Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Why Not Call Yankees' Bluff? by Jim Henneman

Why Not Call Yankees' Bluff?
By Jim Henneman

Under normal circumstances, I would have to describe myself as believing if you have to clarify something, chances are pretty good it shouldn't have been said in the first place. Kind of like having to explain a bad joke, you understand? However, since talking about the Orioles and their relevance in the American League's Eastern Division doesn't involve normal circumstances these days, I'd like to clarify a stance taken in this space last week.
I don't think the Orioles have a reasonable chance of signing Derek Jeter. Like every other observer out there offering his two cents, I do not think there's more than a remote chance the future Hall of Fame shortstop won't find a way to kiss and make up with the Yankees. But please note the choice of the words -- "reasonable" and "remote." And don't underestimate the magnitude of the little flap between the perennial champions in waiting and their resident icon.

If you think for a New York minute an outside offer wouldn't juice up this negotiation, you're buying the same party line the Yankees are selling to everybody who would listen: Jeter needs the Yankees more than they need him. That he's not worth as much to any other team. To prove the Yankees' point, general manager Brian Cashman invited Jeter through his agent Casey Close to test the market.
For the life of me, I don't understand why somebody in the marketplace wouldn't call Cashman's bluff.  And, for the sake of relevance, I don't understand why that somebody wouldn't be the Orioles. Forget the money for a minute and ask this question: Who would you rather have at shortstop the next few years, Jeter or a Cesar Izturis clone? Then, ask this question: Would the Yankees be better with or without Jeter at shortstop? Who would you rather have as the face of the franchise -- Jeter or Alex Rodriguez? Case closed.
Look, let's not kid ourselves here, until they offer more than a hint of hope, the Orioles are going to have to overpay to get an "impact" player to join the ranks. That's why they lost Victor Martinez to the Tigers, not the $2 million difference over four years. So, if you're going to overpay somebody, why not at least give Jeter and his agent something to think about?
If it really is the almighty dollar that speaks the loudest, why not find out? It's not like the Orioles haven't overpaid in the past. Kevin Millwood was deemed worthy of a one-year, $12 million risk and the trade of a useful commodity in reliever Chris Ray.
A trade for Tampa Bay's Jason Bartlett may prove to be the best option for the Orioles at shortstop for the next couple of years as they wait for Manny Machado. But would it hurt to stick their toes in the waters with Jeter and make the Yankees squirm in the process? What's the worst thing that could happen? You would have a "declining" All-Star who would not only improve the lineup but also tutor someone expected to be a franchise cornerstone. And who's to say it wouldn't be worth the gamble? Peter Angelos might have to increase the payroll more than planned, but what about the bottom line?
I'm not sure how many extra people Jeter would put in the park, but I'm sure he'd spike season ticket sales. I'm guessing he'd boost the attendance by at least 250,000, maybe more over the course of one year, which is enough to cover a substantial part of the contract.
I don't expect Jeter to jump at the first offer, but if the Orioles are going to continue to get turned down, they might as well put a legitimate offer out there and get turned down by a future Hall of Famer. Martinez would have helped the O's offense, but his addition would have done little to stir the imagination of the fan base.
One thing you can be sure of, the longer this Jeter mess festers with the Yankees, the tougher it's going to get. And if it persists, it will get to the point where both sides could be irreparably damaged. The amazing thing about this is Jeter's image is already taking a big hit in New York where his star shines brightest. The Yankees let it be known early they expected negotiations to get "messy" and it's amazing how soon after Jeter's squeaky-clean reputation started to take a beating. Even in the New York media, where he has previously been afforded Teflon coverage, his popularity rating has plummeted. He's suddenly being portrayed as a selfish, overpaid athlete with a huge ego. Just imagine, all these years we hardly ever knew you, Derek.
One thing should be noted. While he has been taking shots from the left and right, Jeter himself has not uttered one word publicly. That's what agents are for, and in that regard, Casey Close is doing his job. At least up to this point, Jeter will have no apologies to make when he finally gets a contract done. He has handled himself with the class he's always been credited for, at least until now.
For years, the Yankees have made a practice of overpaying by simply outbidding everybody, sometimes even themselves. Finally, the other 29 teams are at an advantage here. For once they have the opportunity to force the Yankees to do something they have done routinely over the years. If ever there was a win-win situation in head-to-head competition with the Yankees, it's now.
It's a chance, even if only briefly, for the Orioles to be relevant in the AL East. When is the last time anybody said that?
Jim Henneman can be reached at JimH@pressboxonline.com
Posted Nov. 29, 2010 

Access the full article at: http://www.pressboxonline.com/story.cfm?id=7020

Monday, November 29, 2010

BBWAA announces 2011 Hall of Fame ballot; voting results revealed Jan. 5

BBWAA announces 2011 Hall of Fame ballot; voting results revealed Jan. 5

November 29, 2010
Visit the BBWAA web site for the official press release

The Baseball Writers' Association of America Hall of Fame ballot features 33 players, including 14 holdovers from previous elections and 19 newcomers.
Any candidate receiving votes on 75 percent of the ballots will earn election to the Hall of Fame. Candidates will be enshrined on Induction Weekend July 22-25 in Cooperstown.
Results of the vote will be announced Jan. 5. Eligible voters are members of the BBWAA with at least 10 years of service and who remain in good standing.
Candidates who receive between 5 and 74.9 percent of the vote will return to the BBWAA ballot in 2012 unless they have exhausted their 15-year eligibility window. Candidates who receive fewer than 5 percent of the vote will be no longer eligible for BBWAA Hall of Fame elections.
Bert Blyleven and Roberto Alomar each garnered more than 70 percent of the vote in the 2010 election. Click here for complete results of the 2010 BBWAA election.
The complete ballot includes: Roberto Alomar, Carlos Baerga, Jeff Bagwell, Harold Baines, Bert Blyleven, Bret Boone, Kevin Brown, John Franco, Juan Gonzalez, Marquis Grissom, Lenny Harris, Bobby Higginson, Charles Johnson, Barry Larkin, Al Leiter, Edgar Martinez, Tino Martinez, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Raul Mondesi, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, John Olerud, Rafael Palmeiro, Dave Parker, Tim Raines, Kirk Rueter, Benito Santiago, Lee Smith, B.J. Surhoff, Alan Trammell and Larry Walker.
The following are bios of each candidate:

ROBERTO ALOMAR: 2nd year on the ballot...Played 17 seasons for Padres, Blue Jays, Orioles, Indians, Mets, White Sox and Diamondbacks...12-time All-Star consecutively (1990-2001)...Won 10 AL Gold Glove Awards at second base from 1991-1996, 1998-2001 with a career fielding percentage of .984...Won four Silver Slugger Awards (1992, 1996, 1999,2000) and finished in the top 10 for MVP voting in five seasons (1991, 6th;1992, 6th; 1993, 6th; 1999, 3rd; 2001, 4th)...Named 1992 ALCS MVP and 1998 All-Star Game MVP...Led the league in runs scored in 1999 and was among the top 10 AL leaders in stolen bases six times and the NL once...Had at least 40 doubles in four seasons...Scored over 100 runs in sixseasons and had 100-RBI seasons twice...Hit. .300 or better in nine seasons and finished with a career batting average of .300...Ranks 48th all-time in doubles with 504, 42nd in stolen bases with 474 and 55th in hits with 2,724...Hit .313 with 33 RBI and 16 doubles in 11 postseason series...Four AL Division Series (1996-97, '99, 2001); batted .284 with 12 RBI in67 at-bats...Five AL Championship Series (1991-93, '96-97); batted .316 with 15RBI in 114 at-bats...Won two World Series with the Blue Jays, hitting .208 (5-for-24) with three stolen bases in six games 1992 and .480 (12-for-25) with six RBI in six games in 1993.
CARLOS BAERGA:1st year on ballot...Played 14 seasons for Indians, Mets, Padres, Diamondbacks, Red Sox and Nationals...Three-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger Award winner at second base...Finished 11th in American League Most Valuable Player voting in 1992 and 10th in 1993 AL MVP voting...In 1992 and 1993, had at least 200 hits, 20 homers, 100 RBI and a .300 average – becoming the first second baseman since Rogers Hornsby in 1922 to have back-to-back seasons with those statistics...Four seasons with a batting average of at least .300... Had eight seasons with at least 50 RBI...Led AL second baseman in assists and putouts in both 1992 and 1993 and led the AL in assists at 2B in 1995...In three postseason series (all in 1995), hit .292 with 19 hits, six runs, one home run and nine RBI...Played in 1995 World Series with Indians, helping Cleveland reach the World Series for the first time in 41 seasons with a .314 batting average and 90 RBI during regular season.

JEFF BAGWELL: 1st year on ballot...Played 15 seasons, all for the Astros...Four-time All-Star (1994, 1996-97,1999) and three-time Silver Slugger Award winner (1994, 1997, 1999) at first base...Won 1991 National League Rookie of the Year Award...Unanimous winner of 1994 NL Most Valuable Player Award...Won 1994 Gold Glove Award at first base...Finished in Top 10 of NL MVP voting five other times: 1996 (9th), 1997 (3rd),1999 (2nd), 2000 (7th) and 2001 (7th)...Led NL in runs scored three times (1994, 1999-2000), doubles once (1996), RBI once(1994) and walks once (1999)...Led NL in games played four times (1992, 1996-97,1999)...Ranks 35th in career slugging percentage (.540), 40th in career on-base percentage (.408), 60th in runs scored (1,517), 65th in total bases (4,213), 34th in home runs (449, also an Astros record), 27th in walks (1,401) and 45th in RBI (1,529)...Scored 100-or-more runs in eight of nine seasons from 1996-2004 and drove in 100-or-more runs seven times in that span...Hit better than .300 in six seasons (1993-.320; 1994-.368; 1996-.315; 1998-.304; 1999-.304; 2000-.310)...Batted .226 in nine postseason series, with two home runs, 13 RBI and 19 walks...Played in NLCS in 2004 and 2005...Member of Astros' 2005 NL pennant-winning team.

HAROLD BAINES:5th year onthe ballot...Played 22 seasons for five American League teams (White Sox, Rangers, A's, Orioles and Indians), including 3 stints with Chicago White Sox totaling all or parts of 14 seasons...Six-time All-Star (1985-87, 1989, 1991,1999)...Finished in the top 10 in AL MVP voting in 1983 (10th) and 1985 (9th)...Led AL in slugging in 1984 (.541)...Three 100-RBI seasons (1982, 1985, 1999)...Eight seasons of hitting .300 or better, three times finishing in the top 10 in average (1984, .304, 10th; 1985, .309, 6th;1989, .309, 8th)...Won Silver Slugger Award in 1989 at DH...Ranks 19th all-time in games played with 2,830; of those, 1,644 games played at DH...Appeared in 1,061 games in the outfield...Ranks 42nd all-time in hits with 2,866...Ranks 35th all-time in total bases with 4,604...Ranks 29th all-time in RBI with 1,628...3rd most RBI as DH in history...Eleven seasons with 20+ homeruns...Hit .324 (33-102) in 31 career postseason games, spanning eight series,with 5 home runs and 16 RBI...In one World Series (1990), hit .143 (1-for-7) with a home run and 2 RBI.

BERT BLYLEVEN: 14th year on the ballot... Pitched 22 seasons with the Twins, Rangers, Pirates, Indians and Angels...Ranks 5th all-time instrikeouts, 10th in starts, 9th in shutouts, 26thin wins, and 14th in innings pitched... Led AL in shutouts three times (1973, '85, '89), innings twice (1985, '86), complete games once (1985), and strikeouts once (1985)...Tabbed by The Sporting News as AL Rookie Pitcher of the Year (1970) and Comeback Player of the Year (1989)...One 20-win season (1973) and eight 200-plus strikeout seasons... Received AL Cy Young votes in 1973 (T-7th), '84 (3rd), '85 (T-3rd), and '89 (4th)...Had 16 seasons with 200-plus innings pitched, including 10 in a row, and six in a row with 275-plus innings pitched...Two All-Star teams (1973, '85)...Pitched a 6-0 no-hitter against the California Angels on Sept. 22, 1977... Shares AL single-game record for longest one-hit complete game – 10 innings (June 21, 1976)...Three League Championship Series (1970, '79, '87); owns a 3-0 record with a 2.59 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 24 1/3 LCS innings...Two World Series (1979, '87); owns a 2-1 record with a 2.35 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 23 WS innings... Member of two WS championship teams (1979 and '87).

BRET BOONE: 1st year on ballot...Played 14 seasons with Mariners, Reds, Braves, Padres and Twins...Named to three All-Star teams (1998, 2001, 2003), won two Silver Slugger Awards at second base (2001, 2003) and was a four-time Gold Glove Award winner (1998, 2002-04)...Led American League with 141 RBI in 2001, his first of three straight seasons with 100-or-more RBI...Scored at least 100 runs in three seasons (1999, 2001, 2003)...Finished third in AL Most Valuable Player voting in 2001 after hitting .331 with 37 homers, 206 hits and 118 runs scored...Garnered MVP votes in three seasons: 1994 (21st), 2001 (3rd), 2003 (10th)...Hit 20-or-more home runs in six seasons and reached double figures in home runs in 11 seasons...Led NL in putouts in 1995 with 311and led National League in fielding percentage for second basemen three straight seasons (1995-97)...Career fielding percentage at second base of .986 ranks 25th all-time...Hit .288 in seven postseason series, including 14 runs, three homers and 12 RBI...Played in 1995 NLCS with Reds, 1999 NLCS with Braves and 2001 ALCS with Mariners...Hit .538 with four doubles in Braves' 1999 World Series loss to Yankees.

KEVIN BROWN: 1st year on ballot...Played 19 seasons with Rangers, Orioles, Marlins, Padres, Dodgers and Yankees...Named to six All-Star teams (1992, 1996-98, 2000, 2003) and finished in top six in Cy Young Award voting five times: 1992 (6th), 1996 (2nd), 1998 (3rd), 1999 (6th) and 2000 (6th) ...Finished sixth in American League Rookie of the Year voting with Rangers in 1989...Led AL in wins 1999 and innings pitched with Rangers in 1992 with 21 and 265.2, respectively...Led National League in earned-run average (1.89) and shutouts (3) in 1996 with Marlins and led NL in ERA (2.58) in 2000 with Dodgers...Received National League Most Valuable Player votes in both 1996 with Marlins (22nd) and 1998 with Padres (16th)...Recorded double-digit wins and less than 10 losses every year from 1997-2001, and never posted an earned-run average over 3.00 during that span...Named 1998 Sporting News NL Pitcher of the Year andled Padres to the NL pennant with an 18-7 record and 2.38 ERA...Appeared in 14 postseason games, going 5-5 with a 4.19 ERA...In 1997, helped the Marlins win theWorld Series with a 2-2 record in five postseason starts...Also pitched in World Series in 1998 with Padres...Appeared in NLCS in 1997-98 and ALCS in 2004...Threw no-hitter on June 10, 1997, for Marlins against Giants.

JOHN FRANCO: 1st year on the ballot...Pitched 21 seasons with Reds, Mets and Astros...Active major league leader in career saves from1998-2004...Named to four All-Star teams (1986-87, 1989-90)...Finished seventh in National League Cy Young Award voting in 1994...Saved 424 career games, most ever by aleft-hander and fourth-most all-time...Led NL in saves three times (1988, 1990,1994)...Saved 28-or-more games in 11 seasons...One of only five pitchers with at least 400 saves...Led NL in games finished in 1987 (60) and 1988 (61) and ranks fourth all-time in that category with 774...Ranks third on all-time list with 1,119 games pitched, all coming in relief...Won NL Rolaids Relief Man Award in1988 and 1990...Won Lou Gehrig Memorial Award in 2001...Appeared in 15 postseason games, going 2-0 with one save and a 1.88 ERA...In only World Series appearance in 2000 with Mets, was 1-0 in four games and did not allow an earned run...Pitched in 1999 and 2000 NLCS with Mets.

JUAN GONZALEZ: 1st year on the ballot...Played 17 seasons with Rangers, Tigers, Indians and Royals...Two-time American League Most ValuablePlayer Award winner: 1996 and 1998...Finished in Top 10 of AL MVP voting in thre eother seasons: 1993 (4th), 1997 (9th) and 2001 (5th)...Named to three All-Star teams (1993, 1998, 2001)...Won six Silver Slugger Awards as an outfielder (1992-93, 1996-98, 2001)... Ranks 16th all-time with an average of 15.1 at-bats per home run...His 434 career home runs rank 39th on all-time list...Drove in at least 100 runs in eight seasons, averaging 114 RBI per season in his first 11 big league seasons...Hit 42-or-more homers in five seasons, including AL-bests 43 in 1992 and 46 in 1993...Led AL with 157 RBI in 1998, a year when he had 101 RBI at the All-Star break...Also led AL with 50 doubles in 1998...Hit .300-or-better in 1993 (.310), 1996 (.314), 1998 (.318), 1999 (.326) and 2001 (.325)... Led AL in slugging percentage in 1993 (.632) and ranks No.18 all-time in that category (.561)... Batted .290 in four postseason series with 11 runs scored, four doubles, eight home runs and 15 RBI in 15 games...In 1996 ALDS against Yankees, hit .438 with five homers and nine RBI...One of only four players to hit five home runs in a single postseason series.

MARQUIS GRISSOM: 1st year on the ballot...Played 17 seasonswith Expos, Braves, Indians, Brewers, Dodgers and Giants...Two-time All-Star (1993-94) and four-time Gold Glove Award winner in center field (1993-96)...Finished seventh in 1990 National League Rookie of the Year Award voting... Finished ninth in NL Most Valuable Player voting in 1992 and eighth in 1993...Two seasons with at least 20 homers and 20 stolen bases (1996 and 1999)... One of only seven big leaguers with at least 2,000 career hits, 200 career homeruns and 400 career stolen bases...His 429 career stolen bases rank 55th all-time...Hit .300-or-better in 1996 (.308) and 2003 (.300)... Led NL in stolen bases in 1991 (76) and 1992 (78)...Hit .317 in 10 career postseason series over four seasons, including three separate series with 10-or-more hits...Played in three straight World Series (1995-97) with Braves and Indians, hitting .390 with 12 runs scored and eight RBI...His .390 career World Series batting average ranks fourth-best all-time among World Series players with at least 50 career at-bats...Member of 1995 World Champion Atlanta Braves.

LENNY HARRIS: 1st year on the ballot...Played 18 seasons with Reds, Dodgers, Mets, Rockies, Diamondbacks, Brewers, Cubs and Marlins...Totaled 212 career pinch-hits, the all-time leader...Has more pinch-hit at-bats (804) than any player in history...Totaled 1,055 career hits, with more than 20 percent of his career hits coming as a pinch-hitter...Averaged 139 games a year from 1990-92, mostly at third base for the Dodgers...Hit .269 for career,including six seasons over .300...Appeared in seven postseason series, with three hits in 15 at-bats...Played in 1995 NLCS with Reds, 2000 NLCS and World Series with Mets and 2003 NLCS with Marlins.

BOBBY HIGGINSON: 1st year on the ballot...Played 11 seasons, all with Tigers...Hit 25-or-more home runs in four seasons, including a career high of 30 in 2000...Drove in 100-or-more runs in two seasons (1997 and 2000)...Hit.300-or-better twice (1996 and 2000)...Led American League left fielders in outfield assists four times (1997, 2000-02) and putouts twice (2000-01)...Led all AL right fielders in assists twice (1998 and 2004).

CHARLES JOHNSON: 1st year on the ballot...Played 12 seasons with Marlins, Dodgers, Orioles, White Sox, Rockies and Rays...Won four straight Gold Glove Awards as catcher from 1995-98...Finished tied for seventh in 1995 National League Rookie of the Year voting...Named to two All-Star teams (1997 and 2001)...Finished 11th in 1997 NL Most Valuable Player Award voting...Tied for NL lead in assists for catchers (63) in his rookie season of 1995 and finished in Top 5 of catcher's assists five other seasons...Led NL with 56 runners caught stealing in 1997 and finished in top five in his league in that category six other times: 1995 (2nd), 1996 (2nd),1998 (3rd), 1999 (5th), 2001 (5th), 2003 (5th)...Led NL in fielding percentage for catchers in 1996 and 1997, going the entire 1997 season without an error...Reached double-figures in home runs in nine seasons, including a career-high 31 in 2000...Drove in at least 50 runs in six seasons...Hit.274 in four postseason series, including a .357 average with four runs scored and three RBI in the 1997 World Series with the World Champion Marlins.

BARRY LARKIN: 2nd year on the ballot...Played 19 seasons, all of them with Cincinnati...A 12-time All-Star (1988-1991, 1993-1997,1999-2000, 2004)...Named NL MVP in 1995...Won three consecutive Gold Glove Awards (1994-96) and nine Silver Slugger Awards (1988-1992, 1995-1996, 1998-1999) at shortstop...Cracked the top 25 in the NL MVP voting in six seasons (1990-7th; 1991-17th; 1992-12th; 1995-1st; 1996-12th; 1999-22nd)...Named captain of the Reds before the 1997 season...Became the first shortstop to join the 30-30 club when he hit 33 homers and stole 36 bases in 1996...In 1991, became the first shortstop to ever hit five home runs in two consecutive games...Won the 1993 Roberto Clemente Award...Won the 1994 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award...Scored 80-plus runs in a season seven times...Had at least 30 doubles in six seasons....Stole 30 or more bases in a season five times...Batted.353 in the 1990 World Series to help the Reds to a four-game sweep of the Athletics...Career .975 fielding percentage at shortstop...Hit .300 or better in nine of his 19 seasons...Had more career walks (939) than strikeouts (817)...In 17 postseason games (1990 NLCS and WS, 1995 NLDS and NLCS) batted .338 (24-for-71) with 11 runs scored and eight stolen bases.

AL LEITER: 1st year on the ballot...Pitched 19 seasons for Yankees, Blue Jays, Marlins and Mets...Named to two All-Star teams (1996 and2000) and finished in Top 10 of National League Cy Young Award voting twice:1996 (9th), 1998 (6th)...Won at least 10 games for 10 straight seasons (1995-2004), averaging better than 13 wins a season during that stretch...Led NL with a mark of 6.395 hits per nine innings in 1996...Struckout exactly 200 hitters in both 1996 and 2000...Won 1999 Branch Rickey Award and 2000 MLB Roberto Clemente Award...Appeared in 21 career postseason games in 11 series, compiling 2-3 record with 4.63 earned-runaverage...Picked up win in relief in Game 1 of 1993 World Series for Blue Jays enroute to helping Jays win Fall Classic...Started two games in 1997 World Series for Marlins, receiving no-decisions in two Florida wins in the Marlins' 4-games-to-3 victory...Went 0-1 with 2.87 ERA in two starts in 2000 World Series for Mets, striking out 16 batters in 15.2 innings...Pitched in 1993 ALCS with Blue Jays, 1997 NLCS with Marlins and 1999-2000 NLCS with Mets...Member of 1993 and 1997 World Series winning teams and 2000 NL pennant-winning team...Threw no-hitter for Marlins against Rockies on May 11, 1996.

EDGAR MARTINEZ: 2nd year on the ballot...Played 18 seasons,all with the Mariners...Was named to seven All-Star Games (1992, 1995-1997,2000-2001, 2003)...Won five Silver Slugger Awards (1992, 1995, 1997, 2001,2003)...Ranked 3rd in MVP voting in 1995 and 6th in 2000...Won AL batting titles in 1992 (.343) and 1995 (.356)...Led the league in OBP three times (1995-.479, 1998-.429, 1999-.447) and finished in the top five in 10 different years...Led the AL in games played (145) and runs scored (121) in 1995...Led the league in doubles in 1992 (46) and 1995 (52) and RBI in 2000 (145)...One of only eight players in history with 300 homers, 500 doubles, a career batting average higher than .300, a career OBP higher than .400 and a career slugging percentage higher than .500...Became only the fifth player in the20th century to hit 50 doubles in two consecutive seasons...Ranks as the Mariners all-time leader in hits (2,247), doubles (514), walks (1,283), RBI (1,261) and games played (2,055)... Signature postseason performance came in the1995 ALDS against New York where he hit .571 (12-for-21) and was on base 18 times in 5 games and set the record for single-game postseason RBI with seven...In 34 career postseason games (1995 ALDS and ALCS; 1997 ALDS; 2000 ALDS and ALCS and 2001 ALDS and ALCS) hit .266 (34-for-128) with eight homers and 24 RBI...Won the Roberto Clemente Award in 2004, the same year that MLB renamed the Outstanding Designated Hitter Award in his honor.

TINO MARTINEZ: 1st year on the ballot...Played 16 seasons for Mariners, Yankees, Cardinals and Devil Rays...Named to two All-Star teams (1995 and 1997), finished in Top 12 of American League Most Valuable Player Award voting twice: 1997 (2nd) and 2001 (12th)...Won Silver Slugger Award for first basemen in 1997...Averaged better than 114 RBI per season from 1995-2001...In 1997, posted career highs of 44 homers and 141 RBI to lead the Yankees to the postseason... Led American League in assists at first base in 1999 with 106 and led National League in fielding percentage for first basemen with .997 in 2003...Reached postseason every year from 1995-2002 and in 2005...His teams advanced to the postseason in nine of his 16 big league seasons...In the postseason, batted .233 with 44 runs scored, nine home runs and 38 RBI in 21series...Member of Yankees World Series-winning teams in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000.

DON MATTINGLY: 11th year on the ballot... Played 14 seasons, all with the New York Yankees... Won 1985 AL MVP Award... Also finished in top 10 of AL MVP voting in 1984 (5th), '86 (2nd) and '87 (7th)...Won AL Gold Glove Award nine times (1985-'89, '91-'94)... Named AL Player of the Year by The Sporting News three times, consecutively (1984-'86)...Named ML Player of the Year by The Sporting News (1985)...Six All-Star teams, consecutively (1984-'89)...Seven seasons with .300-plus batting average...20-plus HR five times, 30-plus HR three times, 30-plus doubles nine times, 40-plus doubles four times, 100-plus RBI five times and 100-plus runs twice...Led AL in batting (.343, 1984), RBI (145, 1985), doubles three times (1984-'86), hits twice (1984, '86), and slugging percentage (.573, 1986)...Led AL in total bases twice (1985-'86)...Led AL in sacrifice flies (15,1985)...Holds ML records for most HR in seven consecutive games (9) and eight consecutive games (10) with a home run in each game...Shares ML record with a HR in eight consecutive games...Shares ML single-season record for most grand slams (6) in 1987...Shares ML single-game record for most sacrifice flies (3)...Ranks 8th all-time in fielding percentage among first basemen (.9958) ...Led AL 1B in fielding percentage seven times (1984-'87, '92-'94), in putouts and total chances (1986) and in double plays (1985, '91)...Shares ML record for most putouts and total chances by a 1B in a nine-inning game (22)...One AL Division Series (1995); batted .417 with six RBI, four doubles, and one HR in 24 ALDS at-bats.

FRED McGRIFF: 2nd year on the ballot...Played 19 seasons with the Blue Jays, Padres, Braves, Devil Rays, Cubs and Dodgers...A five-time All-Star (1992, 1994-1996, 2000)...Won three Silver Slugger Awards (1989,1992-1993) and finished in the top 10 of MVP voting six times (6thin 1989, 10th in 1990, 10th in 1991, 6th in1992, 4th in 1993, 8th in 1994)...Tied for the league lead in games played in 1995 with 144 and paced the league in homers in 1989 (36)and 1992 (35)...Hit 30 or more home runs in seven straight seasons from 1988-1994 and three more times in 1999, 2001, 2002...Hit .300-or-better in 1990 (.300),1994 (.318), 1999 (.310) and 2001 (.306)...Won the All-Star MVP Award in 1994...Wona World Series with the 1995 Atlanta Braves (.261 average, with five runsscored and three RBI) and a career .303 postseason batting average in 50 games (57-for-188) with 10 homers and 37 RBI in 10 series (1989 ALCS; 1993 NLCS; 1995 NLDS, NLCS and WS; 1996 NLDS, NLCS and WS, 1997 NLDS and NLCS) ...Had a .992 fielding percentage at first base...Ranks tied for 26th all-time in home runs (493), 41st in RBI (1,550), 41st in walks (1,305), 45th in total bases (4,458), 43rd in extra basehits (958) and 27th in intentional walks (171).

MARKMcGWIRE: 5th year on the ballot...Played 16 seasons, 11.5 with Oakland and 4.5 with Cardinals...Twelve-time All-Star selection...Five times among Top-10 in MVP, including runner-up in 1998, 4th in 1992 and 5th in 1999...Unanimous AL Rookie of the Year in 1987...Gold Glove Award winner in 1990...Three-time Silver Slugger Award winner (1992, 1996,1998)...Ranks 10th on the all-time home run list with 583...All-timeleader in at-bats per home run (10.6)...Led league in home runs four times (1987,1996, 1998, 1999), including then-major league record 70 HR in 1998...Followed that with a 65-home run season in 1999...Ranks 8th all-time with a.588 slugging percentage...Four times led league in slugging percentage...Also led league in on-base percentage in 1996 and 1998...Led NL in RBI in 1999...Led leaguein walks twice (1990, 1998)... Three times among top five in total bases (1987,1998, 1999)...A career .993 fielder...Hit .217 (28-129) in 42 career postseasongames, with five home runs and 14 RBI...Appeared in three World Series, winning in 1989 with Oakland...Hit .188 (9-48) with a home run and two RBI in 13 careerWS games.

RAUL MONDESI: 1st year on the ballot...Played 13 seasons for Dodgers, Blue Jays, Yankees, Diamondbacks, Pirates, Angels and Braves...Unanimous 1994 National League Rookie of the Year winner...Named to 1995 All-Star team and won Gold Glove Award for his play in right field that season...In 1997, finished 15th in NL Most Valuable Player Award voting and won another Gold Glove Award...Posted 30-homer/30-steal seasons in 1997 (30 HR, 32 SB) and 1999 (33 HR, 36 SB), becoming the first Dodgers playerto reach that milestone...One of only 10 players with multiple 30 homer/30 stealseasons...Hit .300-or-better in 1994 (.306) and 1997 (.310)...From 1995 through 2002 with the Dodgers, Blue Jays and Yankees, averaged 28 homers, 86 RBI and 24 stolen bases per season...Led NL right fielders in assists in 1994 (16) and 1995 (13) and AL right fielders in assists in 2001 (19)...Led NL right fielders in putouts in 1996 (338) and 1997 (338)...Played in three postseason series, batting.219 with three RBI.

JACK MORRIS: 12th year on theballot... Pitched 18 seasons, 14 with Detroit and four others with Twins, Blue Jays and Indians...Three 20-win seasons, 11 seasons with 200-plus innings and three 200-strikeout campaigns...Received Cy Young Award votes seven times: 1981(3rd), '83 (3rd), '84 (T7th), '86 (5th), '87 (9th), '91(4th) and '92 (5th)...Made 14 Opening Day starts, tied with Steve Carlton, Randy Johnson, Walter Johnson and Cy Young for second-most ever, two behind Tom Seaver (16)...Named AL Pitcher of the Year by The Sporting News (1981)...Named to fiveAll-Star teams (1981, '84, '85, '87, '91); started games in 1981, '85 and '91; owns a 2.53 ERA with eight strikeouts in 10 2/3 ASG innings...Named WS MVP in 1991 with Twins with a 2-0 record, 1.17 ERA, and a 10-inning, 1-0 victory inGame Seven...Ranks 31st all-time in strikeouts and tied for 41st in wins...Tossed a 4-0 no-hitter vs. the Chicago White Sox on April 7, 1984...Led all ML pitchers in the 1980s with 162 wins, 133 complete games, 332 starts and 2,443.2 innings...Held AL record formost consecutive starting assignments (515) before broken by Roger Clemens in 2001...Topped AL in strikeouts (232) and innings (293 2/3) in 1983, and shutouts (6) in 1986...Tied for the AL lead in wins twice (1981, '92), starts twice (1990,'91) and complete games once (1990)... Holds AL career record for most putouts by a pitcher (387)... Four AL Championship Series (1984, '87, '91, '92);owns a 3-2 record with a 4.87 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 40 2/3 ALCS innings...Three World Series (1984, '91, '92); owns a record of 4-2 with a 2.96 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 51 2/3 WS innings...Member of three WS champion teams(1984, '91, '92).

DALE MURPHY: 13th year on the ballot...Played 18 seasons, 15 with the Braves...Won back-to-back NL MVP awards in 1982-83...Also finished in the top 10 of MVP voting in 1984 (9th) and '85 (7th)...Twice named The Sporting News' NL Player of the Year in 1982-'83...Seven All-Star teams (1980, '82-'87)...Won five Gold Gloves, consecutively (1982-'86)...Three .300-plus seasons...Hit 20-plus HR 12 times, 30-plus HR six times, 40-plus HR once, 100-plus RBI five times, 100-plus runs scored four times, and 30-plus doubles four times...Ranks 50th on the all-time HR list...Hit three HR in one game on May 18, 1979...Led the NL in games four times, consecutively (1982-'85), slugging percentage twice (1983, '84), HR (1985), RBI (1983), runs (1985), total bases ('84) and walks ('85)...Also tied for HR lead (1984) and RBI lead (1982)...In the 1980s, batted .273 and averaged nearly 31 HR and 93 RBI each season...From 1982 through '85, hit .293 and averaged 162 games, 36 HR and 110 RBI...Shares ML record for most seasons leading the league in games played by an outfielder (6)...One NL Championship Series (1982); batted .273 in 11 NLCS at-bats.

JOHN OLERUD: 1st year on the ballot...Played 17 seasons with Blue Jays, Mets, Mariners, Yankees and Red Sox...Finished fourth in AmericanLeague Rookie of the Year Award voting in 1990 after going directly from the campus of Washington State University to the major leagues in 1989...In 1993, finished with an AL-best .363 average, 24 homers and 107 RBI, leading the AL with 54 doubles and a .473 on-base percentage...Won three Gold Glove Awards at first base (2000, 2002-03)...Hit .300 or better four times (1993, .363; 1998,.354; 2001, .302; and 2002, .300)...Two-time All-Star (1993 and 2001)...Twice received MVP Votes (1993, 3rd; 1998, 12th)...Ranks 13th all-time among first basemen with a .995 field percentage (82 e/17665 tc)...Won 1993 MLB Hutch Award...In 14 postseason series, hit .278 with 35 runs scored, nine home runs and 34 RBI...Played in 1991-93 ALCS with Blue Jays, 2000-01 ALCS with Mariners and 2004 ALCS with Yankees...Played in 1999 NLCS with Mets...Member of 1992 and 1993 Blue Jays World Series teams.

RAFAEL PALMEIRO: 1st year on the ballot...Played 20 seasons with Cubs, Rangers and Orioles...Named to four All-Star teams (1988, 1991,1998-99)...Won two Silver Slugger Awards (1998-99) and three Gold Glove Awards (1997-99) at first base...Named 1999 Major League Player of the Year by Sporting News...One of only four players with at least 3,000 career hits and 500 career home runs... Ranks 10th all-time in total bases (5,388), 12th in home runs (569), 15th in RBI (1,835), 15th in at-bats (10,472), 16th in double s(585), 18th in games played (2,831), 24th in hits (3,020), 30th in runs scored (1,663) and 31st in walks (1,353)...Totaled six seasons with a batting average of at least .300: 1988(.307), 1990 (.319), 1991 (.322), 1994 (.319), 1995 (.310) and 1999 (.324)...From 1995-2003, hit at least 38 home runs and drove in at least 104 runs, averaging 41 home runs, 120 RBI and 156 games played per season in that span...Received Most Valuable Player Award votes in 10 seasons, finishing in Top 10 three times: 1993 (8th), 1996 (6th) and 1999 (5th)...Led American League in hits in 1990 with 191...Led AL in doubles with 49 in 1991,with a career-high 203 hits...Led AL in runs scored with 124 in 1993, the firstof four times he surpassed the 100-run mark in one season...In five postseasonseries, hit .244 with 13 runs scored, four home runs and eight RBI...Played in 1996 and 1997 ALCS with Orioles.

DAVE PARKER: 15th year on the ballot...Played 19 seasons with Pirates, Reds, A's, Angels, Blue Jays and Brewers...Named NL MVP by BBWAA and The Sporting News Player of the Year in 1978...Finished in top 10 MVP voting five other times: 1975 (3rd), '77(3rd), '79 (10th), '85 (2nd) and '86 (5th)...Won three Gold Gloves, consecutively (1977-'79)...Elected to seven All-Star teams (1977, '79-'81, '85-86, '90); batted .267 with two RBI and one HR in 15 ASG at-bats...Named 1979 ASG MVP...Six .300-plus seasons, including five consecutive (1975-'79)...Won consecutive NL batting titles in 1977 (.338) and '78 (.334)...Four 100-RBI seasons (led NL in 1985 with 125), three 100-run seasons (consecutivelyfrom 1977-'79), nine 20-plus HR seasons, three 30-plus HR seasons, eight seasons of 30-plus doubles, and three seasons of 40-plus doubles (led NL in1977 and '85)...Ranks 47th all-time in total bases (4,405), 35th in doubles, 51st in RBI, 49th in extra base hits (940) and 59th in hits...Led the NL in slugging percentage in 1975 (.541)and '78 (.585)...Topped NL in total bases in 1978 (340), '85 (350) and '86 (304)...Led NL in intentional walks in 1978 (23) and tied for intentional walks in '85 (24)...Led AL in sacrifice flies in 1990 (14) and tied for NL lead in 1979(9)...Tied for NL lead with 16 game-winning RBI in 1987... Led NL outfielders inputouts (389), assists (26), total chances (430) and double plays (9) in 1977...Five League Championship Series (1974, '75, '79, '88, '89); batted .190 with five RBI, two HR, and seven runs scored in 58 LCS at-bats...Three WorldSeries (1979, '88, '89); batted .283 with six RBI, four doubles, and four runs scored in 53 WS at-bats...Member of WS championship teams in 1979 and '89.

TIM RAINES: 4th year on the ballot...Played 23 seasons with Expos, White Sox, Yankees, A's, Orioles and Marlins...Named 1981 NL Rookie Player of the Year by The Sporting News...Seven-time All-Star (1981-87)...Named 1987 All-Star Game MVP...Finished in the top 20 in NL MVP voting seven times, including one top-5 finish (5th, 1983)...Received NL Silver Slugger Award in 1986...Led NL in stolen bases four times, runs twice...Won 1986 NL batting title (.334)...Led league in on-base percentage (1986) and doubles (1984)...Six 100-runs seasons...Seven full seasons of hitting .300 or better, four times finishing in the top 10 in average...Sixteen seasons of 10 or more stolen bases, 11 times finishing in the top 10... Ranks second for highest stolen-base percentage (300 or more attempts) with .847...Led NL outfielders with 21 assists in 1983...Hit for the cycle on Aug. 16, 1987...Twice collected switch-hit home runs in one game...Hit three home runs in one game (April 18, 1994)...Holds Expos records for most runs (947), triples (82) and stolen bases (635)...Ranks 5th all-time in stolen bases (808) and 49th all-time in runs (1,571)...Two World Series teams with the Yankees (1996, 1998), batting .214 (3-14)...Hit .270 (34-126) in 34 career postseason games.

KIRK RUETER: 1st year on the ballot...Pitched 13 seasons with Expos and Giants... Posted double-digit wins every season from 1997 through 2003 with the Giants, averaging 13 wins and almost 32 starts a year during that span... Career regular-season won/loss percentage of .586... Holds record for most wins by a San Francisco Giants' left-hander with 105...Finished seventh in 1993 National League Rookie of the Year vote after going 8-0 with a 2.73 earned-runaverage in 14 starts following his July call-up from the minor leagues... His 16 wins in 1998 ranked tied for 10th in the NL and his 3.23 ERA in 2002 ranked ninth in the NL... Appeared in six postseason series, going 1-1 in six starts with a 3.79 ERA...Pitched 10 innings in 2002 World Series with Giants, posting a 2.70 ERA.

BENITO SANTIAGO: 1st year on the ballot...Played 20 seasons for Padres, Marlins, Reds, Phillies, Blue Jays, Cubs, Giants, Royals and Pirates...Named unanimous 1987 National League Rookie of the Year after hitting .300 with 18 home runs, 79 RBI, 21 stolen bases and a rookie-record 34-game hitting streak...Won first of four Silver Slugger Awards at catcher that season,with other three coming in 1988, 1990 and 1991...In 1988, won first of three straight Gold Glove Awards...Named to first of four straight All-Star Games in 1989, with fifth All-Star selection coming in 2002...Received National League Most Valuable Player votes in both 1990 (23rd) and 2002 (20th)...Hit at least 10 home runs every season from 1987-97, with a career-best of  30 in 1996...Led NL in games caught in 1987 (146) and 1991 (151)...Led NL catchers in assists in 1988 (75), 1991 (100) and 1994 (66)...Led NL receivers in caught stealing percentage in 1988 (44.7) and in caught stealing total in 1994 (40)...In six postseason series, batted .250 with three home runs and 19 RBI...Named 2002 NLCS Most Valuable Player after hitting .300 with two homers and six RBI in the Giants' five-game series victory over the Cardinals...One NLCS with Reds (1995) and one with Giants (2002)...Played in 2002 World Series with Giants.

LEE SMITH: 9th year on the ballot...Pitched 18 seasons for Cubs, Cardinals, Red Sox, Angels, Expos, Reds, Yankees and Orioles...Ranks third in ML history in saves (478)... Retired as all-time major league leader in saves and games finished (802)...Tied for 10th in games pitched (1,022)...Named NL Fireman of the Year by The Sporting News in 1991... Named AL Fireman of the Year by The Sporting News in 1994...Named NL Co-Fireman of the Year by The Sporting News in 1983 and '92...Won the NL Rolaids Relief Award in 1991, '92 and AL Rolaids Relief Award in '94...Finished 8th in 1991 NL MVP Award voting...Finished in top 10 in NL Cy Young Award voting three times in 1983 (T9th), '91 (2nd), and '92 (4th)...Finished in top 10 in AL Cy Young Award balloting in 1994 (5th)...Seven All-Star teams (1983, '87, '91-'95); with a 5.40 ERA in five ASG innings...Led NL in saves three times (1983, '91-92) and AL in saves once (1994)...Thirteen consecutive seasons with 20-plus saves (1983-'95), 10 seasons with 30-plus saves, and three seasons with 40-plus saves...Holds Chicago Cubs all-time team record for most saves...Holds NL career record for most consecutive errorless games by a pitcher (546)...Two League Championship Series (1984, '88); with one save in 5 1/3 LCS innings.

B.J. SURHOFF: 1st year on the ballot...Played 19 seasons with Brewers, Orioles and Braves...No. 1 overall pick in 1985 MLB Draft by Brewers...Named to 1999 American League All-Star team when he had career-highs in runs (104), hits (207), home runs (28) and RBI (107)...Finished 18th in 1999 AL Most Valuable Player voting...From 1996-2001, averaged better than 160 hits per season...His 2,326 hits rank 130th all-time...Ranked in Top 5 of league leaders in sacrifice flies three times: 1987 (5th with 9 SF); 1989 (5th with 10 SF) and 1991 (3rd with 9 SF)...His 104 career sacrifice flies rank 19th all-time...Played every position on the field during his career except pitcher...As a catcher, led AL in assists in 1991 (68)...Led all AL left fielders in assists in 1998 (12) and 1999 (16)...Led AL left fielders in fielding percentage in 1997 (.992) and 1999 (1.000)...Hit .300-or-better in 1995 (.320), 1999 (.308) and 2004 (.309)...In seven postseason series, batted .267 with six runs scored, four home runs and 12 RBI...Two ALCS with Orioles (1996-97) and one NLCS with Braves (2001).

ALAN TRAMMELL: 10th year on theballot...Played 20 seasons, all with the Detroit Tigers...Seven .300 batting average seasons, one season with 200-plus hits, one season with 100-plus RBI,and three seasons with 100-plus runs scored...Finished in top 10 in MVP voting three times in 1984 (9th), '87 (2nd), and '88 (7th)...Named WS MVP (1984); batted .450 with six RBI and two HR in 20 WS at-bats...Shares single-game WS record for driving in all of team's runs (4) on Oct. 13, 1984...Six All-Star teams (1980,'84-85, '87-88, '90)... Won four AL Gold Glove awards (1980-81, '83-84)...Named 1983 AL Comeback Player of the Year by Sporting News...Finished tied for 4th in the 1978 BBWAA AL Rookie of the Year Award voting...20-plus HR twice, 30-plus doubles six times, 20-plus stolen bases three times, and 30-plus stolen bases once...Five career grand slams...Had 20-game hitting streak (Aug. 5-22, 1984) and 21-game hitting streak (May 24-June 16, 1987)... Led AL in sacrifice hits in 1981 (16) and '83 (15)... Led AL shortstops in double plays (102) in 1990... Two ALCS (1984, '87); batted .258 with five RBI and one HR in 31 ALCS at-bats...One World Series (1984); member of 1984 WS championship team.
LARRY WALKER: 1st year on the ballot...Played 17 seasons with Expos, Rockies and Cardinals...Won 1997 National League Most Valuable Player Award with Rockies after hitting .366 with NL-leading totals in home runs (49), total bases (409, the 18th-best single-season total in history), on-base percentage (.452) and slugging percentage (.720)...Led NL in batting three times in 1998 (.363), 1999 (.379) and 2001 (.350)...Won seven Gold Glove Awards (1992-93, 1997-99, 2001-02) and three Silver Slugger Awards (1992,1997, 1999) as a right fielder...Finished seventh in 1990 NL Rookie of the Year Award voting with Expos...Named to five All-Star Games (1992, 1997-99,2001)...Received NL Most Valuable Player Award votes in eight seasons, finishing in Top 10 four times: 1992 (5th), 1995 (7th), 1997 (1st),1999 (10th)...Led NL in slugging percentage twice (1997 and 1999), and his .565 career mark ranks 14th all-time...Posted 30 homer/30-steal season in 1997 with 49 home runs and 33 stolen bases, becoming just the 16th different NL player to reach that milestone...Drove in at least 100 runs in five seasons (1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002)...Hit better than .300 in nine seasons (1992, 1994-95, 1997-2002)...In six postseason series, batted .230 with 18 runs scored, seven home runs and 15 RBI...Two NLCS with Cardinals (2004-05).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rough seas ahead for Captain, Yanks? By Wallace Matthews

Rough seas ahead for Captain, Yanks?

By Wallace Matthews

ORLANDO, Fla. -- If the Yankees could get Derek Jeter to agree to a three-year contract for $21 million per year, they would sign off on it today.

But they can't get him to agree to that, which is why we are a week away from Thanksgiving Day and a deal that was supposed to be a slam dunk is still on the shot clock.

That is the word from a source with inside knowledge of the negotiations between the Yankees and Jeter. The source says the Yankees are willing to give Jeter more money than his play currently warrants, but fewer years than Jeter currently wants.

With Derek Jeter a first-time free agent, we look back on The Captain's greatest moments in pinstripes.

Jeter, the source said, wants more. Four years, minimum, and preferably five or even six. Right now, it is a standoff, a dirty dance, a game of chicken in which one side or the other must eventually blink.

And according to the source, who has ties to both the team and the player, there is at least one voice inside the Yankees' hierarchy urging the front office to play its game as hard as Jeter plays his on the field.

"Tell him the deal is three years at $15 million a year, take it or leave it," goes the hard-line approach. "Wait him out and he'll wind up taking it. Where's he gonna go, Cincinnati?"

But according to the source, the Yankees are fearful of taking that sort of a stance with their most beloved player since Mickey Mantle, fearful of a fan backlash and a public relations nightmare even though history says this team, better than any other, can survive parting ways with even the most beloved player in the bitterest fashion.

This, after all, is a franchise that parted on bad terms with Babe Ruth, only the greatest player of all time and the one player who truly did more for this franchise than the franchise did for him. The Yankees survived that, and they survived the jettisoning of Bernie Williams and the split with Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui after both played pivotal roles in their 2009 World Series championship.

And the men who run the Yankees now, Hal Steinbrenner, Brian Cashman and Randy Levine, as unsentimental and hard-nosed a lot as has ever run this ballclub, know they will survive a bad split with Derek Jeter, too, if that's how this all eventually plays out.

Obviously, that is not how they want it to go, but only a fool or a child would discount the possibility that it might.

A source says the Yankees could play hardball with Derek Jeter as negotiations head into Thanksgiving week.

The official line from the Yankees is that the negotiation is proceeding as all negotiations do, at its own pace and with its own unique potholes and sticking points.

"Derek Jeter is a great Yankee and he's a great player," said Levine. "With that said and done, now is a different negotiation than 10 years ago."

That last statement is open to many interpretations, but its essential meaning seems pretty clear. Jeter is 10 years older than he was when he signed that $189 million contract from The Boss following a triumphant 2000 World Series in which the Yankees beat the Mets and Jeter was voted the Series MVP.

He is not, however, 10 years better. His best playing days are behind him and his inevitable decline has probably begun. He will turn 37 before the 2011 All-Star break, older than any other starting shortstop in the league, and despite winning the Gold Glove at his position for the 2010 season, he has clearly lost significant range in the field.

And his bat, always reliable, fell off 44 points from his career average of .314, and 64 points off his transcendent 2009 season, when he hit .334.

He earned $21 million last season, but at this stage of his career, he is a $21 million player by reputation only. Still, the source said the Yankees are willing to keep him at that level for three more years, if only out of loyalty and gratitude for past favors.

Levine, the only Yankees representative at Wednesday's session of the GM meetings, with Hal Steinbrenner having returned to Tampa for his daughter's birthday and Cashman having flown back to New York in the morning to continue his search for a pitching coach, refused to delve into the specifics of the Jeter negotiations.

But again, Levine's words were revealing when he said, "He's a baseball player, and this is a player negotiation. Everything he is and who he is gets factored in. But this isn't a licensing deal or a commercial rights deal, he's a baseball player. With that said, you can't take away from who he is. He brings a lot to the organization. And we bring a lot to him."

Meaning, the Yankees would like to pay him on the basis of performance, not persona. And that being a Yankee has benefited Derek Jeter, player and persona, every bit as much as Derek Jeter has benefited the Yankees.

Joe Torre left town after Brian Cashman & Co. decided he needed the Yankees more than they needed him. Could the same happen with Jeter?

That sounds like the framework for a tougher-than-expected negotiation, and a potentially "messy" one, to borrow Hal Steinbrenner's word, if one or both of the sides don't soften.

And it echoes what was said during Joe Torre's final negotiation, which turned truly messy, when Levine laid out the team's position that it was the Yankees who made Torre, and not vice versa.

According to Levine, Cashman was expected to contact Jeter's agent, Casey Close, either Wednesday night or Thursday to check in. He will do the same with Fern Cuza, the agent for Mariano Rivera, and with Darek Braunecker, the agent for Cliff Lee.

"We would love to have both of them back," Levine said of Jeter and Rivera, "but as Hal said, it's a business."

How much of this is posturing and how much is truth is tough to say. Close did not return a call seeking comment. But for two sides who have professed since the end of the season to want badly to remain together, it appears each has a taken a position that so far has prevented that from happening.

It is not supposed to be easy, of course, especially in a negotiation between a team that has to plan for its future and a player to whom that team owes much of its past success.

Red Sox GM Theo Epstein faced a similarly touchy situation two years ago when it came time to negotiate with Jason Varitek, his team's captain, a pivotal part of two Boston teams that snapped an 86-year championship drought, and a beloved fan favorite.

At 36, Varitek was coming out of a four-year, $40 million deal and off a season in which he hit a career-low .220 with just 13 home runs. Epstein played it tough, cutting Varitek's salary to $5 million per year for one year with an option for 2010, which he wound up picking up.

"That was purely a baseball decision," Epstein said. "The baseball operations department's job is to make a market-based assessment based on performance. You can factor in other things like intangibles and marketing and organizational loyalty, but I think you have to start with the baseball and go from there."

Asked if it was more difficult to part ways with a player whose departure would cause ripples through the fan base and subject the team to charges of disloyalty, or worse, Epstein said, "You always try to ignore the chorus out there, especially this time of the year. You're human so you have fond feelings for those who've helped you win in the past, but the way GMs demonstrate loyalty to the organization and a fan base is by building teams that win and play in October."

This is not to imply that Jeter and Varitek are in any way comparable as ballplayers, only in their situations as they reach the endgame of great careers.

And Cashman is not Epstein, although their thought processes and belief in taking a dry-eyed look at what is best for their ballclubs are similar.

Cashman and his colleagues in the Yankees' front office have an idea of what they believe Derek Jeter is worth to them at this point in his career.

Jeter's idea of his worth to the Yankees is apparently somewhat different.

That is the crux of any negotiation. And perhaps, the beginning of what may yet be a messy one.

Wallace Matthews covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

House resolution honors Bob Sheppard - AP

House resolution honors Bob Sheppard

Associated Press
WASHINGTON -- Congress is honoring the late Yankee Stadium public-address announcer Bob Sheppard.
New York congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy introduced the resolution on Tuesday in tribute to his lifetime achievement. It was passed by the House of Representatives.
Sheppard died in July at 99. He started as the Yankees' PA announcer in 1951 and worked his last game in 2007. He also served as the stadium voice of the NFL's New York Giants from 1956-05.
McCarthy praised Sheppard's majestic tone and noted how he introduced more than 70 Hall of Famers during his career.
McCarthy thanked 52 co-sponsors of the resolution, saying they included members who rooted for other teams.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

2010 Steiner Sports Friends & Family Offer – Save Up To 30% - Limited Time Only!

2010 Steiner Sports Friends & Family Offer – Save Up To 30% - Limited Time Only!

You don’t work for Steiner Sports, but now you can shop like someone who does! Over the next 6 days, I’m extending my personal 30% Off Employee Discount to all of my close friends & family members, to help them with their holiday shopping. In appreciation of your past business with me, I have decided to do the same for you. I consider you to be a part of my “Inner Circle,” and want to offer you an exclusive opportunity to take advantage of this special Friends & Family Discount. This will run Today through Monday, November 22nd. See below for details and to learn about potential restrictions. Reach me direct at 800-909-9162 with questions or to place an order. Have a great day!

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Yankees raise prices on some tickets - AP

Yankees raise prices on some tickets

Associated Press
The New York Yankees are raising the prices of some of their most expensive tickets for next year after making big cuts in 2010, and are hiking the cost of bleacher seats for only the third time in 13 years.
The price of the best field-level seats will rise to $260 as part of season ticket plans, the team said Monday. Those seats cost $250 this year, down from $325 when new Yankee Stadium opened in 2009.
Seats which had been slashed from $325 to $235 will remain unchanged, as will many other seats in the field level. Toward the outfield, tickets that had been $100 will rise to $110, and tickets that had been $75 will go up to $80.
Upper deck prices remain unchanged. Bleacher seats that had been $12 increase to $15, while $5 bleacher seats remain the same.
Lonn Trost, the team's chief operating officer, said 53 percent of the non-premium seats remain unchanged next year. To determine prices, the team examined the resale amounts of tickets on StubHub.com.
"We're not trying to take away the ability of fans to make a profit when they resell tickets," he said, "but the ones where we raised prices were not selling for just above face, but were far above face."
The 1,704 non-premium seats in the two sections on each side of the Delta suite -- sections 216-217 and 223-224 -- will remain unchanged after increasing from $100 to $125 last year. Seats on the main level that had been $100 will rise to $110, and remaining main level seats will go up $5 each to $50, $65 and $80.
Fans willing to make multiyear commitments, however, can get lower prices, Trost said. The $260 seats drop to $240 next year with a three-year contract, $230 with a five-year contract and $220 with a 10-year contract -- with the provision they can rise 4.5 percent annually.
"You have price protection and price certainty," he said.
Faced with empty seats in the priciest sections in the $1.5 billion ballpark's first season, the Yankees announced 2010 price cuts of up to $1,250 per seat per game on Sept. 15 last year, more than a month before winning the team's 27th title. This year, New York lost to Texas in the AL Championship Series.
New York averaged a major league-leading 46,491 for 81 regular-season home games, up from 45,918 in the stadium's opening season, when New York was second to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Total attendance this year was 3.77 million, up from 3.72 million.
Trost said prices of 2011 premium seats, including the pricey Legends Suite seats that have cost up to $2,625 per game at the new ballpark, will be determined within a few weeks.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano earned his second Silver Slugger Award on Thursday.

Cano led all American League second basemen in several offensive categories including, hits (200), runs (103), runs batted in (109), home runs (29), and slugging percentage (.534). His career-high 109 runs batted in 2010 led all major league second basemen.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010



Los Angeles - The Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA) announces its final set of season award selections, naming its 2010 Most Valuable Player (MVP) and Cy Young awards.

The National League MVP award was won by Joey Votto, of the Cincinnati Reds, with the American League MVP going to Josh Hamilton, of the Texas Rangers.

The NL Cy Young award winner is Roy Halladay, of the Philadelphia Phillies, with CC Sabathia, of the New York Yankees, being awarded the AL Cy Young.

Previously announced selections include the following:

NL Rookie of the Year – Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants.
AL Rookie of the Year – Neftali Feliz, Texas Rangers.

NL Manager of the Year – Bud Black, San Diego Padres.
AL Manager of the Year – Ron Gardenhire, Minnesota Twins.

NL Executive of the Year – Walt Jocketty, Cincinnati Reds.
AL Executive of the Year – Jon Daniels, Texas Rangers.

NL Comeback Player of the Year – Tim Hudson, Atlanta Braves.
AL Comeback Player of the Year – Vladimir Guerrero, Texas Rangers.

NL Hoyt Wilhelm Relief Pitcher of the Year – Brian Wilson, San Francisco Giants.
AL Rollie Fingers Relief Pitcher of the Year – Rafael Soriano, Tampa Bay Rays.

Voting took place between September 15 and October 3, the final day of the regular season. Additional selections will be announced starting the second business day after the completion of the World Series

The IBWAA was created July 4, 2009 by Howard Cole, editor of BaseballSavvy.com, to organize and promote the growing online baseball media, and to serve as an alternative to the Base Ball Writers Association of America (BBWAA).

Among others, IBWAA members include Kevin Baxter, baseball writer for the Los Angeles Times; Tim Brown, YahooSports; Tom Hoffarth, Media/General Columnist, Los Angeles Daily News; Tony Jackson, Dodgers reporter, ESPNLA.com; Ben Maller, FoxSports.com; Gary Warner, Travel Editor, Orange County Register; and prominent baseball authors Peter Golenbock, Seth Swirsky and Dan Schlossberg.

Association memberships are open to any and all Internet baseball writers, with a yearly fee of $20. Discounts for groups and scholarships are available.
For more information on the IBWAA, please visit the temporary webpage here, http://www.baseballsavvy.com/internetbaseballwriters.html. In the coming months, the IBWAA can be found at www.InternetBaseballWriters.com.


Howard Cole
Director, IBWAA


Three Yankees picked up some hardware on Tuesday afternoon, with Robinson Cano (2B), Derek Jeter (SS) and Mark Teixeira (1B) each winning a Rawlings Gold Glove award. Cano picks up his first Gold Glove Award after a breakout season for the Yankees in 2010. Jeter and Teixeira were awarded the Gold Glove for the second consecutive year -- the fifth of Jeter's career -- while Teixeira's defense is honored for th e fourth time.

Saturday, November 6, 2010



Los Angeles - The Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA) announces its second set of 2010 season award selections, naming its Manager of the Year and Executive of the Year awards.

The National League Manager of the Year award was won by Bud Black, of the San Diego Padres, with the American League Manager of the Year award going to Ron Gardenhire, of the Minnesota Twins.

The NL Executive of the Year award winner is Walt Jocketty, of the Cincinnati Reds, with Jon Daniels, of the Texas Rangers, being selected the AL Executive of the Year.

Previously announced selections include the following:

NL Comeback Player of the Year – Tim Hudson, Atlanta Braves.
AL Comeback Player of the Year – Vladimir Guerrero, Texas Rangers.

NL Hoyt Wilhelm Relief Pitcher of the Year – Brian Wilson, San Francisco Giants.
AL Rollie Fingers Relief Pitcher of the Year – Rafael Soriano, Tampa Bay Rays.

Voting took place between September 15 and October 3, the final day of the regular season. Additional selections will be announced in the coming days.

The IBWAA was created July 4, 2009 by Howard Cole, editor of BaseballSavvy.com, to organize and promote the growing online baseball media, and to serve as an alternative to the Base Ball Writers Association of America (BBWAA).

Among others, IBWAA members include Kevin Baxter, baseball writer for the Los Angeles Times; Tim Brown, YahooSports; Tom Hoffarth, Media/General Columnist, Los Angeles Daily News; Tony Jackson, Dodgers reporter, ESPNLA.com; Ben Maller, FoxSports.com; Gary Warner, Travel Editor, Orange County Register; and prominent baseball authors Peter Golenbock, Seth Swirsky and Dan Schlossberg.

Association memberships are open to any and all Internet baseball writers, with a yearly fee of $20. Discounts for groups and scholarships are available.
For more information on the IBWAA, please visit the temporary webpage here, http://www.baseballsavvy.com/internetbaseballwriters.html. In the coming months, the IBWAA can be found at www.InternetBaseballWriters.com.


Howard Cole
Director, IBWAA