The Yankees and their budget

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Yankees signing of Randy Winn essentially shut the door on Johnny Damon. Damon apparently turned down a one year $6 million deal to stay with the Yankees, so the Yanks went with Winn.

There has been a lot of talk about Damon not fitting within the Yankees budget for this season. This is usually countered with, "What budget? The Yankees don't have a budget."

It is true, that in the past, the Yankees have spent money almost indiscriminately, but that changed this off-season. Brian Cashman and the Yankees brass came up with a number that that they want to get the payroll under. Now whether they get under that number this year, or in the coming years remains to be seen, but the number is there.

Despite the fact that the team just opened up a new revenue-making machine in the new Stadium and are making tons of money from the YES Network, I think curbing the payroll is a good idea for one very important reason:

The Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The CBA expires in 2011, so negotiations will begin rather shortly. While I doubt that the players will have the audacity to say that they aren't receiving enough in salary in benefits and strike in the middle of an economic recession, the negotiations will be interesting.

With new head of the Player's Union Michael Weiner stepping in for his first negotiations, he will most likely want to make his mark. There are also issues about luxury taxes, revenue sharing, and how the shared revenue is spent.

So, to put it simply, you have no idea what is going to happen with those negotiations. For all we know, Major League Baseball could institute a salary cap (though Derek Jeter has a better chance of winning a Cy Young than that happening). I think Cashman and the Yankees are being prudent by trying to lower their payroll, while staying competitive, leading up to 2011.


2009: A-Rod's crazy year

Saturday, January 30, 2010

On the YES Netwok Yankee's Hot Stove, Kim Jones interviewed Alex Rodriguez at the grand opening of the Alex Rodriguez Educational Center at the Boys and Girls Club in Miami, Florida.

They spoke about how his up and down 2009 affected him as a person and a player.

Here's a quick time line on what happened.

February: Selena Roberts of Sports Illustrated publishes a report that Rodriguez failed a drug test in 2003. He later admits to using steroids from 2001-03, while with the Texas Rangers.

March: It is discovered that he has a torn labrum in his hip, and Rodriguez undergoes arthroscopic surgery.

May: A-Rod returns to the Yankee lineup in a game against the Baltimore Orioles and hits a home run on the first pitch he sees

July: A-Rod is revealed to be dating actress Kate Hudson

July: He passes Rafael Palmeiro for 10th place on the All-Time home run list

October 4th: On the last day of the regular season, he reaches the 30 home run, 100 RBI plateau for the 12th consecutive season, despite missing the first month of the season.

October: He finally breaks through in the playoffs, batting .365, with 6 home runs and 18 RBI's on the way to his first World Series Championship.

It's somewhat remarkable for all of that to have happened in just one year. He had basically hit rock bottom with the steroid admission followed by the hip injury, which scared him enough that he believed he "was staring retirement right in the face." Then, by the end of the year, he had removed his "Mr. May" stigma and finally won a World Series. I'm sure he probably did not want to have it happen in such a stressful way, but he finally has a ring on his finger.


Yankees Trivia Answer

Friday, January 29, 2010

On Tuesday I asked the question: Who is the only Yankee to hit two grand slams in a game?

The correct answer is......Tony Lazzeri.
The Hall of Fame second baseman hit 2 grand slams on May 24, 1936 against the Philadelphia A's. He also had 11 RBIs that game, the most RBIs in a single game by any Yankee too.

Lou Gehrig holds the MLB record for most career grand slams (23), but he never hit more than one in a game.

Don Mattingly hit all 6 career grand slams in 1987, the single-season record, but never two in one game.

We got 6 votes this time, 3 for Lazerri. So this segment is improving and I think we will continue it next week. Maybe we can double our total votes again to 12.

Quick note, I won't be near my computer until Saturday night, and Jim's computer is broken and I'm not sure if it's fixed yet. So if there is any major news in the next 24-30 hours we may not have it up on the blog.
Oh, and here is a quick link on the work I've been doing for the Quinnipiac Chronicle:

See Ya!


Yankees Sign Randy Winn

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Finally there was a little spark to the hot stove. Joel Sherman reported (tweeted) that they Yankees reached a 1-year $2 million deal with outfielder Randy Winn. Obviously this means so long to Johnny Damon. Winn is expected to compete for the leftfield outfield spot with Brett Gardner.

Winn is a player coming off a bad year and may be on his way out of baseball. Last year with the San Francisco Giants Winn hit .262 with 2 HR 51 RBI and a .671 OPS, 90 points below his career average and his worst since 2000 which was his third year in the league.

Before last year, Winn was always a solid player who hit around .280-.300, 10-15 HRs a year, and usually 60+ RBI.

The Yankees could be banking on him having a comeback year. It is a bit of a confusing signing because the rumor was the Yankees were looking for a righty to complement Gardner, but the understanding is that he will compete for leftfield with Gardner.

To me, Winn's numbers last year are similar to what I would project Gardner's numbers to be this year. Basically, Winn is a cheap, number 9 hitter who can play anywhere in the outfield, and he's a veteran so the Yankees decided to take a chance on him. I wouldn't get too worried over this signing.


Yankee Trivia Part II

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Okay, let's try this again. I checked google analytics and people are visiting the blog. So I know there should be more than 3 votes for the trivia. I came up with the idea because if you saw the previous post from Jim, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING is going on in the Hot Stove. Ben Sheets signed a 1-year deal with the A's, but that is about it.

So to pass the time until pitchers and catchers (23 days!) we will see if the Yankees fans are the most knowledgeable fans in the world. If this feature gets positive feedback, meaning the readers vote, we will try and keep it going throughout spring training and possibly the season.

So last time I asked who hit the most home runs in a regular season game. And the answer was Lou Gehrig. That was pretty easy in my opinion. Here's a little bit tougher one:

Who is the only Yankee to hit two grand slams in one game?

A.)Bill Dickey

B.)Lou Gehrig

C.)Don Mattingly

D.)Tony Lazerri

Submit your answers on the poll or discuss in the comments section. Polls close midnight Thursday.


Someone PLEASE throw some gasoline on the Hot Stove

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Well, there's been a whole lot of nothing going on in the baseball world the past week, and with football only playing once a week, it gets a bit boring in the sports world.

There was an interesting story on the Yankees Website about Javier Vazquez. In the article, he says he has no desire to pitch until he's 40 and he goes "year by year."

Now, with Brian Cashman becoming increasingly concerned about payroll flexibility, this may be a good thing for the Yankees. Vazquez has said that he had no desire to leave New York after the forgettable 2004 season, so he may be willing to accept a series of short-term contracts with the Yankees over the next several years. This would leave the Yankees the flexibility they want, while still having a dependable number 3 starter for a few years.

The Jets-Colts game is about to start. Sam Borden at the LoHud Yankees Blog talked about the crossover between Jets and Yankees fans. I have always seen it being more of a Yankees/Giants (like John and I) and a Mets/Jets correlation, but there are obviously some exceptions. And while some Giants and Jets fans feel the need to hate each other despite the fact that they only play once every every 4 or 5 years, I will in fact be rooting for the Jets this afternoon, but I don't know how well a rookie quarterback can handle Indy on the road. We'll find out soon enough, enjoy the game.

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Yankees Trivia Question (Update With Answer)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

So I got an idea today, being that it is a slow part of the year I decided to make some things interesting on the blog. We're going to post a Yankees trivia question at least once a week to at least the start of spring training to keep everyone in the baseball spirit. I also kind of got the idea from what happened on the Jay Leno Show last week when Denzel Washington stumped CC Sabathia in Yankees trivia.

I will post the questions and give 24 hours for the polls to close. I may extend it longer if we don't receive many votes, so if you read this VOTE! You can vote on the top right hand corner of the page. Even if you don't know it, vote, it will be fun. You can feel free to comment as well on who you think it is.

So today's question:

What Yankee has hit the most home runs in a single-regular season game?

A.) Babe Ruth
B.) Mickey Mantle
C.) Lou Gehrig
D.) Reggie Jackson

UPDATE 1/22: So, it looks like my idea didn't work out the way I wanted, only getting 3 votes. However, those 3 votes are the correct answer. Lou Gehrig hit 4 home runs on June 3, 1932 against the Philadelphia A's.

We;ll try this again next week, hopefully we have some more success.


Don't Let Facebook Fool You

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Apparently there is a Rocco Baldelli facebook fan page and four hours ago it was posted that he reached an agreement with the Yankees. According to Brian Cashman via the LoHud Blog, that would be false. The Yankees are still looking at several players to fill the left field void, but as of now that appears to be Brett Gardner's job.

However, if you are on facebook and like reading our blog you can become a fan of Michael Kay's Successors. You will receive updates on new posts plus we would never lie to our fans! We are also on twitter and can follow us @KaysSuccessors or follow Jim at jgeant. I'm still trying to get into twitter and am thinking about my own personal account. But during the season I'll chime in every now and then on the KaysSuccessors account.

Pitchers and catchers report exactly one month from tommorow! We'll do our best to keep you entertained during the slowest part of the offseason for the next month.


Thank God I'm Not a Mets Fan

Thursday, January 14, 2010

It's times like these when I really appreciate the fact that I was born a Yankee fan. After one of the most disappointing seasons in Mets history, last night the fans found out that Carlos Beltran had knee surgery and will be out for 12 weeks. That brings Beltran and the Mets to about mid-April. Add time for rehab and Beltran won't be available until May.

It may not be the end of the world, the Yankees lasted a month without A-Rod, but man have the Mets been unlucky. Every star in their lineup went on the DL last season. Then outside of acquiring Jason Bay, their GM, whose job is on the line, has done practically nothing to improve the team. Now one of their best players will miss the start of the 2010 season.

I think today we can all appreciate that we are Yankees fans. This also reminds me how lucky the Yankees were last year to not suffer any serious injuries. Once A-Rod came back, the team was relatively healthy, a major reason why we won the World Series.

Hopefully the Yankees can remain healthy in 2010. With the Giants not in the playoffs this year, the countdown for spring training has begun a little earlier. Only about a month until pitchers and catchers report. And with the Yankees Hot Stove season basically over, the wait is going to be killing me.


The Untouchables

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

As most of us have heard, yesterday Mark McGwire finally admitted to using steroids. Now he finally closes the book on "not talking about the past."

He's just another name in the so-called Steroid Era, which has tested the faith of many baseball fans and cast a shadow of a doubt over all Major League Baseball Players.

A few players over the past 20 years have been "above suspicion" for one reason or another. There are four players, in my mind, that may cause Major League Baseball to lose any credibility it has left if it is discovered that they used steroids or any type of performance enhancing drug.

Ken Griffey, Jr.- He was one of the best players of the 1990's, and currently has 630 career home runs. He may have had a chance at the All-Time Home Run record, but injuries derailed his career in the early 2000's. Those injuries actually helped his credibility as being steroid-free, and he is one of the few home run hitters people don't think did steroids.

Cal Ripken, Jr.- The Iron Man. His stretch of 2,632 consecutive games played is truly a record that will never be broken. After the player's strike cost MLB the 1994 World Series, baseball was in trouble, and his breaking of Lou Gehrig's record of 2,130 was one of the first steps on the sport's long road to recovery. If it was revealed that he did steroids to stay on the field during that streak, it would be a blow from which the sport may never recover.

Albert Pujols- While he may not have played throughout the entire Steroid Era, Pujols is seen by many to be the face of clean, steroid-free baseball in the future, especially since Alex Rodriguez admitted to doping.

Derek Jeter- Jeter has always been the epitome of what a professional athlete is supposed to be. He's generous, smart, says all the right things without sounding scripted, and plays the game the way it's supposed to be played. While he may never be considered the greatest player of his generation, he is a member of 5 World Series Championships (and hopefully with still more to come), and one of the sport's all-around "good guys" that actually lives up to being a role model for kids.

I'm sure there are players that would rock each individual fan's faith based on their allegiances, but I feel that these players would affect the majority of baseball fans.

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McGwire Admits Steroid Use

Monday, January 11, 2010

Former St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire finally came clean today admitting to using steroids on and off during his career. McGwire broke Roger Maris's single-season home-run record in 1998 which many claim brought baseball back to popularity. McGwire apologized to Bud Selig and manager Tony LaRussa and said he "wished he never played in the steroid era."

In 2005 McGwire testified at a congressional hearing on the use of steroids in baseball and refused to answer any questions about himself or what he had done in the past. McGwire has been on the Hall of Fame ballot the last three years and hasn't received more than 30% of the vote every year.

This admission was prompted by McGwire becoming the new hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals this season. LaRussa said he never knew McGwire used steroids while he played for him and that this admission was the only time McGwire told him anything.

I think McGwire made the right move to admit he was wrong and used steroids. He is re-entering the baseball world as a coach and needed to come clean. This may be the beginning of cleaning up his reputation. Fans appreciate those who have been forthcoming about using steroids (A-Rod, Pettitte, Giambi (kinda)). On the other hand players such as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Gary Sheffield, David Ortiz, and Rafael Palmeiro continue to deny using steroids and some of them find themselves in legal battles.


Jeter Engaged, Chapman to Reds

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Looks like Derek Jeter learned nothing from Tiger Woods and will be tying the knot with actress Minka Kelly. Maybe he's just done playing the field and finally ready to settle down. Huge risk in my opinion. You're Derek effing Jeter you can be with whoever you want whenever you want. Now he's stuck with Minka Kelly. Maybe it will be one of those rare celebrity marriages that work.

As you can tell it's been a slow newsweek in baseball. Cuban defect pitcher Aroldis Chapman signed with the Cincinnati Reds for 5 years and $30 million.

We'll try and keep you entertained during a traditionally slow month of baseball. Maybe even throw in some of our great NFL playoff analysis.


Dawson only member of 2010 Hall of Fame Class

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The National Baseball Hall of Fame just announced the 2010 Hall of Fame Class and the live announcement on the MLB Network lasted about 45 seconds.

National Baseball Hall of Fame and MuseumImage via Wikipedia

Andre Dawson was the only player to receive the necessary 75 percent of votes to gain entry into Cooperstown. Dawson finished with career numbers of .279 AVG, 2,774 hits, 438 home runs and 1,591 RBI's. Dawson will be inducted on July 25 in Cooperstown.

Notable snubs are Bert Blyleven, who missed by just five, FIVE!, votes and Roberto Alomar. Other players who were eligible were Edgar Martinez, Barry Larkin, Jack Morris, Lee Smith, and Fred McGriff.

UPDATE 2:54: John here, I just wanted to voice my two cents on the voting. The fact that Alomar did not get voted in is a joke. He was a 12-time All-Star and won 10 gold gloves and the best second-baseman of the 90's. I don't care about first-ballot, second-ballot, if you're a Hall of Famer you're a Hall of Famer. The only thing against Alomar is that he spit in an umpire's face once. So what? One incident shouldn't keep you out. As for Blylevin, he should have been in years ago. He has 287 wins, over 3,000 strikeouts and 60 shutouts. These two will get in next year, but I'm just disappointed that 1/4 the baseball writers left them off their ballots.

EDIT: My bad. Some of the stats I had on Blyleven are wrong. He had 60 shutouts, 242 complete games.


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