THE DAY AFTER THE RETURN OF THE MAN FROM TEXAS
The Yankees designed pitcher Chase Wright, 26, for assignment today to make room on the 40-man roster for Andy Pettitte. Wright is best known for giving up consecutive home runs to Manny Ramirez, J.D. Drew, Mike Lowell, and Jason Varitek on April 22, 2007. If that’s not enough to get DFA’d, nothing is! Seriously, I was surprised that the Yanks cut Chase Wright over Dan Giese. Granted, Giese did carve a nice niche out of the pen last year, but I think Wright has better long term potential as age is certainly a factor. I can see it now…the Yanks cut Wright after 10 days; he is quickly picked up by Boston, and returns to Yankee Stadium to throw a no-hitter for the Red Sox.
Hopefully, the Yankees will be able to get something in return for Wright, which I think they most likely will. Perhaps he will be part of a trade that involves Xavier Nady or Nick Swisher.
As we get closer to spring training, I am becoming more and more reluctant to part with either Nady or Swisher. I’d rather see them compete for the right field, and let the best Nick, errr I mean, man win.
Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner , when asked about Manny Ramirez, responded “We’re out of it”. Of course, you always have to take what Hank says with a grain of salt. I’d find the statement to be more credible if it were coming from Hal Steinbrenner. But, to Hank’s defense, he was the one in the organization who wanted Ramirez. Nevertheless, you never know if the comments are continued posturing or a statement of fact. Given the payroll and economical concerns, I do think the Yankees won’t pursue Ramirez. But then again, they are the Yankees and they play in a completely different universe.
MORE ON JOE TORRE
It is interesting to see the retractions and backpedaling by Tom Verducci and Joe Torre regarding their book, The Yankee Years. Don’t get me wrong, I still believe that the book needs to be read in its full context before decisions and judgments are made. But, Torre read and re-read the book, and was comfortable with its contents. Based on David Wells book alone, you know that little snippets get leaked in advance of the book’s release so Torre had to know that anything potentially controversial would hit the streets prematurely. Verducci said that Torre was a third person author who is being treated as the first person author by the New York media. Torre allowed his name to be put on the book so he has to take full responsibility for its contents, regardless of who said what.
I think this will die down after the book’s release, but Joe has created the very media circus that he always tried to avoid. This will be a distraction in the Yankees camp, and I suspect that Joe will be asked more Yankee-related questions than Dodger ones when he reports to camp. Good timing, Joe. Hopefully, Brian Cashman is right about this incident pulling the team together, standing united with A-Rod.
Joe Girardi has probably written a note to self, “Remember to trash only the Florida Marlins and Jeffrey Loria”. Of course, the Marlins are not necessarily a guaranteed hook when writing a book so if you’re going for the dollars, aim high.
JASON VARITEK BELONGS IN BOSTON
I think Jason Varitek should accept Boston’s two year offer which includes $5 million for the first year with a second year player option of $3 million, as opposed to the one year $5 million deal. The fact is that Varitek’s offensive production is not going to improve at this point in his career, and could very well continue to erode. But, the intangibles that Varitek brings to the team justify his roster spot. As captain of the team, his leadership has been strongly evident to the players and fans, which includes opponents.
I read an interview with new Yankees catcher Kevin Cash, and his quotes are very telling.
“I’m not pro-Red Sox or pro-Jason,” Cash said. “I’m not picking sides. I just know the value of what he does in the clubhouse. That pitching staff is unbelievable. The guys they sign and the guys they develop in that organization are all talented players. I think it works both ways. I think Jason has benefited from playing with the Red Sox and having the opportunity to work with those pitchers.
“At the same time, every pitcher on that staff will tell you how vital a role he plays in their career and during each season.”
(Courtesy The Providence Journal)
Cash also mentioned how Jason goes out of his way to communicate with his pitchers, particularly when there are language barriers with someone like Daisuke Matsuzaka or Hideki Okajima. Boston will need to lean on catchers Josh Bard or George Kottaras, or perhaps still pursue a trade for someone like Miguel Montero, but Varitek needs to be there. To win, you want to beat the best, and Varitek makes the Red Sox better.
Catchers always make the best managers, so I see a future successful managerial career for Varitek if he so chooses…