Tag Archives: Hal Steinbrenner

ALDS Game 2: Yanks up 2-0 after Didi slams, Tanaka tames Twins, 8-2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

One thing about the postseason. A player can be struggling at the end of the regular season, then one postseason at bat can make him a hero.

Such is the case with Didi Gregorius in Game 2 of the ALDS. Didi, who was struggling badly at the end of the regular season, and also in Game 1, hit a grand slam that broke Game 2 open, and the Yanks beat the Twins 8-2 to take a two games to none lead into Minnesota on Monday for Game 3 of the best-of-five series.

Masahiro Tanaka continued to be a postseason force, improving his record to 4-2, 1.54 in the postseason. The YES network showed a graph of people with postseason ERAs under Tanaka’s (minimum five starts). That list was headed by Sandy Koufax, Christy Mathewson and Eddie Plank (although the YES network screwed up. The picture shown was of Lefty Grove, not Eddie Plank). Wild Bill Hallahan was in there too. Koufax, Mathewson and Plank are all hall-of-famers.

The Twins made a curious decision, starting a rookie, Randy Dobnak, making only his SIXTH start in the majors, and who had only 28 1/3 innings of major league experience. This, in Game 2 of the ALDS, in a game you NEED to win to avoid going down 0-2 in a best of five series. Strange decision indeed.

Not only that, the kid got married last Saturday. So his focus lately hasn’t been 100% on baseball.

Tanaka got out of a jam in first, being the back end of a nifty 3-6-1 DP to end the inning. Tanaka helps himself out when he pitches by holding runners on well and also by fielding his position well. Here his fielding helped him out.

The Yanks got to Dobnak early, scoring one run in the first. D.J. LeMahieu led off with a double and Aaron Judge walked. A flyout by Brett Gardner moved D.J. to third. Edwin Encarnacion, looking hot and nothing like a guy just off the IL, singled to make it 1-0 Yanks.

Then came the third inning. The Yankees tied their postseason record by scoring seven runs in the inning.

Judge led off with a single and Gardner walked. Encarnacion singled to load the bases and Giancarlo Stanton hit a SF to make it 2-0. Gleyber Torres singled in a run, 3-0. Gary Sanchez was HBP to reload the bases and then Didi hit his grand slam. 7-0. After Gio Urshela struck out, D.J. walked and Judge singled. Gardner singled to make it 8-0, and the game was basically over.

Tanaka did give up a run in the fourth, and the Twins also got a run off of Jonathan Loaisiga in the ninth.

Judge 2 hits, 2 walks
Encarnacion 2 hits, RBI
Gregorius 2 hits, 4 RBI. Grand slam. (1st by Yankee in postseason since Robbie Cano 2011)
Urshela 2 hits.

 

Tanaka (WINNER) 5 IP,  1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 7 K.  Brilliant.
Kahnle 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Ottavino 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Lyons 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Loaisiga 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K.

Yankees’ pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts. Meanwhile, besides getting 11 hits, the Yankees drew 8 walks.

 


No offense to other good teams in the AL, like Oakland, Tampa Bay and Cleveland (who didn’t make the playoffs despite winning over 90 games) or the Twins, but for months it has appeared that, unless there is an upset, that the ALCS would be the Yankees vs. the Astros.

That possibility became even more of a certainty Saturday night when Houston beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to go up two games to none in their series. Gerrit Cole struck out 15 in 7 2/3 innings. The only pitchers to strike out more in a postseason game were Bob Gibson and Kevin Brown (yeah, I still wretch when I think of Kevin Brown). Houston pitchers combined for 17 strikeouts and Alex Bregman hit a HR.

Cole is a free agent after the season. The Yanks drafted him in 2008 but he went to college instead. The Yanks tried to trade for him but wouldn’t give up Miguel Andujar in the deal.  So the interest is clearly there. Cole went 20-5, 2.50 with 326 K this season. He led the AL in ERA and the majors in strikeouts. You can guess how much I want Hal Steinbrenner to break open the piggy bank and sign Cole (who, obviously, won’t come cheap) in this upcoming offseason. Not only to help the Yanks but to hurt Houston.

Can you imagine a rotation of Cole, Severino, Tanaka, Paxton and Happ (sorry to the youngsters).

Cole is 29. A three-time All-Star who will get CYA consideration for the third time this offseason (and who may win it, unless he loses to teammate Justin Verlander). His 162 g. average is 17-7, 3.22, ERA+ 127.

Look at that rotation again. You can buy Happ out after 2020 and maybe a youngster like Deivi Garcia is ready in 2021 (and I didn’t even mention Jordan Montgomery).

8 years, $250 million?

It isn’t my money, obviously. But I can dream about spending Hal’s, can’t I?

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2015 Yankees. Part 3. The Front Office/Manager.

Part 3 of 3.

Manager. I grade Joe Girardi at a B for this year. He took a team most projected at 3rd or 4th place into the wild card game. A lot of pundits had this team at 77-8o wins, meaning first losing year since 1992 and he won 87, about 7-10 more than expected. Girardi is a good manager, and Larry Rothschild a good pitching coach.

That said, I do have issues with Girardi. He isn’t aggressive enough, in my opinion. Maybe it’s the players he has, but he doesn’t play littleball (or Billy Ball, if you will) enough for me. He never bunts, never squeezes home runs, doesn’t hit and run much, and even with Gardner and Ellsbury, didn’t run them much. Too much sit and wait for the big HR instead of making things happen. That I wish would change.

I would also give Cashman a B as well. Some may not like that, thinking that he should have made a big move at the trade deadline. But who do you give up? You have to give to get. I like the fact that he did not give up Bird or Severino, both of whom were needed down the stretch. Maybe he should have dumped Drew for Refsnyder earlier. Ackley, once healthy, proved to be a decent move. Yes, Cervelli did well for Pittsburgh but would he have done as well sitting on the bench most of the time here? Maybe not. Getting Wilson for him turned out OK, and Murphy developed well. The Shreve pickup was a good one for most of the year until Shreve burned out. But he didn’t want to give up the future for the now. Hopefully Cashman, by keeping Refsnyder, Severino, Judge, Sanchez and Mateo will have kept a core that will be the foundation for future Yankees success. We’ll see. But I like that he kept these guys and didn’t do a “Buhner for Phelps” trade like we saw in the late 1980’s / early 1990s

The Front Office. It is far beyond time to recognize that Hal Steinbrenner is not his father. He isn’t just going to throw $$$ at a problem just to throw $$$ at a problem and hope it gets better. He doesn’t spout off to the press like his dad did or make impulsive decisions (like go for a Raul Mondesi). He is more analytical and less impulsive than his dad. Some may not like that he is more stingy. Hal seems to be more inclined to build for the future while his dad was more make things happen now. Time will tell if Hal’s method will pay off with long-term success rather than sacrifice the long-term for a quick fix. I give the front office a B as well.

Don’t expect wholesale changes in the offseason but minor ones. When you are tied into 19 players who have deals in place for next year, there isn’t a lot of flexibility. That will come in 2017 and 2018. That is when we will see if patience regarding Sanchez, Severino, Refsnyder, Judge and Bird will pay off. That is also the time when we see what free agents could replace A-Rod, Teix, Beltran, CC, etc.

Changes could be made on the coaching staff, however. I wasn’t too pleased with the third base coach and feel that Rob Thomson, instead of bench coach, should go back to 3B and Tony Pena should go back to bench coach from 1B coach. Another suggestion? Bring Willie Randolph back to coach, either as 3B coach if you want Thomson as bench coach, as bench coach (since Willie was a former manager himself) or as infield coach. Also, and I know there is a language barrier problem, but consider Matsui as hitting coach. Hideki was a professional hitter. Get him involved more.

Are the hands tied?

People are wondering why the Yanks haven’t done much so far, and a lot of blame is being placed on Brian Cashman.

I don’t fault Cashman as much as others do, but I do have to say, what can he do right now? He doesn’t control the $$$, Hal Steinbrenner, the owner, does.

The thing is, what kind of a budget are the Yanks looking for in 2015? For there isn’t much flexibility or maneuverability in that budget. That is why you aren’t seeing moves.

It’s one thing to say increase the payroll. It isn’t your money. But how much do you want to increase it to?

Let’s look at some numbers. The Yanks may not be able to do much for the next two or three years. BaseballReference.com has their budget right now at $179.4MM with an estimate of $193.4MM.

Now let’s look at 10 players and the quickest they would be gone from the Yankees (barring a trade, and let’s face it, a lot of these players would be difficult to move because of salary, age and the fact that the Yankees may need to eat a lot of the contract).

McCann $17MM for 2015. Signed through 2018 with a team option for 2019. He’s gonna be around for a while.

Teixeira $22.5MM for 2015. There again in 2016. I don’t expect the Yanks to bring him back for 2017 but you are stuck with him for 2015 and 2016. Honestly, who’d want his increasing injuries, declining production and that contract?

Prado $11MM. Contract through 2016. Could be tradeable.

Gardner $12.5 MM. signed though 2018. Team option of $12.5MM for 2019, $2MM buyout. Tradeable.

A-Rod $21 MM. Stuck with him through 2017. Really, who’d want him? 40 in July. 44 games played over the last two seasons, two hip surgeries, a PED suspension…. his nickname should be lightning rod (for trouble and controversy). Not only the salary, but a $6MM bonus if he gets the six homers he needs to tie Willie Mays on the all-time list.

Ellsbury $21.1MM. Signed through 2020, 2021 team option at $21MM, $5 MM buyout. Good player, but who’d take that salary?

Beltran $15MM signed for 2015 and 2016. He’s 38 and coming off a bad, injury-plagued year.

CC $23 MM. Signed 2015 and 2016. $25 MM vesting option for 2017, $5MM buyout, but that is based on shoulder, not the knee issue which cost him most of 2014. 17-17, 4,87 since 2012. Who’d take that contract now for a pitcher who has been below average over his last 40 starts, has knee issues, a diminishing fastball and who will be 35 this coming summer?

Tanaka $22MM, signed through 2020, player can opt out after 2017. An ace, and we hope his elbow holds up.

Miller $9 MM. Through 2018.

That is 10 players, $174.1 MM for 2015. Now let’s just say Hal put a limit of $205MM for his team, not the $193.mm listed above (which, as we know, will be unreasonable to match). Now you have 15 players left to fill out the 25 man roster, and you have just $30MM left for them.

Um, tough to do, isn’t it?

How can you bring back Robertson or McCarthy, or for that matter, sign a Shields or Scherzer? You can’t.

That is why Cashman’s hands are tied and why he has to bottom-feed right now—unless Hal increases the budget.

Those 10 are the core of the team—not only for 2015, but as you can see, for 2016 as well. Unless someone retires or you can trade one of them (and for a couple of them, that ain’t happening—-no takers) you are stuck with them. If they don’t produce, then…

and Beltran, McCann, Teix, CC all underproduced in 2014. Now we get a soon-to-be 40 year old A-Rod in 2015, who will probably underproduce.

Either this group finds past glory and steps up, or the next two years will be more of the same from 2013 and 2014.

But the thing is, there is only (even in Yankeeland) so much $$$ to go around, and most of it has been allocated.

Unless Hal wants to increase the payroll to $225 MM, or $250MM, or ….

but I don’t see it.

Which means maybe the next big move won’t be until after 2016, when you can take Teix and Beltran off the books. Maybe Prado, too. Probably not CC, since his vesting option (unless he has shoulder damage) kicks in. Maybe A-Rod won’t come back for 2017 but will retire because of diminishing skills/injury and to avoid himself the embarrasment of hanging on hitting less than .200.

But for now, what can one do? For those 10 players eat up most of your payroll. The Yanks have to hope that players under team control, who are making the major league minimum (or close to it) can step up in the next couple of years. This means a Rob Refsnyder, Jose Pirela, Manny Banuelos, Jacob Lindgren, Bryan Mitchell, Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, etc., and this comes down to scouting and player development—areas that have been lacking in recent years.

 

 

An ultimatum by Winn?

Apparently the $2m/yr. OF gave the Yanks an ultimatum, for Winn had an offer on the table from the Nats. The Yanks moved. Whether Damon would have lowered his demands, who knows (most likely not) but when Winn told the Yanks to make a decision or not, it was goodbye Johnny.

Most don’t think either side would have budged. I did read where some in the Yankees hierarchy thought a $6M deal (most of the $ deferred) could have brought JD back, but it would have had to be signed off on by a honeymooning Hal (NY Post article). But many think Hal still would have stuck to his guns.

I hear the radio today. How come every time I hear Harry Chapin, it’s always Cat in the Cradle? Hey, Taxi was a good tune. Why don’t I ever hear that one anymore?

Jim Edmonds, who didn’t play in 2009, signed a minor league deal with the Brew Crew.

3rd? Chad Jennings writes about Pecota’s prediction for the 2010 Yankees. A bunch of crap if you ask me. Hmmm….Seattle has Lee and King Felix and just 86 and no playoffs. Yanks have CC/AJ/Andy and Vazquez. Robertson, Joba and Hughes still developing. But 10 games worse? You never know, but what BS.

I know the Phils have bullpen issues, but just 88 with an infield of Howard, Utley, Rollins and Polanco? Hey, Ibanez, Victorino and Werth isn’t a shabby OF, either. The BS adds up.

Cashman may be getting help. Chad Jennings reports that ex-SD GM Kevin Towers, who is friends with Cashman, may join the Yanks’ front office. A good move if you ask me.

So I am driving home the other night, make a right hand turn onto a one-way street (on my way to my ATM) and what do I see…some SOB coming the other way. (…and yes, I was the one driving the right way).

According to Joel Sherman in the Post, the Yanks may still look at Rocco Baldelli, Reed Johnson or Marcus Thames…but on minor league deals.

MLBTR states that the Mets are interested in Tatis to platoon with Murphy at 1B, meaning goodbye Delgado. They maybe in the market for Smoltz. First Glavine, now Smoltz a Met? It isn’t just politics that makes strange bedfellows (but then we had Damon/Yankees; Gooden/ Yankees and Strawberry/Yankees).

Interesting some rumors. We should hold a “where will JD wind up” contest. Meanwhile, it’s certainly nice to see Boras grovel. 

           

Yes, Virginia, there is a budget. Yanks sign Winn, means JD is gone.

Maybe now, people will believe…

no, not in Santa Claus, Virginia.

But that Brian Cashman was telling the truth when he said the Yankees were tapped out and had only $2M to spend on LF, for that is what they signed Randy Winn for today.

Maybe they will now believe that Hal Steinbrenner isn’t his father, or that

the Yankees actually do have a budget that they are trying to stick to.

Randy Winn isn’t that much younger than Johnny Damon. Just seven months or so. While Damon hit 24 HR last year (helped by Yankee Stadium, 17 home, 7 away), Winn only hit 2 HR. Winn, 35, is a .286 career hitter who slumped in 2009 for the SF Giants. Pac Bell is a tough park for hitters. Hopefully, Winn finds Yankee Stadium III more to his liking.

Winn seems to be a compliment to Gardner. While Gardner is a lefty hitter, Winn is a switch-hitter. Winn was 16 for 18 in SB in 2009, and 56 for 63 (EXCELLENT!) over the past three seasons. His 162 game average for his career is .286-11-64 with 21 SB, OPS+ 99. Average. Average power, good speed, average hitter. For his career, .289 with 73 HR lefty, .280 with 33 HR righty. It’d seem like he is the righty compliment to Gardner. Not as much power righty, but decent enough.

Except for last year—when Winn was terrible as a righty hitter. In 2009, Winn hit .292 lefty and just .158 righty as he was on his way to a .262-2-51, 16 SB year (OPS+ only 75). Clearly Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi are seeking a rebound year from Winn, who will be 36 in June. Especially a rebound from the right side. 

Winn hit .300 in 2007 and 2008. If he can rebound to the level of 2007 and 2008 (.300/.306; 14 and 10 HR; 65 and 64 RBI; see the SB and SB % above), the Yanks will be happy.

Winn is OF-versatile. He has played 687 games in CF, 516 in RF and 437 in LF. Along with Gardner, he provides speed.

The key to the success of this signing will be how Winn rebounds as a hitter from the right side.

There will be many who will criticize the signing for various reasons.

1) They want Damon back. So would I, but it’s not my money. Nor theirs. As I wrote above, maybe people will realize that Hal is not his father, that there is a budget, and that the Yanks actually were going to stick to that budget; meaning that for all his abilities (see the quote in the previous post), that JD just plain and simply, cost too much.

2) JD became a fan favorite. Many will hate Winn just for taking over from JD, who helped (who can forget Game 4, 9th inning) of last year’s WS? It took Tino a while to replace Mattingly in Yankees’ fans hearts. The same for Girardi when he took over for Stanley (and, it could be said, Torre). Giambi for Tino… heck, we can even go back to Mantle for Joe D. It takes time to win fans over. Some can never be won. Heck, Latroy (Sadie) Hawkins was booed just for wearing #21, not for his eventual (woeful) performance.

3) Winn won’t hit 24 HR like Damon did. There are many who look solely at HR/RBI and want a beer-league softball lineup. Murderers Row plus Cano as Jimmy Leyland said. People forget something. Not every at bat ends with a home run. You have to RUN THE BASES. You need a team of good baserunners. Matsui was and is a good hitter. You can’t have a lineup of all Matsui’s, or Giambi’s or Posada’s. Damon was a good baserunner (see 9th inning, Game 4, 2009 WS). Jeter and Alex are good baserunners. Posada, Cano, Swisher, Nick Johnson…are not. You need BALANCE. Meaning that for everyone who will be bashing Gardner and most likely Winn, I ask, outside of bringing back JD (and there wasn’t the money for him), where were the good baserunners going to come from? You can’t sit and wait for the 3-run HR all of the time. You have to go 1st to home on a double. 1st to 3rd on singles. Score from 2nd on a single. Remember Hairston scoring on that Twins error in Game 2 of the ALDS to win that extra-inning game? A lineup of station-to station hitters will not win you titles. If you can’t afford to bring JD back, you have to replace–if not the 24 hr—his average (.282), but most importantly, his baserunning. You can improve on his defense. You can find someone with more range and a better arm. But with a lineup of Posada, Cano, Swisher, Teixeira, you need good baserunners. The Yanks got one in Granderson (20 for 26 in SB last year). Of course you have to get on base to use your speed, which is why Winn has to improve on that 2009 righty hitting split.

4) It appears as if Nick Johnson will hit #2 because of his OBP. But Johnson can’t run. Winn can. I wonder if he might be a better fit at #2 than Johnson. 

Would you go Jeter/Winn/Teix/Alex/Granderson/Posada/Cano/Swisher/Johnson (and in that lineup, your 8 and 9 hitters in 2009 had 97 and 99 walks, respectively) or have Johnson 2nd and Winn 9th? I think Girardi may be leaning to the latter, in which case Winn and Gardner switch off in the #9 spot. One (Winn) went 16 for 18 in SB last year, the other (Gardner) 26 for 31. Add in the recently acquired Golson, 20 for 24 in the minors last year and 23 for 28 in 2008 and the Yanks have OF who may not hit for power, but who can cover ground and run. Even Jamie Hoffman can run. He was just 15 for 26 in the minors in 2009 for SB, but 28 for 37 in 2008 and 19 for 26 in 2007. None are the established star that Damon is. They won’t have the 24 HR power JD had in 2009. But it seems as if the Yankees are leaving the power in the OF to Swisher (29 HR last year) and Granderson (30). They are looking at the 3rd OF to provide speed and defense while batting 9th. (I think the lineup will be Jeter/Johnson (although I’d like Granderson here because of his speed and the lineup protection that follows)/ Teixeira/Alex/Granderson/Posada/Cano/Swisher/ Gardner-Winn); R-L-S-R-L-S-L-S-L/R. The Yanks are counting on the pull-hitting Granderson matching the 30 HR he hit for Detroit, which is a tougher ballpark.

With a starting four of CC/AJ/Andy and Vazquez (#5 TBD, Joba? Hughes?) the Yanks figure that they will help their pitching staff with some speed and defense.

Of course the beer-league softball crowd, who wouldn’t know (or appreciate) speed and defense unless it was named Ozzie Smith or Rickey Henderson, won’t appreciate that.      

I’ll be interested in seeing Joel Sherman’s take on the signing in tomorrow’s Post. Today, he wrote an article saying that the Yanks should pony up more $ for JD.

Andre Dawson is entering the HOF as an Expo. Fitting. He did spend 11 years with Montreal, 6 with the Cubs. 

In football news, Kurt Warner has a press conference on Friday, most likely to announce his retirement.                   

Game 6. Yanks @ KC; Joba’s debut & and different lineup

From Pete Abraham, today’s lineup:

YANKEES (3-2)
Gardner CF
Jeter SS
Swisher 1B
Matsui DH
Nady RF
Cano 2B
Cabrera LF
Ransom 3B
Molina C

Pitching: RHP Joba Chamberlain.

JD gets the day off. Melky gets a start. Gardner moves into the leadoff spot. I guess that Girardi is “playing it safe” by giving Teixeira’s wrist (tendonitis) another day off. Hopefully Swisher keeps that hot bat going.

Matsui needs to start it up. Same with Ransom. I would guess the only thing keeping Ransom in the lineup today is the fact that Molina is catching (day game after a night game). If Posada were catching today (more punch), I think that Girardi may have then been tempted to give Ramiro Pena a start at 3B.

Phil Hughes goes for the SWB Yankees today. AA and A+ are off, Charleston is playing.

Apparently Hal Steinbrenner re-tied the knot this weekend. 

I was with friends last evening and will be with family today, eating, drinking, and having fun. My plans involve checking the Yanks on the cell phone, catching the end of the Masters, and catching up on the Celtics/Cavs game. Can’t beat any of that.

  

 

The new Owner(s).

When people talk about the Yankees, I hear them say “Steinbrenner.” It’s not plural. Not “The Steinbrenners.” Not which Steinbrenner. Just “Steinbrenner.”

There’s no doubt who they are referring to. Not Hal or Hank. George. For the past few years, I’ve tried to tell people that George is old and not involved anymore. That there may be serious health issues. Most of the time they don’t want to hear it. It’s the effect the Boss had or has on people. They may hate the Yankees. They may hate George because he is an extension of the Yankees. They may hate George for being George. They don’t want to accept that the man has the frailties of age like anyone else. They act as if the Boss is stuck in a 1980 time warp.

Maybe that will change now. Maybe not. I mean, if the non-pursuit of Johan Santana last winter didn’t change minds of who’s in charge, what will? Sure, they may say that “look at what they are offering Sabathia”, but people forget a few things between Santana 2007 and C. C. 2008. They just look at the $$$.

C. C. is a free agent. Meaning he would cost money. Lots of it. Compensation in draft picks, but no players that are real or live, so to speak. Players who are yours and who you know about (as opposed to draft picks who you have know idea who they are or will be). Santana last year would have cost the $$$ and PLAYERS. Those players, for good or bad, are still here. Secondly, the money being paid C. C. is in large part from money coming off the books via Abreu, Pavano, Mussina, Giambi. Meaning a transfer of money and not adding new money to the payroll. Big difference there. But the Yankees being the Yankees, people will look at the amount of the contract and not see (or care about) the fact that it’s a transfer. They’ll see it as a purchase and act accordingly.

It will be Hal and Hank, as MLB rules stipulate only one general partner. As King, George A. III notes in his NY Post column today, Hank himself voted for Hal to officially follow their dad, and why not? Hal, and not Hank, put in the time at the Stadium. Hank has showed up how many times? Hal is the one in meetings and working the finances. Hank remains in charge of baseball operations.

Nothing will change. Hal will be (it seems) the quiet power behind the throne, along with Ca$hman. Hank will be the one reporters go to for a quote. Goodness, Hal at 40 running the Yanks. (Hank is 51). I remember Cashman being a GM at what….31? Look at Theo up in Boston. Talk about youth being served. The younger, quieter one ruling the roost. The older one with the rants. If it isn’t like the Godfather, what is? Cashman is Tom, the consigliore. I just wonder who Fredo is? Randy Levine?

Yankee Braintrust?
Hank, George, Hal and Randy Levine?

Tell George not to chase his grandkids around any tomato patches (that’s what it was, wasn’t it?)

George and Hal?
George passing Yankee ownership to Hal.

As long as the Yanks are as successful in slaying their opposition as the Corleone family was in the movie…

Hal apparently has given C. C. a deadline. We can only hope it’s an offer he can’t refuse.

As for Mussina not winning a CYA, remember what I wrote this week about Marichal.

I don’t understand one thing King wrote…about Catfish Hunter being the “Gold Standard” for Yankee free agent hurlers. Hmmm, no wonder we are in a recession. Thank goodness we went off the Gold Standard in 1933. Catfish was with the Yanks for five seasons. Only one was worth it’s weight in gold.

23-14 in 1975. Over 300 IP. 30 CG.
17-15
9-9
12-6 (after a 3-4 beginning, then the arm/shoulder manipulation).
2-9

Total for five years? 63-53. Average 12.6-10.6. Let’s round up.
Since when is an average of 13-11 over five seasons golden for a high-priced free agent pitcher? Granted the Yanks got 3 AL titles and 2 WS titles in those five years, but ask yourself…

If the Yanks sign A. J. Burnett to a five year deal, and he put up those numbers, what would you be saying at the end of 2013? Would you say those five years was golden? I think not.

King states that there are rumblings that the Giants may have made C. C. an offer. I don’t know how after the Zito signing. After that signing, you would think SF would be gun-shy.

I caught the Steeler game on ESPN radio last night. Listened to it. Not pretty but a win. 8-3. With (not in the order of play) the Browns, Ravens, Pats, Cowboys and Titans on the schedule yet, I’d say 2-3 to finish 10-6. As a Steelers fan, I’m hoping for 11-5. How that will seed them, who knows.

Barring an upset, if the Titans beat the Jets this weekend, the only team left to keep Tennessee from an undefeated season could be Pittsburgh. 16-0 seasons back to back between New England and Tennessee? Can it be?

I’ll be rooting hard for PSU tomorrow vs. Michigan St. Rose Bowl most likely on the line. I’d love for PSU to head out west near where I have family.

Lastly, check out this column by Joel Sherman on the Mets and their closer situation. He adds Raul Ibanez news. Bidding war for Ibanez between the Mets and Phils? Would Ibanez make the Phils too lefty-based? (Utley, Howard, Ibanez)? Victorino and Rollins are switch-hitters. Werth is a righty, as is Feliz. Would there be enough from the right side?

No rain-shortened postseason games. Bud Selig is looking for a new rule. All postseason games or games that could affect the postseason (like Game 163 this year between the White Sox and Twins) must be at least nine innings. No rain-shortened affairs.