Tuesday, November 30, 2010

BD Hot Stove: Derek And The Dominos | Baseball Digest

BD Hot Stove: Derek And The Dominos | Baseball Digest

Derek Jeter and his "messy" free agency.

Monday, November 29, 2010

RIP Gil McDougald

This really is getting to be depressing. The Yankees family has taken quite a hit this year in personal losses. And now another Yankee from the past Gil McDougald has passed away.

The 82-yr old was the American League rookie of the year in 1951. A versatile player who could play all three infield positions and made the All-Star team six times, including at least once each as a 2nd baseman, shortstop, and 3rd baseman.

McDougald was a five time World Series champion, retiring after the 1960 season at age 32. McDougald's post professional baseball life included a coaching stint at Fordham University. Helater completely lost his hearing and had basically become a shut in. But his life became renewed in 1994 when he received cochlear implant. He then became a spokesman for the company and spoke about his experience before Congress.

Mr. McDougald was survived by his wife of 62 years, Lucille, and seven children. We send our condolences to his family and friends.

BD Hot Stove: Back To Work | Baseball Digest

BD Hot Stove: Back To Work | Baseball Digest

Drop that turkey leg and pull a chair up to the hot stove.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Another Loss in the Yankees Family

It's been a tough year for anyone that's been associated with the Yankees. Sadly tonight I read that former Yankees pitcher Tommy Underwood died this afternoon after an 18 month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was just 56 years of age.

Underwood was 13-9 for the Yankees in 1980. He was traded early the next season, along with Jim Spencer, to Oakland for Dave Revering, Mike Patterson, and Chuck Doughty.

Underwood spent 11 seasons all told in the majors, finishing with an 87-89 mark. He played for five organizations, retiring after playing for Baltimore in 1984.

Though his pro career was nothing special, Underwood and his brother Pat (also a former big leaguer) were legends in their hometown of Kokomo, Indiana.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family.

BD Hot Stove: Thanksgiving Turkeys | Baseball Digest

BD Hot Stove: Thanksgiving Turkeys | Baseball Digest

A look at Barry Zito, Carl Pavano and the five biggest busts of the past decade's free agent signings.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Willie Randolph Lands On His Seat

Congrats to Willie Randolph, always an all-time favorite. Willie has been added to Buck Showalter's staff in Baltimore as his bench coach.

Games People Play

The Yankees negotiations with Derek Jeter got a whole lot uglier this afternoon when Brian Cashman in not so many words told Jeter to "Take it or leave it."

"He should be nothing but a New York Yankee," Cashman said of Jeter earlier today. "He chooses not to be."

"We're not trying to chase Derek away. We're trying to get him to sign," general manager Brian Cashman said Tuesday. "But at the same time, he's a free agent. If he doesn't like what we're offering him, if he can find a better opportunity with more money, that's fine. Whatever's important to him."

Pretty tough talk from a guy who has never come off publicly as being tough. Cashman's attitude was most likely in response to remarks made by Jeter's agent Casey Close over the weekend. Close found the Yankees negotiating tactics "baffling". And I agree.

From the get-go, the Yankees have played out the negotiations in the media. Not all that unlike when George Steinbrenner would leak information to select NY media in the 1970's and 1980's. Close's remarks were actually out of character for him since neither he or Jeter generally remark on any negotiations involving the Yankees captain.

The Yankees have offered Jeter a three year, $45 million deal. A fair contract for a 36-yr old coming off the worst offensive season of his career. However, this is no ordinary player. I won't get into intangibles or defensive UZR ratings. The bottom line is that Jeter is the face of the franchise. The guy who always does everything right. The guy who has never embarrassed the franchise. The guy with five rings.

At the same time the Yankees are correct in saying that Jeter will not get a "Victory lap" contract. That makes perfect sense. You don't overpay 36-yr olds. What doesn't make perfect sense is for the Yankees to take a hard line and to take it public. Perhaps it's just tough talk. Talk to cover their asses. If you recall once Alex Rodriguez opted out his contract, the Yankees said they were done with him. We all know how that turned out.

Jeter should never wear another uniform during his playing days. So work out a deal. Would it do any harm to add a fourth year to the contract, with a possible option for a fifth year? Yes, these are frugal times, but no one said to build an overpriced Stadium that people can't afford to go to. The Yankees are loaded with money and don't think for one second they are not.

Why not use other incentives such as they do in Hollywood, where an actor actress will get a percentage of a film. Give Jeter a piece of the YES Network. Just get something done.

My good friend, "the Bman" astutely pointed out "How fecking stupid are the Yankees??!! I hate paying too much, but treating Jeter like this? What a crock. Hey, let's give A-Rod more $ and low-ball a legend."

He has a point and this negotiation shows that things haven't changed a whole lot from Steinbrenner to Steinbrenner. George was notorious for paying other team's free agents more than his own free agents.

The Yankees best wise up soon or they will indeed due serious harm to their fan base if Derek Jeter were to walk.

BD Hot Stove: Show Mo The Money | Baseball Digest

Mariano Rivera wants to get paid. Victor Martinez a Tiger?

BD Hot Stove: Show Mo The Money | Baseball Digest

Monday, November 22, 2010

BD Hot Stove: Window Shopping | Baseball Digest

BD Hot Stove: Window Shopping | Baseball Digest

A look at some of the biggest trades in the Hot Stove over the last decade. Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, Alex Rodriguez, Alfonso Soriano, Miguel Cabrera.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

That Other NY Team

The NY Mets prolonged managerial search appears to be over. Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mets have selected Terry Collins as their new man. Collins was one of four finalists along with Wally Backman, Bob Melvin, and Chip Hale.

Collins has two previous managerial stints in the majors - the Houston Astros from 1994-1996 and with the Anaheim Angels from 1997-1999. His teams finished second all three years in Houston and he had two second place finishes with the Angels before being fired during the 1999 season. That team finished in 4th place.

The 61-yr old also spent two plus seasons managing in Japan and spent last season as the Mets minor league coordinator.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Leyritz Acquitted of DUI

I was a bit surprised upon hearing the jury was deadlocked in the Jim Leyritz DUI manslaughter trial, but it does show you that you can't judge everything based on snippets you read in the paper.

Leyritz was acquitted this afternoon after testimony was found to be inconclusive. Most importantly, Leyritz's lawyers argued that their client's blood alcohol level was below the .08 legal limit at the time of the crash, but rose to .14 three hours later due to the drink he had just before the crash.

Witnesses could also not confirm whether the stop light was yellow or red when Leyritz's SUV went through the interesection and smashed into the vehicle of Fredia Ann Veitch, killing her. Witness did confirm that the light was green for Veitch at the time of the crash.

This past May Leyritz made an out of court settlement on a civil suit filed by Veitch's family, paying $350,000.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Rothschild New Yankees Pitching Coach

I have to admit I never saw this one coming. I don't recall Larry Rothschild's name being mentioned as a possibility to replace Dave Eiland. But that's the case- Rothschild was named the new Yankees pitching coach today, receiving a three year contract.

Rotschild comes to the Yankees with a pair of World Series rings. He won his first as the bullpen coach for the 1990 Cincinnati Reds and was the pitching coach of the 1997 Florida Marlins.

He was also the first manager in the Tampa Bay Devil Rays history, holding the job from 1998-2001. He was the Chicago Cubs pitching coach since 2002 and had informed the team on October 11 that he would invoke his option for 2011. But those plans changed when the Cubs hired Mike Quade as the full time Cubs manager.

BD Hot Stove: Another Week Bites The Dust | Baseball Digest

BD Hot Stove: Another Week Bites The Dust | Baseball Digest

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

BD Hot Stove: Plan B | Baseball Digest

BD Hot Stove: Plan B | Baseball Digest

A look at the alternatives to Cliff Lee and a new contract for Joaquin Benoit.

Bob Sheppard Honored By NY Congresswoman

NY congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy honored Mr. Sheppard on the floor of the House of Representatives yesterday and asked that her colleagues do the same.

From Politicalnews.me:

- Nov 17,2010 - WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (NY-04) issued the following statement in support H. Res. 1529, commending Bob Sheppard for his respected career as the public-address announcer for the New York Yankees and the New York Giants:

“Today I ask my colleagues to support H. Res. 1529, commending Bob Sheppard for his long and respected career as the public-address announcer for the New York Yankees and the New York Giants.

On July 11, 2010, Mr. Sheppard passed away at the age 99 in his home in Baldwin, New York, in my district.

Mr. Sheppard was a constant in sports announcing for over fifty years.

His distinctive voice was recognizable to both players and fans.

Each game began with his trademark cadence- "Good afternoon ..ladies and gentlemen...and welcome...to Yankee Stadium".

He performed the role as public address announcer at Yankee Stadium from opening day in 1951 through 2007.

And as the public-address announcer for the New York Giants from 1956 through 2005.

At the age of 62 he announced the World Series games, 2 All-Star Games, and has introduced more than 72 Hall of Famers throughout his career.

He will always be remembered for his clear, concise, and correct announcements and pronunciations, taking pride in the name of every player he introduced.

Bob Sheppard utilized his great oratory skills not only in the sports arena, but as the chairman of the speech department at John Adams High School in Queens and as a professor of speech at St. John’s University.

Bob Sheppard was honored for his fifty memorable years of service as the announcer at Yankee Stadium with Bob Sheppard Day, celebrated on May 7, 2000, and with a permanent plaque in Monument Park in Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

His memorable voice will continue to live on as the recorded introduction of Yankees’ shortstop Derek Jeter.

My resolution serves to recognize the legacy of Bob Sheppard and his distinctive announcing style as a revered tradition not only to the New York Yankees and the New York Giants.

But also to the games of baseball and football, and the field of sports announcing.

I want to thank the fifty two cosponsors of the resolution, including members who are fans of other teams.

Additionally, the resolution commends Mr. Sheppard for his fifty-two years of service in the field of sports announcing and his dedication to spreading his knowledge and skill through teaching speech at both the high school and college levels.

Today I salute Bob Sheppard.

I ask my colleagues to support the resolution."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Halladay and CY Young Are Synonymous

No surprise earlier today when Roy Halladay was named the overwhelming winner of the CY Young award. Halladay received all 32 first places votes, outdistancing runner-up Adam Wainwright by 102 points.

Halladay threw a perfect game during the regular season, a no-hitter in the post-season, topped 20 wins (21) for the third time in his career, and led the league in complete games, shutouts, innings pitched, fewest walks per nine innings, and strikeout to walk ratio.

Roy Halladay, Phillies32----224
Adam Wainwright, Cardinals-283-1122
Ubaldo Jimenez, Rockies-4198190
Tim Hudson, Braves--313439
Josh Johnson, Marlins--55934
Roy Oswalt, Astros/Phillies--13514
Brian Wilson, Giants---157
Heath Bell, Padres--1-14
Mat Latos, Padres---124
Brett Myers, Astros---1-2
Tim Lincecum, Giants----22
Bronson Arroyo, Reds----11
Matt Cain, Giants----11

Marlins Deal Uggla to Braves

The Florida Marlins said they were serious about trading 2nd baseman Dan Uggla and they weren't kidding. This afternoon Uggla was sent to division rival Atlanta for infielder Omar Infante and left-handed reliever Mike Dunn.

Uggla had recently turned down a four year, $48M contract extension and was immediately put on the trade market by the Marlins' front office. He's a three time All-Star, who averaged 30 home runs over the past five seasons and just won his first Silver Slugger award. The 30-yr old Uggla is expected to remain at 2nd base while current Braves 2nd baseman Martin Prado could move to a corner position. That is at least until the 2010 trade deadline arrives when Uggla could be dealt again.

Infante was a surprise All-Star selection this past season, in which he hit a career high .321 and played in the second highest number of games (134) in his career. Dunn just completed his first full season in the majors after being acquired from the Yankees in a deal that sent Javier Vazquez to New York in Dec. '09. He was 2-0, 1.89 with 27 strikeouts and 17 walks in 19 innings pitched.

BD Hot Stove: The Price Is Right | Baseball Digest

BD Hot Stove: The Price Is Right | Baseball Digest

A look back at the best free agents signings of the last decade.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Senior VP Mark Newman Honored

Yankees Senior VP of Baseball Operations Mark Newman has been honored by minor league baseball with the Chief Bender Award.

Here's the official press release:

Sheldon "Chief" Bender Award: Mark Newman, New York Yankees Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations

The Bender Award is presented to someone with distinguished service who has been instrumental in player development. Newman recently completed his 11th season of overseeing the drafting and acquisition of prospects for the Yankees. Entering the 2010 season, more than half of the players on the club's 40-man roster were either drafted or signed as non-drafted free agents.

"There are some exceptional people that are in this industry that do great work," Newman remarked. "I always assume some other people deserve recognition. I am certainly honored by it, but surprised."

"Mark Newman's résumé is virtually unparalleled in player development," Minor League Baseball President Pat O'Conner said. "The success of the Yankees farm system is often overshadowed by their storied success at the Major League level. You cannot overlook the long list of league championships and Major League players produced under Mark Newman's watch with the Yankees. Mark epitomizes the characteristics of Chief Bender in producing players and a winning atmosphere for the organization."

Newman has been with the Yankees for 22 years. He joined the organization in 1989 as Coordinator of Instruction, responsible for supervising all Minor League managers and coaches and planning Major and Minor League spring training.

He was promoted to Director of Player Development and Scouting in 1996 and then to Vice President of Player Development and Scouting a year later.

Oakland Director of Player Development Keith Lieppman received the award last year. Minnesota Twins Senior Director of Minor League Operations Jim Rantz was honored as the first Bender Award recipient in 2008.

Rookie of the Year Offical Voting

I mentioned in a prior post that Neftali Feliz and Buster Posey won the AL and NL Rookie of the Year Awards. Here is the official voting.

Fomer Yankees prospect Austin Jackson (98) finished second in the AL while another former prospect Jose Tabata garnered one vote in the NL.

Neftali Feliz, TEX2071122
Austin Jackson, DET819198
Danny Valencia, MIN1912
Wade Davis, TB1111
John Jaso, TB13
Brennan Boesch, DET33
Brian Matusz, BAL33
Buster Posey, SF2092129
Jason Heyward, ATL9202107
Jaime Garcia, STL111624
Gaby Sanchez, FLA21518
Neil Walker, PIT13
Starlin Castro, CHC33
Ike Davis, NYM22
Jose Tabata, PIT11
Jonny Venters, ATL11

The Envelope Please

It's award season for MLB, which means it is time for the My Pinstripes awards as well.


We'll start off with the big one right away. The Most Valuable Player (MVP) award for the American League. This is a two man race - Robinson Cano of the Yankees and Josh Hamilton of the Rangers.

Hamilton led the league in many offensive categories despite missing almost the entire last month of the season. Here's the thing, Texas most likely would have still won the AL West had Hamilton had a mediocre season.

Cano had a huge breakout year with the bat and won his first Gold Glove with remarkable defense. People will point out the RBI totals of A-Rod and Mark Teixeira, the up year for Nick Swisher, etc. But Cano carried the Yankees for much of the season. Without him there's a good chance that Boston, despite all it's injuries, would have caught the Yankees for the wild card.

The My Pinstripes AL MVP goes to Robinson Cano.
The MLB AL MVP will go to Josh Hamilton.

Over in the National League it is again a two man race. Albert Pujols had one of his usual monster years, while Joey Votto was the break out star of the surprising Cincinnati Reds. Prince Albert has dominated the award, but this is Votto's for the taking. It's hard to imagine that he had to be put on the All-Star team through a last minute fan vote.

The My Pinstripes NL MVP goes to Joey Votto.
The MLB NL MVP will go to Joey Votto (otherwise the BBWAA is even crazier than you think).

CY Young

Let's start with the NL this time around. Ubaldo Jiminez owned this award in the first half. He was unstoppable. Then a rain delayed/interrupted start seemed to screw up his season. Adam Wainwright took ownership in August. he was unstoppable. And then he fell apart down the stretch.

So that only means one thing..is there a doctor in the house? Perfect game in the regular season, no-hitter in the post-season (which of course does not affect voting), and a won-loss record that would have been much better if the Phillies hadn't slumped for most of the season.

The My Pinstripes NL CY Young goes to Roy Halladay.
The MLB NL CY Young will go to Roy Halladay.

Over in the AL, it's a triumvirate of CC Sabathia, David Price, and Felix Hernandez. The King has all the totals other than wins, which is not the best indicator of a top pitcher. Sabathia and Price were both dominant at times.

The My Pinstripes AL CY Young goes to CC Sabathia.
The MLB CY Young goes to.....David Price (just a hunch).

Rookie of the Year

As I write this I already who the actual winners are, but they were my picks as well.

Neftali Feliz dominated as the Rangers closer. But where does he go from there? Do the Rangers keep him as the closer or eventually make him a starter?

Buster Posey's impact on the Giants lineup was enormous as was his defensive presence.

The My Pinstripes and MLB Rookie of the Year Winners - Neftali Feliz, Buster Posey

Manager of the Year

Many people will hand this award to Ron Washington for the job he did with the Texas Rangers. But Washington also made a lot of strange decisions during the year and played in a weak division. Ozzie Guillen and Ron Gardenhire also performed well. But...

The My Pinstripes AL Manager of the Year is Terry Francona. A few less bad breaks and some good ones and Boston might have been in the playoffs.

The MLB AL Manager of the Year will go to Ron Washington.

Over in the NL there are a number of good choices- Bruce Bochy, Bobby Cox, Dusty Baker, Bud Black.

The My Pinstripes NL Manger of the Year is Bobby Cox

The MLB NL Manager of the Year will go to Dusty Baker