"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice
Tag: Joel Sherman

Burn Notice?

According to Joel Sherman in the New York Post, the Yanks are still interested in Eric Chavez and they are also interested in trading A.J. Burnett.

Up Jump the Boogie

Over at the Post, Joel Sherman takes a break from his vacation with some thoughts about Bartolo Colon, Andy Pettitte, and the Yankees’ starting rotation. This caught my eye:

The Yankees also feel good that they have so many starting pitching prospects near the majors. The Yankees believe that all five starters they are projecting to begin at Triple-A: Andrew Brackman, D.J. Mitchell, Hector Noesi, David Phelps and Adam Warren are legitimate prospects and that they will have two of the best pitching prospects in the minors at Double-A in lefty Manuel Banuelos and righty Dellin Betances plus two other starters the Yankees view as prospects, lefty Shaeffer Hall and righty Graham Stoneburner. The Yankees think with that many quality arms that one or two from the group – at the least – should help in 2011 either by pitching in the majors or by being used in a trade for a starter.

…What would be truly fascinating is if Banuelos and/or Betances thrived in spring, which is not out of the question considering the advanced word on their skills. Joe Girardi just demonstrated his power within the organization when he was one of the votes in favor of signing Soriano that influenced Hal Steinbrenner to overrule Brian Cashman’s recommendation not to give Soriano a three-year, $35 million deal to be a set-up man. Well, what if Girardi voices the opinion that trying to win in the AL East with, say, Sergio Mitre in your rotation is not sound. What do the Yankees do then?

Under Cashman, the Yankees have treated their best pitching prospects like porcelain dolls and due to limitations last year, Banuelos and Betances will both have caps in the 125 innings range. Neither has had even a full season at Double-A. In other words, Cashman has protected just these kinds of pitchers from too-quick promotion and heavy workloads in recent years.

My guess is that the GM will try to curtail even the spark of having Banuelos or Betances make the team by making them part of the early cuts. But I just wonder what happens if, for example, Betances throws in a way to enliven imaginations and in an early March organizational meeting Girardi voices the desire to see more of the 6-foot-8 righty.

Excellent stuff, Mr. Sherman. Glad you took the time to weigh in.

[Photo Credit: SI.com]

F*** You, Pay Me

George King reports in the New York Post:

Yesterday, general manager Brian Cashman strongly denied the organization has acted that way with its shortstop, captain and all-time hits leader.

“There is nothing baffling about our position,” Cashman said. “We have been very honest and direct with them, not through the press. We feel our offer is appropriate and fair. We appreciate the contributions Derek has made to our organization and we have made it clear to them. Our primary focus is his on-the-field performance the last couple of years in conjunction with his age, and we have some concerns in that area that need to be addressed in a multi-year deal going forward.

“I re-state Derek Jeter is the best shortstop for this franchise as we move forward. The difficulty is finding out what is fair between both sides.”

Also in the Post, Joel Sherman lowers the hammer on DJ:

Derek Jeter’s position when it comes to his contract negotiations appears to be this: I am Derek Jeter, pay me.

It doesn’t matter he has almost no leverage or he is coming off his worst season or the production of shortstops 37 and older in major league history is dismal.

Logic and facts are not supposed to matter. All that is supposed to matter is this: I am Derek Jeter, pay me.

The Yankees have offered Jeter $45 million over three years, which is being portrayed by the shortstop’s increasingly desperate camp as an insult. Except, of course, it is hard to find another organization ready to insult Jeter in similar fashion.

Mo Rivera wants his too.

Skip in the Record

Today’s Derek Jeter mishegoss is brought to you by the Daily News and the New York Post.

First up, from Anthony McCarron in the News:

Yankee president Randy Levine said Wednesday that Jeter is “allowed to test the market” and that it’s “a different negotiation than 10 years ago,” adding further intrigue to the developing talks with the free-agent shortstop.

While Levine was careful to praise Jeter several times Wednesday, noting that the shortstop is “one of the greatest Yankees ever,” he also kept pointing out that being in pinstripes has benefitted Jeter, too.

“All I can say is we think he’s a great Yankee, we think he’s been a great Yankee and we’ve been great for him and this is the best place for him,” Levine said. “But he’s a free agent and he’s allowed to test the market and do whatever he wants.”

And from Joel Sherman in the Post:

The Yankees are planning to make a contract offer of at least three years to Derek Jeter very soon, perhaps before the end of this week, The Post has learned.

The Yankees had hoped Jeter would make an initial proposal, but now recognize that is not going to occur. So the team has decided it is time to try to move the negotiations forward.

The expectation is the Yankees will offer something in the three-year, $45 million range, which will create some negotiating room to climb toward $57 million to $60 million on a three-year deal or perhaps go to a fourth-year option or a straight fourth year as a way to reach a settlement. Of course, that is assuming Jeter finds that range acceptable.

“The will is there to get it done,” Yankees president Randy Levine said. “And I believe there is a way.”

Friend or Foe, eh, State Your Business

Cliff Lee pitches against the Yanks tonight in Seattle. Could he be pitching for the Yankees soon? According to a report by Jon Heyman at SI.com:

The Yankees have intensified talks with the Mariners for star lefthander Cliff Lee, sources confirm.

The discussions appear serious, and one source said it’s “quite possible” a deal will be consummated. The Mariners are said to love Jesus Montero, the Yankees’ 20-year-old catching prospect, and have been asking for him all along. SI.com reported Thusrday that Seattle’s asking price of the Yankees was Montero plus two other prospects.

Over at the New York Post, Joel Sherman writes:

The Knicks didn’t get LeBron James, but the Yankees were on the brink of obtaining Cliff Lee late last night for a package that would include top prospect Jesus Montero, the Post has learned.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman and Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik have been in constant contact over the last week, but it was only last night that the Seattle GM told Yankee officials he wanted to move quickly, possibly before the All-Star break.

The Yanks were not assured of obtaining Lee since other clubs such as the Mets, Twins and Rangers were in talks. But the Yanks were definitely making the strongest move last night, coming from seeming disinterest into the clear front-runner and last night it seemed they were all but certain to obtain the 31-year-old lefty.

Not to be out-scooped, Buster Olney at ESPN adds:

The Seattle Mariners are pushing hard to complete a Cliff Lee deal, and the Yankees could be closing in on a trade for the left-hander — but as of Friday morning, there was no agreement in place, sources say, and it’s possible that another team could step in and make a more aggressive bid.

The Mariners have been talking with the Rays, Twins, Rangers, Reds and other teams, and news that the Yankees were on the verge of getting Lee — first reported by the New York Post — could spur one of the other teams to strengthen their offer.

All along the Yankees have felt as if no other team matches up better than they would with Seattle in a Lee deal, because they are offering Jesus Montero, who figures to have a long and productive career as a hitter regardless of whether he plays catcher or first base.

….Mornin’. LeBron, who?

UPDATE: Nothing done yet. Buster said the Yanks were getting close, then Ken Dawidoff reported the talks his a “snag.” More to come…MLB Trade Rumors has the latest…

UPDATE: Nothing set yet, but here’s the skinny according to Joel Sherman.

[Photo Credit: Rich Lederer]

Yankee Panky: CC, LeBron, and a Hot Stove that’s pre-heated

Separating truth from rumor during the baseball season is difficult enough, but during the hot stove season, it’s easy to get burned if you don’t view everything you read with a skeptical eye. We know the deal: the rumor-mongering is intended to sell papers, conjure arguments on talk radio, and stir conversation and commentary on blogs like this to keep baseball relevant in a town where both NFL teams are in first place and the Knicks look like an actual professional basketball team for the first time in six years.

Speaking of rumors, we knew the Yankees, with their financial clout and now $32 million to work with (I like Cliff Corcoran’s conservative accounting), would be big players in this winter’s free agent market. The past 30 hours or so have seen one constant in the CC Sabathia Sweepstakes: the Yankees are the highest — and only — bidder to date.

Not long after our Diane Firstman gave the skinny on the landscape’s analysis of the record offer made to the 6-foot-7, 290-pound southpaw, which included a quote from a Yankees official who welcomed the Mets’ inclusion in the mix, Newsday’s David Lennon reported that the Mets put the XX on CC. Joel Sherman wasn’t as definitive in this blog post, but he did not discount the Mets as a player, if for no other reason than to jack up the price for the Yankees.

What no one needs to see as it relates to CC Sabathia are stories like this. LeBron James is a Yankee fan. He’s friends with Sabathia, who until mid-summer spent his entire career in Cleveland. But do we, and should we, care what James has to say on this issue? In James’ defense, I believe this is more of an indictment of the Cleveland reporter who felt compelled to ask the question more than it is on James, who could face a similar free-agent dilemma next summer. James could opt out of the remaining two years of his contract in July and go to the highest bidder, which according to the aforementioned report, is expected to be either the Knicks or the New Jersey Nets. But if you’re the Cleveland scribe, why create a mess now? Haven’t those fans suffered for long enough? As a former reporter, I’m embarrassed. Maybe I’d have used that question as an icebreaker for an off-the-record situation, but that’s it. No way do you go to press with that.


Alchemy in the Boogie Down

Bronx Banter Interview: Joel Sherman

This is a tidy year for baseball anniversaries here in New York: Thirty years ago, the Yanks returned to the playoffs for the first time since 1964; twenty years ago, the Mets enjoyed the best season in their organization’s history and won the World Serious, and ten years ago, of course, Joe Torre managed the Yankees to their first Serious victory since 1978. So it is entirely fitting that Joel Sherman’s first book, “The Birth of a Dynasty”–an insider’s account of the 1996 Yankee team–has just been released. Sherman has been a columnist for the New York Post since ’96 and his book is a must-read for both casual and die-hard Yankee fans. I consumed the book in a few days and was excited about how much I learned (I never heard of a six-tool player before, but Ruben Rivera apparently fit the profile).

Sherman took some time out this week to discuss “The Birth of a Dynasty.” Hope you enjoy our chat.

Bronx Banter: You are a veteran baseball writer–first as a beat reporter, then as a columnist. Both of those jobs require different skills, but in both positions you are still working on a deadline and have only a limited amount of space to get your point across. This is your first book. What challenges did you encounter with the new medium? What was the most difficult transition for you, and what did you learn about yourself as a writer?

Joel Sherman: This is an excellent question. My whole temperament is built to be a newspaperman. I am almost a New York stereotype. I like to work quickly and move on to the next thing. The column feeds that. At the New York Post, you work on three deadlines a day. So you are constantly working all day on the days you write and then, boom, you are done. It is in the paper for various editions and you are on to the next day. When you write a book, there is no instant gratification or negative reaction, at all. It is a long-term process and my Brooklyn mindset had a tough time with that. As for what I learned during the process was more something that was re-established in my own mind, which is how much I love to report. The 1996 Yankees were an extremely well covered team and interviewing folks to try to find new information and new avenues to tell these stories really energized me.

BB: Did you enjoy the process?

JS: Mostly no. It was a difficult time for me to take on this process. My wife and I had our first children, our twins Jake and Nick, and trying to research/write as an extra job during first a pregnancy and then the early months of the lives of my children was straining. Also, a relationship with a publishing house is like a brief, shot-gun marriage. You are forced to deal with people for a very short, intense period that you probably would not associate with at other times.

BB: How long did it take to write?

JS: The research and writing took about 18 months, but there was no continuity to it because of the pregnancy. I went long stretches of doing nothing.

BB: It sounds like it was a humbling experience for you, going from the immediate gratification of newspaper writing, to the grind of a longer project. The scope is so much larger as you mentioned. Also, book writing is often a collaborative situation, which means you don’t have as much control as you have been used to. How important were the contributions of your editor–or colleagues who looked at different versions of the manuscript–in terms of helping you compose a dramatic arc for a book as compared with a column?

JS: The publishing house provided very little guidance. But I am blessed with great, talented friends. Mike Vaccaro, a columnist at the Post, was terrific at encouragement. When he was interested or intrigued by a topic, I knew it was a topic to pursue. I wanted to have moments all over the book where even people who follow the team religiously would go, “wow, I didn’t know that.” Mike was fantastic at helping me with that. Lou Rabito, an editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, and I went to school at NYU. Among Lou’s many skills is that he is the best line editor I have ever worked with and he is brutally honest. So he not only cleaned up the copy, but he told me frankly when items did or didn’t work. His touch is on nearly every page of the book. Also, Ken Rosenthal, now of Fox Sports, worked at the Baltimore Sun in 1996 as a columnist. He was in fact, a great columnist. The Orioles were the Yankees’ foil in 1996 and I had Ken read passages about the Orioles just to make sure I was getting them right. He was invaluable, as well. I think the key thing all three did was give me confidence. With no instant gratification, I needed people along the way to tell me, you are going right or you are going wrong. They did that.


feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email
"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver