• More On The Cashman Affair

    Posted by on September 30th, 2011 · Comments (11)

    Deadspin shares more details on the story from the other day

    The Yankees general manager’s relationship with the woman in these photos has been known or suspected among New York reporters for years, but has been just too darn shady, complicated, and expensive to pursue, especially at the risk of antagonizing the Yankees.

    But now the pictures are out. When these photos were snapped by a private investigator, the woman in them was named Kimberley Brennan, and she was married to a man named Brian Brennan, who had hired the private investigator. The couple, who lived in Westchester, have since divorced, in no small part because of the photos.

    How did the story get out, then? We first caught wind of it in 2009, when we were contacted by a source who claimed that word of the Cashman affair was about to break, pending finalization of a deal for a book about famous people and the private investigators who trailed them. We spoke with the private investigator, Tony De Lorenzo, and he confirmed the story was being circulated. But the book deal fell apart, the PI clammed up, and the Cashman affair story never reached the mainstream press, though we’re told a number of reporters around the Yankees knew of it. (When we contacted De Lorenzo two days ago, he had no comment, either.) A number of Brennan’s friends had apparently taken it upon themselves to shop Brian’s story to the New York Post and at least one other New York newspaper, a source tells us. They didn’t find any takers. In August, we received the photos from a friend of Deadspin contributor Pete Nash, free of charge.

    Usually, I would not pay much attention to the personal lives of front office personnel – unless they do something unlawful. And, if Cashman wants to do the tube snake boogie with some chick and totally trash his marriage and make things uncomfortable for his children, that’s a call which he has a right to make, on his own, and deal with the consequences.

    But, what bothers me with this whole thing – if it’s all true – is that Cashman was messing with a married woman. By doing that, he’s not just messing with his own family, but, he’s wrecking another family in the process. That’s just not cool.

    There’s enough loose trim in the world that there’s no need to tap on someone else’s squeeze. That should be a given in the man code. And, if Cashman can’t respect that, then it speaks volumes as to what kind of dude he is…shifty.

    Batboy Book: A-Rod’s A Super Diva & Torre Tracked Ponies From Dugout

    Posted by on August 7th, 2011 · Comments (5)

    I warned you that this stuff was coming. Here’s some stuff from Luis Castillo’s new book, via the Post

    A-Rod irritated the other players because he was so high-maintenance. He required his personal assistant to position his toothbrush on a certain part of the sink, specifically the edge near the right-hand cold water tap, leaning with bristles up over the basin. The first time he ordered me to do this, I couldn’t believe my ears when he said, “And put some toothpaste on it.”

    Probably the strangest thing we had to do for A-Rod was lay his clothes out on the table so he could get dressed. You had to lay out these items in a predetermined order: socks at the head of the table, followed by undershorts, undershirt, shirt, pants, and then shoes. I had to carry his clothes from his locker to the trainer’s room, where he liked to get dressed away from the prying eyes of the media.

    A-Rod was different in another, childish way that made players laugh behind his back. When you watch games at home you sometimes see players come into the dugout after they hit a home run. If you’ve ever wondered what they’re saying, it’s usually things like “Way to go!” or “Good job!” Not A-Rod. After he hits a home run, he comes into the dugout and brags about it. Usually he’s speaking Spanish to one of the other Latino players, and if he hit a home run he wouldn’t shut up. “Wow, did you see I hit a home run?” he’d say. “That pitcher threw me a ball right over the plate and I smashed it over the fence. Did you ever see anything like that before?”

    Even during the rockiest and most difficult years of his being manager, Joe Torre was usually focused and kept his nose to the grindstone. There was only one thing that distracted him from work, however, and it wasn’t women — it was horses.

    I found out about this quirk of his during a late-season game. Torre called me over in the dugout, and from the dark look on his face I thought it was something serious. He waited until I was close and then lowered his voice. “Go down to my office,” he said. “I want you to check the score on the Off-Track Betting channel and see who won.” I was stunned. It was during a game! I had never before been asked to leave my post.

    “Make sure you find out the exact track and horse,” he added.

    I ran down into the clubhouse and found the attendant, Joe Lee.

    “Joe, Mr. T just asked me to find out something about which horses won,” I said. “What’s he talking about?”

    Lee was chewing gum and looked unimpressed about the whole thing. “Yeah,” he said. “Don’t you know why he’s got that TV in his office? It’s usually just tuned to one channel.”

    “What’s that, the YES Network?”

    “No, the OTB station.”

    Lee led me into Torre’s office and showed me how to decipher the race results. I jogged up to the dugout and gave them to Torre, who grabbed the paper and studied it like his life depended on it. When he had discovered the information he wanted, he turned to Don Zimmer and showed it to him. The older man’s eyes lit up, and before I left they were talking excitedly not about the next batter but the OTB results!

    If that’s the worst stuff in the book, it’s pretty mild. However, it will be interesting to see if Bud has any comment on the Torre part.

    MLB Investigating A-Rod (Again)

    Posted by on August 3rd, 2011 · Comments (26)

    Via ESPN.com

    Major League Baseball is taking “very seriously” the allegations that Alex Rodriguez took part in some illegal, underground poker games, one of which reportedly turned violent, and he could face suspension if his participation in the games is confirmed.

    “We’re talking to people involved in the investigation and we’re taking this very seriously,” said an MLB executive who spoke to ESPNNewYork.com on condition of anonymity. “Because he had been warned about this before, I would say a possible suspension would be very much in play.”

    The allegations, first published by RadarOnline.com, are that the New York Yankees third baseman played in at least two of the games, one of which took place at the Beverly Hills mansion of a record executive at which “cocaine was openly used and a fight nearly broke out when one of the players refused to pay after losing “more than a half-million dollars.”

    According to the story, details of which were reportedly provided by another player at the games, Rodriguez “tried to distance himself from the game,” once the violence broke out.

    “He just shook his head, not knowing what the hell happened,” the whistle-blower revealed. “He didn’t want to deal with it at all. He was like, ‘OK, whatever. It’s your game.’ I would estimate A-Rod lost, like, a few thousand dollars that night. After everything that happened, he paid up and left.”

    In 2005, Rodriguez had been warned about gambling in underground poker clubs by the Yankees and by baseball commissioner Bud Selig, both of whom were concerned that possible involvement with gamblers who might be betting on baseball games could result in a Pete Rose-type lifetime ban from baseball.

    Various reports have the games under investigation taking place as far back as 2007.

    Although baseball’s investigation centers upon Rodriguez’s card-playing and he is not thought to have gambled on the outcome of any baseball games, the fact that he may have disregarded Selig’s warning is said to have angered the commissioner.

    MLB is also concerned that Rodriguez’s name will resurface in the ongoing federal investigation of Dr. Anthony Galea, the Toronto physician charged with smuggling human growth hormone and other illegal substances into the United States. Galea has treated numerous professional athletes, including Rodriguez and Tiger Woods.

    “It’s like there’s something new with him every day and it’s impossible to keep up with it,” a baseball insider said.


    A Must Win Game On June 9th?

    Posted by on June 8th, 2011 · Comments (3)

    On April 23, 2004, when Jose Contreras was getting pounded by the Red Sox, on the YES coverage, Paul O’Neill said something like “You can pitch great against all the other teams, but, if you play for the Yankees, sooner or later, you’re going to have to prove you can pitch against the Boston Red Sox, or you’ll be done.”

    After today’s game, you can pretty much say the same thing about the 2011 Yankees.  Sooner or later, they’re going to have to prove that they can beat the Boston Red Sox – and tomorrow would be a great time to start.

    Yeah, I know it’s only June.  But, I’m sorry.  Another sweep by Boston this season, at home in the Bronx, will just be too much to take.

    A-Rod Caught Traveling With Banned Mule Cousin

    Posted by on June 2nd, 2011 · Comments (61)

    Via Mark Feinsand

    Major League Baseball is once again investigating Alex Rodriguez’s relationship with the cousin he admitted two years ago was his steroid mule.

    According to a team source, Rodriguez’s cousin, Yuri Sucart, is again traveling with Rodriguez on some road trips, despite being banned by the Yankees from any team-related function or facility. That edict followed A-Rod’s 2009 claim that Sucart provided and injected him with performance-enhancing drugs. Sucart, wearing a Yankee hooded sweatshirt, was spotted at the team’s St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco Tuesday night after the middle game of the Bombers’ series with Oakland. The source also said Sucart has accompanied A-Rod on road trips this year and even last season.

    Sucart was spotted chauffeuring A-Rod around in spring training in ’09, prompting the Yankees to ban Sucart from team flights, buses and in restricted areas at stadiums and spring training sites.

    “We have been in contact with the Yankees about this matter,” Rob Manfred, baseball’s executive VP of labor relations, told the Daily News Wednesday. “We are looking into it.”

    Major League Baseball instituted its own ban of personal trainers and non-team employees before the 2003 season – in part as a security measure in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and in part because clubhouses were rife with personal trainers and hangers-on. The ban does not extend to team hotels nor does it prevent people such as Sucart from purchasing a ticket to a game and watching as a spectator.

    Yankees GM Brian Cashman would not comment on the matter when reached at his Stadium office Wednesday.

    A-Rod needs a “go-fer.” I get that – especially in today’s paparazzi times. Heck, this is nothing new, actually. Even Dracula needed Reinfeld.

    And, A-Rod wants to help his primo by giving him a job – especially after Alex threw him under the bus with the Selena Roberts thing. I get that too.

    But, dude, buy your cousin a frozen banana stand on the boardwalk so that he can pay his bills. And, hire someone else to be your butler. This move, of using Yuri Sucart, is just plain stupid.

    And, it’s, once again, A-Rod thinking that he’s so big that the rules don’t apply to him – even when the rules were written for him. Gosh, I will celebrate the day this hiney-clown is no longer a member of the New York Yankees.

    Soriano: Hitters, Not Pitchers, Yanks Problem & It Doesn’t Bother Him To Miss Games

    Posted by on May 17th, 2011 · Comments (12)

    Via Chad Jennings

    From the bad to the bizarre, Rafael Soriano is going to see Dr. Ahmad tomorrow. His elbow felt tight again this afternoon and he had to cut his bullpen session short. Girardi seemed legitimately concerned about his setup man, who said he felt better today than last week, and who said he felt “a lot different” from his injury plagued 2008 season.

    Of all the things he said, though, tonight’s Soriano interview will be remembered for three things, all of them suggesting he skipped the media training session this spring.

    At one point Soriano said he had been advised to take a week or two off, but when asked who gave him the advice, he said it was team vice president Felix Lopez, who Soriano had been talking to pregame. The Yankees later clarified that Lopez had been acting as a sort of intermediary for the training staff. Maybe that’s explainable, but two other comments suggest Soriano will need to apologize more than Jorge Posada.

    Asked whether it bothers him to not be able to pitch, Soriano threw his lineup under the bus: “I don’t think the bullpen be the problem right now. I think it be the hitters. That thing happens sometimes. Whatever we have to do, make a good game and see what happens. One of these days, everything be better.”

    Given a second chance to answer essentially the same question, Soriano was asked how much it’s bothered him to miss games against Boston and Tampa Bay: “Not at all, to me,” he said. “Because in the situation, how the team looks be the situation when I’m supposed to be in the game, the eighth. Everybody see, (the team is) losing two, three runs. I don’t think it be that situation that I would be in the bullpen, that I would be in the game.”

    Thank you Hal Steinbrenner and Randy Levine.


    Posted by on May 16th, 2011 · Comments (10)

    In the big picture, in terms of Sunday’s game, this play really didn’t mean anything – most likely. But, when you consider how bad the Yankees have played over their last 12 games, how the heck do you miss a ground ball like that one? To me, it says your heads not in the game. A seven year old could have stopped that grounder – if he was paying attention and applying himself.

    The details, via Bryan Hoch

    Alex Rodriguez winced as he paced near third base, staring into his glove with an expression of disbelief, as though he might suddenly find a huge hole about the size of a baseball.

    In a week filled with team lowlights, an easy ground ball shooting between Rodriguez’s legs was the capper. The Yankees wrapped up an awful homestand with a 7-5 loss to the Red Sox, their season-high fifth straight.

    “Not good,” Rodriguez said. “We can talk about it over and over again; the bottom line is, we’ve got to play better. We’ve got to play winning baseball.”

    Rodriguez evoked memories of Bill Buckner’s iconic miscue in the 1986 World Series with his misplay of a Kevin Youkilis grounder that gave the Red Sox an all-important seventh-inning insurance run.

    “It seems like when things are going bad, they’re going bad,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “It’s going to turn around.”

    When Was The Last Time Things Were This Messed Up In Yankeeland?

    Posted by on May 15th, 2011 · Comments (18)

    We have the Posada thing.  And, we have the team losing 8 of their last 11.  And, they’re set up to be swept by Boston at home.  And, we have so many players on the team not playing up to their reps and/or salary – albeit that not all are sucking and are playing semi-decent.  (See: Teixeira, Mark – who should be hitting more like Votto or Adrian Gonzalez than he is now.)  There’s a lot of things that are just flat-out messed up in Yankeeland right now.  You could say that they seem less organized than a dung fight at the monkey cage in the zoo.

    When was the last time, during the regular season, that we saw this much out of control with the Yankees?  Yes, the 2006 ALDS was a low-point.  But, that was October.  When was the last time we saw this outside of the post-season spot-light?  1989 or 1990?  It does seem like a long time…unless I’m just forgetting something more recent.

    Who is to blame for all this?  Cashman?  Girardi?  Both?  Neither?  What do you think?

    Yanks Leak Personal Info On Season Ticket Holders

    Posted by on April 27th, 2011 · Comments (23)

    I really hope the MSM picks up this story and the Yankees get nailed to a cross for it.

    Phil Hughes Not Phooling Anyone In Fenway Today

    Posted by on April 8th, 2011 · Comments (13)

    At this rate, Joe Girardi could sub Charlie Wonsowicz in for Hughes and get the same results.

    Yankees/YES Trying To Hide Cashman At Soriano Presser?

    Posted by on January 19th, 2011 · Comments (10)

    Reportedly, Rafael Soriano’s new contract with the Yankees represents the fifth highest average salary ever paid to a relief pitcher.  Only Mo Rivera, Brad Lidge, K-Rod and Joe Nathan made more on an annual basis than what New York will pay Soriano.

    And, the press conference to officially announce his deal is today at 10 am ET. And, what’s on the YES Network right now at ten AM?   Not the press conference.  Instead, it’s a Yankees Classics game from 2009. Why? Is this not big enough news for YES to carry live? Or, are they trying to hide something here?

    At least the Baseball Channel at MLB.com is broadcasting this one.

    Update: 10:20 am ET. The press conference finally starts. Levine, Cashman, Girardi, Trost, and Afterman are there from the Yankees front office. Cashman talks first. Basically says nothing for ten seconds and then hands the podium to Girardi.

    Girardi gives Soriano uniform #29 and Cashman places a Yankees cap on Soriano’s head. It’s photo-op time.

    Update: 10:25 am ET. Soriano speaks. It’s all in Spanish. Yankees have a translator there to help him with the media Q&A. Soriano says he’s happy to set up Mo now but he hopes to be the Yankees closer in the future.

    Update: 10:34 am ET. Soriano still doing Q&A. And, I think I figured out why YES is not carrying this one. The presser is about as exciting as being stuck in traffic on Geroge Washington Bridge. Soriano is 31-years old and has been playing baseball in America since 1999. But, evidently, he’s got no ability to speak any English.

    Update: 10:35 am ET. Soriano is done. That’s it – Jason Zillo says they will break into groups now in the back of the room for media members to ask questions informally. MLB.com drops the feed. Wow. A whopping 15 minutes. I guess we’ll have to read the papers to get the Cashman reaction to any questions.

    Update: 11:13 am. Via Peter Botte – Cashman: “Its not my team. I don’t own it. They do…In any job you better be prepared for every decision to not go your way. I think 29 other GMs would love to have their owner shove Rafael Soriano down their throat.”

    Down their throat, or, up their poop chute, Cash?

    The Javier Vazquez Nightmare

    Posted by on August 21st, 2010 · Comments (3)

    Bob Klapisch shares the following today –

    Javier Vazquez spoke in long, seamless sentences, sticking to his what-me-panic script after a horrific outing against the Mariners on Saturday. But the longer he spent at his locker, the more obvious it became that neither Vazquez nor the Yankees have any idea what’s happened to what was once an elite right-hander.

    Vazquez was lifted after three innings, having given up four runs on eight hits. Vazquez faced 18 batters in three innings, 12 of whom hit the ball hard — including three home runs. He continues to live in a pitcher’s purgatory, stripped of his fastball, unable to locate his secondary stuff, glancing over his shoulder after every hit, as if Joe Girardi was on his way from the dugout.

    “Man, I wish I knew. We’ve been talking about this for a long time,” Vazquez said wearily when asked for an explanation.

    “I’m not locating; I’m not getting ahead; I’m behind in every count,” Vazquez said. He’s right, of course, but there’s more. Vazquez’s bad counts are attributable to his fear of throwing strikes, which stems from fear of contact. That’s what happens to pitchers who’ve lost their confidence.

    While no one has suggested Vazquez is hurt, his trendclearly is disturbing club officials. It’s not just the fastball that’s shrunk from its peak 92 mph to 88 mph a month ago to its current lower 80s. It’s the way hitters are loading up against him.

    Reading this, all I can think about is all those who wrote, before the start of this season, about how this is not the “Javier Vazquez of 2004” we were going to see this season; and, about how many, during this season, have opined about Vazquez being a “representative 4th starter” and exactly filling the expectations of what the Yankees had for him this season.

    Well, to me, if sure looks like Javy Vazquez, this season, is the same turkey who was pitching for the Yankees in ’04. And, if this is what you expect from your 4th starter in a big league rotation, then I have a used “Brian Moehler” that I would like to sell you…

    A-Rod Misses Yankees Team Photo Today

    Posted by on August 3rd, 2010 · Comments (24)

    Via Kevin Kernan

    A-Rod misses team photo, Girardi said he didn’t read the memo

    No worries. I’m sure they can CGI him into the picture – as a centaur, of course.  (No word on whether or not it will be possible to CGI his 600th career homer into today’s boxscore ‘tho…)

    Now, why everyone else on the team got the memo and Alex missed it…is anyone’s guess.

    Bleich’s Shoulder Injury

    Posted by on May 22nd, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Via Tim Bontemps

    Left-hander, Jeremy Bleich, one of the Yankees’ top pitching prospects, appears headed for a lengthy stint away from the pitcher’s mound after Double-A Trenton placed him on the disabled list Wednesday with a shoulder injury.

    Bleich has been meeting with doctors this week, and surgery seems like the most likely outcome.

    Mark Newman, the Yankees’ senior vice president of baseball operations, was downcast when asked about the issues with Bleich’s shoulder yesterday.

    “I don’t know,” he said when asked about Bleich’s return. “We’re (still) getting some information back from the doctors … he had more tests (yesterday).”

    Bleich, the Yankees supplemental first-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, entered the season as the ninth-best prospect in the Yankees organization, according to Baseball America. He was 3-2 with a 4.79 ERA in eight starts this season with Trenton, striking out 26 and walking 28 in 41.1 innings.

    The Yankees first three picks in the 2008 draft were Gerrit Cole, Jeremy Bleich and Scott Bittle. Back at the time of these picks, I called it The Great Disaster Draft Of ‘08. And, I still stand by that statement. Here are just some of the prospects that the Yankees passed on to select Cole, Bleich and Bittle: Lonnie Chisenhall, Casey Kelly, Jaff Decker, Anthony Gose and Tanner Scheppers. There’s still hope for David Adams, David Phelps and maybe Pat Venditte turning out to be something from the Yankees 2008 picks. But, man, did they ever whiff on the first three…

    The Mess That Is Javy Vazquez

    Posted by on May 3rd, 2010 · Comments (19)

    Via Tyler Kepner

    The decision not to use Vazquez in Boston, then, is a stinging indictment of a pitcher the Yankees privately believed would perform like a No. 2 starter. Instead, Vazquez will pitch Monday at Comerica Park in Detroit, against a Tigers team that has hit much better than the Red Sox. It reinforces the notion that he cannot handle a big stage.

    “When you’re struggling like this in a market like this, it’s louder and it’s harder,” General Manager Brian Cashman said. “It just is. No one’s going to run from it. It bothers him. It hurts. He wants to do right by everybody, and he’s fighting himself to keep doing it.”

    Vazquez did not make himself available to reporters Monday, but Girardi said Vazquez told him he wanted to start at Fenway. Girardi said that he understood but that he told Vazquez he believed he would benefit from extra days off.

    By starting his second New York stint with a 9.78 earned run average, highest in the league among pitchers with five starts, Vazquez has called into question his stomach for pitching here. It is safe to say the Yankees believed they were past that.

    Vazquez is a genial person, but staying hidden from reporters before Monday’s game was not a good sign.

    But the Yankees are convinced that Vazquez is so lost that he could not win on the road against a Red Sox team that looks strikingly ordinary. A victory at Fenway could boost Vazquez’s shattered confidence. By not giving him the chance, the Yankees revealed just how worried they are.

    “Unfortunately, there’s a clear recognition that there’s some major struggling going on here,” Cashman said. “It’s an opportunity for us to show we’re going to do everything we can, in our power, to fix this on the run.”

    You know, at the end of last season, Big League Stew said that “Vazquez’s worst ERA+ years — with the exception of his first two seasons — all came with contenders: the ’04 Yankees, the ’05 D’Backs and the ’06 and ’08 White Sox.”

    Maybe the Yankees should have considered that?

    Me? Well, when the Yankees made the trade for Vazquez, I wrote:

    But, the big thing with Vazquez is: Can he pitch in the American League? If you look at his career, in terms of his component skills, Vazquez is pretty consistent. Yet, for some reason, his bubble-gum card stats, outside of 2007, are much better when he’s in the N.L. than when he’s in the A.L. (where the Yankees play). In the Senior Cicuit, he’s a Cy Young contender. In the Junior Circuit, he’s a league average pitcher. Perhaps it’s the A.L. ballparks that do him in? (By the way, his lifetime ERA while pitching in the Bronx is 7.09 over 6 games.) But, even at his worst, Javy should be good for close to 200 innings pitched and somewhere around 12-14 wins.

    And, I really meant that – in that I thought it was fair to expect 200 innings pitched and somewhere around 12-14 wins from this guy in 2010.

    Of course, that could still happen…but the clock on that hope is ticking fast…because it sure sounds like Javy Vazquez is one messed up little dude.

    May Day For Yankees Javy Vazquez

    Posted by on May 1st, 2010 · Comments (12)

    Right about now, I’m not even sure that Vazquez could beat a baseball team made out of the Emma Willard School (for girls) May Pole Dancers…and, no, I don’t mean the exciting pole dancers

    Feds Going After A-Rod’s Scheduling & Financial Records

    Posted by on April 9th, 2010 · Comments (4)

    Via Michael S. Schmidt

    Federal agents have reached out to several people who have worked for Alex Rodriguez in an effort to learn more about his relationship with Anthony Galea, the Canadian-based doctor under investigation by various federal authorities.

    According to two people briefed on the investigation, which is seeking to determine if Galea distributed performance-enhancing drugs, agents want to question people associated with the Yankees’ Rodriguez — particularly the assistants who have handled his scheduling and finances — to determine the number of times he met with Galea, where they met and how much money Galea was paid for his services.

    The effort to talk to people connected to Rodriguez comes as he and his lawyers have put off several meetings with federal agents, who have yet to question him about Galea. Those delays have aroused the curiosity of the agents, the two people said, and helped prompt them to contact others in Rodriguez’s circle.

    The two people said that the agents looking into Rodriguez have had communications with Angel Presinal, a well-known trainer who was banned from major league clubhouses nearly a decade ago because baseball officials suspected he was providing players with performance-enhancing drugs.

    How the agents communicated with Presinal, who is based in the Dominican Republic and has worked with Rodriguez in the past, and the extent of those communications is not known.

    Although Rodriguez has yet to meet with federal authorities, he will have to do so at some point, said one of the two people with knowledge of the investigation.

    That person and a third individual said authorities plan to subpoena the notes from Rodriguez’s meeting last Thursday with investigators from Major League Baseball. They said the notes from the meeting — which took place in Tampa, Fla., and lasted three hours — would be used to either question Rodriguez as part of an eventual meeting with federal agents or in an appearance by Rodriguez before the federal grand jury in Buffalo that is looking into Galea’s activities.

    James Sharp, who is based in Washington and is one of several lawyers representing Rodriguez, did not return a telephone request for comment.

    In last week’s meeting with baseball’s investigators, Rodriguez stated that he had been treated several times by Galea after he had surgery on his hip last March, according to several people in baseball with direct knowledge of that meeting.

    Rodriguez said that he had been treated by Galea in Tampa and New York after the surgery, which was performed in Vail, Colo. Rodriguez told investigators that he did not receive performance-enhancing drugs from Galea, the people said.

    Galea has acknowledged treating Rodriguez, stating in a recent interview with The Associated Press that he gave him anti-inflammatories for his hip last year.

    Remember all those times last month that A-Rod said “This is about someone else” when referring to the FBI wanting to talk to him about Galea? Well, now, it sure seems like this is about him too, no? When the feds start to go after your assistants who have handled your scheduling and finances, that tells you that it’s not just about “someone else.”

    Anyone else notice that Kevin Russo played third for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last night – after playing there just 18 times last season? Maybe the Yankees are thinking about a possible Bronx fill-in…in case this thing with Alex really blows up at some point during the season.

    Yankees Sr. VP Of Baseball Ops Busted For DUI

    Posted by on March 9th, 2010 · Comments (9)

    Via the AP

    A top New York Yankees executive was charged with driving under the influence in Tampa.

    Hillsborough County Jail reports show that Mark Newman, the Yankees’ senior vice president of baseball operations, was arrested Monday night. He reportedly refused to take a blood-alcohol test. He was released several hours later on $500 bail.

    Team spokesman Jason Zillo says the Yankees can’t comment at this time.

    Newman did not respond to a message left on his cell phone by The Associated Press.

    Jail records did not list an attorney.

    As I have mentioned before, DUI is a terrible, terrible, crime – in my opinion. It’s inexcusable.

    Keith Law said it best three years ago: Baseball needs a backbone regarding DUIs.

    And, The Talk Of Yankees Camp Now Is…A-Rod. Surprised?

    Posted by on March 2nd, 2010 · Comments (14)

    Everybody’s talking about Alex Rodriguez, the FBI, and a suspected HGH dealer. Check it out:

    Mike Lupica warns that A-Rod better tell the truth this time and not work off a script.

    Ian O’Connor writes that Alex Rodriguez’s steroid stain will last forever.

    George King notes that when “Rodriguez is involved, even the smallest issue has the ability to quickly grow into a colossal one.”

    And, there’s probably much more to come today.

    With six, you get eggroll. With A-Rod, you get all sorts of stuff, eh?

    The Damon Drama Continues…

    Posted by on February 16th, 2010 · Comments (9)

    Via Sam Borden

    [Brian Cashman] says the notion that the Yankees didn’t “engage” with Damon is just plain false and that, despite media reports that Damon might sign for $7 million a year, he fully expects Damon to get the Bobby Abreu-type money of at least $9 million a year.

    “I mean, that’s what they said when they turned down our last offer,” Cashman told me. “I told them I was at the level of two years, $13 million and they said ‘no bleeping way’ and then we even floated the one year, $6 million with deferred money and they pointed to the Bobby Abreu deal. So I fully expect him to get Abreu money, unless they were playing us the entire winter. That would be like playing poker without any hand at all and, you know, maybe they did that.”

    “I’m sure in the past, I have, I’ve put some things away but in this case, we did what we could,” he said. “We absolutely did what we could. The information we got from them was loud and clear. We followed Johnny’s guidelines, Johnny’s path. What’s happening now is a lot of spin doctoring by the agent. It didn’t work out. Don’t try to make us look bad or the Yankees look bad. That’s not right.”

    And people laughed when Bob Raissman called Cashman thin-skinned

    Brian, it’s over. He’s not going to play for your team. Why even talk about Damon and Boras anymore?

    Did Cashman Allow His Anger At Boras To Bring Cause For Damon’s Exit?

    Posted by on January 28th, 2010 · Comments (27)

    Via John Harper

    First and foremost, it’s obvious that Johnny Damon screwed up a good thing here by allowing Scott Boras to antagonize the Yankee front office with his contract demands even after GM Brian Cashman’s warnings that he wasn’t playing games with the agent.

    Damon either let his own ego get in the way of a perfect situation with the Yankees or he paid a price for trusting Boras too much, but in any case he’ll miss his old team more than it will miss him.

    Still, that doesn’t mean the Yankees won this standoff. You can make a case that both sides lost, and, indeed, you have to ask whether Cashman allowed some ego to get involved here as well.

    Several baseball people say they believe Cashman became furious with Boras’ negotiating tactics, with one person close to the situation saying he once heard the GM screaming at Boras via his cell phone.

    In the end, Cashman had the hammer in this negotiation. Maybe by October we’ll know if he used it wisely.

    This ties back to what Chad Jennings shared this weekend:

    “How long it’s taking certain people to wake up and smell the coffee, that’s what surprises me,” Cashman said. “When you get on the phone with agents, they tell you one thing, and certain agents can’t honestly believe what they’re trying to convey. Do they think I’m stupid?”

    Sure sounds like Cashman allowed Boras to get under his skin. Was this a wise move? Like Harper suggests, we’ll see over the course of the 2010 season.

    When You Spell Yankee$, You Cannot Leave Off The Last “S” For Savings

    Posted by on November 22nd, 2009 · Comments (30)

    Via Cot’s Baseball Contracts:

    Starting pitchers
    The highest-paid active starting pitchers, by average annual value:

    CC Sabathia, $23,000,000 (2009-15)
    Johan Santana, $22,916,667 (2008-13)
    Carlos Zambrano, $18,300,000 (2008-12)
    Barry Zito, $18,000,000 (2007-13)
    Jake Peavy, $17,333,333 (2010-12)
    A.J. Burnett, $16,500,000 (2009-13)

    Relief pitchers
    The highest-paid active relief pitchers, by average annual value:

    Mariano Rivera, $15,000,000 (2008-10)
    Brad Lidge, $12,500,000 (2009-11)
    Francisco Rodriguez, $12,333,333 (2009-11)
    Joe Nathan, $11,750,000 (2008-11)

    The highest-paid active catchers, by average annual value:

    Jorge Posada, $13,100,000 (2008-11)
    Joe Mauer, $8,250,000 (2007-10)
    Kenji Johjima, $8,000,000 (2009-11)
    Ramon Hernandez, $6,875,000 (2006-09)

    First basemen
    The highest-paid active first basemen, by average annual value:

    Mark Teixeira, $22,500,000 (2009-16)
    Ryan Howard, $18,000,000 (2009-11)
    Todd Helton, $15,722,222 (2003-11)
    Albert Pujols, $14,285,214 (2004-10)
    Lance Berkman, $14,166,667 (2005-10)
    Justin Morneau, $13,333,333 (2008-13)

    Second basemen
    The highest-paid active second basemen, by average annual value:

    Chase Utley, $12,142,857 (2007-13)
    Brian Roberts, $10,000,000 (2010-13)
    Robinson Cano, $7,500,000 (2008-11)
    Brian Roberts, $7,150,000 (2008-09)
    Dustin Pedroia, $6,750,000 (2009-14)

    The highest-paid active shortstops, by average annual value:

    Derek Jeter, $18,900,000 (2001-10)
    Michael Young, $16,000,000 (2009-13)
    Miguel Tejada, $12,000,000 (2004-09)
    Hanley Ramirez, $11,666,667 (2009-14)
    Rafael Furcal, $10,000,000 (2009-11)

    Third basemen
    The highest-paid active third basemen, by average annual value:

    Alex Rodriguez, $27,500,000 (2008-17)
    Miguel Cabrera, $19,037,500 (2008-15)
    Aramis Ramirez, $15,000,000 (2007-11)
    Chipper Jones, $14,000,000 (2010-12)

    The highest-paid active outfielders, by average annual value:

    Manny Ramirez, $22,500,000 (2009-10)
    Andruw Jones, $18,100,000 (2008-09)
    Torii Hunter, $18,000,000 (2008-12)
    Ichiro Suzuki, $18,000,000 (2008-12)
    Vernon Wells, $18,00,000 (2008-13)
    Carlos Beltran, $17,000,000 (2005-11)
    Alfonso Soriano, $17,000,000 (2007-14)
    Carlos Lee, $16,666,667 (2007-12)
    Magglio Ordonez, $15,000,000 (2005-09)
    J.D. Drew, $14,000,000 (2007-11)
    Vladimir Guerrero, $14,000,000 (2004-08)
    Johnny Damon, $13,000,000 (2006-09)
    Hideki Matsui, $13,000,000 (2006-09)

    When you see these numbers – and how the Yankees have the most “expensive” player (or close to it) – at just about every position, it’s hard to defend those claims that the Yankees bought a World Series ring this year. Perhaps the 2009 Yankees were the best team that money can buy?

    When you add up those annual averages for the Yankees players highlight here, it totals $170,000,000 (a year) for ten players. That $170 million for those ten players is more than any other total team payroll in baseball last season (outside of the Yankees payroll).

    Burnett Yanks Biggest Choker This Post-Season?

    Posted by on November 3rd, 2009 · Comments (17)

    I know that Nick Swisher, to date, has ALDS/ALCS/WS batting averages of .083/.150/.167 this post-season. And, Robbie Cano’s mark is .167/.261/.167, to date. Also, Mark Teixeira’s line is .167/.222/.105 through Game 5 of the World Series. But, has any Yankee “choked” this off-season as much as A.J. Burnett?

    Yeah, there’s Phil Hughes…facing 33 batters so far this post-season and allowing 15 of them to reach base…

    And, true, Burnett had an effective start in the ALDS and a very good start in Game Two of this World Series…

    But, look at Game Five in both the ALCS and the World Series this year. Both times, the Yankees were up, three games to one, with a chance to finish off the series with A.J. Burnett on the hill.

    What happened? In Game Five of the ALCS, Burnett allowed four runs in the first inning. And, in Game Five of the World Series, Burnett allowed six runs before he could retire his seventh batter.

    Talk about being in the spotlight and just melting…

    Burnett may be a great teammate and all that; but, when it comes to being in a big spot, I don’t feel comfortable with him on the mound…based on these two Game Five situations…do you?

    “Fatigued” A-Rod Caught Out Partying Till Early AM With Celeb Gal Pal

    Posted by on June 21st, 2009 · Comments (4)

    Via the Palm Beach Post with a hat tip to Pete Abe

    Benched for alleged “fatigue,” slumping New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez partied until 2:30 a.m. Saturday in Miami Beach. He then disappeared into the tropical night with actress Kate Hudson in the back seat of his chauffeured Maybach.

    And while it’s pretty obvious A-Rod and Hudson are an item, the third baseman wasn’t too fatigued to continue pretending otherwise. Indeed, it must be a coincidence that Hudson, the star of Almost Famous and Fool’s Gold, is in Miami just as Rodriguez’s New York Yankees are playing the Florida Marlins in SoFla this weekend.

    And it must be another coincidence that they “ran” into each other at a private party on SoBe late Friday.

    And also blind luck they both ended up in A-Rod’s set of wheels about 2:30 a.m., even if they left the fiesta 15 minutes apart, a spywitness tells me.

    Alex being Alex.

    Remember, back in April, when A-Rod said he had recommitted himself to baseball and the Yankees and planned to have “tunnel vision” this season? I guess now we know what type of “tunnel” he was talking about…

    Bruney: Ump Delay On HR Review Blew Elbow

    Posted by on May 18th, 2009 · Comments (5)

    Via the AP

    Ready to return from the disabled list, New York Yankees reliever Brian Bruney blamed an 8 1/2-minute wait during an umpires’ video review for causing a strained flexor muscle in his right elbow.

    Bruney went on the disabled list April 25, six days after he was warming up in the bullpen during the seventh inning when umpires checked video before upholding a home run by teammate Jorge Posada. Bruney then entered in the eighth and got three outs.

    “Major League Baseball needs a way to figure out if it’s a home run or not,” Bruney said Monday. “It shouldn’t take 8 1/2 minutes, and I think that’s what screwed me up.”

    Bruney pitched just once after the April 19 game, throwing an inning on April 21 before going on the DL. He said it was obvious to him from the first replay that Posada’s drive just over the right-field wall against Indians reliever Jensen Lewis was a home run.

    He called the players’ association and learned only then that replays are provided to umpires from a central location.

    “I don’t know what the 8 1/2 minutes was all about,” he said. “I don’t know if like somebody was on lunch break or what.”

    Bruney kept on warming up, not sure how long it would take for umpires to return to the field.

    “I could have quit throwing, I could have waited and started again,” he said. “I don’t know if he’s coming out in 30 seconds or 3 minutes or 8 1/2 minutes. It turned out to be the latter. I mean, that’s a long time for a reliever to be throwing or any pitcher to be throwing.”

    Bruney allowed one run in one inning during a minor league rehab appearance Sunday and is slated to be activated Tuesday.

    Mike Port, Major League Baseball’s vice president of umpiring, declined comment on Bruney’s allegation.

    …I could have quit throwing, I could have waited and started again…I don’t know if he’s coming out in 30 seconds or 3 minutes or 8 1/2 minutes. It turned out to be the latter. I mean, that’s a long time for a reliever to be throwing or any pitcher to be throwing…

    Hey, Brian, what if it had been a situation where Posada was hurt, on the field, running the bases – instead of a situation where the umps had to review the video tape – and there was an 8 1/2 minute delay while the Yankees trainers worked on Posada? Or, what if the Yankees just kept getting two-out hits, over and over, for an 8 1/2 minute period? In the case of Posada’s injury, you wouldn’t have known if it would take 30 seconds or 3 minutes or 8 1/2 minutes to tend to him. And, with the two-out hits, you would have not been able to tell if the inning would last another 30 seconds or 3 minutes or 8 1/2 minutes.

    Dude, you made the call to keep throwing – assuming that the umpires might make a quick call. Therefore, this is your fault – and not the umpires. Geez…I thought Bruney was better than being a blame-layer. Guess not?

    Yanks Misled & Mistreated Fans (And Legend) At Stadium?

    Posted by on May 5th, 2009 · Comments (10)

    Via the Daily News

    Hundreds of irate fans – some who claim Yankee employees told them the game had been rained out – stormed away from Yankee Stadium before Monday night’s game against the Red Sox even got underway and couldn’t get back in, resulting in a an ugly scene at one of the ticket gates.

    With rain falling for hours and no start time announced until shortly before 9 p.m., hordes of fans began leaving the Stadium and heading home – some who said they had been advised that the game had been called by Yankee employees who walked the concourse holding pinstriped “How may I help you?” signs.

    When a 9:20 p.m. start time was eventually announced over the public address system, a crowd on the sidewalk outside Gate 6 tried to get back into the Stadium, only to have the employees working the turnstiles promptly close the doors in their faces. Panicked fans began racing up and down the sidewalk, trying to find a way back into the ballpark, while others remained at Gate 6 either pleading or demanding to be let back in.

    “We talked to the security personnel, who said there was zero chance they were going to play the game,” said Tom Stuart, a 27-year-old from Astoria who waited out most of the rain delay before leaving with his girlfriend. “We spent three hours drinking beer – you can’t drink much because they’re 10 bucks apiece – now they’re going to play a game in front of 35 fans.”

    Becky Wright, who flew in from Oregon for Monday night’s game, had bought two tickets as a birthday present for her 16-year-old son, Seth O’Neil. They left the game because “the guys holding the ‘How may I help you signs?’ said they weren’t going to play,” said Wright. They were among the hundreds of fans outside Gate 6 trying to get back into the Stadium.

    Jason Zillo, a Yankee spokesman, said the team has a firm no-reentry policy. He also said the NYPD and Stadium security hadn’t let any fans back into the ballpark.

    “We’re a part of hundreds of people, if not thousands,” said Martin Watson, a 39-year-old New Yorker who spent $800 for four tickets and tried to reenter through Gate 6. “This is not fan-friendly. This is B.S. You pay money for a top-of-the-line franchise, and you get bottom-of-the-line customer service.”

    “I built this Stadium and they won’t let me in it,” a man wearing a local union jacket said before storming off.

    While fans were being rebuffed outside Gate 6, scores were having their tickets rescanned outside Gate 4 and being allowed back into the Stadium, but that lasted only for a limited time.

    One fan, who was wearing a No. 2 Derek Jeter jersey and a backward Yankee hat, approached a reporter to say he had been let back in, but couldn’t do so because the Yankees wouldn’t rescan his father’s ticket. A turnstile supervisor directed the reporter and several fans to the customer service window, which was locked.

    At least one fan was arrested outside the Stadium. Roseanna Franco, 25, of White Plains, was charged with assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after she allegedly kicked a New York City police officer after not being let back in.

    Stadium security also threatened to revoke the credential of Daily News photographer Robert Sabo, who was shooting the scene outside Gate 6 – a location photographers weren’t prohibited from working at on Opening Day.

    “They were super-embarrassed and told me to go back to my position on the field or they’d take my credential,” Sabo said.

    After most of the crowd had dispersed outside Gate 6, turnstile workers opened the doors and began letting people back into the Stadium. But it was already too late for hundreds of fans.

    Hey, the fans shouldn’t feel bad. For what it’s worth, at the new Stadium, the Yankees recently also rudely treated Paul O’Neill and his wife too.

    Strange. I would bet that the Yankees try and write this stuff off as being the bugs of opening up a new Stadium. But, really, did they never have a two-hour rain delay before a game at the old Stadium? And, did they never have a former Yankee, and current broadcaster, and his wife visiting the park at the old Stadium? These are not situations that are unique to the new Stadium, and, therefore, they should have been handled better by the organization. Hopefully, we’ll never hear of these types of situations happening in Yankeeland again – because, they should just not be happening, period.

    (H/T to BBTF on the stories.)

    Almost 3 Years To The Day, Yanks Embarrassed Again By The Full Wind-Up

    Posted by on April 26th, 2009 · Comments (7)

    During tonight’s Yankees-Red Sox, on April 26th, Boston had the bases loaded in the bottom of the 5th inning, with Jacoby Ellsbury on third, and two out. On a 2-2 pitch to J.D. Drew, New York’s Andy Pettitte, throwing from a full wind-up, allowed Ellsbury to steal home.

    Let’s flash back to April 21, 2006. Remember what happened then, when the Yankees told Worm Killer Wang to pitch from the full wind-up, on a 3-2 count, with two outs, and the bases loaded? Via Tyler Kepner back in the day:

    With two outs and Millar on second, Wang lost his control, walking Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis to load the bases. From the bench, the Yankees told Wang to work from the windup, thinking he would be more comfortable.

    But Wang is slow from the windup, and on the 3-2 pitch to Melvin Mora, Roberts and Markakis took enormous leads. Mora smacked a grounder to shortstop Derek Jeter, but his only play was to first, and his throw pulled Andy Phillips off the base.

    By the time Phillips landed on the bag, Mora had slid in safely. He also had accomplished a rarity, knocking in two runs on an infield single.

    Brian Roberts, three years ago, took the Yankees to school on what can happen when you go to the full wind-up with the bases juiced, two outs, and a full count…and, this evening, Jacoby Ellsbury showed us that New York learned nothing three years ago…because, again, the Yanks got embarrassed by sleeping on the field in a big spot.

    Yeah, I know it was a 2-2 count this time. But, that’s close enough to it being a full count in a situation like this…

    Felix Lopez Kid Busted in ’02 For PED Possession

    Posted by on February 21st, 2009 · Comments (3)

    Via the Post

    The son of Yankees senior vice president Felix Lopez Jr. – who is the son-in-law of Bronx Bombers owner George Steinbrenner – was busted in 2002 for trafficking in a banned date-rape drug that has been used by athletes for muscle recovery, and for possession of anabolic steroids at his Tampa, Fla., apartment, records reveal.

    Felix Lopez III, who in recent weeks has been spotted at the Yankees’ minor league facility in Tampa working out in official team sweats, served 19 months of probation after pleading guilty to reduced charges in 2003.

    Lopez, 30, had been arrested at his Tampa home in September 2002 as part of a nationwide Drug Enforcement Administration sting, which cooperated with local law enforcement authorities, for trafficking in a drug known as GBL.

    Earlier this week, a source told The Post that Lopez had been acquired as a strength trainer for the Yankees minor league facility, which his father, Felix Lopez Jr., oversees.

    Lopez Jr. is married to Jessica Steinbrenner, the younger daughter of the Yankees principal owner.

    But Lopez III, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, and Howard Rubenstein, a spokesman for George Steinbrenner, all denied that the younger Lopez had been, or was going to ever be, hired by the Yankees.

    “I have not,” Lopez III said, when asked if he had been hired. “I’m not a hire … I wish.

    “No, it’s always best to let family just do kind of their own thing. I don’t work for the complex at all, no W-2, no paychecks, nothing.”

    Lopez III did confirm he has visited the minor league complex, noting that his dad works there.

    The Post’s questions about Lopez’s criminal record caught a number of highly placed Yankees sources by surprise, as they were completely unaware of that aspect of his history.

    The Stein family is starting to look more and more like the Bluth’s…everyday.

    Report: Alex Rodriguez Tested Positive For Steroids In 2003

    Posted by on February 7th, 2009 · Comments (30)

    I just turned on the MLB Network and saw Tom Verducci talking about this in a Breaking News segment…

    My thanks to those who left comments here in other entries, also alerting me of this…

    Here’s the scoop from SI.com

    In 2003, when he won the American League home run title and the AL Most Valuable Player award as a shortstop for the Texas Rangers, Alex Rodriguez tested positive for two anabolic steroids, four sources have independently told Sports Illustrated.

    Rodriguez’s name appears on a list of 104 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball’s ’03 survey testing, SI’s sources say. As part of a joint agreement with the MLB Players Association, the testing was conducted to determine if it was necessary to impose mandatory random drug testing across the major leagues in 2004.

    When approached by an SI reporter on Thursday at a gym in Miami, Rodriguez declined to discuss his 2003 test results. “You’ll have to talk to the union,” said Rodriguez, the Yankees’ third baseman since his trade to New York in February 2004. When asked if there was an explanation for his positive test, he said, “I’m not saying anything.”

    Phone messages left by SI for players’ union executive director Donald Fehr were not returned.

    Wow. If true, Jose Canseco was right again. And, all of a sudden, the Joe Torre book doesn’t seem like the biggest news in Yankeeland any more…

    Update, 12 noon EST, 2/7/09: How many times do you think this video clip will be replayed in the next 24 hours?

    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?

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