34 thoughts on “Freaking Yankees”

  1. … or Chipper Jones moving to left field so the Braves can sign Vinny Castilla to play third (dramatic pause)

  2. This just may prove that you can’t buy a championship. If they trade for A-Rod, and still get beat by the Red Sox, it will make Steinbrenner look like the biggest jackass, if that already hasn’t been done.

  3. Rob,the Red Sox haven’t beaten the Yankees in several of your lifetimes. The just got beaten by the Yanks again and the dang season hasn’t started yet.

  4. I would move Jeter to 2nd. Have A-Rod stay at SS (Gold Glove). Let Lamb or Houston play 3rd. Is Boone out for the year?

  5. Jeter doesn’t have the range to play 2nd base. The Yankees could stick him at 3rd base though, where he doesn’t need great range and could benefit from his strong arm, and trade for someone else to play 2nd base.

  6. I predict that Alex will be playing shortstop by the end of spring training. Jeter will defer it to him and say some crap about, “whatever it takes for the Yankees to win blah blah..”. Torre’s already got to make a decision about what to do with Bernie and Lofton. I know Jeter’s a different story with all his “intangibles”, but when the best shortstop in baseball shows up on your lineup card, it’s pretty tempting to not pencil him in where he belongs and stick Jetes somewhere else. I hate the Yankees just as much as everyone here, but I sure would hate to see A-Rod have to play out of position because of the intangible God-like status of Jeter. Plus, if Jeter moves to third, he looks like the ultimate Yankee gamer and spares himself the embarassment of stinking it up at shortstop another year. At least if he sucks at third, it can be attributed to adjusting. A-Rod’s range to his right is so good anyway, Jeter won’t have a tough adjustment, trust me. A-Rod was doing Blalock favors all year last year.

    Question: Is A-Rod still captain of the Rangers? If for some crazy reason this deal does not go through, THEN WHAT! How’s A-Rod going to explain his way out of this one? Surely Bud Selig isn’t dumb enough to not approve to deal and make baseball’s best player it’s most hated player. Can we reasonably predict boos for A-Rod in Seattle, Texas, AND Boston this year (and New York if he ever strikes out with runners on)?

  7. The fact that we are even having this discussion is sick. This is obviously bad for baseball. Will there ever be a hard salary cap? I’m sorry guys, the Yankees just won the World Series.

  8. Reaganman: everyone said that after they signed Giambi, too. Look, I’d be an idiot not to admit that they should be favored, but if the last couple of years have shown anything, they’ve shown that buying a WS title is not as easy as everyone makes it out to be.

    Here’s a few things — none of them great stretches of the imagination — that could turn the Yanks from WS champs-elect to a wild card team or worse:

    a) and injury to Kevin Brown
    b) further degeneration of Giambi’s knee, a la McGwire
    c) injury and/or decline in Bernie W.
    d) injury to Gary Sheffield
    e) Rivera blowing his arm out
    f) Steinbrenner reacting to a perceived poor start, creating all kinds of disarray

    Point of all of this is not to say that MLB has to pray for a Yankee injury in order to compete. The point is that it’s a long season and anything can happen. Just ask the Marlins, Angels, or Diamondbacks. Hell, even ask the Yankees — they haven’t won the WS since Clinton was in office.

  9. Part of me just loves this. Selig et al went to great lengths to put in place an economic system with one goal – screw the Yankees. And George’s response has been to just do even more spending than he did before. As an “In your face!” to Bud et al, I like it.

    I predict also that A-Rod will get most of the time this year at SS. Jeter’s rehabbing injury will give a few twinges (real or not), and for his own good Torre will move him to 3B, to rest him ya know.

  10. Jeter will play Short. I think everyone in the world knows Rodriguez is the better defender, certainly including Torre. But unlike APBA or Strat-o-matic, there are real individuals involved. Jeter’s ego is HUGE. He won’t move off SS until the Yanks have an off season. Just getting Honus Wagner, Jr. isn’t reason enough.

    What gets me is how different this trade is than the A-Rod for Manny deal discussed ad nauseum earlier. In that deal, the Sox would have upgraded defensively, but been neutral offensively. Here, because of the Yanks financial wherewithall, they are able to deal Soriano, and upgrade tremendously offensively and significantly defensively. The Red Sox are an incredibly rich franchise, but the Yanks just showed that they play in a whole ‘nother league. This is the first time I’ve ever thought a salary cap could happen.

    OK, a list of the best players changing teams this season, in rough order of anticipated 2004 value:

    A-Rod, Yanks
    Sheffield, Yanks
    Guerrero, Angles
    Schilling, BoSox
    Valdez, Yanks
    I-Rod, Kittens
    Tejada, O’s
    Brown, Yanks
    Maddux, ?
    Cameron, Mets
    Colon, Angles
    Clemens, Astros
    Foulke, BoSox
    Drew, Braves
    Lopez, O’s
    Pettite, Astros

    Some debate about exact ranking is fine, but the point is the Yanks, after being in the WS 6 of the last 8 years have added, cost be damned, 4 of the top 10 players changing hands. Ugh.

    Batting order?

    Jeter, SS
    Williams, DH
    Rodriguez, 3B
    Sheffield, RF
    Giambi, 1B
    Posada, C
    Matsui, LF
    Lofton, CF
    Warm bucket of spit, 2B


  11. The odd thing is that, given the Rangers were suddenly willing to eat so much of the contract, there were several teams that could have been in the running for A-Rod, including us. I suppose that A-Rod wanted to go to NY or Boston only, though, but to be the best player in the game at your position and have to move?

  12. From the Yanks perspective, they just signed A-Rod to a deal for 2004-2010 averaging $16m per year. The Rangers are going to end up paying him a total of $140m to play three years for them.

    Hicks pays $140m to get three years of A-Rod.
    Steinbrenner pays $112m to get seven years.

    Pardon my french, but holy shit Batman!

  13. Craig: I follow your logic and I hope you’re right. But remember, Steinbrenner will give Cashman a blank check to do whatever is needed up until the trading deadline as always and the Yanks don’t have many needs right now. This is disgusting and Selig has to do something about it… NOW! Baseball will learn that a hard cap is necessary… but it just might be too late when they figure it out.

  14. “Baseball will learn that a hard cap is necessary… but it just might be too late when they figure it out.”

    But when is that? As I said before, the Yankees haven’t won a world series since 2000, and they barely limped into the playoffs that year. Since then, their payroll has gone up and up, and they have nothing to show for it. While I find it frustrating that they seem to get every good player they want, the fact of the matter is that it hasn’t truly hurt anybody.

    Going further, while I personally hate the Yankees, their prominence is good for baseball. The TV ratings are up when they’re playing. Attendence is raised when they’re in town. Writers have stuff (albeit boring stuff) to write about, which draws in the casual or marginal fan. THink about it: this week was Daytona 500 week and the NBA all star game, and all everyone could talk about was Arod and the Yankees. As long as they aren’t winning the WS every year, this is probably a good thing. James Bond needed Blofeld. Superman needed Lex Luthor. Baseball needs the NY Yankees.

  15. Yankee fans get excited about this, but when virtually the same handfull of teams win each year it leaves most fans uninterested. Look at the overall condition of baseball… not good. I realise that there are several problems with baseball, but it is obviously not good when a sport relies on one team to get ratings. I believe in free-market principles; however, baseball is supposed to be entertainment… if the Yankees win again and again nobody will care after a while. I am aware of the fact that they have come short for the last three years… but now they are stronger than ever. I could be wrong, but I really think that this has to stop. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have a hard salary cap… look no further than the success of the NFL.

  16. While I find it frustrating that they seem to get every good player they want, the fact of the matter is that it hasn’t truly hurt anybody.

    If you think your frustrated, put yourself in the shoes of a Jays, Orioles, or D-Rays fan. Good luck ever seeing the playoffs with these to giants playing “can you top this” in your division.

    Baseball reached one of it’s lowest points as far as fan interest during the fifties when the Yankees won the World Series almost every year (7 in 10 years). While the expanded playoffs make such an extended run less likely, the fact that they can essentially just pick their team every year certainly raises the chances of another dull period of domination.

  17. “It certainly doesn’t hurt to have a hard salary cap… look no further than the success of the NFL.”

    If that’s success, they can have it. The NFL is a television show like Friends or Survivor. Yeah, more people watch it than baseball, but it ain’t because the product is any good. Just my opinion, but if baseball treated its players like the NFL treats its players — even the biggest stars are disposable salary figures — my love for the game would decrease dramatically. Baseball has a system in place now where a team can spend as much or as little as it wants and, until the Yankees prove otherwise, even teams with low payrolls can compete and win the game’s ultimate prize.

    “Baseball reached one of it’s lowest points as far as fan interest during the fifties when the Yankees won the World Series almost every year (7 in 10 years). While the expanded playoffs make such an extended run less likely, the fact that they can essentially just pick their team every year certainly raises the chances of another dull period of domination.”

    There’s no indication that such a situation is even close to happening now. TV ratings and general interest are higher than they’ve been in years (the ALCS got higher ratings in Boston than the Super Bowl). I agree that Yankee domination may be bad for the game, but I would argue that the Yankees haven’t dominated anything that matters in years. The headlines? Yep. The AL East standings? Sure, but it isn’t as if Toronto, Baltimore, or Tampa Bay have had playoff caliber teams that were gypped by an unfair system in any recent year. Baseball itself? Nope. 1996, 1998-2000 was a nice run, but it’s been more than interrupted, and it didn’t truly hurt the game.

    Besides, even if Toronto and Balitmore started to field cracker jack clubs that got muscled out, an easier and less-disruptive solution would be to re-institute a balanced schedule, not force the Yankees to quit throwing money away.

  18. I think that the NBA system would work… If the players actually knew the game. But their salary system (which allows teams to overbid to keep their own players) seems more stable than the NFL’s (which I agree is a disaster) and less subject to abuse than baseball’s.

  19. I’d be far more open to a cap in baseball if it had its own version of the “Larry Bird Rule.” It eliminates the excuse of the cap when ownership wants to cynically cut costs.

    I think the biggest drawback to it is that (I think) there would be a dramatic decrease in the number of trades because the money would always have to match. Yeah, we’ve been moving towards that a bit informally in baseball, but the fact remains that there is still a team or four that likes to dump salary in midseason, and only rarely is it a full-blown, soul-killing fire sale. It was good for the Indians, for example, to trade Alomar for prospects, and such a trade probably couldn’t have happened with an NBA style system. Competitive considerations aside, trades are a much greater part of the overall fabric of baseball than they are in the other sports, and if you limit them, even unintentionally, you lose a lot of the hot stove and the watercooler and all of that.

  20. I agree with the “Larry Bird rule” idea. The NBA has it and trades happen all of the time. But the NFL’s is not a disaster, there is wide-spread interest in the sport. While there are other intangibles, the fact that every team is competitive is a very big reason for that. By the way, did anyone else hear that the Yankees might get Maddux? I know Cashman said “We are not involved with Greg Maddux.” But we all know how that goes sometimes. If that happens I will throw up.

  21. I seriously doubt Maddux goes to the Yankees. It’s jut Boras trying to scare the Cubs into adding a few million to their deal.

  22. I agree that the Maddux to the Yankees story looks like a typical Boras planted story to try and scare the Cubs. I don’t think Hendry is buying it though.

    If Maddux really is considering the Yankees it’s a good indication of just how desperate he has become for that last big paycheck.

  23. Reading this news only makes me more upset that we could have had A-Rod four years ago if we would have just included a damn ‘no trade’ clause. Of course to afford him now with our tightwad owners, the rest of the team would probably resemble those infamous clubs of the late ’80’s (shudder). Ted Turner, where are you?

  24. What amazes me is that the Yankees are getting him at $16m a year after Texas picks up so much. If the Braves payroll was equal to last year’s, the team could have afforded that. That is a steal to get him at that price

  25. Well, the Red Sox were too greedy. In the sense that they wanted to get rid of THEIR 100 million dollar contract as well. Manny’s involvement meant that the Rangers would still be on the hook for boatloads of cash, whereas with Soriano, they get a quality player for a mere 5 million and clear up tons of payroll space to start going after overpriced pitching. That’s why they were willing to pay the yankees 60 mil..

  26. “If Maddux really is considering the Yankees it’s a good indication of just how desperate he has become for that last big paycheck.”

    And what will you slam him on if he signs with the Cubs?

    The Giants?

    The Dodgers?

    I’m fascinated, because I have nearly complete faith in your ability to slam one of the greatest pitcher’s in the history of baseball. It’s become an artform, really.

  27. Seems like your missing the point Andrew. Greg has said that he wants to stay in the NL, and perfers the West Coast near his home in Las Vegas. If he were willing to switch leagues and switch coasts, it would be obvious that he is chasing the paycheck. Given the cool reception he has seen on the open market, and the fact that spring training camps are opening and he is still not signed, there has to be some – if not desperation – urgency building. But again I should say that I don’t believe Maddux will end up a Yankee. This is likely just a stunt to try and squeeze a few more nickels out of the Tribune Company’s pockets.

  28. This is NOT a serious suggestion…. but wouldn’t it be cool if Maddux came back as a Spring Training invitee? I know, I’m just dreaming…

  29. Sorry Reaganman, I had similiar hopes (not that they could be seriously entertained), but Maddux appears to have rejoined the Cubs. With Maddux in their rotation the Cubs might vanquish “team evil”(to quote Mac from a much earlier posting) in the World Series. Given their young pitchers and Maddux’s reputation as a teacher, I only wonder why they waited so long.

    A-Rod joining the Yanks is not all bad. It is certainly good for the game to have a team as hateable as the Yanks. They will be especially fun to detest this season (which is saying something). The media–especially the NY papers–can be expected to turn the spotlight on every misadventure. 2004 should be the latest Bronx Zoo sequel.

    Also, I agree with many here that it is premature to send the World Series trophy to the Bronx. With all of those egos, the many distractions in NY, and the quality of the AL East, there is a good chance that the Yanks will implode. 2004, then, may well be a memorable season; with a little luck George will have wasted his money to prove that it is not as easy to buy a championship as many think. I hope that the game is better for it.

  30. I have to say I’m impressed. Even though Boras scheme to squeeze the Cubs was transparent to anyone with a brain, he somehow managed to squeeze a third year out of Hendry. It’s pretty amazing how often management falls for his tricks since he uses the same ones over and over.

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