• Sabathia & Burnett Not Interested In Yanks?

    Posted by on October 26th, 2008 · Comments (9)

    Via George King -

    The Yankees are willing to spend big glue to repair their starting rotation. But are they able?

    With C.C. Sabathia looking to stay in the NL and liking Southern California, the only way the Yankees land the left-handed stud is by offering him far more than anybody else. He is expected to exceed the $137.5 million the Mets dropped on Johan Santana after acquiring him from the Twins last year.

    And now word is spreading that A.J. Burnett will shy away from The Bronx, too.

    If Sabathia and Burnett don’t want the Yankees’ money, the Yanks will be left to dance with Ben Sheets, Derek Lowe, Ryan Dempster and Oliver Perez.

    Burnett’s agent, Darek Braunecker, denied his client has ruled out the Yankees.

    “That is 100-percent wrong,” Braunecker said. “If he does indeed opt out of the deal [with Toronto] he will see if the Yankees are interested.”

    And, via Anthony McCarron -

    [CC] Sabathia’s combination of talent, grit and charm might make him a perfect fit for New York. At least that’s what the pitching-needy Yankees are hoping. The 28-year-old Sabathia is the No. 1 starter available for the Yanks’ No. 1 need and many in baseball believe if Sabathia is simply interested in getting the biggest, longest contract, he’ll be fitted for pinstripes.

    But nothing is certain Saturday ex-Yankee Doug Mientkiewicz was quoted in USA Today in September saying that Sabathia had told him of New York, “I’m not going to go there.”

    Those who know Sabathia Saturday the same people who talk glowingly about his sweet, easygoing nature and his “big ole smile,” as Abe Hobbs, his high school coach described it Saturday say money won’t be Sabathia’s only consideration. Sabathia, who is married with two kids and another due this month, is looking to build a house near Los Angeles. Some believe he’d prefer to play in California, in the National League, because he loves to hit.

    “I know he wants to put on some World Series rings before he leaves the game and do some special things,” Hobbs says. “He’s a guy who, in a couple years, people will start talking about the Hall of Fame. He’s smart enough to know that it’s a much shorter road to the Hall of Fame through New York. I could see him playing in New York.…I don’t think anything in California is a lock right now.”

    “This is just my guess, but the challenge of playing in New York might be intriguing to him, knowing him the way I do,” adds Paul Cogan, the scout who signed Sabathia as the 20th pick of the 1998 draft. “He could handle it. But he really likes to hit, too. In the past, he’s grabbed me and said, ‘Tell these people that I can hit!’”

    There’s a part of me that says the Yankees are going to get played by all these big name free agent pitchers…just to drive up the prices for the other teams who eventually sign them…and, in the end, none of them will come to the Bronx. So, perhaps, it’s better for the Yankees to spend their time identifying which pitchers are out there, currently on other teams, who are maybe arbitration-eligible and/or a year or two away from free agency – where their current team will be hard pressed to pay them – and start working on some trades to get those “ace” starting pitchers for their rotation.

    And, that part of me that’s saying that is starting to talk louder, and louder, each day…

    Game 3 Of The 2008 World Series

    Posted by on October 26th, 2008 · Comments (11)

    One of the most exciting World Series game endings that almost no one saw?

    I’m sorry, but, when you have a 9-inning World Series game ending at 1:47 am ET, well…that’s just wrong. Blame Bud. Blame FOX. Blame somebody…or blame everybody? Still, in any event, it’s just flat-out wrong that stuff like this happens…

    On a positive note, kudos to Jamie Moyer – who just missed joining me in the Sagittarius Class of ’62 by four days – for holding his own in a World Series game. Way to represent!

    Newark Bears Heading Towards Permanent Hibernation?

    Posted by on October 25th, 2008 · Comments (2)

    Only semi-Yankees related…because Newark used to be a Yankees farm team…but, I thought it was worth sharing…it being a local baseball thing…

    The Newark Bears may be closing up shop. Click here to read the story.

    Strange…just a coincidence…but, my daughter is wearing a Newark Bears shirt today. Talk about timing! (For the record, she decided to wear the shirt this morning and I just saw this story now – at 2 pm.)

    I’m not shocked to hear this news – but, it’s a bummer, nonetheless.

    Rutgers Offers Yankee Stadium Course

    Posted by on October 25th, 2008 · Comments (1)

    Why didn’t they have courses like this back when I was in school? Via Vincent Mallozzi

    Typical first-year courses at Rutgers University include biology, calculus, English literature, history and economics. But 20 freshmen — 19 of them Yankees fans — are enrolled in a research seminar called Yankee Stadium.

    Mike Glitch of Millstone, N.J., who is leaning toward a major in journalism, or perhaps music education, is on the roster for the 10-week fall course, which examines themes and issues related to the House That Ruth Built.

    “Studying the Stadium is more than knowing Paul O’Neill’s batting average in 1998,” Glitch, 18, said. “The stadium has diverse effects on different walks of life, and it’s interesting to study how one building could spawn all that it has.”

    Topics of research include the hero in American culture, the pluses and minuses of urban development, and the relationship between public finance and private enterprise.

    Theresa M. Collins, a history professor at Rutgers for 17 years, teaches the one-credit course at the Livingston campus in Piscataway, N.J. With 220 applicants, she said, Yankee Stadium was the most requested first-year research seminar this fall.

    The Sportys: Baseball DVD

    Posted by on October 25th, 2008 · Comments (1)

    This morning, my daughter (who is in the first grade) and my son (who will start kindergarten next year) watched “The Sportys” baseball DVD for the very first time.

    The baseball DVD is the first in “The Sportys” series – to be followed by additional videos for other sports. The series is being developed by Bobby Barad (who is Robinson Cano’s agent) and former big league outfielder Brady Clark.

    The feature in the DVD (which runs about 22 minutes long) has animated characters being taught about baseball, teamwork and sportsmanship by a talking baseball named “Stitch” (which is voiced by actor Michael Clark Duncan). According to the DVD case, the feature aims to educate kids ages 3-11 about the fundamentals of baseball in an entertaining and fun way.

    My kids were locked in while they watched the DVD. In fact, they didn’t make a sound while watching it. That’s always a sign that something has grabbed their attention and not lost it. Afterwards, we talked about what we watched and both of them said that they thought “The Sportys” was good. In fact, my daughter wanted to watch it again once it was over.

    The DVD also has some bonus content where Yankees batting coach Kevin Long instructs parents on how to teach baseball skills to their children at home via realistic, positive and fun instruction. Long’s message in this segment was on the money: Learn the basics, enjoy playing, have fun, and (as a parent) realize that the odds of your kid making the major leagues is between slim and none – so, try and make playing baseball a positive and fun experience (as it’s meant to be for kids).

    In the end, that’s what I would offer with respect to “The Sportys” baseball DVD. It’s a positive and fun tool to help introduce the game of baseball to young children who do not know the basics of the game.

    It may not be the DVD that your kids end up watching 100 times. But, it’s something that they will watch once, intently, and want to watch again. And, I would imagine that they’ll pick up enough “stuff” from the DVD that the next time they see a baseball game (albeit in-person or on TV), they’ll understand some of the things that they see in the game. And, that should lead to them wanting to play the game too.

    Hey, that’s good for them, you, and the game of baseball. So, when you connect the dots, “The Sportys” baseball DVD is good for your kids, you, and baseball itself.

    AFL Rising Stars Game 2008

    Posted by on October 25th, 2008 · Comments (6)

    Here’s the boxscore.

    On the evening, Phil Hughes faced 15 batters – allowing 2 walks, hitting another batter, one steal, a single, a double, and two homeruns. So, that’s seven of fifteen batters doing something against Hughes that was bad.

    Hughes is not exactly helping himself with his AFL showing to-date.

    Prediction On Yanks’ Pending Free Agents

    Posted by on October 25th, 2008 · Comments (15)

    Just for the fun of it, and pretty much done on the fly without any deep thought, here are some early predictions on where the Yankees “free agents” will be playing next season:

    Bobby Abreu: San Francisco Giants
    Jason Giambi: Seattle Mariners
    Mike Mussina: Retired
    Carl Pavano: St. Louis Cardinals
    Andy Pettitte: New York Yankees
    Sidney Ponson: Long Island Ducks
    Ivan Rodriguez: New York Mets

    It will be interesting to look back at this spitball guess when these players actually do find out where they will be playing in 2009.

    What do you think of these predictions? If you don’t agree, what are yours?

    Cashman: Play For Me & You’ll Get October

    Posted by on October 25th, 2008 · Comments (1)

    Via Jon Heyman -

    Yankees GM Brian Cashman has done a nice job of selling New York in the past, and this year the economic advantage may be greater than ever. “It’s a special place for those who have an opportunity to come and say they were a Yankee,” Cashman said. “For players interested in playing in the playoffs, it’s a good place to be.”

    Hearing this makes me see red. And, this goes back to what I wrote (almost four years ago) on May 2, 2005:

    Until the Yankees start stocking their team with players who realize you have to work for a ring, and it’s not an automatic given because of your payroll size or the names on your roster, we may just continue to see what we’ve been seeing since 2002 (and that World Series in 2001 might just be the closest we’ve come to seeing a champion for a long time to come).

    The Yankees don’t need players joining the team because playing here provides a chance to play in the post-season. The Yankees need players coming here who will take the team into the post-season and help them win there.

    The Yankees should be about teams who want to work towards a ring – and not about providing over-paid newcomers some post-season welfare.

    Experts Look At Yanks ’08 Draft

    Posted by on October 24th, 2008 · Comments (4)

    Some interesting snips from Baseball America’s annual Draft Report Card (for 2008):

    BEST DRAFT
    1. Rangers
    2. Royals
    3. Giants
    4. Twins
    5. Red Sox

    BEST SECONDARY PITCH
    1. Brian Matusz, lhp, Orioles (1)
    2. Shooter Hunt, rhp, Twins (1s)
    3. Ethan Martin, rhp, Dodgers (1)
    4. Christian Friedrich, lhp, Rockies (1)
    5. Jeremy Bleich, lhp, Yankees (1s)

    BEST PRO DEBUT
    College Players
    1. Brett Wallace, 3b, Cardinals (1)
    2. Roberto Lopez, 1b/of, Angels (25)
    3. Dan Robertson, of, Padres (33)
    4. Jay Jackson, rhp, Cubs (9)
    5. Pat Venditte, rhp/lhp, Yankees (20)

    BEST LATE-ROUND PICK
    Above Slot Bonuses
    1. J.P. Ramirez, of, Nationals (15)
    2. Quinton Miller, rhp, Pirates (20)
    3. T.J. House, lhp, Indians (16)
    4. Garrison Lassiter, ss, Yankees (27)
    5. Juan Carlos Sulbaran, rhp, Reds (30)

    THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY

    College Players
    1. Aaron Crow, rhp, Nationals (1)
    2. Tanner Scheppers, rhp, Pirates (2)
    3. Chris Dominguez, 3b, Rockies (5)
    4. Alex Wilson, rhp, Cubs (10)
    5. Scott Bittle, rhp, Yankees (2)

    High School Players
    1. Gerrit Cole, rhp, Yankees (1)
    2. Alex Meyer, rhp, Red Sox (20)
    3. Sonny Gray, rhp, Cubs (27)
    4. Zach Cox, 3b, Dodgers (20)
    5. Brett Mooneyham, lhp, Padres (15)

    (For the record, Baseball America talked to scouting directors and other scouts in order to provide a detailed breakdown of each team’s 2008 draft.)

    Well, if anything, Garrison Lassiter has that look in his eye….

    Get Those Rays Some Jerry Beads!

    Posted by on October 24th, 2008 · Comments (0)

    Via MyFOX Tampa Bay:

    One of America’s most visible talk show hosts is glad to see the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series.

    Jerry Springer has lived in Sarasota for 12 years. FOX 13 caught up to him today during a luncheon with members of the local Jewish Federation.

    He talked politics, current events, and his first love — baseball.

    “I’m a die-hard Yankees fan since I grew up in New York,” he explained. “But now that the Yanks are out of it, I was very happy that the Rays beat the Red Sox because over the years that’s been our nemesis.”

    Springer’s Chicago-based talk show has been on the air for 18 years. He says he’s never met anyone that hasn’t had something in their life happen that couldn’t be a subject on his show.

    It’s just that most people aren’t willing to go on TV and talk about it.

    Our nemesis?

    Ding-ding! Attaboy Jerry.

    WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 10/24/08

    Posted by on October 24th, 2008 · Comments (20)

    Feel free to use this post as a place for you to comment on anything Yankees-related (or within reach of tagging the bag of being Yankees-related on a decent slide) today. It could be a casual conversation offering, or, something you saw in the news, or something very detailed that you want to share that’s within the territory of Yankeeland.

    Or, comment on something that someone else has posted here in the comments…

    Have fun. Play nice. And, remember, keep it Yankees-focused.

    P.S. – if you want to discuss Game 2 of the 2008 World Series, as a special treat, here – that’s O.K., today, too.

    Thursday Night’s Musical Treat

    Posted by on October 23rd, 2008 · Comments (2)

    An oldie that I heard on the radio this AM for the first time in a long time…

    (more…)

    Bill Livesey Returns To Yankees

    Posted by on October 23rd, 2008 · Comments (1)

    Via the AP -

    Bill Livesey was hired by the New York Yankees as a pro scout on Thursday, 13 years after he was fired as vice president for player development and scouting.

    Livesey, who oversaw the Yankees’ draft when they selected Derek Jeter with the sixth pick in 1992, was with the Yankees from 1977-95 as a minor league manager, area scout, national crosschecker and farm director.

    The baseball and soccer coach at St. Petersburg’s Eckerd College from 1972-77, he was hired as Tampa Bay’s director of player of personnel a week after he was fired by the Yankees.

    He became special assistant to the general manager for Toronto in November 2001, then was hired as special assistant to the GM of the New York Mets in December 2003.

    Livesey was the Yankees Director of Player Development from 1980 to 1982 and their Scouting Director from 1991 through 1995 – and he was their Director of Player Development, again, in 1996. So, he knows the drill in New York. Related to him, back on February 6, 2008, I wrote:

    In any event, now, it’s pretty clear to me that Lin Garrett clogged up, if not destroyed, the Yankees talent pipeline that was manned pretty well by personnel such as Brian Sabean and Bill Livesey (the Scouting Directors before Garrett) – as well as Gene Michael and Bob Watson (the G.M.’s before Cashman). And, it wasn’t until Lin Garrett was “reassigned” that the pipeline began to flow again.

    So, yes, you can say I’m happy to see him have a role again in the Yankees organization. Now, if the Yanks could get his son to come back too…well…that would be twice as nice…

    Cashman: Getting Back To The Fall Classic Is Difficult

    Posted by on October 23rd, 2008 · Comments (3)

    Via Bob Klapisch -

    “I’m not sitting at home, watching the TV thinking, “that should be us.” It shouldn’t be us. We didn’t deserve it,” [Brian] Cashman said by telephone on Wednesday, hours before the Phillies took Game One, 3-2. “This World Series is about two teams that fought to get there. In the Rays’ case, it was a long road for them.”

    “Getting to the World Series and winning it in the period of time we did (four times between 1996-2000) was remarkable, I just don’t think people appreciated it,” the general manager said. “Maybe now they’re beginning to understand how hard it is to be a champion. Maybe reality is setting in. Re-creating that (golden era) is obviously very difficult.”

    Seems the Yankees G.M. sees obstacles where others may just see challenges…

    Mike Cameron?

    Posted by on October 23rd, 2008 · Comments (4)

    Via George King -

    General manager Brian Cashman refused to confirm or deny that Mike Cameron is high on the YankeesNew York Yankees ‘ list of free-agent signings if the veteran outfielder becomes a free agent.

    According to an industry source, the Yankees are waiting to see if the Brewers pick up a $10 option on Cameron, who will be 36 in January.

    If they don’t, the source said, the Yankees have targeted him because they consider him an upgrade at center field, where they have Brett Gardner, Melky CabreraMelky Cabrera and Johnny DamonJohnny Damon .

    “I am not going to tell you that’s right or not,” Cashman said. “We are going to do whatever to make the team better, that’s the bottom line.”

    For the record, my opinion on Mike Cameron hasn’t changed since January 10, 2008.

    Mick The Quick…

    Posted by on October 23rd, 2008 · Comments (1)

    …has a website. Click here to check it out.

    WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 10/23/08

    Posted by on October 23rd, 2008 · Comments (14)

    Feel free to use this post as a place for you to comment on anything Yankees-related (or within reach of tagging the bag of being Yankees-related on a decent slide) today. It could be a casual conversation offering, or, something you saw in the news, or something very detailed that you want to share that’s within the territory of Yankeeland.

    Or, comment on something that someone else has posted here in the comments…

    Have fun. Play nice. And, remember, keep it Yankees-focused.

    P.S. – if you want to discuss Game 1 of the 2008 World Series, as a special treat, here – that’s O.K., today, too.

    21 Years Ago…

    Posted by on October 22nd, 2008 · Comments (0)

    You know…it started at the end of 2003…and it didn’t look good in 2005…and it carried into 2006…and now it’s just sad to see the Big Stein in action…

    It’s much more fun to think of him the way he was back then…

    Cashman: I Wish I Could Tell You How The Rays Do It

    Posted by on October 22nd, 2008 · Comments (10)

    Via the Tampa Tribune -

    As a kid, Andrew Friedman had dibs on the morning sports section so he could study the box scores. Well before he could drive, he still made a daily pilgrimage to Houston’s Astrodome and was passed off as a player’s kid because he hung around the home team so much.

    While refining a take-no-prisoners playing style during his teenage years, Friedman wrote Lenny Dykstra’s number on the back of his cleats and answered to the nickname of “Nails,” a tribute to the type of leadoff batter and center fielder he wanted to become.

    Everything about Friedman’s approach — everything in his life, really — spoke to his passion for baseball.

    So really, it’s not surprising that Friedman, 31, has become a Midas-touch executive vice president of baseball operations for the Rays, who open the World Series tonight at Tropicana Field against the Philadelphia Phillies.

    But in reality, despite his lifelong dreams, it happened by accident.

    Five years ago, he was on Wall Street, first as a rookie investment analyst for Bear Stearns & Co., where 15-hour days are considered the work of slackers, then as an associate with MidMark Capital, a private equity firm.

    He was making good money, closing deals worth millions, really going places.

    The only place he really wanted to be was at a ballpark.

    “Andrew once told me, ‘Crunching all these numbers every day, that’s fine, but it’s not where my heart is,’” said Steve Lipman, who was Friedman’s boss at Bear Stearns. “He’d ask if I knew anybody with one of the baseball teams. He said he’d wash the floors there, if that was the way in.”

    Then came an unexpected break in 2003. Through his investment-banking buddy, Matt Silverman (now president of the Rays), he met Stuart Sternberg, who was about to purchase controlling interest in Tampa Bay’s baseball franchise.

    The group convened at a diner near Sternberg’s home in Rye, N.Y.

    Sternberg and Friedman hit it off immediately. They talked for hours.

    “He had the same thought process I did,” Sternberg said. “I sensed his passion. His willingness to step away from a lucrative career meant an enormous amount to me.

    “Andrew isn’t afraid to walk through the fire to execute his game plan,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. “How Andrew does what he does, I couldn’t tell you. Coca-Cola doesn’t give out its secret formula. But whatever he’s doing, it’s working.”

    Friedman played for a USA national team that toured China. He earned a baseball scholarship to Tulane, where his father also played, but a series of injuries ended his career prematurely. Friedman got his finance degree — on the advice of an Astros executive, actually — and was accepted into the two-year Bear Stearns investment program.

    “Financial boot camp,” Lipman said. “Not for the faint of heart. Andrew wanted to understand everything. He wasn’t just blindly following orders. That distinguished him from the other people he worked with in banking. He’s a go-to guy, very versatile.”

    Built For The Job

    Ultimately, that versatility attracted Sternberg.

    Sternberg heard about Friedman’s devotion to the “risk-reward” style of deal-making. At the same time, who knew Friedman once did skydiving over Las Vegas “just to see what it feels like,” and also hang-glided off the side of a mountain in Switzerland?

    Friedman was expected to add discipline and financial savvy, but who expected him to break down players like a grizzled scout?

    “Andrew sees things others don’t,” [Joe] Maddon said. “He’s more mature than I am. Here’s how I describe our relationship. He’s like my father and I’m like his son.”

    For what it’s worth, Dan Jennings and Chuck LaMar had a hand in getting the Rays where they are today too. So, who knows…maybe someday, say, around the year 2018, Friedman will be talking about Cashman’s replacement in New York…saying that he wished he knew how that guy was doing it? (This assumes the Yankees, by then, get some guys with a scouting background and let them call the shots for a few years…)

    Jerry Dior – The Man Behind The MLB Logo

    Posted by on October 22nd, 2008 · Comments (0)

    The WSJ has a nice feature on a Yankees fan who has left his mark on the game. Some highlights:

    Every night when Jerry Dior sits down to watch the baseball playoffs in his Edison, N.J., home, the television reflects his life’s most enduring handiwork.

    Forty years ago, Mr. Dior worked as a graphic designer at Sandgren & Murtha, a New York City-based marketing company. In 1968, Major League Baseball commissioned the agency to design an original logo. The mark was to serve two purposes: to signify that MLB was placing league-wide merchandizing rights under the auspices of a new umbrella company, and to commemorate the national pastime’s upcoming centennial.

    “Baseball was going through a bad period,” says Tom Villante, an advertising executive who helped choose the logo. “The NFL was gaining rapidly, and baseball was viewed as my grandfather’s sport. We needed something to give the sport a boost.”

    Mr. Dior’s all-American design — that of a silhouetted batter poised to swing at a ball, against a red-blue background — won over a selection committee that included Mr. Villante, New York Yankees president Mike Burke, Licensing Corp. of America executive Joe Grant and the then-attorney for the National League, Bowie Kuhn, who later became MLB commissioner. First unveiled in the fall of 1968, the horizontal logo appeared on players’ uniforms during the 1969 season, accompanied by the words “100th Anniversary.”

    “It just came to me,” Mr. Dior says. “I did the rough sketch and cleaned it up a bit, and that was that. I never thought anything about it until I turned on the television and saw it on the New York Mets’ uniforms” during the 1969 World Series.

    His son once heard a radio broadcaster say that Minnesota Twins slugger Harmon Killebrew served as his model for the logo. Mr. Dior’s response: “That’s completely untrue. It’s not Harmon Killebrew. It’s not anyone in particular.”

    Not long after concocting the logo, Mr. Dior left Sandgren & Murtha to become a free-lance designer and illustrator, primarily crafting commercial packaging. He never collected any royalties for his baseball logo, nor did he expect to receive any. “The logo belongs to baseball,” he says.

    Now 76, Mr. Dior is retired. He says he enjoys seeing his creation whenever he and his wife, Lita, watch his favorite team, the Yankees. He has one regret: Major League Baseball has never acknowledged his contribution. No team has invited him to throw out the first ball at a game. Mr. Dior has petitioned MLB for recognition, although he admits to not possessing any visual evidence of his work.

    What he can provide is the testimony of former colleagues. “I ran the project and I saw him design it,” Mr. Siegel says. “I swear on a stack of Bibles that Jerry Dior designed the damn thing.”

    WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 10/22/08

    Posted by on October 22nd, 2008 · Comments (21)

    Feel free to use this post as a place for you to comment on anything Yankees-related (or within reach of tagging the bag of being Yankees-related on a decent slide) today. It could be a casual conversation offering, or, something you saw in the news, or something very detailed that you want to share that’s within the territory of Yankeeland.

    Or, comment on something that someone else has posted here in the comments…

    Have fun. Play nice. And, remember, keep it Yankees-focused.

    Madge To A-Rod: “You’re Soaking In It – So, Why Not Move In, Sorta/Kinda?”

    Posted by on October 21st, 2008 · Comments (0)

    The lastest on the Kabbalah Celebrissaries via WCBSTV.com:

    Is Madonna on her way to becoming Madge-Rod?

    There is new drama in the pop star’s divorce, with reports surfacing that her rumored “special friend,” Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, is looking to get closer to her…literally!

    Just days after the British Daily Mail reported Madonna and A-Rod were preparing to go public with their alleged relationship – whatever that might be – in the coming months, and that the 50-year-old Madge would like to have a child with the 33-year-old Rodriguez, now comes talk that A-Rod is home hunting in her hood.

    “Things are looking pretty good that Madonna’s new man A-Rod is moving pretty close to her,” InTouch Weekly Senior Editor Noah Levy told CBS 2.

    The New York Daily News is reporting that A-Rod is looking to buy a place at 15 Central Park on the Upper West Side, just two blocks away from Madonna’s digs on Central Park West.

    “These rumors are apparently true that A-Rod wants to get even closer to Madonna by moving two blocks away from her,” said Levy. “Which is actually the same building that Sting and Trudie Styler live in, and they introduced Madonna and Guy Ritchie. It’s like 15 degrees of separation all over.”

    “Madge-Rod”? How about “A-Rodonna” instead? In any event, start the music…

    Lowe Prefers Boston Over Bronx?

    Posted by on October 21st, 2008 · Comments (2)

    Via Nick Cafardo last Sunday -

    Derek Lowe is putting Boston first on his list of preferred destinations now that he’s a free agent.

    Lowe told this reporter that while money is important, he wants to go to a quality organization committed to winning, and no organization, in his mind, fits that description better than Boston.

    Would the Red Sox be interested?

    That’s what Lowe doesn’t know. He left Boston after the 2004 season to sign a four-year, $36 million deal with the Dodgers. Off-the-field issues were a big factor in the Red Sox making a tough decision to part ways after he won three clinching games in the postseason that year.

    Lowe, 35, who still lives in Fort Myers, Fla., and is expected to be one of the most sought-after pitchers in the free agent market, doesn’t seem to think he’ll be back with the Dodgers. He was still upset about being lifted after five innings in Game 4 of the NLCS, when he had a 3-2 lead, only to see the bullpen squander it.

    …Lowe told this reporter that while money is important, he wants to go to a quality organization committed to winning, and no organization, in his mind, fits that description better than Boston…

    Ouch.

    But, we have A-Rod!

    Something Brewing For Willow?

    Posted by on October 21st, 2008 · Comments (1)

    Via Tom Haudricourt:

    I just heard from a very reliable source that former New York Mets manager Willie Randolph was scheduled to be interviewed today for the Brewers’ managerial opening.

    That makes perfect sense because I’ve written from the beginning that Randolph would be one of the candidates for the job.

    Randolph is the second candidate that I know has been interviewed, including former Arizona manager Ken Macha. I also suspect that former Arizona manager Bob Brenly has been interviewed but I don’t know that for a fact.

    Randolph was interviewed by the previous Brewers regime for the job that went to Davey Lopes before the 2000 season.

    Baseball has minority hiring guidelines but I don’t believe that’s solely why Randolph is being interviewed. They are looking for a manager with previous experience and success at the big-league level and Randolph fits those criteria. Also, Brewers owner Mark Attanasio grew up in the Bronx as a Yankees fan and Randolph would be an attractive name to him.

    I also learned today that Buck Showalter has not been in touch with the Brewers about the job. Now an analyst for ESPN, Showalter has managed in New York, Arizona and Texas back and goes back with Melvin to their days as players in the Yankees’ farm system.

    It would not shock me to see Randolph get the Brewers’ job. If so, I hope he hires a good pitching coach – he’s going to need it.

    Cubs To Visit Stadium First?

    Posted by on October 21st, 2008 · Comments (0)

    Via the AP

    The Chicago Cubs might play the unofficial opener at the new Yankee Stadium.
    The Cubs and Yankees are talking about playing an exhibition game or games the weekend before most teams open the regular season, on Monday, April 6.

    While the Cubs are the Yankees’ first choice, the teams are still negotiating.

    The official opener of the $1.6 billion ballpark is April 16 against Cleveland.

    Well…you knew it wasn’t gonna be the Dodgers…

    Prison Break, Season 4, Episode 8 “The Price”

    Posted by on October 21st, 2008 · Comments (4)

    O.K., raise your hand if you were happy to see Roland get it. (By the way, my hand is up.)

    And, were you surprised to see Wyatt get nabbed so easily? How about Sara’s flashbacks?

    Lastly, is it just me, or, does it seem like Michael Scofield is eating a lot better these days now that he’s on the outside?

    WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 10/21/08

    Posted by on October 21st, 2008 · Comments (23)

    Just trying something new…

    I’m going to set these up each week, assuming it warrants continuation, to publish one each morning…

    Consider it a post providing a place for you to comment on anything Yankees-related (or within reach of tagging the bag of being Yankees-related on a decent slide) on a given day. It could be a casual conversation offering, or, something you saw in the news, or something very detailed that you want to share that’s within the territory of Yankeeland.

    Or, comment on something that someone else has posted here in the comments…

    Have fun. Play nice. And, remember, keep it Yankees-focused.

    More Details On Joba’s “Valuable Lesson”

    Posted by on October 21st, 2008 · Comments (0)

    More on Joba’s wild night out – via the Daily News:

    Yankees star Joba Chamberlain downed vodka-and-sodas and caroused at a Nebraska strip club in the hours before he was busted for drunken driving, the Daily News has learned.

    The 23-year-old pitcher went drinking at a bar in downtown Lincoln and then capped off his Friday night at a local jiggle joint, where he got into a tiff with another customer over the rival Red Sox, witnesses said.

    Chamberlain – who had a blood-alcohol level more than 1-1/2 times Nebraska’s legal limit when he was nabbed – was heckled as he and friends watched the dancers at the Night Before Lounge, witnesses said.

    “Some guy yelled out, ‘If you played for the Red Sox, you wouldn’t be sitting here,’” clubgoer Gary (Bo) Bohaty said.

    Boston was knocked out of the playoffs Sunday night.

    “That got a rise out of him,” said Bohaty, owner of the Beacon Lounge, a bar next to the strip club. “[Joba] turned his head and said, ‘What did you say?’ and the guy yelled it out again.”

    As Chamberlain kept shouting back, one of the pitcher’s friends got into a shoving match with the heckler, said the club’s manager, who asked not to be identified.

    Once order was restored, Chamberlain and his five friends stared at the gyrating dancers for nearly 90 minutes before leaving just after midnight. Chamberlain paid the $145 tab and left a $100 tip at the club, where the cover charge is $3, the manager said.

    His estranged mother, Jacqueline Standley, has said her struggle with alcohol and drugs led her son to be raised mostly by his wheelchair-bound father.

    The father snapped at reporters outside his home yesterday.

    “Please get off my property,” said Harlan Chamberlain, who then pointed to a woman in a neighboring driveway. “If she got a DUI, would it be a story?”

    Harlan, who seems to enjoy all the media coverage that he gets at Yankee Stadium, etc., has to learn that the media is a two-way street. Well, at the least, he’s learning it now…

    As far as Joba, hey, he’s not the only ballplayer to hang out in nudie bars…but, the DUI thing is still inexcusable. Dude, call a cab. I’m sure they have car service places in Lincoln, Nebraska, don’t they?

    Reynolds: Theo Good, Cashman Not

    Posted by on October 20th, 2008 · Comments (6)

    Bill Reynolds of The Providence Journal says that Theo Epstein knows what he’s doing and Brian Cashman does not.

    Well, it may be true, but, at least Cashman doesn’t pose as a rhythm guitar rock-star wannabe and he’s never snuck out of his office in a gorilla suit…

    So, while you may never see Cashman do a great job building a baseball team, you’ll also never see him embarrass himself acting like a “Gong Show” reject at times too…

    Hey, that’s good for something, no?

    A’s Players Lobby For Return Of Giambi

    Posted by on October 20th, 2008 · Comments (3)

    Via the San Fran Chronicle:

    Like [Mark] Ellis the previous day, [Eric] Chavez said he’d be all in favor of the A’s signing Jason Giambi, who is expected to be a free agent after the World Series. Beane has said he plans to add a bat this offseason, and though the team doesn’t comment on free agents as a matter of policy, it’s likely that the A’s at least would hold some conversations with their former first baseman.

    “I think it’s a great fit,” Chavez said. “I don’t know if it will happen or not, and I don’t know what the shape of the team will be, but Jason has had productive seasons in New York and there’s no doubt he could still be a good hitter. And he’d be a big hit in the clubhouse.

    “Every time I watch him, it seems like he comes up with a big hit or a home run.”

    I’m guessing that Chavez was watching some “Yankees Classics” games from 2006 on YES and confused them with being games from this season…

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