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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

WHY I LOVE POTPOURRI

If anyone thinks the Rangers, Pettitte story is real? Don't believe it. Yes, if Pettitte wanted the best of both worlds, he WOULD sign a 1 year deal with the Texas Rangers. He's then closer to his family and he's still playing baseball, 1 more season, which is what he wants. The trouble is the story came out because there is no news on the Yankees and their Free Agent front right now, so any nugget is news... or not. Damn, we have to talk about something, don't we? It may be true that Nolan Ryan called Pettitte and maybe, just maybe, he felt him out about coming back to pitch, or maybe not (The Rangers are denying it) but let's face it, Pettitte stated that it's Yankees or retirement. That would mean one more taste of a championship with a team he knows he can win with, and then it's off to his Texas home waiting for his name to be put on the Hall of Fame ballot. That's another debate for another time.
The story that has really appealed to me and has obviously been leaked by Casey Close is the San Francisco Giants story. Allegedly, there has been contact between SF and Jeter about a job in San Fran, or maybe not... again, who knows. But, the only reason why this is interesting is the relationship factor. Brian Sabean now works in the offices of Giants. Brian Sabean used to work in the offices of Yankeeland. In fact, Sabean was there when the Yankees drafter a nobody shortstop with a flash of star power and playing ability named Derek Jeter back in 1992. The relationship runs deep. Could Sabean and the Giants woo Jeter and Close enough to get him to finish he career in San Francisco? Yes. Will it happen? No. I stand by my opinion that Jeter will die a New York Yankee. It's the only way. Right now though, the Yanks and Jeet are stuck at a stalemate and there's no sign of finalizing anything. Not going to lie, I didn't think this would ever happen between Jeter and the Yankees. As my cousin Brian said "This isn't fair to anyone." Plain and simple, that's the damn truth. By the way, Beckett Blog poked some fun at the whole situation. The baseball cards are funny. The Bosox one makes me sick to my stomach.

The Mariano front looks promising. "Secretly" is how it's being reported. Secretly they are "closing in on a deal." Good. Mariano is the guy you want to finish the game any time. Is he old? Yes, but he's also old reliable, and if you give the guy the ball for 9 pitches to close out a game every other day, magical things happens to your franchise... You have a chance to win it all. We need Mariano. I hope the deal gets done this week.

On the Lee front, what can I say, this is free agent season. How would you like to sit at home while your agent called you and drooled through the receiver about how much money you could make? You'd love it. That's what's happening right now. The ego trip has began. "Wow, they love me... they REALLY love me!" Personally, I like the fact that Lee could be in the Yankees rotation next year, but my God, the money is insane and the years for Lee are more insane. Whatever the case, I say, let's get him here and we'll figure it out later.

The Winter Meetings are coming. The Yankees never leave quietly, in fact, it should be called the Yankee Meetings. The meetings are a fun time to hear rumors and speculation. Keep it at Bleeding Yankee Blue to get all your info and God Bless the New York Yankees.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

WHY IT'S LEE TIME

Dec 1, 2010: UPDATE ON CLIFF LEE. Brought you by the Bronx Baseball Daily. The Rangers are about to offer Lee a 5 year deal. Read it HERE.

Nov 28, 2010: Expect the Lee talk's to heat up this week, big time. The Yanks are aiming high and the Rangers are all about location, location, location. Both sides will have appealing offers, but for the Yankees sake, it's all about the money, and hopefully money will talk.

The very worst part of this whole scenerio though is this: If the Yanks are about the dump all this money on a possible number 1 starter in Cliff Lee, Doesn't that send a bad messsage to Derek Jeter? Their keeping the price low for a veteran Jeet that has led the Yankees to 5 championships. It seems like bad business doesn't it? I think so, then again, Jeter's request is obscene. In the end, you need to understand the cruel fact that Lee will get the wins for Yankees in 2010 and Jeter and his age are a big question mark. Will Jeter hit .300 next year? Yes he will, but coming off season a horrible 2009, it's hard to argue with the Yankees offer. It's sad, but it's true.

Right now, there are several teams interested in Cliff Lee. Lee is looking for a seven-year contract worth upwards of $20 million annually. The years are too much. I don't think anyone is willing to give him 7 years. I think I'd give him 6. Will it get nasty between teams as they try and get the best free agent right now? Yes, a bidding war, money piling on, a few P.R. quotes, a lot will be happening, especially as we get close to the Winter Meetings.

According to Buster Olney, “Executives involved in the bidding…believe the negotiations will gather momentum in the week ahead, perhaps to a point where the All-Star left-hander will choose his next employer sometime during the winter meetings that start Dec. 6.”

The Yankees look to have the upper hand, and will offer something ridiculous. And it makes easy sense that Lee will take the bait. He'll have the money, a chance to win a championship, his best friend CC, and most likely a standing "O" from everyone at Yankee Stadium on opening day.

Texas appears ready to match whatever money Yanks will offer, plus, they have the Rangers playoff run fresh in their heads, and a "pitch" from Nolan Ryan of the great state of Texas, employment closer to Arkansas, Lee's home.

The Yankees have amazing powers to woo any player, plus Cash is a genius when it comes to last minute suprises for the Yankee Fans. The Yankees beat out Boston for A-Rod. We all got a surprise the day Mark Teixeira was signed, We woke up to Johnny B. Good coming to New York after the Sox refused to pay him. Hell, on paper, the signing of Carl Pavano choosing NY over Boston was a great victory. (Too bad he was a disaster). Hopefully a Lee signing will be a nice addition.

Bottom Line, Money talks, Bullshit walks. Hopefully it talks fast so we can concentrate on the other big fish, Derek Sanderson Jeter. Time's a ticking.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

WHY IT'S GETTING LATE EARLY

11-28-2010: According to NBC Sports, A source told SI's Jon Heyman that the Yanks “appear willing to enhance” their offer to Jeter, possibly to three years and $50 million.

Jeter is hoping for an annual salary of about $23 million over four or five years, but he should really be flattered if the Yanks indeed add a whole $5 million to the package. No team would match that. Heck, no team is going to match the Bombers’ original offer.

Agent Casey Close can celebrate a small victory if Heyman’s source is correct. And an agreement, hopefully, will be reached by the end of next week.

11-26-2010: So, first it was reported by everyone that Jeter wanted 6 years $150 million dollars. Everyone jumped on it. Yes, it's true, and then it wasn't true. Close came out and said that was totally wrong. Hmm. Okay, fine, it wouldn't be the first time that huge numbers are out there and every blogger is salivating.

Then the New York Times came out with a report saying Jeter actually wanted a 4 to 5 year deal worth $23 to 24 million a year. And I say this... What's the difference bro?

Look, from a negotiation standpoint, you aim high and see what you the Yankees come back with right? Right. BUT, from a reputation standpoint, you do that and you come off arrogant, greedy and NOT a team player. In fact, any way you slice it, those numbers are offensive. If I'm Cashman, I'm ending parties right there.

I get both sides of this negotiation. From the outside looking in, it's looking damn dirty. We know Jeter's credentials. He has won five World Series titles in 16 years with the Yankees. He's been a Rookie of the Year. In 2000, he was an MVP of an All-Star game, and a World Series MVP. He's an 11 time All-Star. He's won Silver Slugger Awards, Gold Gloves... He's even dated Jessica Biel. He's clutch and He's the Captain. But guess what? He's also 36 and despite what everyone says about paying the man, including me... you just can't pay the man that much money. If Jeter were to test the market right now, every team will laugh at him if he was asking that price. Then, he'd come crawling back and take what the Yankees would give him. Now, the Yanks won't be jerks about it, I mean, they did they're research when they came up with their number. But it would just be about eating humble pie for Jeet, and that's OK, because it would be chalked up as a lesson learned.

The Yankees originally offered Jeet a three-year, $45 million deal that would make Jeter, 36, the highest-paid shortstop in Major League Baseball. Close, on behalf of Jeet, was "baffled" by the way the Yankees we're treating his client. That, in itself was baffling. Who does Close think he is? And so the stalemate continues and I guess now we just wait through the weekend while the 2 sides talk, or don't. Who knows. There will be more ridiculous numbers being thrown around, bad press and hopefully Hank doesn't talk to the media anymore.

Now back on November 3rd, I wrote WHY JETER IS AN ICON. In it, I talked about Jeter's contract and what I speculated would be the numbers, in my opinion. I figured a 5 year, $56 million range with a 6th year option of $9 million was fair. In my opinion, if you do that, you phase the guy out. Also, there would have to be a discussion and understanding that Jeter may not be the full-time shortstop after 4 years or so and if they pick up the 6th option, Jeter for sure is a bench player for the New York Yankees, but still is the Captain and still helps lead the team. I also believe that they would have certain incentives they will pay him for. I mean, you have to know that the Yankees, if they want Jeet there for 4 years, want to see him break records in a Yankee uniform.

At the end of the day, I'm not happy about any of this. Look, you never really know what these players are thinking, and as a fan, you think no player that's as squeaky clean as Jeter, can also be a greedy S.O.B. I hope that part isn't true, we will never know for sure. But the way the media is dragging both the Yankees and Derek through the mud is lousy, but hey, it's free agent season, I wouldn't expect anything less.

Let's just hope it all works out in the end, or Eduardo Nunez may have a full time job come April.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

WHY I GIVE THANKS

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I plan on trying to take a day off, enjoy family, food and spirits and I hope you do the same.

This post isn't to bring you news and information about the Free Agent markets, Jeter, Cliff Lee or Kevin Maas coming back as an advisor for the Yankees (actually, I made that up.) Instead, this post is to say "Thanks" to all of you. Since I began this venture in September, it's been a trip, and today I've reached over 5800 views of this sight. For me, it is humbling and i'm very grateful to have such great readers like you. I love that some agree with me and many, many disagree. My friends have been incredibly supportive thoughout this project as well. Some still like me, others have defriended me from Facebook. Some laugh at me obnoxiously as I yell to them, "Follow me on Twitter". But at the end of the day, the reality is, I never expected anyone to ever read a thing I wrote on this blog. This started out for me because I needed an outlet to rant... to scream and yell about everything Girardi did wrong in a ballgame, OR to write about what I loved about the Yankees win the night before. I didn't think it would be read my so many, so quickly, but I'm not going to lie, I like it and I appreciate it tremendously.

So thank you for making Bleeding Yankee Blue a mild success. It's fun, and I'll keep doing it as long as you all keep reading it. Maybe I'll sell shirts one day... and maybe I'll be the only person who buys one. But, either way, the support is great and the thanks to you all is greater.

Happy Thanksgiving you Bleeding Yankee Blue Freaks... And, don't forget to follow me on Twitter.

WHY NOT RECREATE THE CASHMAN, JETER MEETING

Ok, so, I was just zipping through looking for some Yankee nuggets to post before Thansgiving and I came across this hilarious "dramatization" of what the Brian Cashman, Derek Jeter meeting could have went like. This is not mine, this is brought to you by Confessions of a She-fan, and is quite hilarious. Good job Jane. Enjoy fans.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

OMFG

11-24-2010: Latest brought to you by Jon Heyman and
Sliding into Home, one of the better Yankees Blogs around:












11-24-2010: The Yankees were winning the PR war, and it was looking good, Brian Cashman is a genius, he handles players excellently when it comes to negotiations. Then this guy opened his mouth:

Hank Steinbrenner told the Assoicated Press:
"As much as we want to keep everybody, we've already made these guys very, very rich, and I don't feel we owe anybody anything monetarily," the Yankees co-chairman said Tuesday. "Some of these players are wealthier than their bosses."

Hank, for the love of God, don't talk about riches and wealth to a player that's given his all for all these years, offer 3 years and $45 million and then on the other end offer a Cliff Lee, 6 year $140 million contract. You're talking out of both sides of your mouth. Hal, get this guy sedated, quick. He's blowing it.

11-23-2010: Brian Cashman made the following statement to the Newark Star Ledger:

"He should be nothing but a New York Yankee, He chooses not to be."

Cashman tells the Star Ledger that he doubts Jeter truly wants to remain in the Bronx. Hard Ball like I've never seen it before. Your turn Jeet, Your turn.



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WE GOT TROUBLE, MY FRIEND

If you haven't seen the New York Times today, see it. See it HERE, see it now. If you are a Yankee fan and Jeter fan, it's a must read. Because believe it or not, we have trouble right now between the "Face of the Yankees", and the Yankees and if Jeter was smart, he'd take a page from the A-Rod diaries, boot his agent and call Cashman himself and finalize a deal, because 1 thing we all know about sports agents is, they aren't only out for their clients, their out for themselves as well. And Casey Close is about to blow it big time.




Cashman has concerns about an aging Jeter. All of us agree with that. Especially when we're talking about a multiple deal. Cashman is quoted as saying: “We do appreciate the contributions he has made to this organization, and Derek Jeter is the person we want playing shortstop.”



Cashman says the salary offer of 3 years $45 million is fair, especially for a 37 year old shortstop.
While a agree with that a little, I say, throw him a few more bucks and a 4th year option. It's Jeter, come on.

Cashman’s statements came a day after The New York Daily News published an article quoting Jeter’s agent, Casey Close, as saying that the Yankees’ current negotiating strategy was “baffling” because it refused to acknowledge “Derek’s total contribution to their franchise.”


Cashman also said that there “is nothing baffling about our position here.We have been very honest and direct with them — meaning Derek and Casey."
I love this statement by Cashman, when I read this, the next thing I feel is anger toward Close and picture Jeter in a Cincinnati Reds uniform in 2010, sad and wondering what just happened.


The Times goes on to say that "according to a lawyer in baseball briefed on the negotiations, the Yankees have made Jeter a three-year, $45 million offer that was arrived at in part by comparing him with other middle infielders and with players close to his age. The lawyer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to jeopardize his access to sensitive information, said that the Yankees and Jeter were “not even in the same ballpark” in terms of a new deal."


Close hasn't publicly said anything about what type of deal they are seeking from the Yankees, but want it longer and heftier than what the Yankees are offering.



The Times did this as well, they broke down how the Yankees came to Jeter's contract. They looked for comparisons and singled out:

  1. Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki, who is 37 and will make $17 million next season

  2. Philadelphia’s Jimmy Rollins, who will turn 32 this week, plays the same position as Jeter does and will make $8.5 million in 2011; Rollins’s double-play partner

  3. Chase Utley, who will also turn 32 soon and will make $15 million

  4. Rafael Furcal of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who plays shortstop, is 32, and will make $12 million.

  5. The Yankees also cited Florida Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who turns 27 next month and hit .300 in 2010. He will make $11 million next year, or $4 million less than what the Yankees are offering Jeter.

In a ridiculous move, Close compared Jeter to Babe Ruth. When I first read this, I thought it was a joke.

As I reported, there we're jokes about Jeter's contract at the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation Gala a few weeks ago, but nothing else from the player himself.



Hal Steinbrenner was quoted as saying that he thought negotiations could "get messy." The New York Times writes "Cashman told reporters he did not think that would happen. But now, two weeks later, that appears to be the case, with Cashman becoming more blunt and Close perhaps getting ready to respond."

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WHY CANO SHOULD WIN MVP, BUT WON'T

Look, I'm not fooling anyone sitting here writing that Robinson Cano is going to be the MVP of 2010. In my opinion, he is... just like I said CC should have gotten the CY Young. He should have. Again, not a slam on King Felix, because if Felix had CC's numbers and vice versa this year, I'd say it was all Felix. That being said, Cano deserves the award, but he won't get it, here's why:

The sports world loves their little darling Josh Hamilton. His story is about bravery and resilience. It's "the comeback". Incredible prospect for the Rays, falls on drug addicted hard times, found in a crack house and is eventually steered back toward baseball. Comes back with the Cincinnati Reds and eventually winds up in Texas where he does what everybody said he would do... be Mickey Mantle. If Hamilton's healthy, he would became "The Natural." I have a hard time ignoring that. I do. Plus:
  1. Hamilton won the AL batting title this year with a .359 average, he hit 32 dingers an drove in 100 runs... and he was hurt part of the season. The unmbers are there.
  2. Plus, also breathing down Robinson Cano's neck is Miguel Cabrera. His number's cannot be overlooked either. 38 home runs, .328 batting average and led the league with 126 RBI's. Kind of a big deal.
Robbie looked amazing this year, he was hot all year and even had "hotter" moments. He's become a leader after Melky went to Atlanta and stopped distracting him. Plus, you have to give A-Rod alittle credit for his alleged "talk" with Robbie. Cano was focussed and he had fun.

Listen, Robbie's numbers are great: .319 Average, 29 Home Runs, 109 RBI's, OPS .914. The numbers are terrific, but after everything I just told you, and given the track record that the voters have this season, is there any reason they will give it to Cano? No. I doubt it. So because of this, because I'm being negative today, because I don't think Cano will be rewarded by the voters and receive the AL MVP award, I'm awarding Robinson Cano with the BYB's newly named award... Congratulations to Robinson Cano for the first ever, "BLEEDING BLUE YANKEE OF 2010."

Stay tuned for my react to the AL MVP award announcement later today.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

CASH'S CORNER: MO


The Rumor is Mariano Rivera is seeking two year deal worth about $18 million each year. The Yankees say no way. They would much rather give Mo 1 year. Well... it looks like we have another disagreement. I say just give it to him Yanks... give it to him. One thing Mo has never been is unstable, for an empire like the Yankees, what's $18 million a year for a player that always gives back every year.

Please comment and let me know what you think and follow me on Twitter @BleednYankeeBlu and join the group Bleeding Yankee Blue on Facebook, just type it in.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

WHY IS HE BAFFLED?

Derek Jeter's agent Casey Close is baffled by the handling of negotiations with Jeet. Baffled. He said Baffled, not thrilled, saddened, baffled. Why? Not sure. Here is Casey's quote:

"Derek's significance to the team is much more than just stats. And yet, the Yankees' negotiating strategy remains baffling."

I love Derek Jeter, I know by now everyone knows it. I don't care, I'll scream it out my bedroom window for the world to hear. I know Jeter is the face of the Yankees. But I also know that he's an aging shortstop, iconic yes, but aging and everyone knows, EVERYONE knows that the money that Mr. Close is thinking he's going to get for his client, is NOT going to happen. The smartest thing Jeter needs to do right now is tell Mr. Close the listen to his client, and seal the deal with the Yankees. If not, Close alienates the team, alienates the fans and when he shops his aging shortstop on the market, the only money he's going to get is the same or less. There is no leverage anywhere else, UNLESS, Jeter just wants to JUST play baseball anywhere. But he doesn't, Jeter ONLY wants to play for the New York Yankees. Jeet needs to step in soon or he'll be making $8 million for 1 year for the Tigers, like his old pal Johnny Damon. The way Boras handled Damon last year was embarassing and Damon ended up looking like the biggest fool of them all. Yes, Boras did too, but we all know Boras is a tool. Damon came out of that whole ordeal looking idiotic. He should have been embarassed. WE DON'T want that type of fate happening to Mr. Jeter. Casey Close needs to remember what happened last year. Now people are going to say, "Damon's not Jeter." This is true, but, if your a fan who doesn't read every stat, you just see a greedy ballplayer, you're not comparing stats and if you act like a cry baby (through your agent) you look like one too. Take the deal Jeet, take the deal.

If Casey Close wants to go out and shop around Jeet, They Yankees should laugh at him. There is no way in hell anything better comes back to him. 3 years $45 million is damn good. Hell, if Close came back asking for a 4th year option and $50, I'd top it off there and sign him on the spot. But that's it, that's the ceiling. Close can't be greedy here. I know he's "acting" like he's doing what's best for his client, but he'll end up screwing him in the end.... Then I'll be baffled, and nobody wants that.


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Friday, November 19, 2010

CASH'S CORNER: J.C. ROMERO

According to MLB Trade Rumors, The Yankees seem interested in lefty reliever J.C. Romero, who's a free agent. Romero was with the Phillies for 3 years, is 34 years old and has had some injuries including back and elbow.

River Ave Blues reported earlier that: "Romero also walked (42) more guys than he’s struck out (40) since 2009, and lefties have gotten him to the tune of a .362 wOBA during that time. "

Obviously is the Yanks are looking at this guy, the free agent market's looking pretty slim.

WHY ONE JETER STAT CAN'T BE OVERLOOKED

Steve Politi of the Star-Ledger writes a great piece and you can read the whole thing here:


I enjoyed reading it, but there is one stat I noticed in the piece that I loved and it makes my point about leadership and what Jeter's meant to the Yankees over the years and hopefully beyond. Attendance. This part is just brilliant:

Of course, the 36-year-old Jeter isn’t going to command the same money from another team coming off the worst season of his career. But that doesn’t lessen his value to this franchise, and no matter how the Yankees try to spin this, that extends beyond the diamond.

The Yankees are a billion-dollar business and Jeter, more than any single person not named George Steinbrenner, is responsible for getting them there.
This is the overlooked number with Jeter: 1,705,263. That was the Yankees attendance in 1995, the year before Jeter became the everyday shortstop in the Bronx. It was actually below the American League average.

Four championships and 14 years later, when the team played its final season at the old Yankee Stadium, that number had climbed to 4,298,655 — and, as any fan can tell you, the ticket price climbed right along with it.

The team moved to its giant ATM of a ballpark and started the YES Network, becoming the Bronx branch of the U.S. mint along the way. They were worth $185 million in ’95, and according to Forbes, that value is now $1.5 billion. Plenty of players had a hand in that, but Jeter tops the list.

Bravo Steve, Bravo.

WHY THE YANKS NEED TO BORROW A PAGE FROM ESPN

For far too long, we here in New York, have decided, been told and outright declared that New York City is the center of the Sports Universe. I mean, after all, we have 9 home teams spanning the 4 major sports. It's here that we have 2 all sports-talk radio stations; numerous national sportscasters have regular jobs with these teams. Anybody who’s anybody in sports wants to be here in New York. Hell, New Yorkers are the greatest fans in the world. Knowledgeable, Passionate. As New Yorkers, we deserve the best!!!
Then why is it that as NewYorkers, who follow the most storied franchise in any sport worldwide, do we get a third rate announce team? How is it that in 2010, someone in the Yankees organization can wake up and still sign paychecks for Suzyn Waldman & "the Voce of the New York Yankees" John Sterling?

I am embarrassed as a Yankee fan to have to suffer to the endless rants and utter nonsense spoken by these two. On numerous occasions someone will make “An outstanding play!”, yet it won’t show up on any highlight reel. Why? Because most of the time these are plays that professional athletes SHOULD make. It’s their job, not to mention the fact that these are supposed to be the cream of the crop. AND, let's be real about this, is every play made by our aging shortstop “sensational”?


Or how about the “A-bombs, from A-Rod” that barely clear the fence. When seen on TV, a person with little to no sports knowledge might say some of these balls were lucky to leave the park.
OR how about when Mr. Sterling does his Joe Morgan impression – describes things as fact that don’t actually happen. If a sales person lies to the consumer, wouldn’t people stop buying from that store? But why, in this case, are we forced to suffer? And while we’re at it, didn’t all of the nicknames & catchphrases fall out of style around the same time as Chris “Boomer” (a name he gave to himself) Berman’s hair? By the way, on a side note, in this day of steroids, isn’t the line “Georgie Juiced one” a bit insidious?

How about Ms. Waldman? From back when she was the beat reporter at WFAN until now, as the “color analyst” for the Yanks, she acts as if she is the mother hen and this team of professional athletes is her flock. If I wanted to know what Jonathan Albaladejo had for breakfast I’d interrogate the clubhouse attendant. I DON’T CARE!!! Just tell me what’s happening in the game!!!


video


I mean if “Roger Clemens sitting in George’s box” is the greatest moment in Suzyn’s career, maybe she needs to find another line of work.


Earlier this season Tino Martinez filled in and it was AWESOME. He didn’t speak a lot (I suppose that’s from his lack of experience behind the mic) but when he did, his insight was fantastic. It was straight baseball, from the mouth of someone who knows what he’s talking about.


Since money seems to be no object, let's go after Dan Shulman. He may be the best radioman I’ve ever heard, in my opinion. Soothing & smooth voice, keeps the stories to a minimum. He lets the game tell the story and doesn’t let nonsensical fluff get in the way. He has a habit of setting up his color analyst and letting them shine, rather than trying to talk over them or prove he’s the man.


It is here, that I implore the Yankees to cut Suzyn and John loose and go find 2 people more capable and competent. As New Yorkers, we deserve the best, now lets hire the best!!


--Lem Allen, BYB Freelance Contributor


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Thursday, November 18, 2010

DEPAULA LIKELY TO BE SIGNED

Sports Illustrated's Melissa Segura reports that the Yankees will sign amateur free agent RHP Rafael DePaula from the Dominican Republic today for a signing bonus of $700,000.

Bronx Baseball Daily says "DePaula, 20, had actually been under suspension for identity fraud in an attempt to make himself appear younger."

Segura says DePaula was clocked as throwing in the upper 90's and will start in the Yankees farm system next year.

Please comment and let me know what you think and follow me on Twitter @BleednYankeeBlu and join the group Bleeding Yankee Blue on Facebook, just type it in.

WHY CC GOT SHAFTED

You know my thoughts on this. I'm fuming. What in the world are the credentials for a Cy Young award? Being able to win when your team sucks? Felix is a great pitcher. He's 24, he's dominant and congratulations to him, but he doesn't deserve the Cy Young.

But that's not the worst of it though. The worst part is CC got 3rd in the voting. Are you kidding me? David Price got 2nd. Now if anything, Price and CC should have been 1 and 2. I would have been fine with that. I just don't understand. I feel like the fix is in.

Felix Hernandez receiving 21 of the votes. CC Sabathia received 3 first place votes and finished 3rd in the overall voting behind Felix and David Price.

Hernandez was either first or second in the league in baseball everything, and I guess that is the cryteria, but that just means to me that the voters glance at wins and move on. I guess it really doesn't matter if you win 21 games all year, because if the others only win 13, you may win the WINS category, but if the other guys ERA is lower, you're done. And strikes out? Yeah, you're K's number is lower so, another strike against you. If you look at the numbers overall, it is clear to me who the winner is.

Now, my Mets fan friend Dan laughed at me in an email today saying "Oh you Yankee Fans and your awards." He was clearly mocking me and my obsession with wanting CC to get the Cy Young. But let's face the facts, if CC weren't in it, and Price, Buchholz, Lester and King Felix we're competing, I'd go with Price. Hell, I may even go with Lester! Wait a minute, no I wouldn't, I hate the Red Sox... But you see my point. A pitcher that wins their team the most wins clearly should get some type of extra credit here. That is an enormous feat. I guess the voters are showing a bias against the Yankees again. I guess they just assume the Yankees always win anyway and "My God, it must have been so hard for Felix to get 13 wins on such a sucky team. He really worked hard." Gag Gag.

Look at the candidates and their numbers OVERALL. You tell me who you would have chosen for the Cy Young?
  • CC Sabathia, Yankees: 21-7, 3.18 ERA, 197 K's, 237 2/3 IP
  • David Price, Rays: 19-6, 2.72 ERA, 188 K's, 208 2/3 IP
  • Jon Lester, Red Sox: 19-9, 3.25 ERA, 225 K's, 208 IP
  • Trevor Cahill, A's: 18-8, 2.97 ERA, 118 K's, 196 2/3 IP
  • Justin Verlander, Tigers: 18-9, 3.37 ERA, 219 K's, 224 1/3 IP
  • Clay Buchholz, Red Sox: 17-7, 2.33 ERA, 120 K's, 173 2/3 IP
  • Felix Hernandez, Mariners: 13-12, 2.27 ERA, 232 K's, 249 2/3 IP
  • Jered Weaver, Angels: 13-12, 3.01 ERA, 233 K's, 224 1/3 IP
  • Rafael Soriano, Rays: 3-2, 1.73 ERA, 45 saves, 57 K's, 62 1/3 IP
  • Joakim Soria, Royals: 1-2, 1.78 ERA, 43 saves, 71 K's, 65 2/3 IP
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WHY THINGS ARE ABOUT TO HAPPEN

The Yanks will make their first offer to Derek Sanderson Jeter, any minute now.

Like I wrote in WHY JETER DESERVES A PAY DAY back in October, I believe the Yankees will be smart about this. I also said that Jeter would cooperate. I still believe that. Since I wrote this in October, I still believe that all the great things Jeter has done and will do demand some big money, even if for instance, the Yankees don't think he deserves it. It's owed. My wife tell's me it's about cutting loose the old guy and getting in new blood. I'm sorry, I can't picture Nunez as the future shortstop of the New York Yankees. I wrote WHY JETER IS AN ICON on November 3rd. In it, I broke down my suggested contract. But the most important part of the post was this part:

They won't offer him a a 3 year, $21 million deal... that would be insulting. More? Yes. How much? Well, numbers have been flying, but I will speculate a 5 year, $56 million deal with a 6th year option of $9 million. In that contract, I believe it would state that Jeter gets a bonus for certain milestones. Obviously, he's going to be breaking some. The most important part of that contract is this... Jeter will be told that Shortstop is probably not his position by his 5th year, it's a part time gig probably by year 4 and if the option is picked up in year 6, it may be a new kid's job.

People think I'm crazy. I don't. Today we learned that the Yankees will offer something around a 3 year $45 million range which will most likely climb to almost $60 million on a 3 or 4 year deal. I like that, and I think that is something that can be worked out.

You have to understand that the Yankees always claim to have a "cap" on what type of money they want to spend on free agents, but the reality is they can pay anything they want for any player they want. I mean look, they just raised ticket prices, and it's a free agent year with Lee and Jeter in the mix? Think about it.

By the way, Joel Sherman, whom I respect, but rarely disagree with wrote this headline on his piece from November 12th Sign him, but Yankees can't put Jeter ahead of winning. I don't agree with that. Jeter IS winning. He's won with the Yankees every year except 2008, and even in that last year of the old Yankee stadium, He was a winner standing on the top of the pitchers mound leading his team in a final salute. It doesn't jive.

Whatever happens, Jeter needs to be happy and the Yankees needs to be happy as well. In the end, don't believe everything you read, it will get done, and it will get done smoothly, at the end of the day, they need each other, if they didn't think way, Jeter could have been on another team before that 10 year contract was worked out years ago... think about that. Jeter in another uniform? Unlikely Yankee Fans, unlikely.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

AN OPEN LETTER TO GOD

Dear God,

Tomorrow, the winner of the Cy Young award for the American League will and should be 21 game winner CC Sabathia. Right? I mean he was a machine this year,
21-7, 3.18 ERA, 197 strikeouts? Come on.

Yes, God, I know, the Yankees burned out in the playoffs, but he had really good numbers. Whatever you do, think of it this way, You can't win 13 games, be on the rotation of a losing team, like King Felix
(13-12, 2.27 ERA, 232 K), and win a Cy Young. If that happens, I will then know for sure that your evil Red Sox fan half-brother, "the Devil" is pushing the buttons.

Look, I understand David Price
(19-6, 2.72 ERA, 188 K) being in the mix. I hate to say this, but I see how someone like Jon Lester (19-9 3.25 ERA, 229 K) of Clay Buchholz (17-7, 2.33 ERA 120 K) would have a shot, but there is NO WAY any legit sports radio show or blog says anything positive tomorrow if a 13 game winner wins the Cy Young. NO WAY! Yankees Sports Radio will blow up! Heck, Michael Kay will declare Armageddon. I know he will. He gets cranky. I can picture him choking Don La Greca LIVE on the air. And that can't happen. I love Don La Greca.

I guess ESPN would love the story of a 13 game winner winning the Cy Young, but screw them God, they cater to anyone who's not a Yankee. Sorry, I didn't mean to say "screw". Forget them, God, I meant forget them.


God, who I love so much, all I'm asking for is a little closure. The Yanks played hard this year, but struggled and to top off the year with a Cy Young award for my bud CC Sabathia would be very fitting. He was the workhorse of the team, a leader,and he deserves it. The team can live through that award this winter and life will be good.

If you do this for me, I will go to church more often and help old ladies across the street. And I'll go to confession, yeah sorry, it's been awhile.

Your son,

The Mighty Casey

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WHY THINGS GET NUTTY

I bit my tongue to talk about Justin Upton until now. Why? Because this is a great outfielder that we don't really need. We have good prospects, I'm sure if we were dangling the right names in front of the D-Backs we would have Upton right now and we'd be reading a ton of articles of how the Yankees gave away Montero and now they have a catching dilemma. Cash clearly didn't dangle the RIGHT names in front of the D-Backs. And it appears the Yanks may be out of the running for Upton. Seriously? I'm happy about it. Do I like Upton? Yes. Did I want to see Gardner, Granderson or Swisher get pushed aside? No. If Thames was the everyday rightfielder for the Yankees, Cash would have given up whatever for Upton and I'd be alright with that. Cash kicked the tires, he forced the Red Sox hand to follow his lead, and he got out... I like it. For now, we are fine with some exciting outfielders. Let the Red Sox over trade for Upton... What do I care.

Now, what's a story that I loved reading about today. Well, it comes from Joel Sherman but posted on one of my favorite blogs, the Bronx Baseball Daily. The Yankees are looking feverishly for relievers. That's a story I can sink my teeth into. Names like Rafael Soriano, Pedro Feliciano, possibly even Kerry Wood being thrown around as potential setup men. I love it. Look, we need a strong bullpen behind a strong rotation. We need to hold down leads, strike out the competition and bridge to Mo. I love Wood and I'd love to have him back, but I doubt it will happen. I really think he wants to close and he'd be great at it. But who knows, maybe he loved the Yankee clubhouse and will come back for a cheaper price. Stranger things have happened. I am a huge Soriano fan, but truth be told, you don't close one year and setup the next. While it would be a great 1, 2 punch in the later innings with Soriano and Mo, I can't see it happening, although... money talks. We will see.

One things for sure this week, Cash is on the move, he's kicking tires and taking names and us blogs will have some actual news stories and analysis soon... not just all this filler. Rumors and speculation is fun, but big name athletes changing uniforms is more fun. Let's just hope it's not Gardner, Granderson or Swish.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

CASH'S CORNER: BILL HALL

This is an interesting one. A signing based on a relationship already in the Yankee organiation... and it's not a player. Utility man Bill Hall is drawing interest of the Yankees because Kevin Long works with Hall on his hitting in the off season, according to FOX Sports guy Ken Rosenthal. Oh and I also found out that Roy Halladay wants to come to the Yankees because he goes to the same Deli as Robinson Cano. Thank you thank you, I'll be here all week. Seriously though, Rosenthal says that Hall is on a list of free agents that the Yankees have interest in.

Hall's line is like this: .247/.316/.456. In 2010, he played for the Evil Sox. Utility is good. He can hit and play just about anywhere. We shall see.

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CASH'S CORNER: DEREK JETER

11-19-2010: Derek Jeter update. According to MLB Trade Rumors, Jon Heyman, Joel Sherman, Wally Matthews and my high school art teacher, Yankees are about to make Derek Jeter a three-year offer worth $45 million. I'm sure he won't take it. Anyway, that's all I have. Stay tuned.

11-16-2010: Word out of Orlando is that Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees have talked and according to Hal Steinbrenner....."Things are going well."

In this world of free agents and tight lips... I'll take what I can get when it comes to Jeter, this is alot of information. Think about it, it's been super quiet since the initial spat between Casey Close and Hal Steinbrenner.
I predict Jeter and the Yankees wrap this contract up by the weekend after Thanksgiving. He will then go to St. Bart's with Minka and propose to her because he will so happy with the Yankees offer. Than I predict a hot spring training and an even hotter 2011... .310, 20 home runs and 102 RBI's. Then again... I'm just a Jeter fan... what do I know.

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CASH'S CORNER: PEDRO FELICIANO


According to Pinstripe Alley, The New York Yankees have shown interest in the lefty reliever Pedro Feliciano at the GM Meetings. He's 34 years old. He could be a lefty specialist for the Yankees. In 2010, lefty's hit .214 off him and Pinstripe says in his 8 year career lefty's batted .214.








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WHY IT'S ALL ABOUT ALEX...AND DEREK

Breaking down Alex Rodriguez may sound difficult, but it’s simple…bad hip, bad year. I should stop there, but I won’t.

Look, I wouldn’t even say it was a horrible year… but it was a bad year, if you’re Alex Rodriguez. With all this talk about Cliff Lee, Jeter and Mo, Free Agents and Torre Gala’s, Teixeira injuries and GM Meetings, people forget something, Alex Rodriguez wasn’t vintage Alex… but should we worry? Not necessarily. Here’s why:

A hip is a hip and if you hurt your hip, you can’t exactly give your full strength when you swing. Yes, He had 30 home runs, Ok, fine, but Alex at full health hits 45 to 50 easy. That’s why the Yankees signed him. He will be the next Home Run champion.

A-Rod batted .270 this year. A lot of people don’t realize that. Not so great. Between 1996 and 2009, Alex Rodriguez never batted below a .285 average. In 2009, he batted .286 but don’t forget, he was hurt. Hitting in the .280’s is respectable, but not for Alex. Again, the legs are majorly important in baseball, equally important in pitching and hitting and if your hips cranky, you’re not 100%.

He had 125 RBI’s which is good for Alex so I won’t get on his case for that, but there is one reason and 1 reason only that Alex is a New York Yankee. Hitting and Home runs. The RBI’s come when Alex cranks it out of the park. He finally showed that in playoffs in 2009 and I predict, he starts with a bang in 2011.
The Yankees locked up A-Rod for a long time, they’re not stupid. Alex will break many records in the years to come. To all the critics of Alex that claim that he’s paid too much money and he’s too old understand this,one bad year does not a bad player make. Look at Derek Jeter. Everyone is killing the guy right now because his numbers sucked this year. Yes, he’s 36 and yes, if he had a Jeter year, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. But the facts are the facts, at the end of the day, 2 All-Star Yankees came off years that didn’t play up to their potential, but they will reign again and the bottom line is, we want these guys in our organization for years to come.

Next year will be a big year for both Alex and Derek. It will show everyone what they have plenty left in the tank. A healthy Alex is a great Alex. A focused Jeter is an iconic Jeter. I expect a health Alex and a Jeter career year next year. Hopefully many Yankee Fans agree.

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WHY ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN

The GM meetings start today. The End.

According to the Cash Man, he doesn't expect anything to get done. I believe that. Luckily for the Yanks and a lot of teams, this is the time when groundwork is laid. The Granderson deal started at the GM meetings. Now, what will happen this year is anyone's guess. For some reason, with Crawford and Werth out there as free agents and the Yankees stating strongly that they don't want either of them to go to the Red Sox, I can't help but wonder if the Yankees, who can't help themselves (and I love this about them), may just make some type of sneak attack to bring one of them in, taking them away from the Evil Sox, and being victorious in the free agent market... because they can. Unfortunately, you know my feelings toward Swish and how it would be a horrible move for morale if Crawford or Werth came to New York and Swish was shipped out. Signing either of those guys means Swish's days in pinstripes are over. That can't happen. It shouldn't happen. Swish is just too popular, has such an enormous presence and needs to stay in New York. Hell, I've said it before and I'll say it again because I'm so impressed; they have a huge Saturday Night Live campaign on Facebook to get Nick Swisher to host the show. Look for We Want Nick Swisher to host SNL. Join the Campaign. If that's not a following, I don't know what. Next will be the Tea Party. Haha.


Anyway, the Cash Man is THAT kind of negotiatior. He can look blankly at reporters and tell them nothing as he chooses his words wisely. Usually, that means something's to happen but you don't know what. You think you know, and then, when it happens, it's bigger than anything you could have imagined. Remember Mark Teixeira? Johnny Damon? Roger Clemens? Huge names, big stage performers.

I also wanted to point out 2 things that will NOT happen for sure.

  1. The Yankees will not sign Zack Grienke. STOP TALKING ABOUT IT. The kid can't handle New York, he's admitted it and the Yankees learned their lesson from other pitchers who complained to the media about New York. Randy Johnson, Javier Vasquez and the like. FORGET IT. The Yankee Fans will go nuts.
  2. And speaking of nuts, is there really any reason to float a piece about the Yankees backup plan to Cliff Lee being Carl Pavano? This is a joke right? It would be ridiculous to think that that waste of space would provide any stability to the Yankees rotation. He's a loser. The only way he comes to New York is if he pays us, what was it? 38 million? Even then the dude would show up with a broken rib and bad knee. Who ever wrote that piece got what they wanted, pissed off Yankee fans like me who thinks that's ridiculous.

Don't expect much the next 3 days, just a lot of talk, a lot of pictures of Cashman on the phone, and a lot of rumors that would never ever happen. God, I love the off season.

Monday, November 15, 2010

WHAT THE BUCK?!

So if Posada is the permanent DH for the New York Yankees, and Jesus Montero is getting a shot as the first string catcher. How's this going to play out?

I've been reading a lot of rumors about Cashman not ruling out getting a vetran catcher in the mix behind the plate to contribute to the team. If the rumors are true, and they usually are, then I like that idea.. But, my suggestion to Cash is this... .make sure whomever it is, they can throw out baserunners.

All of 2010 everyone, including myself, loved Posada's bat but were very critical of his defense. And with good reason, he was exposed. You can see an obvious decline this year in Jorge no doubt and having Francisco Cervelli behind the plate as a backup didn't make anything much better either. Yes, Cervelli has passion, my number 1 attribute in a ballplayer, but he's got to hit. Now that I think about it, I don't think Cervelli had 1 homerun all year. To me, that's a 3rd string catcher. Now, all my "Team Francisco" pals are going to rip me, but come on. I love the guy but we can't wait for him to perform in the majors, that's what the minors are for.

So, what's the solution? First off, you have Jesus Montero, Austin Romine and Cervelli show up in spring training. Fine. Then, you throw a veteran type in the mix and its game on. May the best catcher win. Let's mke this simple people.

But who is that veteran? It's a Chad Moeller type, but is it Chad Moeller? John Buck? Buck is not a Moeller type, he's better. He's consistant, a veteran and a good hitter and defensively he'd be a better choice. He'd also be more expensive. How about 53 year old Gregg Zaun. I joke about his age, but the guy's still got it, don't be fooled. But, back to Buck, If he were the guy, along with a Montero or Romine, I like what I see there. Now, even if Romine kicks ass in Spring Training, your gut has to tell you that Yankee Brass have already made their mind up about Golden Boy Montero and he most definitely will be on the Roster in 2011. The question is; would it be Cervelli as the 3rd string to a veteran (1) and Montero (2). OR is it Montero (1), Buck type (2) or Cervelli 3. A lot of catching questions. One thing is fact though. Posada, a stud and standup guy has his catchng days numbered. Yes, if he needed to fill in, it could happen sure. But, a 39 year old catcher who just had knee surgery... Well, that sounds like the end may be near. Thank god Jorge can still hit, Having him in the DH slot is great. I just hope he finds his rhythm as the DH role fast so there's no drop off from that bat.

So, what would you do? Would you try and sign a veteran at a bargain for 1 year? Someone like John Buck? Would you keep Posada as the head catcher? Use Montero? Romine? Cervelli? Gregg Zaun? Tell me what you think. And look to vote on this page. We'll give the results after Thanksgiving.

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Friday, November 12, 2010

WHY THERE'S A TEXAS TWO STEP

According to KHOU.com, Pettitte and Berkman both talked about their futures:

Pettitte: "The three years were great here, there's no doubt about it. But at this point in my career, it'll be New York or it'll be nowhere for sure. (I) just feel like I've done too many things up there and too many special things up there with that group of guys for too many years, not to finish it up ... up there," he said.

"I'm just going to wait and see what my heart wants me to do. Right now, I can tell you my heart's right here in Deer Park. If something happens and I play one more year that would be it. It would be one more year and that would be it," he said.

That last quote translates to what I said in my post WHY WE NEED PETTITTE from November 11th. Pettitte is waiting. He's enjoying his family and he's waiting to see just IF Cliff Lee comes to the Yankees, if he does, then Pettitte does. That's my prediction.

Berkman spoke out today about his future as well: "Certainly this would have been my first choice to come back here and play for the Astros, but I think the organization wants to go in a different direction, and so, of course, that's gonna force me to go in a different direction," Lance Berkman said. "It'll be interesting to see how it plays out."

CASH'S CORNER: LEE TRACKER

  • 12-13-2010: Darek Braunecker, the agent for Cliff Lee, has been in touch with the Yankees today and said the process is on-going; stay tuned.
  • 11-24-2010: Maybe it didn't happen. I just checked out Bronx Baseball Daily which says that the Yankees never made an offer to Cliff Lee AT ALL? "Two separate major-league officials told the Daily News that such an offer had not been made, with one of the officials adding that the Yankees had not made any official offers to Lee at all." Me personally? I dont believe it, an offer was made, what it is is anybody's guess at this point. But great work BBD.
  • 11-23-2010: Zell 's Pinstripe Blog have this nugget- “Yahoo! Sports, citing an industry source, reports the Yankees have offered free-agent SP Cliff Lee a six-year, $140 million contract but that Lee is holding out for a seventh year. Neither side would confirm the numbers to Yahoo!’s Tim Brown. The $23.3 million average cited in Brown’s report is slightly higher than the $23 million per season that the Yankees gave SP CC Sabathia in the 2008 offseason (in a seven-year agreement), and the $22.9 million that the Mets gave SP Johan Santana in 2008 (in a six-year pact). Many people expect Lee to eventually sign with the Yankees, but the Rangers have signaled they will try to keep Lee and match the Yankees’ offers.”
  • 11-22-2010: According multiple sources, the New York Yankees are offering Lee a deal worth between $115 million and $120 million for five seasons of work. That means he would be making about $23 million or $24 million annually. The Yankees already have a hurler making about $23 million a season in the form of C.C. Sabathia.

  • 11-21-2010: According to MLB Trade Rumors, The Yankees are willing to offer Lee $115 million over 5 years.

  • 11-18-2010: Latest information from the Wall Street Journal and Bronx Baseball Daily. Thanks Guys.

  • 11-16-2010: Latest information from ESPN. Rangers execs visit Lee in Arkansas.

  • 11-12-2010: A different opinion on Cliff Lee brought to you by Yankees Daily.
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CASH'S CORNER: MO

The Yankees are focussing on Derek Jeter and Cliff Lee, but they need to get Mo done too.

Cashman has stated that he met with Mariano's agent last week during a visit to Tampa.

Cashman said: "We happened to be in the same spot at the same time, So it made sense." It was the first meeting between Cash and Mo's agent, Fernando Cuza.

The greatest Yankees closer in history is 40 years old. He turns 41 at the end of November. In 2010, he had a 1.80 ERA. He's still unstoppable.






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CASH'S CORNER: DE LA ROSA


Another update brought to you by the Pinstriped Bible.

This is the latest update on the De La Rosa story brought to you by River Ave Blues.

Cashman's working the phones.... Go Cash Go! The Yanks have interest in Jorge de la Rosa, according to Mark Feinsand and Peter Botte of the New York Daily News. Cashman hasn't confirm it but we all know how Cashman operates. Gotta love Free Agent season.

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WHY TORRE IS A CLASS ACT

Joe Torre is a class act and the people he surrounds himself with are even classier. Last night's Joe Torre Gala is today's talk of the town. The stars were gracious, and the cause was and is courageous. The Safe at Home Foundation and Margaret's Place is headed up by Joe and Ali Torre and is about helping abused children and letting them know that they have someone to talk to. No child, or adult who's abused or has witnessed abuse is not alone. Bravo to the Torre family for such a terrific event.


Derek Jeter was honored last night for being a leader and positive role model for children. Damn, what can I say about this guy, he's the man. Even if you wanted to dislike him, you really can't, his date last night was his grandmother. That alone just got him 1OOO more fans.

Garth Brooks and Bernie Williams performed, Lorraine Bracco, James Lipton, Bobby Valentine, Todd Zeile and Brian Cashman were also there. Cash was literally on his phone all night.

I get it Cash, go get Lee. Lee Mazzilli was there. Love that dude. Suzyn Waldman was there but I never found her. Goodness Gracious . I did see John Sterling and for a brief moment, it was funny, he stood up and looked around and I think right at that instant he had no idea where he was. Then it registered and he walked out of the room briefly.

I met Mariano, Al Leiter, O'Neill, John Franco and Matsui. All standup guys. Godzilla even signed a ball for my kid.

Jeter made a few jokes about his contract and it got huge applause. Matsui suggested Jeet and Mariano and he go to play in Japan because they were all Free Agents. He killed. Funny stuff.

So, why am I telling you this? Because sometimes you just have to sit back and take it all in. I looked around the room and I saw grown men and women standing around tables watching the celebrities eating, me included. It was like being in a zoo. We all waited for the moment when the plate was clean and the pictures could start again and let me say this, it was probably very annoying for them, but all of them, every single celebrity there couldn't have been more patient and gracious to their fans. Classy. I watched Jeter look at Torre at their table trying to talk, but the crush of people was just too great. Occasionally, they would stop, sign a few things, shake a few hands and take a few pictures and the whole time I'm watching in awe thinking "What a balancing act". I was impressed. I AM impressed. I've met Jeter once in my life, Torre 4 times. I find them both to be truly remarkable people. Both have foundations, both give back, both live in a fish bowl but maintain their cool, focus on their life, but balance it with putting a smile on a fan's face once in a while.

Finally, I need to mention this for my Mets friend Dan. I have never been a Mets fan, and over the years, I've managed to like individual players in the Mets organization rather then the club as a whole. If you've ever thought it was impossible to hang out with a celebrity like a "regular" person, you've never hung out with Todd Zeile, Al Leiter and John Franco. Three of the most regular dudes around. I was impressed. Leiter talks to you like the two of you went to high school together. Its kind of comforting.

A salute to the Torre Family. The Safe at Home Foundation is a terrific charity. Bravo to you Joe and Ali. Well done.

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