures, like a pair of Cossack dancers performing the kazatsky — stamping their feet without touching the base. Who would not be mesmerized by a spectacle like that?
At least Posada had a purpose: giving himself up so his faster teammate could take the base. What was Cano’s excuse?
And that meshes with my theory as to where Po was going (Pomentum) ... he didn't want to stop too fast and damage his tender hammy, easier to slow-jog into left field foul territory and get tagged there.
If so, that makes Po AND the ump who couldn't see/believe Cano was not on the bag.
Holliday is a righty bat and underpowered for the AL Beast. If you're going to pay the big bucks you wait on a Hanley or Pujols or Mauer.
Hell, Jayson Werth is looking pretty darn good. Reminds me of O'Neill and he produces in the post-season. He's free, if they let him, after 2010. Plug in Matsui or Damon for one or two more years. Whoever signs first for 1 and $13 milllion.
Bay has at least proven he can deal with the East. And signing him would hurt the Sox. Plus, Holliday will cost more.
Otherwise, I'm looking at a cheap trade option like Hermida (.815 OPS on the road) or a bit more to get Dunn with his one year left.
 Anyone can catch a cold, especially playing outside in chilly, wet weather.
 i think a ml clubhouse is like a daycare - these guy are getting each other sick all the time - i don't think jeter is really more sickly than anyone else, just gets reported because of who he is and his play regardless personna
 for the lh bat, the yanks should really try to get dunn next year or take him this year if it is an abreu type salary dump
 let's hope for a ph pomentum tonight
 i was interested in werth too - but he will be 32 in his fa year
I think the trick is avoiding a double downgrade in offense. If you're using the DH to rest guys, then you have a weak spot in the line-up, a hit which I think the team can easily take. But if that's the case, they can't really afford much of a downgrade in left field. It just points to getting a decent bat in LF, I don't really see a way around it.
 Why would that Nats just give him away though? He has a reasonable contract and had a very good year. I don't think he will be available until later in the season, and wont come cheaply.
 Werth is definitely a nice player, but not the kind worth waiting a season for (like Sabathia was), especially considering his age.
Holliday is a better player than Werth, Bay, etc. If the Yankees feel they need to upgrade LF, I think he is the handsdown target.
 i don't know that the nats will - but *if* they do they should go after him
and i don't think werth is somone waiting for either - especially since i don't think the yanks will ger very many if any of his peak years
 I think using the DH spot as a rest station would be an awful idea. There is no reason to give away a position in the lineup. Unless you have a 9th position player that is also a good hitter, using the DH in that way would be detrimental. 2008 should teach us that you can't go into a season thinking you have more than enough offense.
 damnit, i missed out on the Tull talk! they're amazing!!! i LOVE the old school stuff. Thick As A Brick, is easily my fave. A Passion Play is unreal, too. of course, Aqualung, et al. my brother is a massive Tull fanatic and one of the guys in my old Fusion trio is literally the BIGGESET Tull freak on the planet, hands down. cool stuff!!!
btw, Barrymore Barlow was an excellent drummer (post Clive Bunker). fun fact: he recorded Yngwie Malmsteen's debut record! : )
 damn, that's great. some of the stuff that's on YouTube blows me away.
Werth benefits from his home park a bit too, and his road performance was propped up by a rather high BAbip ...
Again, people keep saying 'DJ or Matsui'. One is a LFer (abeit a weakish one) who can run and Mats is a pure DH who can't run. This is apples and oranges.
JD has said he wants to play 3 or 4 years more. At 4 years, he could get 3,000 hits. Coincidentally, Boras is now selling his '30 year old body'. He also has impressive counting stats in doubles, runs scored and SBs. In 4 years, if he stays healthy, he will have pretty good numbers. Not HOF (as some have suggested) but pretty damn good. So I would take a 1 year flyer on him (NOT 2), but I can't imagine him not using this excellent contract year to try and get those 3 or 4 years. I don't believe he is available for a 1 year contract.
 Jeez William, I'm sorry. I thought EVERY YANKEE FAN on the planet knew we needed a LFer. And while, as you siad, I would prefer a LH bat, he is otherwise an excellent fit. Bay has a similar bat, but does not compare in the field. I believe Cashman, like Theo, is putting a little more weight on defense these days then in the prior decade.
Here a group question.
Tex has had a horrible bat so far this PS, but his glove almost gives him a by. If OFers were graded A-F scale (prime Tori to A-Boo-Boo), how many OPS pts would you sacrifice for each gradation in better D?
25 Pts a grade level?
ie: If Bay is a 'D' glove and a .875 OPS guy, is a 'C' glove at an .850 OPS and even deal? A 'B' glove at an .825 OPS? W all look at a players OPS, but we need to have a way to also enter defense into the equation.
 You pointed to 2009 stats only. His career stats (.265 .360 .467 .827) are all but identically split Home/Away.
 Yngwie Malmsteen! Now there's a name I haven't heard in a very long time! (And if I had to bet, not many here might know him besides you and I, thelarmis.)
I have a friend who's a HUGE Yngwie Malmsteen fan - I'll have to ask and see if he knows about the Barlow connection.
 The most insane thing about Werth is that he was a catcher once upon a time - imagine if he could still don the tools of ignorance from time to time? That'd be something.
 amen to that - it is not a good idea
oyf what is with all thse long posts?
 i just found that out the other day in the espn chat with someone, maybe neyer - that is insane