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Head Games
2007-12-19 05:42
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Baseball has barely had an off-day since the end of the World Serious this year. Even before the release of The Mitchell Report last week, the Hot Stove League has kept us all busier than normal. Especially us Yankee fans. Ever feel as if the constant media coverage--including the daily posts here at Bronx Banter--is just overwhelming? Sometimes, it's just crosstown traffic, a lot of noise to me, and I'm as much a junkie, insatiable for breaking news, as the rest of you. In light of all this activity, my annual posting of the following Roger Angell quote, may seem old fashioned or wistful for a quieter time. I'm not generally one for nostalgia, but so be it. I'm a willfully stick my head in the sand for a minute and give my winter fantasies some room to roam:

"There is a game of baseball that is not to be found in the schedules or the record books. It has no season, but it is best played in the winter, without the distraction of box scores and standings. This is the inner game, baseball in the mind, and there is no real fan who does not know it. It is a game of recollections, recapturings, and visions. Yet this is only the beginning, for baseball in the mind in not a mere yearning and returning. In time, this easy envisioning of restored players, winning hits, and famous rallies gives way to reconsiderations and reflections about the sport itself. By thinking about baseball like this, by playing it over and yet keeping it to ourselves, keeping it warm in a cold season, we begin to make discoveries. With luck, we may even penetrate some of its mysteries and learn once again how richly and variously the game can reward us."

Roger Angell, from "Baseball in the Mind"

Chew on that. We'll be back shortly with more buzz.

Comments
2007-12-19 06:29:22
1.   Knuckles
If they keep raising tickets prices, "baseball in the mind" is going to be the only version of this sport I can afford!
2007-12-19 06:51:38
2.   dianagramr
This "baseball saturation" is just a microcosm of life at large. We have so many ways of disseminating information now ... so many ways of storing and preserving it ... so many ways of accessing it.

Even 10 years ago, did you ever think you'd be able to watch baseball on your cel phone?

2007-12-19 07:05:29
3.   Alex Belth
"Even 10 years ago, did you ever think you'd be able to watch baseball on your cel phone?"

Good point. It is all just overwhelming sometimes...

2007-12-19 07:39:02
4.   YankeeInMichigan
The highlight of "winter baseball" is Cliff's post-mortem. When will we see it?
2007-12-19 07:41:41
5.   Schteeve
Seriously, baseball is one of the few things that I am truly passionate about. I love it, i learn from it and I spend inordinate amounts of time thinking about it. The fact that forums like this provide a constant stream of content and conversation around the game is a wonderful thing. Don't slow down with the posting and bantering and what not.
2007-12-19 07:42:33
6.   Raf
I have a library of baseball tapes & dvd's at my disposal. Youtube is a great resource too.

On occasion, Classic Sports, YES & SNY has a replayed game worth watching.

Of course, it bears mentioning that the winter leagues are going strong in the caribbean (which usually lasts until spring training).

2007-12-19 07:47:07
7.   Alex Belth
Cliff is really busy with some professional gigs at the moment. I know he wants to get to the post-mortem, but it might be a minute before he can break free.
2007-12-19 07:55:04
8.   Raf
If any of you guys & gals want to keep busy, Steve L. @ WasWatching is accepting "Cashman Appreciation" essays :)

http://tinyurl.com/3xhrwu

2007-12-19 08:24:22
9.   Yankee Fan In Boston
i will preface this by saying that i love mariano rivera, appreciate all that he has accomplished and am pleased that he is returning.

so...

why on earth should the guy be mad about a 3 year / $45M contract?

"He is really mad," the source said. "But he'll still sign eventually."

http://tinyurl.com/39qhmx

he wants an additional option year.

c'mon, mo. don't get all sheffield on me now.

2007-12-19 08:41:15
10.   horace-clarke-era
Apropos Mo (and to get off the damned Mitchell thing for at least a bit!) ... I saw that both Nathan and K Rod are free agents next year and speculation was that both would surpass Mo's legacy deal. I kind of doubted it, but 10 million for Gagne, even 1 year, makes my earlier post about Nathan getting 12-13 million per, for 4-5 seem a possibly conservative.

Bottom line, surely: no possible way he comes here to be a set-up guy, as some were guessing (dreaming?).

2007-12-19 08:44:12
11.   ny2ca2dc
9 WTF, didn't his deal get finalized yesterday?!
2007-12-19 08:44:54
12.   Nick from Washington Heights
9 Mo already officially signed with the Yanks. That article seems like a mistake. I remember reading some of those exact quotes in November.
2007-12-19 08:46:02
13.   domvjr
(9) I think your referring to the article in today's News. I am almost positive that is a reprint from a story printed early last month. It would seem odd that Mo is still mad after reading his comments in his conference call a couple of days ago.
2007-12-19 08:47:15
14.   Yankee Fan In Boston
11 i am confused by this development on several levels.

the article is dated as being published today.

2007-12-19 08:48:17
15.   Yankee Fan In Boston
13 alright.

thanks.

as you were.

2007-12-19 08:55:38
16.   JL25and3
9 "c'mon, mo. don't get all sheffield on me now."

That'll never happen. Mo is Latino, so the owners know they can tell him what to do, they can control him. Where Gary Sheffield's from, you can't control him. You have to talk to him with respect, talk to him like a man.

And while we're at it: Gary Sheffield never did steroids. Steroids are when you stick a needle in your butt.

2007-12-19 09:01:21
17.   Yankee Fan In Boston
16 and thank you as well.

sheffieldisms are beautiful things.

2007-12-19 09:30:49
18.   rbj
The word on the Yankees' website is "finalized." Conspicuously absent is the word "signed."

So I assume all the "i"s are dotted, "t"s crossed, dollar signs filled in, and just waiting for Mo's John Hancock.

2007-12-19 10:03:33
19.   NJYankee41
Off topic: Does anyone know of or have any information on corporate softball leagues in the Northern NJ area? My company is looking to join one and I have been looking everywhere without much success. Thanks.
2007-12-19 10:26:14
20.   Yankee Fan In Boston
18 that's herbie hancock.
2007-12-19 10:49:29
21.   JL25and3
20 Come on, now. Mo pitches inside, but he's never been accused of being a Head Hunter.
2007-12-19 10:52:59
22.   rbj
And only 58 days until pitchers and catchers.
2007-12-19 10:56:32
23.   Yankee Fan In Boston
21 nice!
2007-12-19 10:56:47
24.   Yankee Fan In Boston
22 even nicer.
2007-12-19 11:17:32
25.   Raf
19 Check the recreation dept @ the town/city hall where the offices are located.
2007-12-19 11:36:44
26.   OldYanksFan
From YES:
On Monday, Rivera denied any wishes for four years.

"It was never was on my mind," Rivera said. "I asked for three years and that's what they were giving. I don't know where that came out, that we wanted four years. I never asked for a fourth year."

Now with Rivera secured, the Yankees can continue revamping their bullpen.

2007-12-19 11:38:32
27.   OldYanksFan
It ain't over 'till the Fat Lady sings...
WASHINGTON -- Congress announced plans Tuesday to review the use of performance-enhancing drugs, with star-studded hearings scheduled next month and legislation to limit access to steroids and human growth hormone.

Two House panels are planning mid-January hearings featuring former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, author of a bombshell report last week that linked more than 80 baseball players to the illegal use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. Players, likely some of those named in the report, could be invited to testify as well.

2007-12-19 11:52:04
28.   AbbyNormal821
22 Aaah, makes my heart all a flutter!
2007-12-19 12:15:47
29.   Shaun P
27 There's the dog and pony show, right on schedule.

Anyone in the City know how the "Fire Isiah" protest went? I'm guessing its over by now.

2007-12-19 12:36:21
30.   Knuckles
I tell ya, if I still worked in One Penn, that protest would be just getting warmed up.
2007-12-19 13:16:32
31.   JL25and3
I don't know crap about basketball, and even I know he should be fired. The lawsuit alone should have been enough.

Those must be some amazing pictures of Dolan he's got.

2007-12-19 13:53:59
32.   Alex Belth
The Daily News has an entire page ad (?) that reads "Fire Isiah" today, presumably to be cut-out and brought to the game. Brutal, juice. Thomas and Dolan are really tight, and they deserve each other. I'm afraid canning Isiah and still being stuck with Dolan isn't too much of a help. That said, I find Isiah to be a singularly creepy guy, not to mention a lousy executive and coach. The sooner he's gone, the better.
2007-12-19 14:11:52
33.   OldYanksFan
From the Nation: The Mitchell Report Is a Fraud
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20071231/zirin

"Ever had someone spit in your face and tell you it's raining? That's how it felt watching former Senator George Mitchell's press conference on steroid use in Major League Baseball. The former Senate majority leader unleashed his "investigative findings" in the somber, deliberate tones of an exhausted undertaker. Mitchell strained to heap scorn upon baseball owners and the player's union for being "slow to act." Yet beneath the surface, his report is ugly, sanctimonious fraud, meant to absolve those at the top and pin blame on a motley crew of retired players, trainers and clubhouse attendants. This is truly the old saw of the magical fishing net that captures minnows but lets the whales swim free. "

2007-12-19 14:13:48
34.   Chyll Will
21 Wowzers >;)
2007-12-19 14:30:21
35.   randym77
From Jayson Stark's column today:

===
Elsewhere on the Santana front, a tug-of-war could be looming between Yankees GM Brian Cashman and Principal Son Hank Steinbrenner over Santana.

It's clear that since talks broke down, many of the Yankees' baseball people have had second thoughts about including Phil Hughes in any package for Santana -- which effectively would obliterate any chance of that deal happening.

But according to one baseball man who has spoken to the Yankees' brass, Steinbrenner is "moving towards it." And if he moves any further toward doing that deal, he could find himself in a fascinating debate with Cashman and others over whether to pull this very large trigger. If that happens, why do we think it might not be the last debate Cashman has with Hank Steinbrenner?

And as the Yankees, Mets and Red Sox jockey for prime Santana position, the rest of the sport watches from afar, trying to handicap where this will lead. One AL executive still thinks it will eventually lead Santana to the Bronx.

"The Twins are doing the right thing, waiting for the right deal," he said. "But the Red Sox don't need to panic. They don't need him. There's no reason for them to get anxious. But the Yankees actually do need him. They're just trying to convince themselves they don't."
===

And near as I can tell, with my lousy Spanish, the Yankees have pulled Melky Cabrera from winterball, but are allowing Robinson Cano and Bobby Abreu to play. Hmmm....

2007-12-19 15:09:38
36.   Zavo
To add to 31 , this is from Heyman today:

---
The Johan Santana Sweepstakes are likely to come down to whether new Yankees boss Hank Steinbrenner is willing to overrule GM Brian Cashman again. Steinbrenner wants to go for Santana, Cashman doesn't (at least not at the cost of Phil Hughes).

Word is that Steinbrenner the Younger would like to back Cashman, especially after disregarding the GM on whether to hold firm at three years for Jorge Posada and no years for Alex Rodriguez after A-Rod opted out. However, some executives around the league are predicting that Steinbrenner will ignore Cashman's advice to keep Hughes and save the $23 million a year or so, and that the Yankees will eventually land Santana.

The package would be expected to include center fielder Melky Cabrera, pitching prospect Jeff Marquez and another prospect in addition to Hughes. The Red Sox and Mets remain in the bidding and can't be counted out. But the Twins appear to be waiting for someone to bend, and the short history suggests that Junior Steinbrenner is the most likely to do so.

---
Interesting that, according to this, Cashman didn't want to sign ARod after he opted out and thought they should hold the line on Jorge.

2007-12-19 15:10:24
37.   Zavo
I'm sorry, my 36 should have been a reference to 35
2007-12-19 15:19:40
38.   randym77
36 Wow. Cashman's star certainly has fallen. Was it only a year ago that he was supposed to have taken charge of the Yankees from the Tampa Cabal, etc.?

And yeah, that bit about A-Rod is interesting...

2007-12-19 15:37:19
39.   Zavo
There was talk on the Yankees Hot Stove show on YES a few weeks ago that Hank wanted to offer Cashman an extension and Cash said he wanted to concentrate on fixing the team and getting it ready for the season. That this wasn't the right time to talk about an extension.

I wonder if Cash is feeling like he is losing control again and doesn't want to deal with it.

2007-12-19 15:55:27
40.   mehmattski
"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring."
~Rogers Hornsby
2007-12-19 16:18:34
41.   rbj
40 About the only thing Rogers Hornsby said that I can agree with.

Cashman was right not to initiate discussions with A-Rod. Alex had to go to the Yankees first. Personally, I'd rather go with the kids than trade a bunch of them for Santana.

2007-12-19 17:00:51
42.   randym77
41 Sounds like it wasn't just "initiating" discussions with A-Rod he was against. It sounds like Cashman didn't want to sign A-Rod at all after he opted out. (And I can understand that. He gave A-Rod an ultimatum. Maybe he shouldn't have, but once he did, he kind of had to stick to it, or lost face.)

Hank, OTOH, doesn't seem to worry about things like that. See his "deadline" to the Twins with regard to Santana.

2007-12-19 20:08:18
43.   weeping for brunnhilde
40 Hear, hear.

Winter's for the fucking birds.

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