• T’when-Tee, Double-O

    Posted by on January 31st, 2006 · Comments (4)

    In 2000, the Yankees won their third ring in a row.

    In 2001, the Yankees added free agent Mike Mussina.
    In 2002, the Yankees added free agent Jason Giambi.
    In 2003, the Yankees added free agent Hideki Matsui.
    In 2004, the Yankees added Alex Rodriguez and free agent Gary Sheffield.
    In 2005, the Yankees added Randy Johnson.

    And, in 2006, the Yankees added free agent Johnny Damon.

    Do any Yankees fans out there feel that, just maybe, someday we’ll be looking at the Mussina/Giambi/A-Rod/Damon Yankees and say “Wow, they had a lot of great names, and won a lot of games, but never won any rings”?

    Really, we’re half-way through the first decade of the twenty-hundreds with no rings in the Bronx. What happens if it’s October 31, 2010 and the last ring for the Yankees was 2000? How should the last Yankees decade be viewed?

    I think this Yankees run will then become the poster-child for the notion of you can’t buy a ring.

    I hope it doesn’t happen. I hope the Yankees do win a ring (or more) within the next 5 years. But, as we’ve seen the last 5 years, it’s not easy.

    I would hate to have to wait until something like 2018 for the next Yankees ring. Imagine hearing “T’when-Tee, Double-O” for the next dozen years?

    Big Rube Lives!

    Posted by on January 31st, 2006 · Comments (0)

    From the AP:

    Ruben Sierra agreed Tuesday to a minor league contract with the Minnesota Twins and was invited to spring training.

    Sierra, a 40-year-old switch-hitter who is usually a designated hitter, batted .229 with four home runs and 29 RBIs in 61 games with the New York Yankees last season.

    The four-time All Star, who was injured for much of last year, had filled a reserve role with the Yankees since 2003. But after the Yankees re-signed Bernie Williams and then signed Johnny Damon, there was no room for Sierra.

    I bet he shows up to Spring Training looking like Al Roker before the staple.

    I’ll Believe It When I See It

    Posted by on January 31st, 2006 · Comments (10)

    From the Daily News:

    Yankees president Randy Levine pitched the team’s new stadium plans to a different set of pinstripes yesterday, but the crowd was clearly on his team.

    Pledging that seats would remain affordable and that the project would create jobs for Bronx residents, Levine basked in a lovefest from the borough’s business community at the New Bronx Chamber of Commerce lunch as he outlined what he called “the largest private investment in the history of the Bronx.”

    “This stadium is going to be affordable,” said Levine, “affordable for everyone.”

    I’m a season ticket holder – since 2001. The seats are in the Loge by 1B. Not the best seats in the house – but not the worst either. They’re “good seats.”

    My seats, in 2001, were $37 each. This season, the seats are $55 each. At this rate, the seats will be (at least) $65 per seat in the new digs.

    So, if you a buddy want to sit in my “good seats” for a game, it’s going to cost close to $150 for the game. That’s a lot of money for 9 innings of baseball.

    How many people can afford that?

    Sickels Take

    Posted by on January 30th, 2006 · Comments (0)

    The John Sickels Baseball Prospect Book 2006 arrived today. It has a garish blue cover and lacks text on the spine; but, it’s full of great stuff (as always).

    John says Melky Cabrera isn’t “going to amount to much.” But, he loves Jose Tabata – and says he’s the 40th best batting prospect in baseball. Sickels also ranks Phil Hughes as the 26th best pitching prospect in baseball – but says “keep a close eye on his health.” He also writes that J. Brent Cox “should move very quickly.”

    If you’re into knowing more about minor league players, this is a good book to have – and fun to read.

    No Garden Party For Damon

    Posted by on January 29th, 2006 · Comments (4)

    From the Daily News:

    The high-flying Rangers are becoming quite the celebrity draw. But Rangers fans don’t shower their affections on just any pretty face that appears on the center-ice video board.

    New Yankees center fielder Johnny Damon, who arrived with stubble on his face, learned that when he heard a mixture of boos and cheers on being introduced to the crowd midway through yesterday’s romp over the Penguins. A couple of minutes later, Giants running back Tiki Barber received a standing ovation when his face appeared on the video screen.

    After the game, Damon visited with Jaromir Jagr. The Rangers’ star, an avid fan of all sports, asked Damon when Manny Ramirez was going to join him in New York. No word what the answer was.

    Makes sense. Probably 45% of the fans there were Yankees fans. And, another 45% were Mets fans – with another 10% being either Red Sox fans or fans of some other team not the Yankees.

    The odds were in the favor (55%) of Damon getting booed.

    As far as Tiki’s hand, well, maybe people mistook him for Mr. Potato Head? No one would ever boo Mr. Potato Head.

    mrp.jpg

    Candy Striper Cano Honored

    Posted by on January 29th, 2006 · Comments (1)

    From Newsday:

    Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, who has done superb work for children’s hospitals around the country, will be honored Tuesday at the 26th annual Thurman Munson Dinner, along with Astros pitcher Andy Pettitte and former Met Kris Benson.

    No word on whether or not Antonio Belize gets a nod for his assist.

    Shameless Plug

    Posted by on January 28th, 2006 · Comments (0)

    I hope that any fan of baseball would be interested in this news.

    Mango Met Rips A-Rod

    Posted by on January 28th, 2006 · Comments (4)

    From Newsday:

    Pedro Martinez and Alex Rodriguez are longtime friends, so much so that last winter, during Martinez’s free agency, the right-hander met with and confided in the Yankees’ third baseman.

    Yet Martinez, who wound up signing with the Mets, is disappointed that A-Rod has chosen to play for the United States — instead of the Dominican Republic — in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Martinez chose to share this sentiment publicly.

    “Alex is American because he was born in the United States, but after what Mike Piazza — a future Hall of Famer — did, who will be playing for Italy, and Nomar Garciaparra, who will be playing for Mexico, he had an excuse to do the same with the Dominican Republic,” said Martinez, who intends to pitch for his native Dominican Republic. Martinez’s statements were spoken to the Dominican-based television network Color Vision. ESPN.com first reported of the interview here.

    “Now Alex must prepare for the nasty comments that will arise in the Bronx, where almost half of the citizens are Latino and purely Dominican,” Martinez said. “In fact, when Alex gets [to the Dominican Republic] it’s possible that not even the reporters will be here to welcome him.”

    Now Alex must prepare for the nasty comments that will arise in the Bronx, where almost half of the citizens are Latino and purely Dominican…….

    Hey, Petey – Does this mean that Piazza will hear nasty comments when he plays in San Francisco where almost half of the citizens are American and purely, well, you know?

    This whole WBC-DR-thing is getting to be way too Wisteria Laney for me – esp. when Mango starts chirping on it too. And, of course, poor A-Rod is A-Lightning-Rod – again.

    Beam me up Scotty Brosius. This scene is getting out of control.

    Girardi In 2008

    Posted by on January 27th, 2006 · Comments (3)

    Now I think Joe G. will replace Joe T. as the Yankees skipper in 2008. He’s already kissing up for it:

    {Marlins} Manager Joe Girardi, taking a page from George Steinbrenner’s grooming manual, has issued a no facial hair policy for his players. For the first time in franchise history, the Marlins will be cleanshaven.

    Girardi figures the rule won’t be an issue with this team.

    “With our guys, it shouldn’t a problem,” he said, adding with a laugh: “They’re probably too young to shave anyway.”

    Girardi didn’t wear facial hair as a player, so he had no problem with Steinbrenner’s long-standing rule that allowed neatly trimmed mustaches but no beards and shaggy hair.

    “To me, the idea is to look professional,” Girardi said Thursday. “I understand it’s important for players to have their own style, and I don’t have a problem with that. But I want players to look neat and clean.”

    Not a bad idea. Let Girardi cut his teeth for two years in Miami and then grab him. It’s probably why they let him go without a fuss.

    Damon’s Legs Value

    Posted by on January 27th, 2006 · Comments (6)

    According to David Pinto’s stats:

    Off the top of my head, it looks like Damon will save the Yankees 30 to 35 outs versus having Bernie in center for the full season.

    Hmmmm. The Yankees allowed about 4.9 runs per game last year. Let’s say that 35 outs equals 1.3 shutouts – on, in the case of last year’s Yankees defense, about 6 runs over the course of the season.

    Doesn’t sound like much, right?

    Well, if you assume that they Yankees score this year like they did last year, and start playing around with the Pythagorean theorem application, yeah, it only comes down to maybe something like one extra win in 2006 (with Damon out there).

    (And, this is very rough math here – I’m sure there’s a smarter way to figure out what 35 more outs means.)

    But, hey, sometimes one win is the difference between making the post-season or not. So, if it’s there for the taking – why not go for it?

    Villone’s Can Do ‘Tude

    Posted by on January 27th, 2006 · Comments (0)

    From the Bergen Record:

    And yes, there was celebration among Villone’s family and friends upon the news that the left-hander from Bergenfield would be fitted for pinstripes.

    “It was probably one of the best days in my life,” said Villone, who recalled “a quick, little adrenaline rush” when he learned of his official transfer to the Yankees.

    “My role is going to be whatever Joe Torre wants it to be,” Villone said. “I’m willing to do anything at all. If he needs me to pinch hit, to bunt a runner over, I’ll do it.”

    Refreshing. But, I still think they should try and limit him to facing LH batters.

    The Season Of Their Lives

    Posted by on January 26th, 2006 · Comments (3)

    Tonight, I decided to pop this old MSG VHS puppy into the VCR:

    VHScover.jpg

    It’s the perfect fix for the “It’s so close but I can’t wait for Pitchers & Catchers” Yankees fan blues. Man, I still have to pump my fist when O’Neill catches the final out of Wells’ perfecto. I wish they would do a DVD boxed set of all the “highlight” games from that season. Now, that would be a must-have!

    Feel The Breeze

    Posted by on January 26th, 2006 · Comments (1)

    It must be almost baseball season. Curt Schilling’s lips are moving!

    Bill Simmons had a great exchange with Schilling – where Curt confirms that there was no curse, and that Boston just sucked all those years:

    You can throw every Sox team from 1919 on against that club, but at the end of the day, none of them could have beaten us {the 2004 Sox}. We did what none of them ever could. I don’t buy, nor did I ever buy, the curse crap. The curse was one of TEAM. Great teams overcome bad breaks, great teams overcome adversity, and in the end we proved that up to that point, we were the greatest Red Sox team ever put together.

    Russell Branyan

    Posted by on January 26th, 2006 · Comments (1)

    From news sources:

    Tampa Bay is close to signing third baseman Russell Branyan, released by Milwaukee.

    Damn the Yankees missed another one!

    Blank Generation

    Posted by on January 26th, 2006 · Comments (6)

    Just this AM I read another (print) report about how the future of the Red Sox will be nothing but rosy, and that they’re all set up, thanks to having pitching prospects like Jonathan Papelbon, Craig Hansen, and Jon Lester in their stable.

    When I see stuff like this, three words come to mind: Wilson, Pulsipher, and Isringhausen.

    TINSTAAPP baby. I’ll believe it when I see it.

    Schill The Pill

    Posted by on January 25th, 2006 · Comments (7)

    According to GQ, Curt Schilling is #4 on the list of “The Ten Most Hated Athletes” -

    “Between the white lines, it’s all real,” says one reporter who has covered Schilling. “But outside the white lines, there’s a huge gap between the man and the image he projects.” Take, for instance, Schilling’s self-glorifying display during Congress’s steroid hearings last March or his absurdly patriotic open letter to America on ESPN.com after 9/11, for which his teammates mocked him on a late-night bus ride with a chorus of “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy.” “They know what he’s about,” says the sportswriter. “I’d say a large percentage of them like him—every fifth day. He wears on people.”

    On days he doesn’t pitch, Schilling is notorious for striking TV-ready poses on the dugout stairs. (His manager in Philadelphia, Jim Fregosi, dubbed him Red Light Curt.) “He’s somebody who’s always positioning himself in terms of what’s best for Curt Schilling,” says ESPN’s Pedro Gomez, who described Schilling as “the consummate table for one.” (Speaking of which, Schilling also has a reputation for sneaking into the clubhouse late in games to get a head start on the buffet.)

    So avid is Schilling’s longing for the spotlight that some of his peers raise doubts about his now legendary turn in the 2004 postseason, when he pitched on an ankle tendon that had been sutured in place. During Game 6, cameras cut repeatedly to the bright red stain on Schilling’s sock. It was blood, right? “The Diamondbacks people think he definitely doctored that sock,” says the sportswriter. The ex-teammate laughs: “All around baseball, people questioned that. It was funny how the stain didn’t spread.”

    I’ve been saying this for over a year. Don’t believe the saint-stuff that you hear on Curt.

    Related, no Yankees made the GQ list. Wow.

    In Dreams

    Posted by on January 25th, 2006 · Comments (1)

    You know that dream that everyone reportedly has – where you’re back in school and not prepared for a test, or you can’t find your class, or you show up for a big day in school and you’re still wearing your pajamas? Supposedly, it’s all about having a feeling of not being prepared for something in real life.

    I’ve never had that dream.

    For me, it’s different. It’s always about baseball. Either I have a game and I can’t find the field. Or, I’m late and the game has already started. Or, and this is the most common one for me, I’m at the game but I can’t find my glove. Sometimes it’s my spikes instead of the glove, but, usually it’s the missing mitt.

    I still have this dream today – shoot, I had it last night. (Big meeting at work today.) It’s odd – considering that it’s been something like 16 years since I played any form of organized ball.

    I suppose once you have baseball on the brain, you become baseball insane…..

    Small Deal

    Posted by on January 24th, 2006 · Comments (0)

    The Yankees signed Aaron Small for $1.2 million.

    It’s nice to know that Cashman listens to me sometimes.

    Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution

    Posted by on January 24th, 2006 · Comments (0)

    Tell me that I didn’t see A-Rod doing sit-ups on a Nike commercial tonight.

    Does this mean Trot Nixon will say he’s a loving couch potato dad sometime next month?

    Another Hall – Holy Cow!

    Posted by on January 24th, 2006 · Comments (0)

    From the AP:

    Holy cow! The Scooter has been named to another hall of fame.

    Legendary New York Yankees shortstop and announcer Phil Rizzuto, elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994 will be inducted this spring into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame.
    W.O. McGeehan, whose “McGeehanism”-laden columns were a favorite in the now-defunct New York Herald Tribune before his death in 1933, will be inducted in the writing category, the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association announced Tuesday.

    Can he top his Cooperstown speech? I doubt it.

    Will They Have A High Sign?

    Posted by on January 24th, 2006 · Comments (6)

    I found this quote from Johnny Damon (about his days in Beantown) to be interesting:

    “I was such an integral part of that team, too. When I got there it was 25 guys and 25 cabs. Everybody was doing their own thing.

    “I helped change the culture there. I helped them win a world championship. I made a difference on the field and in the clubhouse.”

    There’s no way now to forecast the impact of Damon being out of the Sox clubhouse and moving to the Yankees clubhouse. In fact, do the Yankees even need help in the clubhouse?

    I’ve heard whispers about there being a “Jeter’s guys” and “A-Rod’s followers” division in the Bronx. But, who knows, outside of those close to the team, if it’s true?

    Perhaps Damon can serve as some comic relief – ala’ Mickey Rivers and/or Tim Raines – and act as a harmony unifier for the Yanks? And, perhaps his absence in Boston will be felt outside of the playing field?

    We won’t know the answers to this until some time this summer. But, it’s worth keeping a pulse on once the season starts.

    Yanks Interested In Piazza?

    Posted by on January 24th, 2006 · Comments (6)

    From Newsday:

    Mike Piazza has turned up on the Yankees’ radar, of all places.

    The Yankees have some interest in Piazza and will consider whether to offer the Cooperstown-bound catcher a contract, American League sources told Newsday yesterday.

    Piazza’s agent, Dan Lozano, has called Yankees general manager Brian Cashman regarding the free agent’s interest in playing for the Yankees, and Cashman did not dismiss the offer.

    On the contrary, it is expected that the Yankees soon will consider the merits of signing Piazza – primarily as a designated hitter – if they haven’t already.

    Reached yesterday by phone, Cashman, back from a rare Caribbean vacation, indicated that organizational higher-ups hadn’t yet weighed the pros and cons of the Piazza possibility. But he didn’t close the door at all.

    “We’re fairly set. Our designated hitter spot is taken by Bernie Williams and Andy Phillips. But I’ll keep an open mind,” Cashman said. “I’m always open to consider any possibility that may help the ballclub.”

    Memo to Cashman: Piazza is cooked. Didn’t you read WasWatching.com last month? Pass. Please, pass!

    For Love Of My Country

    Posted by on January 23rd, 2006 · Comments (0)

    Today’s curious thought:

    How many days until we hear/see the first Steiner Sports commercial for getting our “official” A-Rod and/or Jeter signed “Team USA” paraphernalia?

    2005 Road Woe-is-me-ers

    Posted by on January 22nd, 2006 · Comments (2)

    I was just looking at the team splits database over at BaseballMusings.com and I noticed this data for the Yankees, last season, on the road:

    000roadsplit.jpg

    In 2005, the Yankees road On-Base Average was very low – according to their standards in recent seasons. And, clearly, the reason for this was the Yankees #1 and #9 batters in their order.

    Three weeks ago, I mentioned that (perhaps) having Damon now (and having him bat lead-off) will cure the road issue at the top of the line-up.

    But, the #9 slot – Wow! Something has to happen there. Last year, it was mostly Cano and Womack who batted 9th. But, combined, as #9 hitters, their OBA was still over .300 – overall. (I can’t find the splits for home and the road. But, I do recall Cano being a good road hitter last year. Therefore, I don’t think he hurt the team batting last on the road.)

    So, who killed the Yankees when they batted last in the line-up?

    Actually, it was Bernie Williams. In 50 PA as a #9 hitter, Bernie’s OBA was .260 – overall. Yes, his On-Base Average, overall, was two-sixty when batting 9th last year. Maybe Bernie just couldn’t get into it when he batted 9th?

    Maybe I should re-think that idea of having the D.H. bat 9th for the Yankees this season?

    Jeff Maier Update

    Posted by on January 22nd, 2006 · Comments (3)

    Baseball America just ran a nice story on Jeff Maier. From Jeff’s mouth:

    “My first priority is to the team,” Maier said. “I believe we have the tools to compete and win the NESCAC. But as soon as I hang up my spikes at Wesleyan, the first thing I am going to be doing is waiting for a phone call from somebody saying they would like to take a chance with me and see what I can do (in pro ball).”

    Watch out Red Lanning.

    Minding My P’s and MLE’s

    Posted by on January 22nd, 2006 · Comments (1)

    Yesterday, I identified a half-dozen “rookie” (for the most part) pitchers who I think could help the Yankees at some point in 2006. And, then the question of “Why these and not some others?” came up.

    To come up with my list, I used 2005 Major League Equivalencies (MLE) which is basically taking last year’s minor stats and adjusting them to what the numbers would mean in terms of major league level performance. The source that I used for the MLE data was Ron Shandler’s Baseball Forecaster 2006.

    Related, I thought this would be a good time to look at the MLEs for some of the pitchers in the Yankees system. Here goes:

    Jason Anderson – 2005 MLE ERA: 3.04
    Colter Bean – 2005 MLE ERA: 3.67 (Nice, but, he walks too many batters)
    Jorge DePaula – 2005 MLE ERA: 5.28 (But, note, this was a rehab year for him)
    Matt DeSalvo – 2005 MLE ERA: 3.96
    Sean Henn – 2005 MLE ERA: 3.17
    Jeff Karstens – 2005 MLE ERA: 4.95
    Charlie Manning – 2005 MLE ERA: 4.62
    Ramon Ramirez – 2005 MLE ERA: 4.73
    Eric Schmitt – 2005 MLE ERA: 6.54
    Matt Smith – 2005 MLE ERA: 3.65
    Jose Veras – 2005 MLE ERA: 4.26
    Steven White – 2005 MLE ERA: 8.13

    When you look at these numbers, I think it explains why I chose the pitchers that I did pick. Now, some might say “What about Phil Hughes, Christian Garcia, Tyler Clippard, Jeff Marquez, J. Brent Cox, and T.J. Beam (among others)?”

    To that I would answer “How many innings have they logged at Double-A or above in 2005?”

    Seriously, the jump from Double-A to Triple-A is huge for a pitcher. And, the jump from Triple-A to the Majors is even bigger than that. So, how can you expect someone who’s never pitched at Double-A yet to be a help in the big leagues this year? That’s asking a lot.

    Now, personally, if someone like J. Brent Cox can make that leap in 2006 and help the big team, well, I would do a hand-stand out of sheer joy. But, I’m not going to count on it.

    Of course, MLE ERAs are not fool-proof. Wang and Small had less than great 2005 MLE ERAs – and they pitched better at the major league level. But, neither of them were typical “bush leaguers” – as Small had major league experience and Wang pitched in big games for his country.

    Still, based on the numbers, I like the chances of Henn and DeSalvo the most (out of all Yankees farm system pitchers) to be the ones to help at the major league level in 2006.

    Farm Aid 2006

    Posted by on January 21st, 2006 · Comments (7)

    Three days ago, I said that Randy Johnson just might be the most important player on the Yankees team in 2006.

    Taking it a step further – I began to ponder today about who may be the most important player not on the Yankees 25-man roster (but still in the organization).

    If I had to rank the prospects for this in order, I would list them as follows:

    1. Sean Henn
    2. Matt DeSalvo
    3. Jorge DePaula
    4. Matt Smith
    5. Jose Veras
    6. Jason Anderson

    Let’s face it – between the health status of Mussina, Wang, Pavano and Wright – coupled with the chance that Chacon reverts back to previous form – the Yankees are going to need someone from the minors to come up and help with the rotation at least once during this season.

    Henn, DeSalvo and DePaula are probably the three pitchers in the system closest to being ready to make that leap. And, if none of them can do it, then someone like Small or Villone will have to step into the rotation and then a Smith, Veras or Anderson will need to come up to the majors and help out in the pen.

    Yankees fans should watch these six pitchers very closely this Spring Training. Those in this group who do well just might be the Chien-Ming Wang or Aaron Small story of 2006.

    Jeter House Hunting?

    Posted by on January 21st, 2006 · Comments (6)

    From the CT Post:

    Point Lookout resident Leslie Lang never gave much thought to rooting for the New York Yankees.

    After all, her brothers are diehard fans of the Yanks’ archrival, the Boston Red Sox.

    But the persistent, albeit likely unfounded, local rumors that Derek Jeter, the Bronx Bombers’ captain and star shortstop, is looking to buy a home in Lang’s neighborhood has her reconsidering her attitude toward the Yankees.

    “We are all kind of hoping that he will move here,” Lang said. “But if there is a secret deal, I don’t know about it.”

    Indeed, residents in the city’s shoreline neighborhoods were experiencing a sort of Jeter-mania late this week, as word spread that the popular Yankee may have scoped out waterfront homes in Woodmont and Point Lookout, which offer some of the city’s best Long Island Sound views.

    Even if it’s only hearsay, many residents Friday were having fun with the idea of Milford competing with Gold Coast towns like Greenwich and Westport in attracting celebrity home buyers. “We would welcome Derek Jeter to the neighborhood,” said Point Lookout resident Pamela Staneski, a Board of Education member. “We would accept him like everybody else.”

    A representative for Jeter’s agent, Casey Close, said Friday the rumor was false, but declined further comment. A Yankees’ spokeswoman also declined comment.

    I know Jeter has a house in Florida (next door to Gerald Williams). And, someone I work with once told me he was buidling a house in New Jersey near them – with one next to it for his parents and sister. It must be nice to have a place to flop in just about every state.

    Ron Shandler’s Baseball Forecaster 2006

    Posted by on January 21st, 2006 · Comments (8)

    FYI, you might enjoy the review of Ron Shandler’s Baseball Forecaster 2006 that I just did for NetShrine.com. Click here to read it.

    It was a very good book. From a Yankees fan angle, it looks like we should be very concerned about Shawn Chacon’s performance in 2006. According to their findings, he was very lucky in 2005.

    A-Rod & Sheff To Be In Charity Poker Tournament

    Posted by on January 21st, 2006 · Comments (0)

    From PokerMag.com:

    Once again, another baseball star is putting his fame and celebrity aside and unlike his previous excursions into the world of poker that were so well documented by the New York City media, this time around, he’s playing cards to help others.

    A-rod is without a doubt one of the most well known of the New York Yankees and he draws the spotlight wherever he goes. On Saturday, January 21, 2006, A-rod and a host of other celebrities and athletes are set to raise money for the Boys & Girls Club of Miami in the 2nd Annual Dewar’s 12 Hold’em Poker Tournament.

    300 players will get the chance to mix it up with a “who’s who” of A-list artists and athletes like Michael Jordan, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, Lenny Kravits, Vin Diesel, Glenn Rice, and Gary Sheffield.

    A-rod’s sometimes playing buddy and poker legend Phil Hellmuth will act as emcee and will also be providing some tips when he’s not busy with his announcing duties.

    Held at one of Sotheby’s International Realty’s exclusive multi-million dollar listings on the private island of Indian Creek Village, the event is sure to be the talk of the town as players battle it out on the felt for the grand prize of a one year lease on a Mercedes-Benz C230WZ courtesy of Alex Rodriguez Mercedes-Benz.

    Sometimes, I do wonder if it’s just easier for these guys to write a check and then spend the day with their families instead. Actually, it shows more commitment to a cause when you fork over your own money rather than just lend your name and face to get others to spend their money.

    Michael Kay always quotes Buck Showalter with the line of “If you do something good for someone, and somebody other than you and them knows about it, you have to question what your intention was really all about.”

    Part of me wants to question this whole charity poker thing – but, the other part says, well, at least the kids are getting something here. But, again, for A-Rod’s rep, and the Yankees’ as well, I just wish the players involved had thought of another theme to get this done.

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