Tagged: Carl Pavano

A Gift From Boston…

 

When does not playing a game mean a Yankees win?

 

Happy.JPG

 

When the Red Sox lose, of course!  Thanks for the Red Sox loss to the Texas Rangers, 5-1, on Friday night, the Yankees find themselves back in sole possession of first place.

 

Posted on YouTube by ShaBiCaoNiMa

 

Taking the glass is half empty approach, I had assumed that the Sox would pull in the front of the Yanks in the AL East Standings last night.  Fortunately, Elvis Andrus continued to impress, Ian Kinsler hit a huge three-run homer, Kevin Millwood pitched a terrific game, and Julio Lugo is the starting shortstop for the Boston Red Sox…

The Boston Glob

 

Friday’s rainout against the Tampa Bay Rays has allowed manager Joe Girardi to reset the starting rotation in anticipation of the Red Sox series next week.  A.J. Burnett, currently appealing the 6 game suspension for throwing near the head of Texas outfielder Nelson Cruz, will open the series on Tuesday.  Chien-Ming Wang has been pushed from Tuesday to Wednesday (heck, David Ortiz is probably even salivating about the facing Wang), and CC Sabathia, today’s starter against the Rays, will close the series against the Sox on Thursday.  Will it be enough to keep me out of a Jason Bay t-shirt and Julia in a Mark Teixeira t-shirt?  Time will tell, but I like my chances.  I don’t think this will be a sweep for either team but Julia will be in for a surprise if she thinks that this is the same team she saw in April and early May.

 

Reuters 

 

Friday night’s game has not been re-scheduled and it will not be made up during the current weekend series in New York.  All these make up days are going to take their toll later on the season due to double-headers or lost off-days.

 


Dog Days.JPG 

 

OTHER NEWS…

I understood why the Pittsburgh Pirates traded Jason Bay to the Red Sox and Xavier Nady to the Yankees, but I do not understand the trade of Nate McLouth to the Atlanta Braves.  The Pirates are only 6 ½ games out of first place, yet they move one of their best players for young talent.  It feels like they are giving up the race before it starts.  I think Andrew McCutchen will be a great player, but now wasn’t the time to make this type of move.  Of course, it just makes you wonder that when McCutchen finally puts it all together at the major league level if he’ll just simply be moved on for more prospects.  Is there a plan in Pittsburgh?  I realize they have financial constraints, but the moves are very suspect.

 

 

AP

 

Carl Pavano threw a three-hit shutout against the White Sox?  Incredible.  I still see the day where the Tribe puts all their eggs in the Pavano basket and come away greatly disappointed.

 

Nam Y. Huh/AP

Shame on the Atlanta Braves for the way that they handled the release of Tom Glavine.  It is sad to see the departures of John Smoltz and Tom Glavine end so poorly.  Both guys deserved better treatment from the organization for their years of loyal service and high production.  I can’t say that all Yankee careers have ended in a positive manner, but Smoltz and Glavine were poster boys for doing things the right way.  Hopefully, Glavine will land on his feet and be allowed to exit the stage on his own terms.

 

Elsa/Getty

 

There is speculation that the Boston Red Sox are interested in Washington Nationals first baseman Nick Johnson.  I would really prefer to see Johnson traded elsewhere.  It hasn’t been fun watching onetime Yankee top prospect Mike Lowell prosper in Boston, particularly since the Yanks do not really have anything to show for the trade.  Of course, who did the Yankees get for Johnson?  Atlanta Braves pitcher Javier Vazquez, who had a very short stay in the Bronx as he was part of the three-way deal that brought Randy Johnson to New York for two uninspired years.  All things considered, I would have preferred to keep Nick Johnson…

 

 

 

Considering that Jason Bay is a “West Coast” guy (born in Trail, British Columbia), I’d like to see the San Francisco Giants pursue him in the off-season.

 

 

It would be the perfect setting for him to play in the Bay Area.  It doesn’t get any better than that!  I wouldn’t mind checking out a few games to see Bay by the Bay.  From a marketing standpoint, this makes way too much sense!

 


AT&T Park.JPG 

 

Hey Julia, thanks for First Place!  Your generosity, as always, is impeccable!  Please keep up your spirit of giving!  I’ll gladly take it all…

Go Yankees!

–Scott

 

No Fair, It’s Not Supposed to Happen to Me!…

 

Aarrgghh, I hate walk-off wins…

 

 

 

Well, at least when the Yankees are on the road!  For some reason, they just seem so much sweeter at Yankee Stadium…

 

Frank Franklin II/AP

 

Without going into all the gory details, David Robertson gave up a run-scoring single by Jhonny Peralta in the bottom of the 9th inning to allow the Tribe to escape with a 5-4 victory.  Robertson and Phil Coke both walked a batter in the 9th to set the table for Peralta’s game-winning hit.

 

Tony Dejak/AP

 

But the burden of defeat cannot be placed squarely on the shoulders of Robertson and Coke.  Brett Gardner was also responsible with several poor plays.  In the 5th inning, Gardner misplayed a fly ball by Asdrubal Cabrera, which turned into a double.  He wasn’t charged an error, but I’d have to say that I am a little ashamed that the Yankees tied the Boston Red Sox with their 17th consecutive game without an “error” when, in my mind, it was an error in judgment. 

Gardner also helped extinguish a 9th inning rally by the Yanks.  Hideki Matsui walked, and Ramiro Pena came into the game to run for him.  Nick Swisher sacrificed Pena to second.  Gardner then reached first base on an infield single.  Despite the steal sign from the dugout, Gardner stayed at first and did not attempt a steal.  Jorge Posada subsequently hit into an inning ending double play.  Had Gardner stolen second, the Yanks would have had two men in scoring position with two outs.  By scoring a run or two, the Yankees would have brought Mariano Rivera into the game to close it rather than relying upon the unproven late inning duo of Coke and Robertson.

 

 

Larry W. Smith/EPA

 

Mark Teixeira almost single-handedly pulled the game out for the Yanks.  He hit a two-run homer in the 6th inning against Carl Pavano.  He also hit a two-run double in the 8th against Matt Herges (one of the runs was charged to Pavano, who allowed a single to Derek Jeter earlier in the inning).  Clearly, the Yankees had their opportunities against Pavano.  I guess if there’s a positive in the loss, it is that Pavano walked away with a no decision thanks to Teixeira.

 

Tony Dejak/AP

 

Phil Hughes had a disappointing outing, giving up 4 runs in 5 innings.

 

Tony Dejak/AP

 

Chien-Ming Wang continued his audition for regaining his spot in the starting rotation by relieving Hughes with three innings of shutout ball.  If this game is the determining factor, I’d say that Hughes next start will be in Scranton/Wilkes Barre and Wang will be back in his regular spot in the rotation.

 

Greg Fiume/Getty Images

 

With the loss combined with a Red Sox win, the Yankees lead in the AL East has fallen back to ½ game over Boston.

As of 5/31/09

AL East

W

L

Pct

GB

Home

Road

Last 10

Streak

Yankees

29

21

.580

14-9

15-12

6-4

Lost1

Red Sox

29

22

.569

0.5

17-6

12-16

5-5

Won1

Blue Jays

29

24

.547

1.5

18-7

11-17

2-8

Lost1

Rays

25

28

.472

5.5

13-11

12-17

4-6

Lost1

Orioles

23

28

.451

6.5

16-13

7-15

7-3

Lost2

 

I know, Julia, I hear your footsteps…

 

 

 

With one run scored, Derek Jeter now stands two runs away from 1,500.  Once he achieves that mark, he’ll join the exclusive trio of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle as the only players with 1,500 runs scored during their Yankee careers. 

To my disappointment, Buster Olney mentioned in his ESPN column that the Yankees probably will not be aggressive in their pursuit of Boston left fielder Jason Bay (wipe that grin off your face, Julia!) since they’ll be looking to keep the spot open for a possible switch of Derek Jeter from short to left as he continues to advance in age. 

Speaking of Jeter, his current hitting streak now stands at 15 games with a lead-off single in Monday night’s game against the Indians.

 

 

 

Catcher Jose Molina re-injured his left quad during an extended spring game today, so he’ll head back to New York for further evaluation.  This most likely means that his return is not imminent.  The Yankees may be disappointed, but I’m not.  It means that Cervelli will remain on the roster, and will have the opportunity to continue to show why he deserves the backup spot to Jorge Posada.

 

 

 

Tonight’s starting lineup has Alex Rodriguez at DH, and Angel Berroa at third.  Ugh, that’s not a good sign…

 

 

I know, I need an attitude adjustment…

 

 

–Scott 

An Ace, A Legend, and a Few Mosquitoes…

 

The view from the top is excellent!

 

 

The Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians, 10-5, on Saturday to extend their AL East to 1 ½ games over the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays (the Red Sox lost to the Jays, 5-3). 

As of 5/30/09…

AL East

W

L

Pct

GB

Home

Road

Last 10

Streak

Yankees

29

20

.592

14-9

15-11

7-3

Won 3

Red Sox

28

22

.560

1.5

17-6

11-16

4-6

Lost 2

Blue Jays

29

23

.558

1.5

18-6

11-17

2-8

Won 2

Rays

25

27

.481

5.5

13-10

12-17

5-5

Won 2

Orioles

23

27

.460

6.5

16-12

7-15

7-3

Lost 1

 

The Yankees have played much better since I saw them personally in Baltimore, so maybe I am responsible for the turnaround!  Okay, that’s probably not it.  The Yankees have been a different team since Alex Rodriguez returned to the team.  Mark Teixeira started to hit like fans in Texas, Atlanta, and Anaheim had become accustomed to, and the pitching has been great. The defense, which has been a liability in recent years, has been excellent.  Saturday’s game was the Yankees’ 16th consecutive game without an error.  If they avoid any errors on Sunday, they’ll match the major league mark set by the Boston Red Sox in 2006.

 

 

Against the Indians, CC Sabathia breezed through the first few innings, not allowing a hit until the 5th inning.  The Indians scored two runs in the 5th, thanks to a few hits and RBI singles, but the Yankees had built up a 7-2 lead by that time.

 

Dejak/AP 

 

Jorge Posada and Nick Swisher hit solo home runs in the second inning.  The Yanks added five runs in the 4th inning, primarily on two-run singles by Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano.  Johnny Damon also had a run scoring single in the inning.  In the 6th, Damon picked up another RBI on a groundout to first which brought home Brett Gardner.

 

New York Yankees' Derek Jeter watches his ball after hitting a two run single off Cleveland Indians pitcher Fausto Carmona in the fourth inning

AP 

Sabathia gave up a home run to Grady Sizemore in the 6th, but you knew that Grady would be heard from sooner or later in this series (even with his sore elbow).  The guy is definitely a warrior…

 

Chuck Crow/The Plain Dealer 

 

The Yankees scored a couple of runs in the 9th on a run-scoring single by Cano, and a double by Hideki Matsui that scored Cano.

David Robertson pitched a perfect 8th inning, facing just three batters.  However, Jose Veras came out for the 9th and showed that he is, well, Jose Veras.  Despite the 10-3 lead, Veras gave up a homer to the first batter he faced (Shin-Soo Choo).  He hit the next batter, Mark DeRosa, to put a man on base.  DeRosa moved to second on a groundout, and then scored on Ben Francisco’s double.  All of sudden, I started to get flashbacks of the Indians’ 7-run 9th inning to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays 11-10 on May 25th.  Fortunately, Veras retired the next two batters to end the game.  Joe Girardi showed much more faith in Veras than I ever would have, but the end result was a Yankees win and adding a game to the AL East lead so all is good…

After the game, Indian manager Eric Wedge, when asked about Sabathia, responded, “He was very good tonight.  Better than he was when we saw him in New York [April 16th]”.  Hey Julia, that applies to the entire Yankees team!  See you on June 9th!  The Red Sox may be a team built for Fenway Park, but the Yankees now boast the best road record in the American League.

 

 

 

Derek Jeter now has 1,497 runs scored for his career.  There are only three active major players with 1,500 runs (Alex Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield, and Ken Griffey, Jr.).  With three more runs, he’ll join a very exclusive club of players who scored 1,500 runs as Yankees (Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Mickey Mantle).

 

MPI/Getty Images 

I was surprised to see Jorge Posada catch on Saturday, given he had played on Friday night.  I expected to see Francisco Cervelli play, with Posada perhaps at DH.  Nevertheless, it sounds like Posada will take a seat in Sunday’s game when Phil Hughes faces the American Idle…

 

 

Nope, not that guy!  This one…

 

The Plain Dealer

 

Pavano has pitched fairly well for the Indians, and has already appeared in 10 games for them (as opposed to 26 in four years with the Yankees).  He has won five of his six starts this month, and has defeated AL East heavyweights Boston and Tampa.  Let’s hope his May ends on a down note…

 

 

 

It was a tough night for Cleveland as the Cavaliers were easily eliminated in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals in Orlando by the Magic.  King LeBron will have to wait at least another year for a trip to the finals.

 

Tracy Boulian/The Plain Dealer 

 

And what’s up with those mosquitoes and midges in Cleveland?…

 

Posted by pvictory on cleveland.com

He’s Still A Headcase…

 

The 4-game series with the Cleveland Indians brings pitcher Carl Pavano back to the forefront…unfortunately.

 

With the Indians this year, Pavano has been effective, and has beaten both the Red Sox and the Rays this month.  His record is 5-4.  Compare that to the fact that it took him until the third year of his 4-year, $39.95 million contract to win his 5th game with the Yankees.  Of course, the Indians are paying just a fraction of the price (1-year, $1.5 million).

 

AP 

I have never disputed that Pavano has a quality arm.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the head to match.  Time will tell if he implodes with the Indians, but you expect that it will eventually happen.  For now, the Indians going along for the ride, and reaping the rewards.  Good luck with that…

 

Some guys just aren’t cut out for New York, and Carl Pavano proved that he is just another Ed Whitson.  Cleveland is probably a much better environment, with much less pressure, for Pavano.

 

 

 

Had he still been with the Yankees, I am sure that he would have found his way to the DL by now…

 

Barring a possible rainout tonight, Pavano is scheduled to pitch on Sunday against Phil Hughes.  Hopefully, Phil will prevent the Yanks from becoming the latest AL East giant to fall to the American Idle…

 

                                                   
Pavano!                          Pavano!                    Pavano!                    Pavano!                 

 

Other News

Jorge Posada was activated from the DL today, and is in the starting lineup for tonight’s game with the Cleveland Indians.  Kevin Cash was sent down to Triple A-Scranton/Wilkes Barre.  Francisco Cervelli will most likely catch CC Sabathia on Saturday against the Tribe.  The Yankees have an interesting decision to make when Jose Molina returns.  They’ll probably go the conservative route and send Cervelli down, but I’d rather keep Cervelli than Molina.  Then again, there’s a reason that Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi draw paychecks from the Yankees and I don’t…

 

 

The Yankees briefly held a share of first place.  Following Wednesday’s win in Texas, combined with a Red Sox loss, the Yankees had drawn even with the Red Sox.  However, it was short-lived as the Red Sox won on Thursday (the Yankees were off, or rather at a basketball game).  So, entering tonight’s action, the Yankees remain in second place, a ½ game behind the Red Sox.

 

 

 

I saw that the Yankees might be one of several possible suitors for Cleveland’s Mark DeRosa.  He would be an upgrade over Ramiro Pena and Angel Berroa, and I admired the intangibles and the play that DeRosa brought to last year’s Chicago Cubs.  The Cubs haven’t been the same this year, and I think the loss of DeRosa is one reason.  Of course, it wouldn’t surprise me if either the Atlanta Braves or Chicago Cubs re-acquired DeRosa

.

AP

Two ex-Yankees were DFA’d today.  Cleveland designated outfielder David Dellucci for assignment to make room for reliever Rafael Perez.  Meanwhile, in Baltimore, catcher Chad Moeller was the victim of the much hyped major league arrival of top baseball prospect Matt Wieters.

 

 

 

I liked Joe Girardi’s comment when asked about a possible move of Joba Chamberlain to the bullpen (the ongoing debate that will not die):  “That’s why the Presidential debates are better,” Girardi said.  “They end.”  I have not been a proponent of moving Chamberlain, but he does need to figure out how to pitch in the first inning and when he doesn’t have his best stuff.

Melky Cabrera is back with the team, and is listed as day-to-day.  He won’t play for a few days, but he shouldn’t be out as long as initially projected so that’s a good thing.

How come Boston never has to face Roy Halladay when they play the Toronto Blue Jays?  I don’t get it.  The schedule is perfectly aligned in their favor.  I realize this isn’t Yankees news, but it obviously affects the team since Halladay is perhaps the best pitcher in baseball.  And, of course, Julia is loving every minute of it…

 

I agree with Dodgers manager Joe Torre, I don’t think that Manny Ramirez should play in the All-Star Game if selected…

What was up with the six wild pitches thrown by the Boston Red Sox the other day?

 

 

The Yankees have played a franchise-record 14 games without an error.  That’s an amazing stat, particularly given how weak defensively the team has been in recent years.  But I have to admit, offensive stats aside, I love watching Mark Teixeira field at first base.  I can’t even say that he’s an upgrade over Jason Giambi because that would be a huge understatement.  I know the phrase “defense wins championships” is specific to pro football, but I’ll take it for the Yanks.  Works for me!

 

 

 

Cavs over Magic

Yankees fan LeBron James led his team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, to victory over the Orlando Magic in a home game that was attended by Alex Rodriguez, Mariano Rivera, CC Sabathia, Brian Bruney, Brett Gardner and Joba Chamberlain.  The Cavs now trail the Magic 3 games to 2 in their best-of-seven series.  I am not a Cavs fan, but I am a LeBron fan and it would be fun to see him in the NBA Finals.  Nothing against Dwight Howard and the Magic, but LeBron is the best the NBA has to offer.  It’s just a bonus that he’s a Yankees fan too.

 

 

Ironically, it was Yankees reliever Brett Tomko’s dad who gave the Cavaliers their name.  The Cleveland Plain Dealer held a contest in 1970 that drew 11,000 entries, and Jerry Tomko had the winning selection:  “The name Cleveland Cavaliers represents a group of daring, fearless men whose life’s pact was never surrender, no matter what the odds.”  That’s an interesting bit of trivia that I did not know…

 

 

 

Good luck to LeBron and the James as they continue their quest to overcome impossible odds in beating the Orlando Magic!

 

–Scott 

Fugetaboutit, It Was a Home Run!…

Brian Cashman, did I mention how much I appreciate the investment you made in A.J. Burnett?

The Yankees salvaged the final game of the four game series with the Cleveland Indians to settle for a split in the first series ever played at the new Yankee Stadium. Considering that the Yankees lost games of 10-2 and 22-4, taking 2 of 4 sounds like a fairly good deal.  The last time the Yankees gave up two big innings in a series like this, they were known as the New York Highlanders and it was 1907. 

Branch Rickey, who is best known as the Dodgers GM who broke the color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson, was a left fielder on the team. 

The Sporting News

Jack Chesbro, who had won 41 games three years earlier, was winding down a great career.  San Jose’s own Hal Chase was the Yankees first baseman. 

Courtesy Hal Edward Chase III

Sunday brought the return of Carl “American Idle” Pavano, and he pitched the way he should have when he wore pinstripes. He pitched six innings, gave up 4 hits and 1 walk, and struck out 4. He turned over the game to the Cleveland bullpen, with a 3-1 lead. Fortunately, the Yankees rallied against the Tribe, thanks in large part to a disputed two-run pinch hit homer by Jorge Posada. The play represented the first time the officials used the video replay, but the upon review, the homer stood. The Indians had claimed fan interference.

Posada hits controversial HR in win

Newsday

A.J. Burnett had gotten into trouble earlier in the inning, when he loaded the bases with one out. A.J. struggled with his control today, walking 7 batters and throwing three wild pitches. But he kept the Yankees in the game, until he couldn’t go any further. Joe Girardi went to reliever Jonathan Albaladejo who did a great job in retiring the next two batters. Then, it was time for Posada’s heroics.

Cody Ransom (he’s still a toad) hit a three-run double in the 8th to provide the final margin of victory, 7-3. I am not quite sure why Shin-Soo Choo slowed up and let Ransom’s hit drop, but I’ll take it. Maybe the ghosts of The House That Ruth Built finally moved across the street after seeing Saturday’s debacle.

The game was closed out by the dynamic duo of Brian Bruney (8th) and Mariano Rivera (9th). It was not a save situation for Mo due to Ransom’s insurance runs. Albaladejo got the win (1-0).

A.J. Burnett may not have had his best stuff today, but again, he has proven he is a warrior and the guy knows how to pitch. I have great confidence when Burnett pitches. He may not get the decision and he might take the loss, but you know that he’s going to give it everything he’s got and clearly he’s nobody’s fool. The guy has heart, and the last guy who pitched like that in pinstripes (David Cone) had a memorable Yankees career.

David Cone after he pitched a perfect game against the Montreal Expos on July 18, 1999.

Reuters

The Yankees are in second place, 2.5 games behind the AL East Leader, the surprising Toronto Blue Jays. Julia‘s Red Sox are a half-game back, tied for third with the Baltimore Orioles.

Next up at Yankee Stadium is an old friend. Jason Giambi returns to the Bronx to check out the new Stadium with his team, the Oakland A’s.

Jason Giambi Picture

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

 

Nomar Garciaparra will be in tow. I think he’s played a meaningful game or two in the Bronx.

Speaking of old friends…well, maybe less emphasis on the “friends” part, congratulations to Randy Johnson for his stellar performance against his old team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. He had a no-hitter into the 7th inning before giving up a double to Augie Ojeda. Johnson stranded Ojeda at third, and left the game after 7 innings. He gave up just one hit, Ojeda’s double, and struck out 7. It was Johnson’s first victory of the season (1-2) and the 296th of his career. As one who never minds seeing the D-Backs lose, congrats to the Big Unit for the vintage performance!

AP

I had told some Dodger friends that the Yankees would have a better record than their team by the end of week. The only problem? The Dodgers haven’t lost since. Yikes! Joe Torre and company continued their 8-game winning streak with a 14-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies. Manny Ramirez may be all that, but Matt Kemp is finally becoming the man for the Dodgers. Credit Donnie Baseball for his help in Kemp’s realization of his five-tool talent.

Getty Images

The Red Sox won. Bummer…

 

Just kidding, Julia!  🙂

Have a great week!

-Scott

$82 Million Has Been Well Spent…

Definition of a Stopper…

Alex Brandon/AP

I felt good about today’s game on the simple basis of knowing that A.J. Burnett would be taking the mound.  It wasn’t a perfect performance, but he made the big pitches when they mattered the most. 

Of course, I didn’t know that Nick Swisher would be starting and delivering 5 RBI’s, but that was a nice bonus.  I like Swish and the energy he brings to the team.  God bless him for the loud music he plays, even when he is relegated to bench duty.

Alex Messerschmidt/Getty 

Robby Cano is also showing signs that he may be maturing.

 

And Tex, it was very appropriate to get the first home run of the season in front of his hometown crowd.  In the grand scheme of things, a win or loss wasn’t going to determine the season, but it was nice to get the first one out of the way.

Mark Teixeira reacts after grounding out to end the eighth inning.

AP Photo 

THE AMERICAN IDLE

I am normally not one to gloat, but I was so disappointed in Carl Pavano as a Yankee.  The guy has the talent, there is no doubt.  But what’s going on inside the head is a different story.  Today’s line score is very appropriate…

Cleveland Indians

Pitchers

IP

 H

 R

ER

BB

SO

HR

PC-ST

ERA

C Pavano (L, 0-1)

1.0

6

9

9

3

1

2

39-21

81.00

Carl only retired three of twelve batters that he faced.

Paul Connors/AP

Good luck in Cleveland, Carl.  I am glad that you are no longer a Yankee…

THE DEPARTED ANGEL

It’s been tough today seeing the tributes for Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart.  Also, the TV clips of Wednesday night’s performance against the A’s have been equally difficult. 

By virtue of injuries, Nick was the Angels #3 starter.  But he showed on Wednesday night that he belonged in the major leagues.  He was a guy that had Tommy John surgery in high school, yet rebounded to become the top prospect in the Angels organization.  He was a humorous guy…the kind of guy who drives others to achieve greatness.

Jeff Gross/AP 

Yankees manager Joe Girardi made some comments today that I completely agree with.  Joe was the Rock of Gibraltar during the untimely passing of St. Louis Cardinal pitcher Darryl Kile (the Cardinals were playing the Cubs, Girardi’s team, at the time of Kile’s death). 

“It’s sad. It really is,” Girardi said. “You think of a young man who realizes his dream and pitches six shutout innings, and drives home and is gone. Life is not supposed to be like that. I didn’t even know the kid and it’s hard for me. He’s just a little boy who dreamed about playing in the big leagues.

“It’s one big fraternity, one big family. Your heart goes out to that family and that young man. You realize how precious life is. You wake up every day and be thankful for what you’ve got, because you never know.”

Well said, Joe…

We have been cheated by not seeing what Nick could have become.  At 22, he did more than most of us will achieve in a lifetime.  April 9th will become to Angels fans what August 2nd means to Yankee fans.  Nick, you will be missed…

As Fonz would say, I was “wr…wro…wr…”…

CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENTS, CONTINUED…

Upon second thought, I will acquiesce to the opinion that confidentiality agreements would not be a good thing.  First and foremost, it would have to be cleared through a collective bargaining agreement between management and the player’s association, and that would never happen.  If the Yankees were able to incorporate the language into their contracts for players, coaches and management without league consent, there would be potential negative implications in terms of trying to attract future free agents to New York.  It doesn’t seem that long ago when it was difficult for the Yankees to attract top free agent talent without severely overpaying.  The Yankees successfully changed the perception in recent years, and the Bronx became a very attractive place to play.  But the presence of a confidentiality agreement or clause in a Yankees contract could cause player to accept less from other teams without the same verbiage (knowing that they potentially would have greater revenue opportunities after baseball). 

In the end, I think the person most hurt by Joe Torre’s book, The Yankee Years, is Joe Torre.  Regardless of whether the negative backlash was deserved or not, Torre will have to work hard to make amends. 

I would not want to lose the opportunity to read future books that provide actual insight into the details of specific seasons and teams.  So, I agree that a disparagement clause in Yankee contracts would be inappropriate.

NO MORE FREE AGENTS

As I read MLB.com’s report that the Yankees cannot sign more than three Type A or B Free Agents (excluding their own) under the terms of the collectively bargained rules established by management and the player’s association, I can’t help but wonder why this wasn’t brought to light sooner.  I personally do not think that the rule plays any part in the Yankees desire to add no further free agents.  I think economics played a greater part (the state of the US economy and the Steinbrenner family’s desire to stay under last year’s payroll).  But it’s funny that this rule wasn’t mentioned by anyone sooner.  Apparently, the Yankees could have requested an increase in the quota since the total number of Type A and B Free Agents exceeded 62, but they did not (which supports the argument that they’ve simply reached their appetite for player salaries).

So much for my gluttonous dream of Manny in pinstripes!

UPDATE:  It is now being reported that this was revised to no more than 8 Type A or B free agent signings due to the expanded pool of free agent players.  I thought it was weird that nothing was said about the limit before.  Nevertheless, I think the Yankees are done.  With the settlement of the arbitration case with Brian Bruney, the Yankees’ total salary is just under $200M with a few more contract issues to be resolved (however, no more arbitration cases remain).  Unless salaries are going out, I just don’t see any further free agent signings… 

OTHER THOUGHTS…

It’s almost humorous to hear David Wells’ comments about Joe Torre given how much time and energy Wells put into being a distraction himself.  But, based on quotes over the years and the recent events, I find much truth in the following Wells’ quote:

“I’ve always said if you weren’t Joe’s boy, he could care less about you. … Don’t get me wrong, he is not a bad manager.  I just thought he was a bad individual, because of the fact he didn’t treat everybody the same.”

And of course, to hear comments from Carl Pavano is even more humorous.  For all the negative things that have been said about Pavano (and deservedly so), I also think he has displayed the right attitude in his response.  I particularly liked the quote that ended with “…it does explain why I haven’t received any Christmas cards from Joe the last few years.”

In addition to reading the book, I will be anxious to hear what Torre has to say on David Letterman next week (Wednesday, February 3rd).  Hopefully, Dave won’t pitch softballs to Torre…

Torre’s first interview is scheduled for tonight on “Larry King Live”. 

Today is deadline day for Jason Varitek.  On the surface, it doesn’t look like this is going to end well.  Hopefully, Jason can set aside his pride, and accept the Red Sox offer.  It’s not like it would be a struggle to get by on only $5 million (at least not from my perspective).  I do feel that the Red Sox have handled the negotiations fairly, and to a degree, you could say they’ve been generous to a player who has meant so much to them.  Hopefully, the two sides can come together later today.  The Yankees-Red Sox battles just wouldn’t be the same without Varitek in the Boston dugout.  Hopefully, there will be another scene like this later today…

General Manager Theo Epstein of the Red Sox, left, introducing catcher Jason Varitek as the team's captain. 

(Courtesy Associated Press and the New York Times)

UPDATE:  Varitek agreed to the contract later in the day.  One year at $5 million, plus a second year club option for $5 million or player option for $3 million.