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### Jacobson: Don't forget what a bully Boss could be

Most 20-something Yankee fans probably don't know who Howie Spira is, but there was definitely a time when George Steinbrenner was the biggest villian in New York sports. Former long-time Newsday columnist Steve Jacobson reminds us what it used to be like around the Yankees in his column here.

This was a needless article. He did a lot of good, and yes there were times when he was not good to players and managers. His generosity and overall good to the team and fans with his money and spending outweighs everything else. He won't be remembered first and foremost for the unfortunate Spira and the Howser incidents.

Mind you, this is coming from a Red Sox fan.
I think the trashing of Steinbrenner, especially from a writer, is a little bit petty at this point.

It reminds me of the book “Down and Dirty Pictures” written by the great Peter Biskind.

Biskind wrote “Easy Riders and Raging Bulls” which is probably my favorite book about films ever. He then wrote “Down and Dirty Pictures” which basically picks apart the Miramax/Sundance films of the 1990s.

And you get the unmistakable conclusion that Harvey and Bob Weinstein are rotten people. That they intimidate, that they are petty, that they strong arm people and throw temper tantrums when they don’t get their way.

You can’t help but read that book and say “Man, what a—holes!”
Just like Steve Jacobson’s article makes you realize that Steinbrenner is a category 1 pr*ck.

And you can also assess from “Down and Dirty Pictures” that as much if not more credit for the rise of Miramax had to do with Steven Soderbergh, Quentin Tarantino, Pedro Almodovar, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Gwenyth Paltrow and the makers of The English Patient, Chicago, Shakespeare in Love, The Crying Game and Scream than it does to any wisdom of Bob and Harvey.

Just as you can point to Gabe Paul, Billy Martin, Dick Howser, Stick Michael, Buck Showalter and yes Joe Torre as actually being the real reasons for the Yankees 2 returns to greatness.

But think about what movies would be like if not for the Weinsteins!
They took films that existed only in college theaters and obscure revival houses and brought them into the multiplexes and you can’t write a list of the best films of the 90s or 2000s without having a slew of Miramax films on that list.

It happened on their watch and forced other studios to raise their game as they saw the Weinsteins turn the Oscars into their own private party and find low budget movies that turn a big profit.

And think of what the Yankees were before Steinbrenner arrived.
They were just another team. Oh sure yeah, a team with a great history… but a history that was nearly a decade removed from October… a team that was slipping into irrelevance.

When you hear Yankee fans older than me trying to prove their loyalty to the team, they tend to say “I was with them through the Horace Clarke years… the Ron Blomberg/Fritz Peterson years…”

The Yankees were overshadowed by Oakland, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati…
And attendance was down everywhere.

Under George they became exciting, relevant, they won and guess what? They became the Champs AND the bad guys again!

Guess what happened?
Attendance went UP again!
While Yankee fans have always seemed slow to understand this, the rest of baseball loves to root against the Yankees. (As I said before, there is no musical called “Damn Brewers.”)

It was cool to be a Yankee fan again and there was venom rooting against them.
And guess what else happened?

The other teams followed suit.
Between the Yankees pennant in 1981 and winning the World Series in 1996 there was a great era of baseball parity.

In the 13 World Series between those Yankees pennants (remember there was no series in 1994) there were 9 different teams winning the AL Pennant and 8 different NL champs.

And 10 different teams won the World Series…

And parity (and spreading the championship wealth) has happened after their last World Series title in 2000.

The last 8 World Series has featured 6 different AL teams, 7 different NL teams and 7 different Champs.

Steinbrenner hasn’t ruined the Yankees. He made them relevant again.
Steinbrenner hasn’t ruined baseball, he has forced other teams to keep up, and they eventually do.

Are the Weinsteins jerks? Yeah… but the results are good.
Same with George.

Trust me… the Yankees will miss him.
And so will baseball.

Another great post from Sully.

And the content comes better from someone who is not a Yankees fan because it doesn't sound defensive, as we always do when we say something like Yeah he was a jerk but look what his overall outcomes were for the team and for baseball...

Baseball took huge dips in popularity in the early to mid 1970s and the late 1980s to mid 1990s

What helped bring baseball out of the dumps?

A Yankees revival each time.
Not the sole reason, but some people love to love them and some people love to hate them

They are like Notre Dame football, Duke Basketball, Celtics/Lakers or the Cowboys/Steelers.

When those teams are good, it raises the game

Seriously, how much venom can there be for the Blue Jays?

They are facts, Diane

Whether I am a Red Sox fan, Yankees fan or whatever team Nudge roots for, facts are tough to deny.

I agree 100% with Sully. The Boss blustered, he fired guys, he made some irrational moves - but in the end he did it to win. He was never the wealthiest owner in the game - it would have been easy for him to build his personal fortune by banking all the revenue that the Yankees bring in, but that wasn't his style. He always put money back into the team (unlike countless other owners in the game). If he made a mistake he was making it at 100 mph and with all the confidence in the world.

Yes it was Gene Michael who brought in Jeter and Bernie and Paulie - but it was George who put Gene Michael in that position. MLB is worse off today than it was a year ago because of the exit of The Boss.

One last thing on Hal's brainless comment - the deal won't be there forever...sure...right. And the Yankees won't negotiate with Alex Rodriguez if he opts out of his contract.

Straight Talker - stop with the Ollie Perez love. He walks far too many people. He's a 5 inning pitcher in the NL - in the AL he's going to be a 3 inning pitcher. Let him hold out for his cash and go to St. Louis on a 1 year deal like Kyle Lohse did last year.

Well, theres already one huge loss that The Boss would have given us if he were healthy last offseason; Johan Santana, which lead have in turn (most likely) led to another postseason birth. There is no way the boss lets Santana slip away (Who is a PROVEN STUD in the American League) then a year later, try and sign Santana scrubs, all though CC is a very good pitcher, he is no Santana. -Good Health George

Seth,

I agree in theory with you... but as great as Santana is (and make no mistake, he IS great) Santana couldn't deliver the innings that Sabathia gave the Brewers down the stretch

He brought the Brewers (who lest we forget were a mess before and after they dumped Yost) into the playoffs by sheer force of will

Sully:

I couldn't resist checking:

Santana in Sept/Oct:

6 Starts
44 innings
4-0 W-L
1.83 ERA

Sabathia in Sept/Oct.:
6 Starts
42 innings
2-2 W-L
2.11 ERA

If you recall Santana tossed a 3-hit shutout on 3 days rest to close out the season.

Santana was a blown opportunity by the Yanks.

Everyone seems to suggest Hughes is still a developing 22 yr old pitcher which is just more nonsense. Scouts as far back as 2006 thought he was ready for the big time.Injury and confidence have plagued him.Clemens was the MVP and Cy Young winner in 1986 at the advanced age of 23.

I think the present cautious approach, in which Hughes is treated as a developing kid about whom no really definitive judgment can yet be reached, is largely a reaction to the mindless 'Phil Franchise' hype of the past.

Not really.

Santana would have not only cost nearly $140M to sign him, but Phil Hughes or Wang as the centerpiece of any deal in addition to other prospects. Santana may have pitched well on three days rest on one occasion - but Sabathia pitched on three days rest almost the entire month of September. Also, let's not cherry pick and you should post Sabathia's overall numbers in the NL: 17 starts: 11-2, 1.65 ERA, 1.00 WHIP The last two seasons, Sabathia has just been better than Santana. There's no two ways about it. Not to mention Santana's velocity is already in decline and he's two years older and his homerun totals went up even though Shea is a pitcher's ballpark and his competition is much weaker. Sabathia also did his damage in Miller Park - not exactly a pitcher's paradise. Sabathia was also the reason why the Brewers made the postseason for the first time since 1982. The Mets didn't even make the postseason. So knowing what I know now, I still wouldn't have made that deal. Nobody questioned whether Santana would pitch well in 2008 - it was about his long term projection - like 3-4 years from now. Oh yeah, and comparing Hughes with a Hall of Famer (and perhaps the greatest pitcher of our era before the roids scandal) doesn't really enhance your argument. Oh no, he's not Roger Clemens so they should have traded him! And going back to the discussion of how the failing economy might affect baseball, here's the link to this morning's Times story about how Citigroup says it will keep its naming deal with the Mets for their new Stadium in spite of its staggering losses: http://www.nytimes.com/pages/sports/baseball/index.html Their deal is supposedly safe for the moment, but it's worth considering how the value of naming rights overall will be affected in the changing economic climate. Some teams have become accustomed to this income stream. Will some of them lose it? Will Stadium names change at an even greater clip now? Aren't we glad that Yankee Stadium isn't part of that shuffle? Speaking of the Santana/Hughes deal, it's like I said last year, it's a no brainer. You make that deal everytime - PROVEN ACE for prospects. 1 in 100 prospects ever pan out as projected, but a PROVEN ACE is just that! And, he's young, LH, and wanted to be in NY (unlike CC)! And speaking of the coming financial mess, I think Ant was trying to tell everyone about it, but nobody would take him seriously because of his "method" or "style" of blogging. The bottom line is he knew what he was talking about, just didn't express it in the best way. And, that is why at the time, I spoke up on his behalf only to be mocked as well. Bottom line = A "generated" economic collapse is coming soon. It is necessary for the powers that be to usher in their NWO. Watch for the red flags and start connecting the dots America. Someone wants to offer 5 years to AJ Burnett? Is this a joke? What is it about former Marlin pitchers who perfectly time their career year with their walk year? If he signs that, I hope he and Pavano go out to dinner and laugh their @sses off And ruse, I tip my hat to you serves me right writing a post without doing my homework (4th attempt) Viper No one's cherrypicking 2008: Santana in his last 15 starts: 8-0 108 IP 2.17 Sabathia in his last 15 starts: 9-2 116 innings 1.56 ERA their teams records over those 15 starts were identical 12-3 I was trying to illustrate what high hopes NY has with Hughes he's been much ballyhooed(?) and has produced virtually nothing in 2 yrs. All this BS about lost velocity means very little, look at what Mussina did in 2008 with BP fastballs why? Because he chose to pitch inside more.He altered his style.Finesse will always replace lost velocity as pitchers get older.To argue lost velocity is the doom of all pitchers is a complete fallacy. ...Santana's HR totals in 2008 were his lowest since 2005.Check ! Don't give me that proven ace crap. What the Yanks have needed to do since 2003 is find pitchers who are capable of throwing 7.0 IP per start on a consistent basis and they'd be just as tough as any rotation in baseball with a surefire ace the likes of Santana or whomever. It's not about throwing a ringer out there once every 5 days. It's about finding a stable of pitchers who can consistently eat a lot of innings. The more innings your starters throw means fewer innings by the bullpen and the more effective they become. That's why those dynasty teams were so good. They had a horse taking the mound almost every night and those guys were not perennial Cy Young Award candidates. Most people don't consider Wang an ace but I'll take four pitchers like him any day over a rotation fronted by a Santana or Beckett with average starters following them. Rick still hasn't learned the fundamentals of winning yet. Ruse, The records really don't mean anything because that is a direct result of how many runs his own teams scores. It has nothing to do with preventing the other team from scoring runs. If you look inside the numbers like runs, hits, home run totals, strikeout rate, walk rate, overall baserunners allowed, etc, etc, Sabathia was better than Santana last season by every measure. And again, he did so in a hitter's yard - not a pitcher's yard like Santana at Shea. The velocity does make a difference with Santana because his home run totals are going up in a weaker league and the disparity between his change up (his best pitch) and his fastball are not as great. Sure, he can adjust - but he's not going to be that same dominant pitcher in a few years if his velocity continues to fade. Young fireballing lefties that have control problems is not unusual. Perez is only 27, K's almost a guy an inning, and gives up far fewer hits than innings pitched. When you look at how many starting pitchers we need, I would much rather have both Perez and Sheets on my staff, than just CC. You cannot allow that many base runners in the AL and expect to be effective. Perez had a 1.40 WHIP in the NL last season. That's with a free out every nine hitters and pitching half his games in death valley. How would that translate to the AL against better hitters and the DH? Keep in mind that Sidney Ponson was horrifically awful and he finished with a 1.60 WHIP. The Yanks would be insane to even talk to Perez. Sheets doesn't make anymore sense given his long history of injuries is even worse than Burnett. I'd rather have the one guy who is as close to a sure thing as it gets than two shakes of the dice every five days. Comparing the older\over-the-hill Ponson, to the young\27 yr old PEREZ is ridiculous. Nolan Ryan and Koufax had strike zone problems early in their careers, but I guess you woulda passed on them also. Sheets has had injury problems, but has great numbers, and tremendous desire\drive. Based on the number of starters the Yanks need, SHEETS and PEREZ will help the Yanks far more than just CC. ST, I can see your point for Sheets. BUT Perez would get killed in the American league! Age has nothing to do with it. I don't care if you're 27 yrs old or 47 yrs old - no pitcher can allow that many base runners and be effective in the AL. Period. Perez is going to be 28 years old next season. That's a little past the "he's young and developing" stage. This is what Perez is - a guy who is essentially a 5 inning pitcher because he allows too many base runners. Oh yeah, and at age 27, Nolan Ryan had thrown over 300 IP+ twice in his career while only allowing 220 hits. And Koufax was the MVP and Cy Young of the NL at age 27. It would not be wise to compare two of the greatest pitchers of all time to a guy who averages almost 13 base runners per 9.0 IP in the weaker league. As for Sheets, what does it matter if he has the stuff of Bob Gibson if he takes the mound as often as Carl Pavano? He can't pitch if he's sitting on the DL. Did straight talker compare Oliver Perez with Nolan Ryan and Sandy Koufax? First you compare Perez to the over-the-hill Ponson, then you say "age has nothing to do with it" while comparing starting pitchers, and now you claim Sheets takes the mound as often as Pavano. Next time, look at the overall performance of Perez, and the number of starts Sheets has made over the last several years, before going Hank Steinbrenner on me. SULLY- I'm not comparing pitchers. I'm looking at the problem of wildness from power pitchers. It's not uncommon. It's starting to appear that the Yanks are making the same mistake with Pettitte that they did the last time he left for Houston. They basically are showing him no respect by letting him twist in the wind while they chase after outsiders. Sure hope it doesn't end up the same way as last time! And, let's just say it does AND they strike out on all 3 of the other targeted SP's (a distinct possibility). The rotation would then comprise Wang, Joba on an IP limit, and ?, ? and ?. Not exactly what I would call a competitive rotation. Now, just for the sake of hot stove arguements, let's suppose I would have been the GM the past couple of years. As of now, our rotation would be: Santana Wang Pettitte (who would be resigned by now) Ted Lilly Joba And, we would still be bidding on CC or Burnett with the hopes of upgrading that rotation even further. But, we would be negotiating from a point of strength rather than one of dire need. Criticize all you want Chip, but I think anyone with any baseball sense at all would say my scenario beats the crap out of where BC has us right now. P.S. I have a novel idea on how to improve "negotiatitions" with CC. Why not let him bat whenever he pitches every 5th day? He wouldn't be much worse than what we've been seeing in the nine hole AND with that short porch in RF, who knows? And besides, he would probably only be getting 2-3 AB's before exiting games anyhow. At least it might get his attention away from the NL. I like your rotation other than Pettitte. Without HGH, his elbow is just not going to hold up. Considering the large number of SP we need, warrants the immediate signing of Perez and Sheets, while everyone else chases the Big 3. We cannot gamble on landing CC\Burnett\and or Lowe, and end up walking away from the table with our pockets turned inside out. Um, yeah, that's logical. You don't want Pettitte for one more season because of his elbow but you think signing Sheets (a guy who hasn't pitched a full season since 2004) to a four-year deal is a must. Pettitte took the HGH before and immediately after his elbow surgery, he doesn't have any problems there anymore. Last season it was his shoulder that was bothering him, but not enough for him to miss any starts but it affected his pitching obviously. You have to worry about the fact that he didn't have surgery though because it makes me wonder if it won't just crop up again. The difference between Sheets and Pettitte is their age. When comparing pitchers, this is critical. Again. Stop the Hank routine, and look before you lip. Damm Vipes They making you battle. Well I would try defending you here On Santana while I favored the possible deal , you used your logic and said it was,nt wise saying that Hughes is the real deal added with money issues. At first you was against the CC possibility but decided in favor. As for Sheets. Nobody of contending nature is offering Sheets 4 year deals unless he is accepting a BIG TIME discount. This is why it is possible he accepts arbitration and do a one year 15mil deal. However previous creative Yankee brain trust would have used Sheets is a different way had he failed as a SP he would have been a closer. Yanks COULD offer him a 2 year deal with options and Innings pitched incentives. Wang as a number two SP would be great for him. The Delay on pettite is due to structure. The team does not want Andy Having to be the number 1 - 3 Starter they want him as a 4 - 5 Hey talker, durability and length of contract is far more important than age. I'll take the older guy who simply wants a one-year deal and has been pretty durable over his career than the guy who is younger, demands a three or four year deal, and hasn't been healthy for an entire season since Kevin Brown and Javier Vasquez were wearing pinstripes and giving up bombs to Johnny Damon in the ALCS. But, forget it. If you can't get this one right, there's no hope for you. Bomber I understand the Pettitte at the back of the rotation concept. I think it is a very logical move. But, why don't the Yanks just tell him they are planning to use him as the #4 man and negotiate a deal??? Andy already has said he would take a 1 year deal and frankly, I don't think Andy really cares what slot he's in as long as he gets his turn every 5th day. And, if money is the true issue, they could have a lower base than 2008 with incentives just in case he overachieves to win 20 games ala Mussina. Due to the IP limits, I figure Joba will be the 5th man in the rotation. That should alleviate some games early in the year and every now and then when the 5th spot can be skipped. So, if Pettitte was signed to be number 4, and Wang is slotted at number 2, we basically need a #1 and #3. Beggars can't be choosers. We flat out need several SP's. I'd stop putzing around with CC, and just sign SHEETS and PEREZ. That would give us a rotation of, (1) WANG (2) SHEETS (3) PEREZ (4) HUGHES THE GREAT (5) CHAMBERLAIN I would then spend whatever it takes, and add TEX to the offense, batting him 4th behind A-ROD. The only way I would sign Pettitte, is if he takes Chamberlain's spot in the rotation. That would then strengthen the bullpen, and save Chamberlain DL time. The guys arm just can't handle the SP role. To Add. another reason for the Pettite delay is if they fill spots 1 and 3 and have Hughes and TBD (To be determined ) battle it out in ST woudl mean there would be no need for pettite and less expensive. That all looks good on paper but if Joba fails as a SP then your left with a problem. especially if you CANNOT sign two SP's Straight Talker, The rotation you laid out at 12:02 is doomed and will just continue the Yankees recent history of trying to win games by a 11-10 score, and then getting shut down by good pitchers in the playoffs (or not making the playoffs at all for that matter). If that was the Yankees planned rotation, I can hear Sydney Ponson's agent cackling from here as he knows ol' Syd will have a job in '09 after all. The rotation I have laid out, is far better than last season's. The addition of TEX also makes the offense in general and A-Rod specifically better. Some of you need to be consistent. Last season you were in favor of adding the 2 rookies, (Hughes\Kennedy) to the rotation and passing on the Ace Santana. Now you wanna go whole hog on Ace CC, and pass on Sheets and Perez. Passing on Santana created the mess that is now the Yankee rotation. We had better get the SP's we can, while we can. CC is making a monkey out of the Yanks, and paralyzing\killing our "09" team at the same time. I have been very consistent- I wanted Santana all along as I argued that prospects are just that- prospective players who may or may not work out, while a proven ace is a rare find while still in his prime, but that is last years argument. However, to me CC has greater appeal because he will not cost the team any of their players, just cash, which we all know the Yanks have. If you think the rotation you listed is better than last years, you are right, but only on paper because Sheets WILL get hurt, Hughes probably will too and Chamberlain hasn't shown he can stay healthy for a whole season, plus he'll be working on an innings limit (along with Hughes) so right there you need to, at some point, have three backup starters- thus the Ponson reference. So you can count on keeping Ponson, Giese and since Rasner is gone, you might have to with Eric Milton. I didn't even mention Oliver Perez, who can't get the ball over the plate. Sure, Perez has great stuff but against teams like Boston, LAA of A, Minnesota, etc. who actually look for strikes he would need to be relieved in the 4th inning. I could live with Sheets on a short term, incentive laiden contract if the Yanks used a kid like Hughes as his backup. I guess talker is a doctor too with his official diagnosis on Joba. Well, that's good enough for me! I'm sure the Yankee medical staff will take it into account. Jim is exactly right. Rolling the dice on starters is exactly why the Yanks are in this position. Outslugging opponents is not the way to build a championship caliber team and the very reason why the Yanks haven't been to the World Series since 2003. It all starts and ends with starting pitching and talker's rotation flat out sucks. What the Yanks really need is innings - like 400+ of them between the two - not two rolls of the dice every five days as talker suggests. What has even Red Sox fan Sully referenced many times in recent weeks about Einstein? Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Everyone on this board but talker would certainly agree that signing Sabathia and Pettitte makes a helluva lot more sense on every level than signing two guys with the history of Perez and Sheets. And Joba is going to be in the rotation where he'll be one of the top young pitchers in the game for a number of years. The bullpen will be just fine without him. Melancon will make a splash in 2009 and do what he does best. Is Brad Penny's shoulder healed ? If he still has 97-98 mph gas he was throwing in 2007 and early 2008 why not offer an incentive laden contract to him?Low risk .Could be a very good number 3 starter.Just thinking out loud.... SI.com's Jon Heyman talked to someone familiar with the Yankees' thinking, and he says the Yankees have not set a deadline on their six-year,$140MM offer to C.C. Sabathia. Hank Steinbrenner said the offer wouldn't be there forever, but that doesn't mean it will be pulled anytime soon.

So is Hank wrong for saying such?

JIM A,
i am going to have to side with straight talker on this one. CC doesnt wanna play for us (probably will be in NL or w/angels), burnett please dont sign for 5 yrs and lowe is older, and wants 16 mill a year for a 4 year deal thats alot for a 35 year old or watever. At this point, Ben Sheets and Oliver Perez look real good. Sheets, when healthy is an electric #2 and will be significantly better signing than Burnett, both money and in my opinion value. Oliver Perez, is a young, filthy lefthander and is 27 years old! He has control issues but could be groomed and we are missing a stud lefty without CC. Also, hes 27, and will be very cheap, 27! Although with this, our staff would read Wang, Sheets, Pettite, Perez, Joba, (hughes/aveces if needed). That looks pretty dominant. Wang, 200+ innings if healthy, 19 game winner. Sheets, if healthy, 16 wins, nasty stuff. Pettite 200+ innings, clutch player. Perez, if on, the results could be great. Joba, we dont even know his true potential yet. AND best of all, if these acquisitions occur, Tex can be pursued with confidence. Please respond agreeing or disagreeing. Thanks

Just another question, does anyone else the CC signing may not be worth it after all? I mean, its not like hes going to an exaggerated ace with 20 wins and a 3 era with 200 k's for the next 6 years, let alone one. And if he cannot achieve that, is it really worth it? Also, hes not going to be motivated. The only reason he would be coming to New York is not because he likes it, but because he likes 140 million in GUARANTEED CASH. That spells no motivation. If we get a few young free agents with shorter contracts, and more heart, then we do two things; 1, eliminate another go from entering the clubhouse and 2, free up more cash for a hitter. I know you guys are probably sick of this figure, but its true; we had a lower ERA by .20 points in 2008, compared to 2007 and had almost 200 runs less. Also, the departure of giambi, an aging damon, jeter and posoda coming off surgery, we dont even have a guaranteed lineup. Lets get Tex, and a few young pitchers, and we will be golden.

Seth,
Have you ever heard CC say he doesn't want to play in NY? All we hear is what the media reports and they say he loves California and would like to play near his home- wouldn't every ballplayer? But that doesn't necessarily happen. Don't take CC's not jumping on the Yankees first offer as a sign that he is not interested in coming at all.
Agents run the show these days and CC's agent is doing right by his client by gathering information. The Yanks made the first offer, but other teams may do so and at that time if they are not even close then I think CC will join the Yanks, if they are close, they will try to squeeze even more money out of the Yanks and you know what? The Yanks would go higher- there is no way they made their best and final offer right out of the gate. The first offer was pretty easy, just topped Santana's contract by a few $M and make it an even$140M.
It's just business and CC and the agent are playing the waiting game.
When is the last time you can remember a big name free agent signing a contract in early November anyway? They almost always wait until early December.

I think the signings will come fast and furious once that first domino falls (CC, Tex, Burnett).

Perez is 27...CC is 28 and doesn't need to be groomed. Who cares if he is cheap? The Yanks print money in the basement of the stadium.
Perez simply cannot get the ball over the plate and at age 27 I have a hard time believing that he will suddenly put it all together.

I like Sheets a lot when he is healthy, which is about 25% of the time As I said earlier, on an incentive rich deal I love him, but for the Yanks to count on him as a pillar in the rotation? That spells disaster to me and do you know how Yank fans spell pitching disaster? It's P-A-V-A-N-O and we've been down that road already.

Jim A.,
i absolutely agree that CC is a priority. Its just a matter of, will he in the end choose to come. You are right as well that the yankees will raise the offer if necessary, i believe to around 160-165 mill. All i am saying, is that if they are going to get CC, then NOT pursue texiera, i think that is a big mistake. The yanks need offense as well as pitching. And also, i think signing Burnett to 5 is a big mistake. He has been on the DL more than Sheets. If the Yanks get CC and cant get Texeria, then is the only time i would take a jump on the 5 year Burnett Train because we are the only team in baseball that would do it.

Seth,
I haven't heard any Yankees Executives quoted as saying they have any interest in Burnett at 5 years so I'll just say that is probably generated by Burnett's agent to get other teams moving- it's all gamesmanship right now to see how far a team can be pushed.

It seems like everyone will wait on CC because once he signs, Burnett will immediately talk seriously to the teams that bid on him and lost, then Lowe will do the same thing. Teixeira is in the same boat, if the Yanks don't get CC, they will feel the need to add a big name just to do it and that will probably mean Teixeira.

My feeling is I'd like the Yanks to get them both- they are both in their primes and they fill holes that the Yanks have right now (I just don't by Swisher as the answer at first, especially when you remove Abreu and Giambi from the offense) so I'm with you on the Teixeira front.

Jim A.,
Lets just say we get CC AND Tex somehow. Now, what do you do about the rest of our staff?
CC
Wang
Pettite
Joba
_____?
_____?

AND ALSO: I am a believer of Joba in the bullpen. Dont ask me why, but IMO if we are spending all of this money on quality starters, they should be able to get us to inning #7 six with a lead the majority of the time. We got Bruney, Coke, Marte and JOBA should join them. With that combination, we could return to '96-'99 form with a six inning game. Also, Rivera has 2 years or 3 years left on his contract i think. When he is gone, what do we do? Joba is so dominant in the pen that i think he should be ready to become our full time closer if and when rivera folds. Please respond

Seth,

The 1998 - 2000 years had four or five starters that would throw 6-7 innings almost every night and had Mo to pitch the 9th.

The dominant Mo-Wetteland combo was just one season and they let Wetteland walk when the season was over. They never had a dominant 1-2 punch after that in the pen and still managed to win 3 more rings and 5 more pennants.

There's no need to have Joba fill that 8th inning role when he's most valuable to this team in the rotation. Take a good look at his start at Fenway when he outpitched Josh Beckett 1-0 and you'll see why.

The Yankees certainly see it that way and Joba himself wants to start. The decision to put him the rotation for the entire 2009 season has already been made.

And Rivera is going to be the closer for at least two more years. Considering how dominant he was last year, it's possible he could pitch longer than that.

The stats show Mo was the most dominant closer in MLB last season and far better than K-Rod.

Worry about grooming a closer when Mo retires. There's a pretty good chance that guy will be Melancon.

Well for starters it is worded that the team offered ODALIS PEREZ a contract he seems to be leaning on returning to the Nats.

look if they cannot get CC and Burnett then be it .
as of now the asking rate for Sheets is a 2 to 3 year contract 13-14 mil per.

there is also as ruse said Penny then there is also Oswalt if the Stros don't improve.

PS seth you have 4 starter already penned in with 2 spaces left ?? that would make it a 6 man rotation

and if what you have is our 4 man rotation then hughes and whom ever will battle it out in ST

Bronx Bomber,
6 man for safety bc they said Joba wont be allowed to pitch 200 innings, maxing out at 150+. And odalis perez, forget that scrub

Viper,
Noone said that the '98 teams had a one-two punch. They had a 6 inning game, thats what i said. With a combination of coke, bruney, marte and joba, the yankees can successfully bridge the gap from the starter to Mo. This would also help majorly if we get injury prone guys like Burnett, or sheets. And, if Hughes ends up in our rotation, he would be on a limit; this would all help big time.

Seth,

Actually, the '98 team had starters that made it a 7 inning game - not a 6 inning game.

That whole 6 inning game formula was one season - in 1996. The starter threw 6.0 IP, Mo would go 2.0 IP, and Wetteland for 1.0 IP.

That all changed when Wetteland left and Mo became the closer in 1997.

Here's the number of times a Yankee starter threw at least 7.0 IP since 1996:

1996: 54
1997: 77
1998: 91
1999: 69
2000: 67
2001: 64
2002: 79
2003: 87
2004: 53
2005: 56
2006: 44
2007: 43
2008: 33

As you can see, the Yankees haven't been back to the postseason since the rotation was throwing 7 innings every other night. This is not a coincidence.

And there's a big difference between someone who consistently throws 6 innings as opposed to 7 innings.

Yankee starters threw at least 7.0 IP an astounding 91 times in 1998. When you only need two innings of relief night after night, how dominant does your 8th inning guy really have to be when Mo is going to pitch the 9th?

The truth is that Marte, Bruney, Melancon, and others can handle the 8th inning. It's going to be Joba's job to hand the ball over to them after he throws 6-7 IP and the Yanks have a lead.

It wasn't the middle relief that made those dynasty teams great. It was the rotation who consistently ate a ton of innings and had Mo to shut it down.

The bridge to Mo only has to be solid for the formula to work effectively. The dominant 8th inning guy is not necessary - especially not at the expense of the rotation where Joba is most valuable.

Since whatever CC gets  is gonna set the high mark for the salary bar, the intent is to drag the current Yankee\CC situation out till the Winter Meetings. That way Boras will have all the GM's under 1 roof, bidding against each other for CC, Burnett, and Lowe. The Yanks should immediately set a deadline that expires at week's end. CC has already had plenty of time to decide just how large a millionaire he wants to be. The Yanks have gotta fill out that rotation, before they get left at the altar.

striaght talker,
agreed.
boras is a freeken genious. He will hopefully have his way with CC waiting till the meetings then everyone bidding for CC, so the values of every other Boras client increase.

the yanks need to get CC before the meetings so they can have at least 1 piece nailed down, and hopefully get another solid F.A. pitcher, not at an overblown price.

i would really love to lock CC up soon. then at the winter weetings, they hit up tex and a lowe and maybe been sheets, or just burnett. I would be extremely happy with that.

we don't know enough about Melocon to SAY HE IS GOING TO DEF, do the Job.

However with fragile pitchers and depleted offense you might not make it to the seventh.

And of those 90's team what was their come from behind ratio?

remember your offense as well need AVERAGE and High On base % hitters. or the clutch hitter which I envision Swisher being that game time clutch hitter who may be 0-4 coming up to that critical 5th at bat and delivering that hit.

If joba cannot do 7 innings avg all year and he breaks down on Injury then realistically it would be a failure. Health willing he would be the all year dominant starter and if he is pitching in the 5 spot and healthy look for him to have alot of wins.

Yeah, talker, that's what Boras is doing - especially since he represents neither Sabathia nor Burnett.

Sabathia is represented by the uber-agent Greg Genske.

Burnett is represented by Darek Braunecker.

Boras represents Teixeira and Lowe.

Once Sabathia makes a decision - the other dominoes will start falling.

But Sabathia is the biggest fish and everyone else will basically follow his lead. If Sabathia chooses the Yanks, then Teixeira is probably headed back to the Angels and so on.

Bomber,

Here's the deal.

Teams with very good starting pitching who also play good defense will always be in the middle of a playoff race no matter how the offense fares.

Worry about the offense after they take care of the rotation.

If they do get Sabathia, they will not sign Teixeira. You can bet on it.

People think this team has an unlimited payroll, but that's not true and Cashman himself has been saying for three years that he wants to lower the payroll. So does Hal.

Expect it to be in the $180M range - down from$210M in '08.

Seth,
Regarding your post about the last two spots in the rotation, I would have no problem with Burnett and leave Hughes as the guy to fill in when needed.

Please look into the Boras-Genske connection before going Hank on me once again. As I said before, look before you lip.

Whatever you say, talker. Clearly, you don't have any idea what you're talking about.

We've heard nothing but silence coming from the Sabathia camp and he's the biggest fish.

As we've seen a thousand times, clients who have Boras representing them or have any real ties to him are anything but quiet when it's time to get paid.

Outrageous contract demands are par for the course.

We've already heard big demands from every major player represented by Boras like Teixeria, Manny, and Lowe. We heard it a year ago with A-Rod and his big demands. We'll hear it again next offseason when Holliday is on the market.

That's the way Boras operates and always has. His negotiating and media tactics are never quiet.

So, obviously, Genske isn't playing the Boras handbook.

Tell us some more nonsense.

Your bombastic pronouncements do not conceal your veil of ignorance. They only serve to expose it. I have led you to the path of enlightenment. I cannot journey down that path for you. The days ahead will reveal the path you have chosen.

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