Super Poll: Which is the better management team?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Link

V-Tine plays his all-time faves

Davey Jones (1945-2012) finishes 5th on all-time Davey List

Rankings:

1. Crocket
2. Jones’ Locker
3. ... And Goliath
4. Concepcion
5. Jones
6. Lopes
7. Allison
8. Wavey...
9. Johnson
10. O’Brien

10 Questions Ryan Braun would have for Redsock clubhouse booze ban

1. What constitutes an "alcoholic beverage?" Are rubbing alcohol, astrigents, hair tonic and cleaning fluid included in said Ban?

2. Does said Ban include all pass-through clubhouse personnel - including groundskeepers, writers, celebrities, dealers, wives, sex toys and entourage hangers-on?

3. In cases of booze found, will said Contraband be rendered unusable through the application of a "traffic boot" system or can it be quickly swallowed?

4. Is there an official bell or buzzer that will signify the ending of a game, signaling the time for legally chugging spirits?

5. If a player stashes bottles or cans in his rectum, will he be subject to invasive searches?

6. What provisions will be made to ensure confiscated properties are maintained at proper temperatures to avoid skunkiness?

7. Will the ban extend to Pawtucket, where alcoholic beverages are a crucial element of rehabilitation assignments?

8. Will the team ban beer and wine ads during games, so players are not encouraged to break said Ban?

10. Will said Ban include LSD, ectasy, mushrooms, peyote and other halucinogenic substances regularly supplied by Managment?

Tampa in my sights

" Your attention, please, ladies and gentlemen, now batting for the Yankees.....number 203, Alphonso the great."


I am leaving the northeast Thursday morning early, to beat( or tie ) the snow and begin watching the New York Yankees in person.

I will file daily reports and, based upon what I see and hear, make my usual predictions for the season.

Tonight, I begin by having manhattans with the coaching staff.

Hello, SheFan, wherever you are.

My confrontation with Buck Showalter in Florida

I decided you should hear this from me before it hits the networks.

Friday, I was involved in a loud, abrasive confrontation - mentally - with Baltimore manager Buck Showalter at the Orioles spring training camp in Sarasota. It started innocently. I was minding my business, taking harmless photographs, when suddenly, Showalter burst boarishly into my field of vision.

Well, I knew what he was trying to do. Push my emotional buttons. Again. Well, this time, Lord Buckington went too far.

"WAIT A MINUTE, I KNOW YOU," I yelled - mentally. "YOU'RE THE RANGERS MANAGER WHO IN 2005 PULLED MIKE YOUNG, MARK TEIXIERA AND HANK BLALOCK - YOUR SECOND, THIRD AND FOURTH HITTERS IN THE LINEUP - IN THE FIFTH INNING OF THE LAST GAME OF THE SEASON AGAINST THE ANGELS, THROWING THE GAME SO THE YANKEES - YOUR OWN FORMER TEAM - WOULD LOSE HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE IN THE PLAYOFFS! HEY, OLD SKIP, DID THAT MAKE YOU PROUD?"

Amazingly, he pretended not to hear my mental shouts.


"DON'T WALK AWAY FROM ME!" I screamed, silently. "YOU BLEW THE 1995 PLAYOFFS BY OVERPITCHING WETTELAND AND CONE, AND YOU DIDN'T KNOW ENOUGH TO PITCH AROUND GRIFFEY. MY DOG COULD SEE THE IDIOCY IN PITCHING TO GRIFFEY, A PERSON LYING IN A COMA IN A HOSPITAL BED WOULD KNOW BETTER, BUT YOU PITCHED TO HIM! THANK YOU, MANAGER OF THE YEAR! YOU REALLY NAVIGATED THAT ONE!"

Well, he just kept walking. I think he was trying to goad me into saying more things, mentally. 


"DON'T ACT LIKE YOU CAN'T HEAR ME," I shouted, in my mind. "DID IT FEEL GOOD IN 2001, WHEN THE DIAMONDBACKS WON THE SERIES AND CELEBRATED BY PLAYING 'NEW YORK, NEW YORK.' ON THE STADIUM P.A.? DID THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY? THE YANKEES CARRIED NEW YORK CITY ON THEIR BACKS,THEY LIFTED THE WHOLE COUNTRY FROM THE TRAUMA OF A TERROR ATTACK, WITH TWO OF THE GREATEST NINTH INNING COMEBACKS IN WORLD SERIES HISTORY, AND YOU GUYS WON ON A CHEAP HUMPBACK LINER, AND THEN THEY YOU PLAY 'NEW YORK NEW YORK' ON THE P.A. LOUDSPEAKER, HEY, DID THAT MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD, SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI, DID THAT MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD, MR. GANDHI?'

By now, security guards, pretending not to hear, whisked him away.


"RUN!" I shouted, mentally. "FLY AWAY, LITTLE BIRDIE. FLY AWAY! RIDE ON YOUR LITTLE MOTORIZED, AARP, PAID-FOR-BY MEDICARE SCOOTERCRAFT. GO TAKE YOUR NAP. BUT I'M WATCHING YOU. AND DON'T YOU BE THINKING THAT NICK JOHNSON'S GONNA HIT FOR THE ORIOLES, EITHER. HE'LL GET OFF TO A GOOD START, AND THEN HE'LL HURT HIS WRIST. AND I'LL BE LAUGHING WHEN IT HAPPENS. HEAR ME? I'LL BE LAUGHING WHEN IT HAPPENS!"

He just rode off, as if nothing happened. Amazing.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Link

Redsocks entering Prohibition.

Zero Years Ago Today


The man standing is Jim Kaat. Our Jim Kaat. Wearing a Red Sox uni. And giving them pointers. Today.

One Year Ago Today


The new media guides are here!

Dice-K pleased with first spring outing


Papi homers, Miller dazzles as Sox beat Twins

A-Gonz improving; CC set for Sox debut

Sox showcase top 3 lineup spots

Salty gets his work in

Note: there will be no One Year Ago Today tomorrow. First to guess why wins The Mayor's Cup.*

*Not an actual cup.

It's time to take nominations for February LUNCHABLES Employee of the Month

I'm open for suggestions.

World IT IS HIGH Premiere: John answers the ultimate question

video

(Thanks to Yankees Classics and donyoindustries.com.)

Faced with clubhouse booze-ban, Varitek retires

Funny what happens when you spray the basement. Apply some Raid to a dark corner, and the roaches all scramble for the exit.

Yesterday, Boston announced it will cap its tap to players during games, a temperance move that Terry Francona  - the latest ESPN Redsock mascot - calls a PR stunt, like having Jennifer Lopez show quarter-nip at the Oscars. Well, if it was a stunt, it worked: Captain Jason Varitek was out the door faster than anybody could say, "I'll have another."

There's a baseball zen saying to this: Clubhouse beer is brewed with bad hops.

Still, Boston apparently isn't ready to exorcize its real demon: Big C Clucky. Bobby V isn't going to ban fried chicken, an addiciton too powerful to be addressed. If they cut Clucky, Josh Beckett would fly the coop.

This year, no Boston player will wear a "C" on his jersey. But he'll have one waiting at the sixth inning buffet.

Jose Canseco, Love Philosopher: Proprietor of the Hug Store

FENWAY IN FLAMES


A short circuit near a light fixture on a wall caused a small fire [Monday] morning in the administrative offices of the Boston Red Sox at historic Fenway Park. Fire officials estimated the blaze caused $100,000 in damage.
The rest of the story

Monday, February 27, 2012

Today's Silver Sterling Moment: Back to the Seventies

video

Photo Day at Steinbrenner Field


One Year Ago Today


Beckett 'determined'

Jenks 'plucky'

Salty 'comfortable'

Cameron 'ready'

Photo gallery

Bar night, bar bright, first bar I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, win the fight I'm in tonight


Jose Canseco, Love Philosopher: The true meaning of love


(... and hey, Deadspin: Jose was our self-help guru way before you jumped on the bandwagon)

10 Reasons Why That Guy Stole Ryan Braun's Urine and Then Boosted It with Steroids

1. It's an Italian thing. All Italian guys are into stealing urine and then boosting it with steroids. Frankly, I don't understand it, but they think it's central to their manhood. If you question them about it, they steal your urine and boost it with steriods. I can't afford to be banned from the game.

2. The guy hates Braun. Maybe it's over a woman. Yeah, it's gotta be a woman. She's really hot, and she pit the two of them to fight, just for her amusement. When Braun won MVP, she chose him. So the guy hates Braun and has plotted for months to bring him down. Once he learned Braun needed to pee for tests, everything fell into place. You know what they say: Revenge is a beaker best served warm!

3. The guy is a dolt, one of those funny, almost loveable sidekicks that the master villains have in Disney movies. He was supposed to steal Braun's urine and take out any foreign substances (which might have occurred naturally, because Braun certainly doesn't use boosters). Instead, the idiot messed up and added testoserone. But hell, he's got an amusing laugh. Braun probably cracks him over the head 20 times a day with an ashtray and says, "You eeeeeeeembecile!"

4. Come on, be honest, guys: Don't we all think of stealing urine and boosting it with steroids? I know I do - five times a day, more on weekends. Anybody who claims he doesn't: He's lying. Guys, it's 2012. It's time to talk openly. Come clean. We can't hide it forever. It's not going away.

5. It was a good-natured practical joke between two grand old scoundrels. Braun started it two years ago, when he subscribed the guy to a bunch of man-boy love magazines, which arrived at the guy's workplace. Then the guy left a flaming bag of dogpoo on Braun's front porch, and videoed him stomping it out. Then Braun called and got him to page "Jack Meoff?" The guy had to get Braun back -- and he did!

6. There is a little known black market for celebrity urine - the hotter the better - and the guy was trying to cash in. Braun's urine would go for $500 an ounce - if clean. But if juiced, it's worth $4,000. I myself have some 1997 Sylvester Stallone Rocky V clean urine, though it was collected after he ate asparagas. I bring it out for special occasions - the smell is incredible, and I shoot LED lasers through it to amplify the salt crystals. It's absolutely priceless.

7. The guy hates the city of Milwaukee. (Maybe he's from Skogie.) He would do anything to hurt Milwaukee. Anything. His apartment has an entire wall of news clippings about Milwaukee, with the faces cut out and distorted Biblical passages scrawled in the margins -- stuff like, "As ye sew, so shall Milwaukee burn!" 

8. The guy is a terrorist, pure and simple. He trained in one of those camps in Afghanistan. They taught him how to destroy major American institutions. Urine theft and pee boosting is one of the newer techniques of mass destruction. There is about to be a wave of them.

9. The guy is a paid hit man, under the new Theo Epstein regime in Chicago. Get used to this stuff, folks. The old, easygoing National League Central is about to change. They're going to see what it's like to play AL East style ball.

10. He doesn't know why he did it. A voice in his head just said, "You must steal Ryan Braun's pee and then boost it with performance enhancing drugs."  The voice sounded like William Shatner. Who would ignore an order from Captain Kirk?

But still, I'm betting it's about a woman.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Oscar Fever


Oscar Fever

Tek Fan Bids Self Adieu


While Captain Jason Varitek snubs Boston's spring training invitation, his #1 fan shutters her website:
My contract with the website's hosting company expires tomorrow, February 26th. I will not be renewing the contract.

One Year Ago Today


Youkilis, Pedroia lead Sox over Boston College

Pedey's foot feels 'good.'

A-Gonz progressing

Sox tee off at charity golf tourney

Youk wins NESN Second Base Cup

The IT IS HIGH Top Worst Prospects List

I'm sick of the Top 100 Prospects lists. I remember Brien Taylor atop them all. And Ruben Rivera. Andy Marte! Wilson Betemit! They are bogus. But we do know this: For some guys, the future is not wide open.

5. Kevin Millwood - 37, on life-support last year. Drilled in Scranton. Drilled in Pawtucket. Won 4 games for Rockies in miserable NL West. On life-support again.

4. Pedro Feliciano - 34 and hurt. Cashman's huge mistake. We'll be lucky if he ever throws a pitch for us.

3. Jamie Moyer - 49, and hasn't pitched since 2010. Born during administration of John F. Kennedy. Benjamin Button, he's not. Billy Crystal had as much chance of making a roster.

2. Andy Tracy, 37, Reno Whatevers, last year's oldest living minor leaguer. He could run for school board. Plays 1B, for whatever it's worth.

1. Our boy, of course. The Chemist. Do I have to say the name? Goodnight hugs.

Jose Canseco, Love Philosopher: How about a hug?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

One Year Ago Today


Red Sox promote seven executives

Pedroia itching to get back onto the field

Photo gallery

Yankeetorial: Ryan Braun lawyers up and beats the rap that Arod took full tilt

Yesterday, the scum-sucking lawyers for Ryan Braun won his appeal of MLB's drug testing protocols, effectively scotching Bud Selig's future chances to police the sport/industry for green gamma rays, unstable molecules, radioactive spider-bites and the superjuice that created Captain America. They attacked the chain of custody surrounding Braun's urine, suggesting that somebody tampered with it - (Arod, maybe?) - creating just enough doubt to clear Braun, or should we say "put him in The Clear."

Fine. OK. So be it. But I wonder how the Gammonites would react to such a move if it involved Arod or Giambi - or any Yankee for that matter - rather than a college-Hollywood-golden boy from Milwaukee. Actually, it's not hard to imagine what they would say. Look at the way the Republican Presidential candidates describe anything done by Obama. That's how the sportswriters would be wailing, if only they could get Arod in their crosshairs.

Remember how indignant they were several years ago, when Arod was the victim of an actual conspiracy: Somebody leaked (no pun intended) the results of his drug tests, which had been taken along with hundreds of other under the full guarantee of secrecy. His were made public. Why? Because he's Arod. That's why. All the others who failed their drug tests - think: Milwaukee Brewers, etc. -- stayed secret. They set up a dungeon and waited for Alex to appear in camp, where he apologized, and they each could render their all-consuming eternal judgment. Some sportwriters will say Alex will never make the Hall of Fame because of the taint of performance enhancing drugs.

But Ryan Braun and his lawyers can walk in the front door. He's off the hook. He can look into the camera and swear to God that he never used PEDs, and that he was the victim of a conspiracy.

Sweet, eh?

Jose Canseco, Love Philosopher: Words of wisdom ... and the cynical world responds

Friday, February 24, 2012

LINK

Freddy. Goonie?

One Year Ago Today


Salty learning to catch Wake

Scutaro at full strength

A-Gonz increases workload

Slideshow

Today's Silver Sterling Moment: Sign the petition to let John manage

As stated above.

http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/2011/06/yankeetorial-its-time-to-ponder-yankee.html

Yankeetorial: We have made a commitment to Arod, and he must reciprocate

In Alex Rodriguez's time as a Yankee, I've never seen him jog out a grounder. Never. I've seen him strike out with the bases loaded, pose for creepy, soul-cringing photographs in dandy magazines, and date women that no self-respecting Yankee fan would touch. (You know who you are.) But he's never jogged a grounder. Theoretically, he's given us 100 percent. Like he gave whatzhername. 

But this winter, the Yankees extended unto Arod the kind of loyalty that only a moose shows for his flying squirrel. They traded the next great hitter - a DH - so Alex would have a landing strip for the next few years on his ridiculous contract. If Jesus Montero remained, Arod would have to compete for at-bats, and it eventually would be a losing battle. With Montero in Seattle, Arod has a clear path to the DH. He might not need it this year, but he will soon. Whenever he steps to the plate as DH, it will because the Yankees traded a great prospect to make a place for him. He must never forget that.

And it goes beyond running out grounders. Alex must become a de facto second captain of the Yankees. He must serve as Jeter's lieutenant, nurturing young players and maybe calling out others who aren't performing. He has to always be a positive player, not a distraction. He owes the Yankees this, and I think he will fulfill that obligation.

Bu one more thing - and here's where it gets dicey. When the time comes that Alex can't hit, and another DH comes through the door, Arod has to walk away. He must leave the kind of money none of us will make in our lives - even if it means living hand-to-mouth in cardboard boxes on the street. He needs to retire gracefully, an NY on his plaque in the Hall of Fame. He needs to reciprocate in the loyalty the Yankees showed him.

I doubt many fans expect him to do this. I think he will. I don't think he wants to be riding the bench with an average in Lenn Sakata land. It would be like jogging out grounders. It just doesn't happen.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

One Year Ago Today


Ortiz: This lineup is dangerous

Crawford: The Yankees were 'never an option.'

Tito: 2011 Sox are perfect role players
“You can have some guys that maybe don’t always have the team’s goals the same but they better really be good. And we’ve had that sometimes in the past,” Francona said. “It’s not a perfect world but it certainly makes for a much better atmosphere when you have guys that care about winning.
“It sets the tone for young guys better buy in. It’s a heckuva a lot easier for me to make examples of people when you have veterans running around working harder than anybody in camp.”
'Glee' stars show their Sox

Oscar Week Presents: Was it (Daily News Fifth) Anthony McCarron or Ed Norton in "American History X?"

video

Cubs fan strikes Boston on our behalf

Yesterday, the news broke that a Cubs fan bought the domain name for Boston's minor league complex in sunny Whateverville, Florida, so anybody who clicks on the link is sent to the Yankees website. Because I'm temporarilly dislocated from the prime IIHIIFIIc headquarters, atop Mount Steinlympus, I cannot link to the pertinent news story. You'll have to take my word.

But listen: This is how we restore America's future (which is going to be the name of our Yankee super pac). One of our fans shoots Gaddafi, and a Cub fan pays us back with a kick to Boston's billiards. It's called doing a good deed, folks. So if you happen to be killing a foreign dictator, or prepping a world tour (Bruce Springsteen, Yankee fan) or working for global peace (Hillary Clinton, Yankee fan), or just saving families (Jerry Springer, Yankee fan), wear the cap. If possible, day glow blue-white face paint is always stylish. Pay it forward, Yankiverse. It might save another September.

It's SuperFrankenstein's birthday!

And the Yankees bought him Dave Aardsma.

Open birthday thread?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

One Year Ago Today


Beckett will start Grapefruit lid-lifter vs. Twins

Report: Sox 'intend to' pick up Tito's options

Respect, communication mark Sox-Umps confab

Lucchino vow: 'We're going to sign' A-Gonz

New Yank Tops Hank


Yanks sign David Aardsma

Wikipedia:
He is the first player alphabetically in the list of all-time Major League Baseball players, having displaced Hank Aaron upon his MLB debut.

Oscar Week Presents: George Patton vs. The Master

video

Yankeetorial: With all the elder statesmen in camp, no Jeremy Lins are in sight

A long long time ago in a Yankiverse far far away, a scud manager named Joe announced that a rookie would start as his SS on opening day. This ended a period under the previous manager, who was loathe to try youngsters from the farm. The SS was named Jeter, and a wave of kids lifted Joe Torre from the scrapheap into an exalted status.

Last season, for maybe the first time since 1995, we celebrated a mini-youth wave - Brett Gardner, Eduardo Nunez, David Robertson, Ivan Nova. Without them, God knows where we would have finished. And the best part of this wave was that it seemed like only the tip. There was so much more to come.

Well, that was last year. With the signings (impending) of Eric Chavez, Bill Hall, Raul Ibanez, Andrew Jones and Hiroki Kurado, plus the trade of Jesus Montero, we seem to have regressed into the 1980s, when the stars of Columbus might as well buy houses there and run for school board.

Most notably, consider Brandon Laird, who has "Mike Lowell" written all over him. Been in Scranton two years, won the Triple A gold glove at third, played great defense last September in his cup of coffee, and now must either return to the Traveling Wilkes Barres or get traded for an Ed Yarnell.

Then there is Ramiro Pena, who frankly, his ship has sailed. He's the slick-fielding utilitiy shortstop version of Shelley Duncan. Doesn't matter what he does at Scranton. Going nowhere. It's just a matter of playing out his required options, until the day he can sign with a team that gives him a chance. Won't be us.

Jorge Vazquez, the legendary Mexican slugger? In two years, he has hit all the homeruns anybody could at Scranton. He's the Mexican version of Shelley Duncan. But unless an asteroid hits one side of the Yankee compound, he has no future with the team. Nope. Got a hole in his swing. Forgetaboutit.

And the starting pitchers - David Phelps, DJ Mitchell, et al: Stuck in Scrantonless Scranton.

Listen: It's a long season, and injuries to anybody (Talking to you, Mr. Chavez) could vault one of these guys into the starting lineup. And it's good to deep. But the NY Giants last year won the Super Bowl in part because Victor Cruz came out of nowhere to become a star. The Knicks, for the first time in eons, have a chance - because of Jeremy Lin. To win the World Series, a team needs emerging young talent. You just can't do it with a bunch of old guys.

So who will emerge from the Yankee system this year? Bill Hall?

Betances and Baneulos look like our only hopes. Everybody else? Buy a home in Scranton and run for school board.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

One Year Ago Today



Baseball Think Factory projects 2011 Sox to win it all

Lackey works with new trainer, drops 10-15 lbs.

A-Gonz reports 'in excellent condition'

Tek hasn't felt this good in years

Slideshow

Bleating Raul

Joe DeLessio wonders what John will say when Ibanez hits a home run.

How about this:

NO MORE BLAMIN' FOR NOT BEIN' JOHNNY DAMON!

Oscar Week Presents: The night Jigsaw channelled The Master

video

Four more years, four more years, four more years...

Yesterday, Mariano Rivera stunned the world. He professed to being an ordinary moral human. He inferred that nothing lasts forever, even a cutter that defies physics, and he hinted that 2012 will include his final pitch.

If ever there was a reason for a franchise to go balls-to-the-ceiling-fan for a championship - to win this year, not next - this is it.

The idea of Mariano Rivera's last appearance being a meaningless scud save in the pit of a third-place September is physically and mentally abhorent to every Yankee fan who can remember the final sickening stretches of Mantle, Stottlemyre and even Bernie Williams. But this will be worse. This will be Mariano. If he's not pitching in the World Series, this will hurt for a long, long time. Jesus Montero will be retired from the game before the pain goes away.

Listen: I'm just saying what we all know, though I sometimes wonder if the tax-dodging owner-heiresses are more concerned about cutting payroll than winning the ring. I say this with the understanding that, yes, it's a long season, and that if the Steinbrothers are martialing their fiscal resources for a mid-July pickup, they're playing a strategy, and nobody gives a shit what I think anyway. But folks, this is Mariano - "the Great Rivera," as Obama called him that day in the White House. At some point in late September or early October, he will emerge for his last regular season save. We better have the playoffs awaiting him.

Let's face it: There is only one Yankee ending for Mariano Rivera: On the mound, nailing down a World Championship. Nothing else measures up to his career. Every other outcome will be horrible, terrible, wretched beyond words. 

Think about that whenever Raul Ibanez comes to the plate in a key situation. We wouldn't shell out for Johnny Damon, one of the great clutch hitters of our generation. 

OK. You're sick of hearing me whine. OK. Yes. What's done is done. Go Raul. Go Cashman. Save money. Cut payroll. Hooray for fiscal responsibility. But dammit, just don't miss the playoffs by a game. And don't leave the winning runs on third. Folks, it's Mariano. Folks, this year is personal.  

Monday, February 20, 2012

Links

One Year Ago Today


Shaughnessy: Sunshine in Red Sox camp is blinding

Are the Red Sox starters the best in baseball?

Jeter on the Sox: 'Their team is great'

Teixeira, Cashman: 'We're the underdog'

Ortiz flashes some leather at first base

Sox players 'fans' of Henry, Werner and Lucchino

Finish line not necessarily imminent for Jason Varitek

Slideshow

Oscar Week Presents: Tom Cruise v. The Master

video

Cashman discusses painful sandal

I'm not sure I fully grasp this, but in today's headlines, apparently Brian Cashman has terrible corns. He says a sandal has caused him great grief, even to his family.

I can relate. Go tramping around in a poorly-fitted sandal, and by the end of the weekend, you'll have a blister the size of Kim Kardashian's vagina, and it will be screaming just as loudly. It will rub and rub and rub - over and over and over -- my worst spot is atop the big toe - and your dogs will be growling. Forget walking. It's like stepping onto broken glass. All you can do is lie around the house in socks. And that takes a toll on any family. I've been there. I know this from experience. I too have known such a sandal.

Still - and I'm not judging anybody here - you have to wonder why Cashman didn't see this coming and have on-hand an extra pair of sneakers? Never put yourself in a position where a public sandal can bring you down.

It's good that he can talk about it in public. I know it's helped me, just knowing I'm not alone. Let's hope his healing process can begin. It's time for a visit from the good Dr. Scholls.

Last chance for redemption: Will we snag Jorge Soler?

In recent months, I've occasionally opined about two certain cheap bastard Yankee billionaire owner brothers, who will remain nameless, and who appear more obsessed with dodging luxury taxes than winning pennants.

Nevertheless, they have one last chance this winter to redeem their sorry souls.

But first, an honest winter recap: They spent the bucks to keep CC. Kudos to the chef. And we were never going to chase Pujols, Fielder, Ortiz, Puckerface Papelbon or CJ Wilson - leading candidate for the 2012 Carl Pavano Award. Considering Kei Igawa, we had no reason to charge into that Japanese Ponzy scheme to peddle Yu Darvish. And the Cuban five-tool gym rat, Humanis Centepedes, (who couldn't hit a lick in winter ball,) didn't fit our needs. Besides, he didn't hit a lick in winter ball.

But there is one acquisition left on the board: Jorge Soler, the strapping 19-year-old from Cuba, who some scouts claim has the biggest upside of all. For him, no sealed bids. No need to assess his talents through a video. And we have a dearth of high-ceiling outfielders in our system. A splash of dollars for Soler won't affect our luxury taxes. All we need to do is want him.

Therein lies the question. How badly do the Yankee owners want to win?

Last week, we gave AJ Burnett for probably the worst Moreno ever from Pittsburgh, and considering Omar, that's a low bar. Now, we're bent on saving a few cents by ditching the great Johnny Damon for the uninspiring Raul Ibanez. We'll see how that works. But every time Raul comes up in the 9th with the bases loaded and two outs, we can ponder the notion that it could have been Johnny Damon. But, hey, we're saving a few bucks!
Therein lies two more questions: Did we pinch those fukking pennies so the nameless owners can upgrade their lake house 3D home entertainment theaters? Or were we planning to invest in Jorge Soler?

If we get Soler, whenever Ibanez strikes out, we can think - oh well - at least we got that kid in the minors; it wasn't a total loss of a winter.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Subway® PED Sandwiches Give CC Sabathia & Ryan Howard Power To Help Green Lantern Save Earth


CC is the skinny guy on the right. Link

Today's Silver Sterling Moment: "Calling our Name"


video

Yankiverse ecstatic over impending Raul Ibanez signing

Power wash the Canyon of Heroes! Boob job for Lady Liberty! Electrically reanimate Rudy Giuliani. The secret is out: Raul Ibanez, our long-awaited LH-DH, is almost in the fold.

Raul Ibanez...

Raul. Ibanez.

If you were still wondering if Old George is truly dead - that he might be living on some remote island where his plane crashed with a bunch of TVgenic mystery characters - give it up. We now have the satellite photos that prove the Yankees have gone from a passion-fueled franchise to a soul-less, spreadsheeted corporation that would build an army of orcs, if it could save ten dollars on Purina Orc Chow.

George loved to bring old Yankees back for a last chance. Try to imagine him telling Johnny Damon - as Brian Cashman did this week - that his great games for the Yankees means nothing, that on the basis of some scouting report, or some memo, the Yankees prefered a National Leaguer over an old teammate, one who helped lead us from a dark period.

I recognize it's a business. Also, as has been often stated, this blog is about Yankee Ids - we don't pretend to be scouts, or analysts, or sportswriters, or mathematicians. It's a passion blog. And the Yankees right now - being led by an executive clearly trying to keep personal passions to a minimum - look like a joyless and brutal organization.

Well, maybe it'll work. Maybe we'll win. I promise not to root against Ibanez, or Pineda, or anybody else we bring in at the expense of old friends. But George Steinbrenner, for all his foibles, would never have let Brian Cashman take the phone call from Johnny Damon. He would have taken it himself, and we'd have Johnny on a plane to New York within an hour. Moreover, Johnny would make damn certain - as we all suspect he will in 2012 - that he outhits Raul Ibanez, to show the Yankees who they should have signed.

Wait a minute. Lady Liberty would look incredible with a boob job. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

But This Is How Magic Works.....

High everyone.


As you can see, I'm prepping for my annual run to Tampa. I can't wait to see this flock of 25-30 year old kids ( with experience at single A, truth be told ) that we got for AJ.

I also know I will not see Pineda pitch , due to some "minor" arm ailment.

As for the workings of magic ( see above ); the Giants won the SuperBowl after peaking in week 14 with a 7-7 record. On their magical run, they beat everyone we wanted them to beat and then some.

The Giants re-created the magic of 4 years earlier; same circumstances ( e.g. overtime winning kick by Tynes in NFC championship game; huge win up in Green Bay; magical catch in last minute drive againts Pats, etc ), and same end result. A championship. Most unexpected.

The downside, of course, is that the Yankees are coming loose at the seams and are doomed to do so all year long. Everything the Giants did right, the Yankees are doing wrong.

Trade Babe Ruth for a guy the Mariners know is damaged. Throw in Noesi for a 19 year old who didn't finish his senior season in high school. Our last "can't miss" 19 year old is selling shoes in Venezuela. Remember Jackson Melian?

And while I claim no love for the failed AJ ( one important game win for us ), we might as well have traded him for a KFC franchise in Shreveport.

As Einstein once told me; "Giant magic = Yankee undoing "

It can't be helped.

That is the ying and the yang of it. Gird yourselves fans. This will be a classic collapse. Old age, injuries, bad deals and panic. Banuelos and Bettances will either both undergo the knife, or be dealt for Bobby Abreu.

Magic.

Today's Silver Sterling Moment: "The EFF Word"

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Dark Day in Yankeeland: Wakefield retires

Nothing lasts forever. Glaciers melt. Oceans dry up. Suns explode. Time and space continuums collapse, re-converging universes into pinpricks of energy. It happens all the time.

But nobody thought Tim Wakefield would ever quit. He was our constant, our one certainty. He was to baseball what the speed of light was to Einstein.

Watching Wakefield repeatedly get hammered in pursuit of his 200th win was one of the most enjoyable aspects of 2011, a year that was going to be remembered for two events: The Redsock collapse and the debut of Jesus Montero. Oh well. One of my great winter hopes was that "Wake" would soft-toss with his great-grandchildren and think himself a spry 43-year-old again, and decide to come back and save the team. His battle with a sore elbow and first-stage dimensia would bring a grin to every Yankee fan who can remember the last days of Dave LaPoint.

Well, truth be told, Tim Wakefield kicked our asses. We must never forget 2004. In fact, he needed 10 more years of rank mediocrity before the ledger balanced out for that Yankee collapse, which he helped orchestrate.

But who carries a grudge? Not me. In fact, I would like to see us hire him to run a secret Yankee Youth Academy that teaches the black art of throwing the knuckleball. It should be built inside a mountain. Seeing as how we're selling livestock these days, we ought to use our mone for something.

Wake is gone. Another one bites the dust. But get this: Yesterday, Boston invited Varitek to camp. Our last chance for revenge...

Friday, February 17, 2012

Whoopie. A 25-year-old Single A pitcher

What in the name of Ron Klimkowski is going on?

They're saying we got a guy named Moreno for AJ Burnett.

He’s 25 and pitched four years at Single A in the Pirates' gulag. There's another guy involved, and I'm sure their combined ages total more than 50.

Four years at single A in the Pirates' gulag.

Four years at single A. In the Pirates’ gulag.

A plate of clams. We traded AJ Burnett for a plate of clams.

When we started this winter, our DH was the most exciting young hitter in baseball, a name that excited Yankee fans everywhere, who roused two home run curtain calls on his first day in active pinstripes. Now, it looks like the DH rathole is going to be Andruw Jones and Raul Ibanez, whose batting averages - added together - will likely be shy of .500. What an exciting lineup! And if Michael Pineda tanks, we'll have Freddy Garcia as our second starter. What an exciting team!

A 25-year-old Single A pitcher. What a deal! And soon, Raul Ibanez! Thanks, Cash! You really have us amped for Opening Day!

Today's Silver Sterling Moment: "Who cutteth thy cheese?"

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Cashablanca

(Scene, dark airport, small plane pulls into view. In trenchcoat, Brian Cashman appears from the fog. Looking beautiful, AJ Burnett hugs him. He places a letter of transit into AJ's trembling hands.)
AJ: Brian, please. After these last few days of negotiations, I've made up my mind, I want to stay with you.
Cash: Last night, kid, we said a great many things. You said I was to do the thinking for both of us. Well, I’ve done a lot of it since then, and it all adds up to one thing: you’re getting on that plane to Pittsburgh, where you belong.

AJ: No, I'll reject it... just like I did LA!

Cash: Now, you’ve got to listen to me! Do you have any idea what you’d have to look forward to if you stayed here? Nine chances out of ten, you’d end up in the bullpen. Or rehabbing in Scranton. And they don't even have a stadium! You'd be stuck there the rest of your life. AJ Igawa! Isn’t that true?

AJ: You're just saying that to make me feel better...

Cash: I’m saying it because it’s true! Inside of us, we both know you belong in the National League Central. You'll become part of Pittsburgh, you’ll throw 200 innings, you'll be the Pirate pie-man. If that plane leaves the ground and you’re not on it, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your career.

AJ: But Brian, what about our ring together?

Cash: We’ll always have Phily. Well, I thought we'd always have it, then you got lit up last October. Listen, I’ve got a job to do, and a stalker to shed. Where I’m going, you can’t follow. What I’ve got to do, find a left-handed DH and a backup infielder, you can’t be any part of.

Look, I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of seven starting pitchers don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy league. Someday, you’ll understand that. Now, now... here's salary dumping you, kid.

Gary Carter: The Poem

In a long line awaiting a bank cashier,
I stood mulling my long-lost rhyming career,
When appeared a conversation starter,
Said a man, “Did you hear about Gary Carter?”

His eyes conveyed a disheartened dismay,
“It was cancer,” he said, “that took Gary away.”
I just chuckled, then bellowed, “I have no regrets!

“I have hated each one of those rat-sucking Mets.”

Now the guy looked so sad, I said, “Aww, sorry, man.
“Don’t listen to me; I’m a dumb Yankee fan.
“I never could root for the Mets, don’t you see?
“But I wish Gary Carter had once played for me.

“Yeah, I would have rooted for him up and down,
“If he only he played on the right side of town.
“Back in the eighties, we could have been great,
“Instead of a team that you wanted to hate.

“I wonder what Manager Lou could have done,
“With Carter and old Rickie Henderson,
“And Easler, and Winfield, and Mattingly, too,
“Put Carter in there, it’s a fan’s dream come true.  
“Hey! maybe that Drabek trade wouldn’t go through!

“With Carter, our line-up would add one more layer,
“How I would have loved him, if he were my player!
“I would have been proud if guarded our plate,
“And how would I so mourn the news of his fate.”

I stood there just thinking of what might have been,
All the plays he would make, all the games we would win,
All the hits he'd deliver, the runs he'd drive in...
All the times I would shout, "Carter did it again!"

Someday, I do pray all my hatreds will cease,
But for now, Gary Carter, dear God, rest in peace.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Today's Silver Sterling Moment: "A Coversation with Capt. Picard"

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AJ Burnett: The Poem

Taught our clubhouse walk-off pies,
Liked by all the other guys,
Lifetime four-one ERA.
Traded for the time of day...


Beat the Phillies in Game Two.
Forearms flashed each weird tattoo.
Kept our batters safe from beans,
Traded for some stale sardines...


Pitched well in the playoffs past,
Threw until his arm was gassed.
Hated Boston, loathed the Sox.
Traded for a box of rocks…

Always gracious after winnings,
Last year threw one-ninety innings!
Only thirty-five years old,
Ditched so owner saved some gold…

In magnificent act of charity, AJ Burnett saves Yankees from second round of Bobby Abreu

"The end of time will be marked
by acts of unfathomable compassion."
- Fyodor Dostoevsky -

In the end, let it be known that the man called AJ Burnett - who last year rendered unto Yankeedom 190 innings - forgave us for betraying Jesus Montero, forgave us for embracing the delusion that Freddy Garcia has another year, forgave us for putting paper money ahead of winning the World Series.

Yesterday, in an act of self-sacrifice worthy of a cable makeover show, Burnett canceled a disasterous Yankee trade to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Los Angeles-Anaheim Angels, which would have plunged his old teammates back into the stygian bleakness of 2007 -- returning Bobby Abreu to New York in a summer when Pink Floyd has been booked to bring "The Wall" to Yankee Stadium.

Our response to this magnificent act? We will deal Burnett to Pittsburgh, or Cleveland, or North Korea, or anywhere that Brian Cashman won't have to notice him outperform the new crop of pet pitchers we will keep - having traded him merely to save the billionaire owners a few extra scraps of blood money. 

The Gammonites say today or tomorrow, the Yankees will announce the deal. They will rejoice over some 26-year-old outfield lugnut, and they will say this now gives us wriggle-room to sign Raul Obanez - (sarcasm alert:) lifting the hearts of Yankee fans everywhere.

But the actual deal was made two months ago: We signed Freddy Garcia for $4 million. Nothing against Freddy - he pitched well for us last year - but do we really think he's a better shot for 2012 than Burnett?

At least we were spared Abreu II. Thanks to you know who.