• Johnny Damon On 2009

    Posted by on January 31st, 2009 · Comments (1)

    Via the Cincinnati Enquirer:

    “We better win this year,” he said, “or else a few of us will need to find new jobs.”

    Just a few Johnny, just a few…because the rest of the crew all have long-term deals.

    Lisa Guerrero: Sources Agree With Torre & A-Rod Is A Jerk…

    Posted by on January 31st, 2009 · Comments (9)

    …but, he should have not written about it. Via Lisa Guerrero’s blog

    While you’d certainly expect some pretty strong reactions to Joe Torre’s tell-all from the baseball community, other sports stars have plenty to say about him dishing the dirt on his former players.

    The news of the Yankee Years and the bits of the book that have been released have done wonders to build sympathy for Alex Rodriguez within the fraternity of pro athletes, a group that he is not very popular with to begin with.

    A player that I spoke with here who didn’t want to be named told me, “Look, Alex is a jerk. Torre’s insights are probably 100% accurate about how his teammates feel about him, but there’s no reason to air that dirty laundry in a book.”

    My husband, Scott Erickson, was in the Yankee locker room in 2006 and acknowledged that many of those stories about Rodriguez are true. He takes issue with the fact that Torre or anyone writing about certain players’ bad behavior, but then chooses not to write about others.

    You know, Ty Cobb was a jerk – and that’s being polite. Ditto Rogers Hornsby. And, when he was playing and boozing, Mickey Mantle was a jerk. Further, if you think being surly is someone jerky, then you can say Willie Mays was a jerk. So, if A-Rod is a jerk, does it really matter?

    Probably not…at least…probably not as much as, say, not going through in the post-season, right?

    MLBPA Heating Up The “C” Word

    Posted by on January 31st, 2009 · Comments (2)

    Via Ken Rosenthal

    Donald Fehr, head of the players’ union, is not ready to conclude that owners are conspiring to hold down free-agent salaries.

    But Fehr admitted Friday to “heightened” concern about the state of the market, citing the large number of free agents who remain unemployed.

    Pitchers and catchers begin reporting to spring training in two weeks, yet nearly 90 free agents are still looking for jobs.

    The union examines trends in every free-agent market, but will not decide whether to file a collusion grievance until the signing period is complete.

    “Obviously, we’ve looked at it every year since the mid-1980s,” Fehr told FOXSports.com. “That concern becomes heightened when you go late into the period of time when players should be signed and many fewer players have signed and spring training is nearer.”

    While club executives cite the faltering economy as the reason for the sluggish market, some agents say privately that the owners are working in concert to avoid competitive bidding for free agents.

    Arbitrators ruled that owners violated the collective-bargaining agreement in such fashion in 1985, ’86 and ’87, leading to a settlement in which the owners paid the players $280 million in damages.

    The union, before filing a grievance, would need to decide whether the agents are merely speaking out of frustration or whether facts support their claims.

    The economy clearly is responsible for the plummeting values of many free agents. The union likely would take exception, however, if clubs deemed some of those free agents to have little or no value.

    “No matter what the general climate is, we’re certain clubs want to put the best possible teams on the field,” Fehr said.

    “There are certainly a significant number of quality players available that can help a lot of teams. I’m hoping the situation will rectify itself.”

    If they do file charges, and teams are hit with fines, it will be interesting to see how this touches the Yankees. On one hand, the Yankees spent a half-billion dollars on three players this off-season. But, on the other hand, the Yankees used the present market conditions to get Andy Pettitte to sign a deal that is almost entirely incentive driven. So, should New York be excluded from any fines assigned to MLB, should they not, or, should they get less of a fine?

    Belth Q&A With Verducci On Torre Book

    Posted by on January 30th, 2009 · Comments (0)

    In the rare chance that you missed it, Alex Belth spoke with Sports Illustrated senior writer Tom Verducci about the Joe Torre book. Click here to see it all.

    Joe Torre On Larry King Live

    Posted by on January 30th, 2009 · Comments (2)

    Basically, this was a yawn job…even with the maddening format of ask-a-question/go-to-commercial, ask-a-question/go-to-commercial, ask-a-question/go-to-commercial, etc.

    Here’s what Torre had to say, for those who missed it:

    On the book: …The book is much more than controversial, it’s informative…I was careful in how I told the story…I wanted to let people know what it felt like…Tell people my feelings, thoughts, decisions…Get an inside peek at what went on…Book is retracing my Yankee years…Monetary reasons was not why I did it…

    On A-Rod: …Can’t disagree with what was written about A-Rod in the book…[Alex had] no conflict with Jeter, they’re not the closest of friends, [but] never had any conflict, [yet are] not the best of friends…[Regarding Madonna] it was surprising, Alex is a lightning road, [but] it goes with the territory of being who you are…Nothing in the book to make Alex angry…A-Rod is the most gifted athlete I’ve ever managed…Haven’t “talked” to Alex since 2007…

    On Cashman: …We had disagreements…As far as support, at the end, it was time…Brian was ready for a change… [Torre also said there are things in the book that Cashman doesn’t agree with – and that it was a matter of them having two different perspectives on things.]

    Nothing shocking here, huh? So, if you missed it, don’t feel bad – you didn’t miss much…sans about a thousand commercials.

    Trading Places (1983)

    Posted by on January 30th, 2009 · Comments (10)

    Look, it tells time simultaneously in Monte Carlo, Beverly Hills, London, Paris, Rome, and Gstaad.

    In Philadelphia, it’s worth 50 bucks.

    This flick is one of the all-time greats for me, in the comedy department…

    A-Rod’s Sparring Partner Returns To Beantown

    Posted by on January 30th, 2009 · Comments (4)

    Jason Varitek and the Red Sox have agreed to a one-year contract with an option, a baseball source confirmed to the Globe’s Tony Massarotti.

    I’m not sure if this is good news, or bad news, for Yankees fans.

    Wild Thought: I’ll Be Damon!

    Posted by on January 30th, 2009 · Comments (8)

    Let’s pretend that Johnny Damon has a big 2009 with the bat…say, he hits .315, with 70 walks and 65 extra base hits, scoring 115 runs and driving in another 80.

    What do you do with him at the end of the season? Just let him walk away…since he’ll be 36 in 2010? Or, do you try and get him to sign another deal, say, for two years at $9 million each…with a team option for a third year at $11 million (with a $3 million buyout)?

    OK, sure, it’s more of a question than a wild thought…but, nonetheless, it’s today’s wild thought.

    WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 1/30/09

    Posted by on January 30th, 2009 · Comments (27)

    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.

    Yanks Cannot Sign Any More Star Free Agents This Year

    Posted by on January 30th, 2009 · Comments (16)

    Via Barry M. Bloom of mlb.com –

    The most commonly held misconception of this offseason is that the Yankees could have signed pitcher Ben Sheets or could still sign left-fielder Manny Ramirez if only there were a few million dollars remaining in the Steinbrenner bank.

    Both assumptions are incorrect. According to the Basic Agreement, and confirmed by a top Major League Baseball official, once the Yankees signed CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira, they had signed their quota of Type A or Type B free agents under the collectively bargained rules established by management and the Players Association.

    All three were Type A free agents who played for other teams last season aside from the Yankees. The Yankees could re-sign their own Type A or Type B free agents without it affecting the quota.

    Under the rules, “if there are from 39 to 62 [Type A and B] players [during a given offseason], no team can sign more than three.”

    “Frankly, it’s an unusual year to have that many ranked players,” Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of labor relations, told MLB.com this week.

    According to an unofficial list compiled by the Sports City Sports News Service, this year there were 63 Type A and Type B free agents — 29 Type As and 34 of the Type B variety. A Type A player is one who’s ranked among the top 20 percent of his group — pitcher or position player. A Type B player is among the top 40 percent. The Elias Sports Bureau does the annual independent rankings.

    “If there are more than 62 such players, the club quota shall be increased accordingly,” the Basic Agreement also says.

    “If there were more than 62 this year, we should have agreed on an increased quota,” Manfred said. “We did not. I think if [the Yankees] were contemplating signing another Type A player, they would’ve read the agreement and asked us what we wanted to do. They would’ve said they wanted to sign a fourth player and we would’ve had to do something with the union.”

    The Yankees didn’t ask, Manfred said.

    They did sign another Type A player this week, pitcher Andy Pettitte. But Pettitte played for the Yankees in 2008. The same goes for Damaso Marte, a Type A reliever the Yanks re-signed early in the offseason.

    …The Yankees didn’t ask…

    Brian Cashman and Jean Afterman, some team, huh?

    Really, why would you not ask, just in case? What if one of your stars broke both his legs in a car accident during January and was then out for the year? Would you then, if you’re the Yankees, not want the option to make an offer to one of these ranked Free Agents, say, for a one year deal…which they may accept given the market these days, etc.?

    Once again, Cashman and Company do not ensure that they have a “Plan B” just in case their “Plan A” doesn’t work…

    Yanks Need To Roll A Big 13 – Or A Nice 2, 20, 55 Combo In ’09

    Posted by on January 29th, 2009 · Comments (15)

    Via the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia – Yankees RCAA leaders for the period 2006 through 2008:

    Player	 	RCAA
    Alex Rodriguez	162
    Jason Giambi	74
    Derek Jeter	69
    Jorge Posada	69
    Johnny Damon	56
    Bobby Abreu	55
    Hideki Matsui	36
    Robinson Cano	14
    Cody Ransom	6
    Kevin Thompson	2
    Gary Sheffield	2
    Juan Miranda	2
    Kevin Reese	2
    D. Mientkiewicz	1
    Richie Sexson	0
    Andy Cannizaro	0
    Xavier Nady	0
    Aaron Guiel	0
    Chris Basak	0
    Chris Stewart	-1
    F. Cervelli	-1
    Bernie Williams	-1
    J. Christian	-1
    B. Sardinha	-1
    Nick Green	-2
    Shelley Duncan	-3
    Terrence Long	-4
    Josh Phelps	-4
    Chad Moeller	-5
    Kelly Stinnett	-5
    Sal Fasano	-5
    Brett Gardner	-6
    Bubba Crosby	-6
    Morgan Ensberg	-7
    Ivan Rodriguez	-8
    Craig Wilson	-8
    Al. Gonzalez	-10
    Wil Nieves	-10
    Wilson Betemit	-11
    Miguel Cairo	-17
    Andy Phillips	-19
    Jose Molina	-22
    Melky Cabrera	-32

    Is it just me, or, are there a lot of zeros and negative numbers in there? Once you get past the big seven of A-Rod, Giambi, Jeter, Posada, Damon, Abreu and Matsui, there’s not that many big sticks to be seen, over the last three years, huh?

    And, now, Giambi and Abreu are gone. Granted, Teixeira will fill in there nicely. But, if Jeter (-2 RCAA), Posada (-1 RCAA) and Matsui (6 RCAA) post numbers in 2009 like they did in 2008…well…that’s going to put a lot of pressure on A-Rod, Teixeira and Damon to have big seasons this year (and for Cano as well).

    Damon should be good for his usual ~20 RCAA. But, what about Rodriguez and Teixeira?

    In three of the last four years, Teixeira has been good for ~50 RCAA. But, A-Rod…shoot…he’s a roller-coaster.

    In 2004, Alex had 35 RCAA. And, in 2005, it jumped up to 83 RCAA. But, then, in 2006, Alex was back down to 36 RCAA.

    Granted, in 2007, Alex was back up to 82 RCAA. However, in 2008, it was back down to 44 RCAA.

    Needless to say, it would truly help the Yankees in 2009 if A-Rod posted a season like his MVP ones from 2005 and 2007. If not, Jeter, Posada and Matsui are going to need to rebound from their terrible 2008 seasons.

    With Pettitte, You Get…More Than Eggroll

    Posted by on January 29th, 2009 · Comments (11)

    Via Richard Justice

    Andy Pettitte brings credibility, a winning attitude and a relentless work ethic to the Yankees. In the end, those things might end up being more valuable than anything he does on the mound.

    The Yankees have been overhauled again this winter, and as manager Joe Girardi tries to instill the right mindset, people like Pettitte can play a huge role.

    Those great Yankee teams got it, and Pettitte will help this Yankee team get it, too. No one knows what he has left in the tank. After all, Pettitte is a 36-year-old pitcher with a cranky elbow, and he is coming off a season in which he pitched terribly down the stretch (5.35 ERA after the All-Star break). Pettitte pitched hurt at the end of last season because his team needed him. He was setting an example for every other player in the clubhouse. His teammates knew he wasn’t right, and they appreciated his effort.

    Pettitte is an interesting guy in that he doesn’t say much and needs an occasional kick in the pants. He isn’t a star in the way the Yankees sometimes measure stars. No headlines. No celebrity rating at all. He is just a baseball player — a good, tough baseball player who only wants to win. He doesn’t care if it is about him or someone else. He just wants another ring.

    My prediction for Pettitte this season: 31 starts, 205 IP, and a record of 17-10. How do you think he’ll do?

    Jennings Looks At Yanks 2nd String SPs

    Posted by on January 29th, 2009 · Comments (1)

    Chad Jennings looks at the B-side of the Yankees starting rotation.

    Jennings is so good at what he does, he deserves groupies – or something. I’d do it, but, I’m kinda old…

    …be the groupie, I mean…

    Thursday Night Video

    Posted by on January 29th, 2009 · Comments (0)

    Jeter On Torre’s Book

    Posted by on January 29th, 2009 · Comments (4)

    I just saw Harold Reynolds, on MLB Network’s Hot Stove, interview Derek Jeter (about 10 miniues ago). When asked about Joe Torre’s book, Jeter said that he has to wait and see it, that “Mr. T” should be given a chance to talk, first, before anyone reacts to it, and, that we should let Alex Rodriguez have a chance to respond to what’s been written/said before others have their say.

    That’s so Jeter, ain’t it?

    Who Says Jeter Can’t Make A Great Grab?

    Posted by on January 29th, 2009 · Comments (5)

    Via Harvey Araton with a hat tip to BBTF

    Derek Jeter came clean Wednesday night. He pilfered the Joe DiMaggio sign, as I suspected.

    When I had last seen Jeter before covering the kickoff party to his celebrity golf classic for his Turn 2 Foundation at the Saddlebrook Resort about a half-hour north of here, he had refused comment on the famous sign (“I want to thank the Good Lord for making me a Yankee”) in the tunnel leading to the Yankees dugout that went missing soon after their last Stadium home game.

    A clue on his intentions had come earlier that night, when he said he had his eye on a particular Stadium keepsake but wouldn’t say which. After the game and on-field celebration, I noticed the sign was missing and told him, “I know what you’re taking out of here,” and I asked if I could report it.

    He shook his head and replied, “In due time.”

    Four months later, he admitted he had taken the sign, and another item or two.

    Ruben Rivera could not be reached for comment.

    Wild Thought: If A Yank Goes In The Hall, And No One Is There To See It, Does It Make A Sound?

    Posted by on January 29th, 2009 · Comments (11)

    When Joe Torre is elected to Cooperstown’s Hall of Fame as a manager – and, he will, someday…because he’ll retire with over 2,200 wins as a manager and that’s almost a lock to get into Cooperstown – will the Yankees front office attend the induction ceremonies?

    Without question, when Torre goes in, it will be as a Yankees manager – unless he goes on to win four rings in the next four to six years with the Dodgers.

    How strange will it be to see someone go into Cooperstown, as a Yankees manager, and see the Yankees boycott the ceremony? Or, will Joe and the Yankees kissy-kiss and make up by the time that day finally comes? That’s today’s wild thought.

    Lucchino: Sox To Outwork & Outsmart Yanks

    Posted by on January 29th, 2009 · Comments (21)

    Via the MetroWest Daily News:

    Lucchino was asked how the Red Sox would stand up to the free-spending Yankees. “We’re going to outwork and outsmart them,” but he conceded that with New York’s deep pockets, “It won’t be easy.”

    The Yankees dug deep to reel in the biggest free agent fish – Mark Teixeira. The Red Sox, it seemed, were in the mix to land the all-around first baseman. “He was the best position player on the market,” said Lucchino.

    Even the lowly Washington Nationals took up the bidding. “There’s no way to verify whether offers are fictitious or real,” said Lucchino. Finally, the Red Sox threw in the towel and the Yankees swept in.

    For the first time in a while, the subject of who will win the American League East has more than Boston and New York in the conversation. Hello, Tampa Bay. “It’s going to be a three-team race,” said Lucchino. “(The Rays) are an awfully good team. Everyone in baseball predicted their ascendancy. It just arrived earlier.”

    Lucchino will take his chances with his own team. He likes the Red Sox’ diversification. “The makeup is excellent. We’ve got some young players, some players in their prime. Depth of pitching. Short contracts. Long contracts. It’s a nice balance.”

    The Yankees were too busy worrying about Joe Torre’s new book to comment on Lucchino’s remarks…

    WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 1/29/09

    Posted by on January 29th, 2009 · Comments (11)

    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.

    Curveballs Along the Way

    Posted by on January 28th, 2009 · Comments (4)


    Hey, back in 1997, they weren’t kidding with that title, were they?

    I Feel Like Henry Bemis!

    Posted by on January 28th, 2009 · Comments (4)

    Jane Heller does a great job at listing some new baseball books, besides Joe Torre’s number, that are coming out this year. Click here to see her list.

    I just started reading “Odd Man Out: A Year on the Mound with a Minor League Misfit” by Matt McCarthy. (I got an advance copy.) And, I’m loving it so far.

    Selena Roberts has one coming out called “Hit and Run: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez”? Oh, boy, is it going to be the summer of A-Rod, or what?

    Yanks Look To Gag Players & Managers In Future

    Posted by on January 28th, 2009 · Comments (2)

    Via Wallace Matthews

    The Yankees are considering including a “non-disparagement clause” in future player and managerial contracts in order to prevent any more tell-all books such as “The Yankee Years,” co-written by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci.

    Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a Yankee official said yesterday that some members of the front office staff already are required to sign a confidentiality agreement in order to protect “proprietary knowledge of our business model.” The proposed clause is intended to ensure that future books about the Yankees are “positive in tone,” and “do not breach the sanctity of our clubhouse.”

    The Yankees are said to feel betrayed by Torre’s book, which has been interpreted as critical of some players, most notably Alex Rodriguez, and inaccurate in its recounting of the October 2007 meeting in Tampa at which Torre and the club agreed to part ways after four world championships and 12 consecutive playoff appearances.

    Confidentiality agreements, some with meticulously spelled out rules and stipulated monetary penalties for their violation, are standard equipment in most contracts between celebrities and their hired staffs, as well as between corporations and their CEOs. The Mets are believed to have included similar clauses in their contracts with former manager Willie Randolph and former pitching coach Rick Peterson. Up to now, the Yankees never have included them in the contract of a player or manager.

    “Up to now, we have always operated our employer-employee relationships on a basis of trust,” the official said. “But we never expected what we got from Joe. We may have to get a little tougher on this issue.”

    Pretty funny. The Yankees’ front office can leak whatever they want, when they want, using the “speaking on the condition of anonymity, a Yankee official said” card – or the famous “according to unnamed Yankees sources” trick – but, meanwhile, now they want to add Yankeeland to the superstates of Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia (in terms of locking down what’s said or not, etc.).

    Move over “Pinstripe Pride.” Here comes “Pinstripe Paranoia.”

    Daily News Live: A-Rod Insecure & Cashman Thin-Skinned

    Posted by on January 28th, 2009 · Comments (2)

    Bob Raissman, Jonas Schwartz, Joe Benigno, and Frank Isola on SNY’s Daily News Live (yesterday) discuss Alex Rodriguez, Brian Cashman, and their personality foibles. Here’s the video:

    Roxanne Puts On The Red Light, And Some More…

    Posted by on January 28th, 2009 · Comments (0)

    Via Roxanne Geyer, WCBS Newsradio 880’s Web Producer, some shots of the new Yankee Stadium from Chopper 880 – testing out some effect lights, I suppose. Great…what’s with those? Trying to make Yankee Stadium look like a Laker game or something?

    Nooner: Really Joe?

    Posted by on January 28th, 2009 · Comments (10)

    Duke Casanova, over at The Nooner, raises an interesting point on Joe Torre’s new book.

    Other than mentioning that airhead Bernie Williams left the Stadium one night and left his kid behind (and that Andy Pettitte had to drive the younger Williams home), has Torre dished any dirt on “his boys” from 1996 through 2001?

    Actually, I doubt there’s much to say about guys like O’Neill, Pettitte, Brosius and Mo. But, Jeter? Tino? Knoblauch? Nelson? Soriano? Boggs? There had to be some stories to tell there, no?

    Wild Thought: 35

    Posted by on January 28th, 2009 · Comments (14)

    Today’s wild thought…is a number.

    So, will the Yankees sit on #35 for a while, mothballing it out of respect for Mussina, until another star, or potential star, comes to New York and asks for it? Or, can we expect to see someone like Jason Johnson getting it this Spring?

    After all, they gave Donovan Osborne #46 in 2004, didn’t they?

    WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 1/28/09

    Posted by on January 28th, 2009 · Comments (18)

    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.

    Confessions of a She-Fan: The Course of True Love with the New York Yankees

    Posted by on January 28th, 2009 · Comments (8)

    Having just read “Confessions of a She-Fan: The Course of True Love with the New York Yankees,” at this moment, I am really digging its author, Jane Heller.

    First, Jane is a kindred spirit – like me, she’s a baseball addict going back to when she was a youngin. And, like so many of us Yankees fans, she’s a zealot. Jane doesn’t sleep well when the Yankees are scuffling. And, her days are much better, overall, when the Yanks are winning.

    Back in May 2007, as were many Yankees fans, Heller was vexed with the way the Yankees started their season that year. Looking to vent, she dashed off an e-mail to the New York Times saying that she was “divorcing the New York Yankees.” Well, the Times elected to publish Jane’s e-mail and then all heck broke loose for her. Yankees fans, Red Sox fans, shoot, you name it, came at her with fangs and claws out in attack mode – questioning her fandom and the like. (Don’t sweat it Jane, it happens to the best of us.)

    A few weeks after her e-mail was published in the Times, Heller got an idea to do a book, about the Yankees 2007 season, where she (and her husband) would travel with the team, watch every game in every city, do some interviews, and hopefully prove (to some people) that she was a true Yankees fan. And, the result of that book idea is “Confessions of a She-Fan.”

    With the book, Jane does an excellent job of chronicling the Yankees 2007 season – starting from Opening Day and going right through the off-season of 2007-08. But, this is not just a dry reporting of game events and news, etc. What you hear when you ready Heller’s words is the voice of diehard fan sharing what they are experiencing, thinking, and feeling. And, Jane mixes in enough “personal” stuff to provide the reader with some background on her life that provides the reader with perspective on “Jane Heller, the person.”

    Heller’s narrative style in “Confessions of a She-Fan” is casual, sometimes bawdy, often funny, and very gripping. Tying back to that last part, I have to share something, with regard to reading Heller’s book, which is the highest compliment that I can offer to a book – I could not put it down once I started reading it.

    In fact, I found “Confessions of a She-Fan” to be so entertaining that I went out of my way to find time to read it. I read it during commercials as I watched my favorite T.V. shows. I stayed up late at night, to read it. There were a couple of days where I was late for work – because I was reading Jane’s book while I was eating breakfast and I kept on reading it way past when I was done eating and should have left for work. If that’s not gripping, what is?

    What I found most interesting in Heller’s story – but not shocking – was the major league stiff arm that she got from the Yankees when she asked the team for access to the ballpark, pressbox, players, etc. And, while Jane was able to get time with many of the media members that we know well – such as Peter Abraham, Mark Feinsand, Tyler Kepner, George King, Sweeny Murti, Kat O’Brien, and John Sterling – she also got the run-around from the likes of Kim Jones, and, to an extent, Suzyn Waldman. (Who would have thought this to be true – considering the gender connection, etc.?)

    But, also, I enjoyed how Heller, through her journey in 2007, from meeting other fans, was reminded that there are other ways to be a diehard fan – as she writes “to believe in a team unconditionally and without reservation, to experience the magic of the game without vitriol or a sense of entitlement, to be gracious in both victory and defeat.” There’s a lesson in there for many Yankees fans who may have lost sight of this approach over the last few years – including an irascible and somewhat curmudgeon blogger such as myself.

    All-in-all, I am very glad that I had to an opportunity to read Jane Heller’s new book. To be candid, being a “dude,” I was not sure if I would enjoy reading a book entitled “Confessions of a She-Fan.” However, as stated, I truly found it to be a great read – and highly recommend it to everyone, even if they’re not a Yankees fan. (I once said that even a Yankees fan could enjoy the movie “Fever Pitch” – despite the fact that it centers around the worst nightmare even for a Yankees fan – because a diehard fan could appreciate what another diehard fan goes through. And, I believe that a diehard fan of a team other than the Yankees will feel the same way when reading Jane’s book.)

    And, no matter how you felt about her New York Times feature back in May of 2007, if you read “Confessions of a She-Fan: The Course of True Love with the New York Yankees,” expect yourself to become a fan of Jane Heller – just like I am now.

    Cone In Torre Book: Yanks Players Knew Who On Team Was Juicing

    Posted by on January 28th, 2009 · Comments (3)

    Via the Daily News

    Joe Torre claims in the new book he wrote with Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci that he didn’t know his Yankee teams were fueled by steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.

    But in “The Yankee Years,” David Cone said the players had a good idea about who was juicing. There was speculation about players who worked closely with Brian McNamee, the trainer who told the Mitchell Commission, Congress and federal investigators that Roger Clemens used steroids and human growth hormone and that Andy Pettitte used HGH.

    According to the authors, players often joked about teammates who worked out with McNamee when he served as an assistant strength coach for the Yankees in 2000-2001, especially players who grew dramatically stronger, bigger and leaner in a short period of time. “He’s on Mac’s program,” was the joke, or “He’s on The Program.”

    “They were on his program, guys like Roger, Andy and maybe (Mike) Stanton,” the book quotes Cone as saying. He says he thought McNamee “had some GNC stuff he was putting in shakes, maybe creatine or Andro or whatever you can get over the counter.”

    Torre and Cone saw McNamee as an interloper in the locker room who got a job with the Yankees without paying his dues because of his relationship with Clemens. “Mangold was Joe’s guy,” McNamee says of trainer Jeff Mangold, “but Roger would tell the players to go see me, not Mangold. And I hated going to work every day.”

    “I didn’t like McNamee,” Cone said in the book. “Not that he was a bad guy. I never thought he was properly vetted.”

    Cone’s ideal trainer would have worked his way through the minor leagues like the players, and Cone thought McNamee had taken a job from somebody more deserving.

    Just another nugget of info from the Joe Torre book, yet to released, mind you, that just keeps giving…

    Chase Wright DFA’ed

    Posted by on January 28th, 2009 · Comments (10)

    In case you missed it, the Yankees have designated Chase Wright for assignment. Now, you may recall, back in 2007, I was a fan of Wright. And, while this is just a hunch, if Wright is picked up by another team, with a decent roster, and given 30 starts at the big league level in 2009, it would not shock me to see him win between 10 and 15 games in the majors this season.

    Lefties like John Tudor, Jamie Moyer, Larry Gura and Bob Ojeda were late bloomers. Wright could be one too.

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