"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Yankee Panky: Johnny Dangerously

As of this writing, it’s January 26, and Johnny Damon is in free agent limbo. To date, t’s been a bizarre soap opera of power plays, hasn’t it?

Here’s the brief chronicle of events:

* Scott Boras sets Damon’s “value” at $13 million a year and states Damon won’t sign for less than a three-year deal. The Yankees were amused.

* Brian Cashman, after pulling off the three-team stunner that brought the Yankees Curtis Granderson, counters with two years at $14. Boras is amused and counters at two-for-20.

* Hideki Matsui signs with the Angels Who-Claim-To-Be-From-LA-Only-To-Boost-Marketing-Efforts for one year at $6 million. The Yankees are amused and silently gloat that they might have assessed the market correctly.

* The Yankees raise eyebrows by signing Nick Johnson to a one-year, $5M deal to be the DH, and a week later, swinging Melky Cabrera to Atlanta in a package that brought Javier Vazquez back to the Yankees. Amusement reigned in the sense of irony the Vazquez acquisition represented; here is the man who gave up the home run to Damon that effectively cemented the worst postseason collapse – or greatest comeback, depending on your perspective – in baseball history. As Daffy Duck once said, “Ho ho. That’s rich. It is to laugh.”

So here it is now that Damon, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney, has interest from the Oakland A’s (monetary value unknown). Meanwhile, Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees have $2 million left in their budget. Elsewhere, Marc Carig heard directly from the source that Damon expects to have a team within a week. If you believe Bill Madden, Damon overplayed his hand and the Yankees misjudged how much they need him.

That may seem dramatic. Michael Kay, on his afternoon show, discussed the Heyman and Olney reports. He wondered if the A’s are offering $5 million and the Yankees do in fact make a last-ditch, take-it-or-leave-it $2 million offer, will Damon swallow his pride, deal with the “emasculation” of an 85 percent pay cut and sign with the Yankees, or if he’ll take Oakland’s money, since that’s the best offer. Bonnie Bernstein opined that if Damon comes back, when he reports to Spring Training and is welcomed heartily, he’ll reclaim his status in the clubhouse. Kay wondered if the ego blow would be too much, noting that the Yankees management “keeps score” (Kay’s words), and would silently revel in their victory.

The Yankees have been known to wait until February to pull rabbits out of their hat. February is a week from now. There are still some pretty notable rabbits on the market. Judging from the flow of reports that surfaced over the last 24 hours, the Yankees might have smartly waited for the New York football season to officially end before breaking their silence.

One thing is certain: Brett Gardner will not be the Yankees’ starting left fielder in Spring Training. … Right?

* * * *

It’s been two weeks since Mark McGwire confirmed what many of us suspected for years. There has been rancor from old-time ball players (yawn). Cardinal fans have lauded McGwire’s “courage” (barf). Me? I immediately thought of my final exam in my Sport in Film and Literature class, senior year of college, and the final exam essay that involved kidnapping Pete Rose, taking him to Dyersville, Iowa, to the Field of Dreams, to testify in front of a tribunal headed by Bart Giamatti. Only the truth would have absolved him. Remorse and an apology that was not self-serving would have helped. I did not judge Pete Rose to be an honest man and thus did not absolve him; not of his sin to the game, but to himself.

This section of the column is not intended to make a moral judgment of McGwire. If you read between the lines of the Pete Rose statement above, you know exactly where I stand (HINT: it has nothing to do with him taking steroids). I watched the entire interview with Bob Costas and was riveted. I’ve never seen someone simultaneously be honest while believing his own b.s. and operate in a complete sense of denial. The one question Costas didn’t ask – and it’s not Costas’s nature to be confrontational in an interview, but he could have made an exception here – was, “You mean to tell me that you, as an elite athlete, who monitored your diet and all components of your health, didn’t know the names of the drugs you took, how much or how often? Do honestly expect anyone watching this to believe you?”

The job that Costas started, T.J. Quinn is in the process of finishing at ESPN. Well maybe not finishing, as this story will not go away any time soon. It’s only going to snowball. Curt Wenzlaff, a trainer who began working with McGwire in the late 1980s and supplied him with steroids, revealed the details of the cycle he crafted for McGwire: ½ cc of testosterone cypionate every three days; ½ cc of testosterone enanthate per week; and 1¼ cc Equipoise and Winstrol V every three days.

Quinn reports that Wenzlaff worked with 25 to 30 athletes across several sport disciplines. Wenzlaff, who avoided jail time after cooperating with the FBI in a steroid investigation in 1992, will write a book and name names, with details of the regimens.

The most telling quote, and one that is symptomatic of the ethical piece to this whole debate, is the last one from Wenzlaff in Quinn’s piece: “It’s one man’s opinion. I’m not here to sit and say he (McGwire) was wrong, but I can sit and tell you that I doubt it.”

I wonder if Shoeless Joe, Moonlight Graham, and John Kinsella would allow McGwire et al on the field in Dyersville.

* * * *

Finally, a story that has nothing to do with baseball, but another balled sport: Bowling. Yesterday, history was made, and the name of the person writing the chapter was not Manning, Brees, or Favre. It was Kulick. Kelly Kulick. The 31-year-old from Union, N.J. won the PBA Tournament of Champions, defeating Chris Barnes 265-195 in the final to become the first woman to win on the PBA Tour. The victory garnered her a two-year exemption on Tour, and will make her a focal subject of many sport sociology classes.

Kulick, knowing she was miked, said, “This is a great moment for women’s sports, and for sports in general,” before tossing her final shot, a ball that hit high on the head pin and carried nine pins. She was right. Bowling was the perfect sport for this to occur because the field and equipment specs, rules and competitive setting are gender-neutral. In golf, someone like Michelle Wie, who can hit it as far as many of the men, has played in numerous men’s tournaments and failed to make a cut. Annika Sorenstam, for all her greatness, barely missed the cut at Colonial when she tried to play with the men. Could she compete with them? Yes. Beat them straight up from the same tees? She beat many over those two days, but didn’t get enough breaks to stick for the weekend. It’s a different game. In tennis, perhaps the only other sport where the competitors are on equal footing, you would not see a man playing against a woman in singles in a match with higher stakes than a televised exhibition.

Kulick threw the ball slightly slower than her competitors, but the angle and line she played proved more effective than that of her opponents’. In her first match, the semifinal against Mika Koivuniemi, she did what any good competitor does: she took advantage of his mistakes en route tot he win. She dominated the final against Barnes and save for a 7-10 split on a pocket hit, could have been looking at a 300.

Maybe Babe Didriksen Zaharias could have done this in her time 75 years ago. Kelly Kulick is not a novelty and her victory shouldn’t be treated as such. At least it received prominent billing in ESPNEWS’s crawl. Hopefully her victory will resonate in our world longer than it did in the news cycle or the popular sporting landscape.

Until next time …

[photo credit: Rob Bennett for the New York Times]


1 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 26, 2010 9:45 am

1) On Damon, I don’t think it was outlandish for him to expect better and more numerous offers. Quite frankly, I am very surprised that he has attracted so little interest. I wonder if the Angels are kicking themselves for signing Abreu to $18mn/2 years. If Damon can’t even get 1 year/$5mn, how much better could Abreu have done? Regardless, I do think the lack of interest in Damon is inexplicable…perhaps it is a combination of GMs avoiding Boras and thinking that any offer made will be shopped around. At this point, if he can really be had for $5mn, I’d like to see the Yankees bite the bullet and bridge the gap.

2) Why does McGwire have to be in denial to: (1) not think steroids helped his performance (regardless of where you stand on the debate, there is very little evidence to strongly support either side); and (2) state that he started taking them to stay healthy (that seems like a very likely motivation for a very good player who started to run into some injuries). Also, I see no merit in the argument that athletes must know what they put in their bodies. Instead, I definitely can see athletes taking anything they think will help.

3) Is bowling really a sport? With all due respect to Kulick, I don’t think her victory is a significant event on the sports landscape, at least not any greater than anything else that occurs in the world of bowling. I am sorry, but in my opinion, her win is hardly “a great moment for women’s sports, and for sports in general”.

2 Mattpat11   ~  Jan 26, 2010 9:49 am

If the Yankees don't sign Damon, I don't think any of the other fringe players on the market usurp Gardner as starting left fielder.

I certainly hope the Yankees know what they're doing.

3 ms october   ~  Jan 26, 2010 9:55 am

[1] i think damon basically lost a game of musical chairs.
i think he/boras started his market a bit too high so that caused teams to pass on him and go for easier value signings like matsui say.

yeah i bet in hindsight the angels wish they hadn't gone 2/18 for abreu. but this contract is probably partly compensation for getting him on the cheap last year.

4 RagingTartabull   ~  Jan 26, 2010 9:58 am

I've said it once I've said it a million times, replace the word "Damon" with the word "Pettitte" and we were having this exact same conversation a year ago. And I think it will end up having the exact same resolution.

5 Mattpat11   ~  Jan 26, 2010 10:00 am

[4] I have a feeling we will too. But I was more comfortable losing Pettitte than I was Damon.

6 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 26, 2010 10:03 am

[4] Pettitte didn't sign until January 26, so you are right in that sense. However, two big differences were Pettitte isn't represented by Boras and the Yankees don't seem willing to offer an incentive laden deal, especially one that hinges on playing time versus performance (i.e., incentives likely to be met).

7 Mattpat11   ~  Jan 26, 2010 10:05 am

[6] I was always under the impression that you can't put most performance bonuses in an MLB contract. I thought they all had to be playing time based (AB, Games played, innings pitched and so on and so forth)

8 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 26, 2010 10:05 am

[5] Why? The 2009 Yankees needed Pettitte much more than the 2010 Yankees need Damon.

9 ms october   ~  Jan 26, 2010 10:06 am

[4] [6] and pettitte seemed to either be yankees or retirement bound.
since the astros weren't in on him, and the dodgers never seemed to get in on him - i don't think there was much concern pettitte would sign somewhere else - whereas damon would (and should).

10 RagingTartabull   ~  Jan 26, 2010 10:11 am

[5, 8] yeah all things being equal last year's team needed Andy in the rotation way more than this year's team needs Johnny hitting second. I think they need him, don't get me wrong, just that last year's team needed Andy more.

[6] yeah I was aware of the Jan 26th thing, but I happen to think that incentives will play a role in any deal he signs as that seems to be the way of it with most veterans who remain unsigned this late. My official predicition is that Johnny is a Yankee within the next 7-10 days, 1 year for about $3.5M with incentives taking him to a possible $5M. I'm basing this nothing more than a hunch.

11 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 26, 2010 10:12 am

[7] They are not common (award bonuses are more frequent), but are mentioned in the CBA, so therefore allowed.

12 Mattpat11   ~  Jan 26, 2010 10:14 am

[8] I think Gardner as an every day player is going to be awful this year, and I think unless we find someone markedly better than him, none of the fringey bench players we're looking at as a complement will take away very much playing time from him. I also think Nick Johnson is going to miss significant time this year. I think we need Damon's bat.

Last year I thought there was a real chance that Pettitte was done, I thought Wang would bounce back, and I thought Chamberlain and Hughes were going to be handled in a less clusterfucky manner. I didn't mind him coming back, obviously, but I wasn't in a panic that we might lose him.

13 ms october   ~  Jan 26, 2010 10:20 am

[10] i think your hunch is correct.

[12] clusterfucky? i don't know matt, clusterfuck seems like too good a word to add a y on the end :}
i am not thriled with the prospect of gardner everyday either.

14 Will Weiss   ~  Jan 26, 2010 10:49 am

[1] William, I respectfully disagree with you on your second and third points. On your Damon points, please note that I did not state an opinion on the Damon situation; I merely re-stated published reports on the chronology of the situation. I've thought from the beginning that they should re-sign him, and that the offers they presented Boras were more than reasonable.

To the McGwire items, if he didn't think steroids helped his performance, then why did he take them? In the televised report on OTL, Wenzlaff acknowledged that McGwire was already a physical specimen. The drugs "enhanced" his physique, strength, power and mentality. Steroids were a known commodity in sports, even in 1989, so for Mac to say he took them to stay healthy, knowing what the ramifications were regarding his body breaking down, is bogus. And if my livelihood depended on what I was ingesting at all times, you can be damn sure I would know what was in any dietary supplement I was taking, at all times. These athletes playing dumb and numb, I don't buy it.

Was Kulick's statement given to slight exaggeration? Perhaps. But bowling is a sport, and her accomplishment remains significant on a cultural level.

15 bp1   ~  Jan 26, 2010 10:54 am

Damon -> Tough to be an aging player with limited defensive capabilities in a down market. It wasn't tough when he was an Idiot in Boston and riding high, cashing in a the Yankees desperate search for Bernie's replacement. Things change. Time to take the medicine and get on with life. For some of us who've been through the corporate ringer once or twice, I'm not feeling sorry for Johnny. Suck it up and get a job.

Big Mac -> He cheated because the drugs he took had dangerous side effects and were thus illegal to use outside of a doctor's care. There is no doubt there will soon be drugs that have a similar enhancing effect on players without the dangers, and they will be available over the counter. At that point, all the "But Babe Ruth didn't take it" arguments are out the window. Modern medicine is changing rapidly and what benefits us will benefit ballplayers as well. He cheated - but not because he got bigger and stronger - but because he took drugs that were not legal to take. That is going to change. It's just a matter of time.

Kelly -> I watched it and was glad for her. For those who don't think bowling is a sport - knock it off. David Ortiz takes four at bats a game. Big deal. Nobody questions whether he plays a sport or not. There is power, endurance, concentration, timing, and being able to control your emotions in bowling - just like in any other athletic endeavor. What she did was great. She doesn't have the physical strength to roll with the guys every week in all conditions, but that does not detract from what she did on Sunday. She flushed strikes when most people's legs would have been rubber and their teeth chattering from nerves. She beat the best in her sport on equal footing. No ladies tees. No special rules. Same lanes - same pins - same everything. Good for her - and good for bowling. One of the grand old games that's hit hard times.

16 Will Weiss   ~  Jan 26, 2010 11:00 am

[15] Well said. Want to write my column? ... Don't mean to gang up on you, William. You know I enjoy the feedback on all levels, and I do respect your opinion, even if I disagree with it.

17 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Jan 26, 2010 11:27 am

I agree that the Angels have now officially overpaid by a lot for Abreu, after depressing the market with him last year.BUT, this overpay thing is really a seismic shift in the valuing of still-excellent aging OFs. Bottom dropped out. Damon has way more than 5 million of worth to ANY team this coming year, if we take the Win Shares $ formulas. He's closer to where Boras pegged him, at 13 million - though not for 3 years. In same way Vlad is worth way more than 5 million as a DH to a team this year. But there's a visible squeeze going on.

I'm one who has argued we can't and shouldn't expect an All Star everywhere, that yankee fans have felt too entitled to get all the candies ... but at 5-7 million a year, JD in our stadium is so obviously worthy it, if not depressed and offended ...

I am not going to get into steroids and McGwire's 'just to stay healthy' with william ... we all know that it gets unhealthy! I do agree with him that it makes sense to me that athletes don't necessarily know what they are ingesting, and why, even though for normal people it feels weird.

18 bp1   ~  Jan 26, 2010 11:28 am

[16] Thanks. And no - lol. You do the heavy lifting. We just parachute in on occasion to add to the banter. (That is "we" in the Kimberly Jones sense of the word).

I grew up in central NY in a time when bowling was king - although I don't feel that old (44 and counting). Even the cool kids in school bowled. If you got your name in the paper, people noticed and mentioned it. Chucking a 16-pound ball at pins 60 feet away isn't any less athletic than throwing a baseball at a catcher's mitt. Comparing the stereotypical beer swilling league bowler to Chris Barnes would be like comparing Albert Pujols to the fat guy who plays first base in the local softball league (beer in hand, of course). Sure - out of shape fat guys can do it - just not as good.

19 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Jan 26, 2010 11:34 am

15/16 I hate to agree with william on a steroid debate (!) but McGwire did not cheat just because steroids have a dangerous side effect and were THEREFORE illegal. If they had NO dangerous effect but were regarded as distorting performance does that make them okay? It is also entirely legit for a sport (Olympics?) to ban a drug that is perfectly safe but disrupts the level playing field. I mean, golf bans certain golf balls and club face grooves. Using them would be cheating and not because they cause cancer.

The side effects may be a social issue, a reason we don't want kids emulating, but they are not the essence of the cheating. The essence of the cheating is using something the sport bans (for whatever reason). It is possible to overturn bans, to make a case, but until that happens it is cheating.

The debate about how much the drug (or golf ball) helps is a different one, and that's where william and I differ ... though I have a sense he's agreed that steroids are NOT the same as HGH, where benefits are much less clearly established - if established at all.

20 The Hawk   ~  Jan 26, 2010 11:36 am

I love bowling. I don't see how anyone could claim it's not a sport. Since when do you have to run around for things to be sports? Might not be the most athletic sport but come on now.

As for McGuire, he's another phony. He intentionally used illegal drugs to enhance his performance. I guess you could make an argument that they didn't work but I don't know how. Steroids make you stronger, at least, and that's enough of an enhancement for me.

It's certainly arguable but I'd go so far as to posit that some of these guys took roids partially because they are illegal, and thus used more rarely than legal supplements, and thus giving more of an edge. Of course once it got more widespread, some people took it to keep pace (or in the case of Bonds, set the pace).

21 bp1   ~  Jan 26, 2010 11:40 am

[19] Trying to ban legal performance enhancers is a losing battle, imho. Maybe I'll be proven wrong, but who can't imagine a ballplayer saying "if Joe Blow down the street can take X to get stronger, why can't I"?

This isn't about equipment (golf balls, baseballs, clubs and bats). It's about medical technology.

That's gonna be a tough one to regulate. It will be difficult to figure out where to draw the line between things like platelet replacement therapy and lasik eye surgery and legal supplements that do similar things to the steroids that are currently outlawed.

Interesting times ahead.

22 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 26, 2010 11:41 am

[14] First off, I really didn't (mean to) position my Damon comment as a rebuttal to a point you made. Rather, your mention of Damon was just a jumping off point.

As for McGwire, he has stated he took steroids because he thought it would help him with his injuries. That’s a very reasonable motivation. As for Wenzlaff, I am sorry if I don’t take his statements at face value. Something about a steroid dealer trying to sell a book makes me a leery about granting him credibility. Besides, if he is right and the drugs enhanced his already impressive strength, then isn’t it reasonable to conclude that McGwire didn’t take them to get strong (he already was), but to get healthy? Also, while YOU might be more diligent about what you put into your body, I don’t think that means everyone else is the same way. Considering all of things that athletes take/do to improve their ability, I think it is very reasonable to think they’d take some risks with regard to what they put into their body. Quite frankly, people do ingest/smoke/drink things every day …and have no idea what’s really in them.

As for the bowling, again, while it may technically be a sport, I don’t think many Americans regard it as such, and for that reason I think it is huge stretch to suggest that is culturally significant. That’s just my opinion though…if you feel differently, I won’t try to convince you otherwise.

[15] I agree…in fact, I think many of things that are banned today may in fact be approved in the future. I strongly suspect that historians in the future will amusingly look back at the current era and wonder what all the fuss was about. Regardless, however, that doesn’t define what McGwire “thinks” about steroids, which is at issue. I have no problem with some saying they think steroids helped Big Mac hit homeruns, but I do take issue with someone demanding that there is no way he can believe they didn’t (especially when there is little evidence to contradict him).

Again on bowling, I just don’t the skill required raises it to the level of what I think of as a sport. To me, and many others I believe, bowling is a recreational activity that requires little athletic ability. However, that really doesn’t matter. Bowling could be the most athletically grueling endeavor and it still wouldn’t be culturally significant because not many people care about it.

[16] Not at all…dissenting opinions expressed civilly making dialogue interesting.

23 a.O   ~  Jan 26, 2010 11:42 am

It has been awesome watching Damon and Boras get pwned by the Cashman. But even better is
seeing Cashman end George's legacy of overpaying for washed-up former stars at the expense of pitching and defense.

This team does not Damon and will not miss him. No matter who signs him, this year will show why he is not worth anything close to his asking price.

24 Mattpat11   ~  Jan 26, 2010 11:58 am

I didn't realize Damon was washed up.

25 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 26, 2010 12:04 pm

[19] Yes, I agree that HGH and steroids are different. The former likely has no ehancement impact taken alone, while the latter probably has some level impact ranging from moderate to minimal (depending on a whole range of factors). I think the current consensus opinion is steroids help a lot, and HGH goes even further. I think both are way off base.

26 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Jan 26, 2010 12:06 pm

I don't think Damon is remotely washed up. No indicators at all of that, though he is migrating towards a primary DH. And the Boras asking price, I've suggested, based on Win Shares was NOT out of line with value on the field, but it may have BECOME out of line with owner/management policy for aging players. That policy will produce huge bargains (Abreu last year, probably Damon this year somewhere).

It was also a push for Much-Loved Veteran bonus year, which Jorge got, but Damon won't.

27 Paul   ~  Jan 26, 2010 12:14 pm

Damon is very close to washed up. A DH that can't OPS .800? Outside of Yankee Stadium, that's what he is.

The not-a-sport argument is lame. It always has been. There are plenty of Olympic sports where you could ask the same thing. For me, a good indicator is whether there's a professional league. Bowling has a cherished place in American sports. It easily qualifies. Thanks for the Kulick mention. I would have missed it otherwise.

28 Paul   ~  Jan 26, 2010 12:21 pm

By the way, another DH looks to be washed out of baseball...Jim Thome. And he's good for a .850 OPS. Damon hits less and can barely play the field. If he finds the field at all in 2010, and repeats his awful 2009, he's legitimately finished.

Of course McGwire is lying. But it's easier to assume he's finally telling the truth and move on. A-Rod and Papi got the same kid glove treatment after the fact. Most journalists are weak. That's why they don't ask the 70s and 80s players about greenies and cheating.

29 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Jan 26, 2010 12:23 pm

Getcha NEWS heah!

Headline: "Fisk Dumb, Posnanski Smart!"


30 Sliced Bread   ~  Jan 26, 2010 12:47 pm

I hope Cashman is taking advantage of this break in the weather to scavenge the Stadium with a metal detector for loose change for Damon.

1 year deal for our #2 hitter, and winter's a wrap, Cash.

31 RagingTartabull   ~  Jan 26, 2010 12:59 pm

A's signed Sheets for $8M according to Heyman.

so I mean really...I think we can feel safe taking our number 18 jerseys out of mothballs for this season.

32 Sliced Bread   ~  Jan 26, 2010 1:03 pm

[31] aren't the Braves still a possibility for Damon?

33 ms october   ~  Jan 26, 2010 1:09 pm

nady signed with the cubs per chad at lh (he doesn't have details and i haven't tried to find them anywhere else yet)

34 Sliced Bread   ~  Jan 26, 2010 1:17 pm

let's go, Cash, sweeten the pot for Damon, and get this done. Get creative! Free hot dogs for life.... ten cent refills on draft beer ... and a truckload of Matsui bobbleheads.

35 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 26, 2010 1:35 pm

Damon must be scratching his head about how an often injured pitcher who missed an entire season could get $8-10mn, while he can't get anything close.

[34] I am with you. Cashman has won the battle, so there is no reason to let Damon get away now. If this year's budget is really so tight, they could always sign him to something like $2mn in 2010 with a $4mn player option for 2011 (and $3mn buy out). The benefit would be to guarantee Damon $5mn and push out the luxury cap hit over two seasons. The Yankees would have little risk on the option because it would only be $1mn over the buyout.

36 Sliced Bread   ~  Jan 26, 2010 1:52 pm

[35] great idea. Cashman has to look at Damon not only as an offensive upgrade to Gardner, but also offensive insurance if Posada, or Nick Johnson get hurt (very possible), or if any other the other big bats have a bad year(also possible). I would have made Damon a priority this winter, but at this point they should do whatever they can to keep him from getting away.

37 a.O   ~  Jan 26, 2010 2:49 pm

[36] Or just an old player who can no longer run, field, or hit (see [27]) and takes up a roster spot, thereby delaying the development of younger players like Gardner, Hoffman, etc.

38 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 26, 2010 3:06 pm

[37] There is no evidence to support that Damon can not run or hit (the Yankees do play 81 games at YS, so his 900+ OPS there is very valuable to them). Even in the field the case isn't so clear cut. He rated pretty well in 2007 and 2008 as a LF'er. Even the most ardent UZR guy will tell you one year of data can be very deceptive.

Younger players are nice (Gardner and Hoffman are younger, but hardly prospects), but proven veterans are much more reliable, especially when you don't have to pay them as such.

39 Mattpat11   ~  Jan 26, 2010 3:13 pm

[37] The Yankees still play 81 games in Yankee Stadium. A .915 OPS in Yankee Stadium is still quite good. I have no reason to believe he can't run anymore, and I really not all that concerned with the development of 25 year old bench players.

40 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 26, 2010 3:17 pm

[31] E@#$ reporting that it's 1yr./$10 million. Strange money. Flushing Toilets lose another option in the process; boy I'd hate to be in Citi Field on Opening Day unless I was really into schadenfreude. Jason Bay is probably drawing a big red circle around each payday on the 2010 calendar as we speak.

41 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Jan 26, 2010 4:02 pm

38/39 ... what they said. I'd do the 5 million, except they might balk at bidding against themselves. There is next to no downside at this level, really. And there WILL be bloo ... er, injuries.

And yes to the weird world where Sheets gets 10 million and Damon is looking at 2-3. Wow.

42 a.O   ~  Jan 26, 2010 5:22 pm

UZR = defensive quality. Not.

Good to see Nady found a home.

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