Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Richard Ben, Ted and Alex
2008-07-28 10:48
by Alex Belth

In the introduction to his short book, "What Do You Think of Ted Williams Now?" (based on an Esquire magazine profile written more than twenty years ago), Richard Ben Cramer writes:

Reputation dies hard in the baseball nation, and in the larger industry of American iconography. Even at the close of the century, forty years after he'd left the field, there still attached to Ted a lingering whiff of bile from the days when he spat toward booing Fenway fans. And there were heartbroken hundreds who'd freshen that scent with their stories: how hew as rude to them when they tried ti interrupt him for an autography or a grip-and-grin photo. (The thousands who got their signatures or snapshots found that unremarkable.)

In the northeast corner of the nation, there were still thousands who blamed Ted for neverl hauling the Red Sox to World Series triumph. (Someone must bear the blame for decades of disappointment when their own rooting love was so piquant and pure.)...Around New York more thousands still resented Ted--and had to reduce him--for contesting with Joe DiMaggio for the title of the Greatest of the Golden Age. They insisted that Ted never won anything (and reviled him, in short for never being a Yankee).

Reading this, it struck me that it's no surprise that Cramer's next biography is about Alex Rodriguez. What do you expect to get from this forthcoming biography on Rodriguez? Even better, what do you hope to find in the book?

2008-07-28 11:04:03
1.   horace-clarke-era
Cramer's book on Dimaggio was hard-edged and sometimes unpleasant reading, but mainly because he dug up some seriously unpleasant aspects of Joe D. The desire to side with Paul Simon and lament the Clipper gets trumped by messy facts.

A more current messy fact, about Wash, from a Seattle piece. From their point of view, I cannot fault the logic. If we give them nothing back they can choose to just waive him whenever. We have no 'edge' on it. But I would NOT want to deal Melky at all, or even Gardner (though Gardner has really little place in our future, seems to me). The only issue (for Seattle) is how many teams might want to pick up that 10 million+ for next year, I guess. If they want to be SURE of dodging it they deal ... but can also wait till winter.

"All kidding aside, as the M's look to score at least one player -- Melky Cabrera or Brett Gardner -- as well as getting the Yankees to take all of Washburn's salary (no way Seattle lands both players, even if they try), they actually do have some cards to play. I don't see this brought up very often, but the July 31 trade deadline is in fact, merely the deadline where players can be dealt without having to clear waivers.

So, what would happen if the M's tried to deal Washburn after July 31? Why, he'd have to clear waivers first. And if another team put a claim in on him -- either out of sheer interest or merely to "block" a trade to New York -- then Washburn could be recalled by the M's, or that team putting in the claim could wind up with him -- at full cost.

How does that hurt the M's? It would only hurt if the Yankees were sending players back the other way. A scuttled deal would be a scuttled deal. No one gets anything.

But what if it's a cash-only deal with maybe a mediocre prospect coming Seattle's way? Well then, heck, all the M's would lose is a next-to-nothing prospect.

In other words, the real deadline for the M's, if the Yankees stick to their negotiating stance of merely picking up Washburn's contract, while sending a breathing body to the M's for appearances' sake, isn't really July 31. It's actually Aug. 31.

What harm would there be to Seattle completing such a cash-only deal with the Yanks in two weeks? If the Cards were to jump in and claim Washburn before the deal could go through, then St. Louis would get stuck with the pitcher's remaining salary through 2009. Makes no difference to the M's. Other than the two weeks more that Seattle would have to pay Washburn. Minimial money, considering he still is owed roughly 33 weeks more in pay on his contract.

So, why not sit around and wait?"

2008-07-28 11:04:14
2.   tommyl
Not pictures with Kaballah. None of those please.
2008-07-28 11:48:08
3.   Sliced Bread
I might be alone on this, but I'm very not looking forward to the next required reading about the third baseman.
What could possibly be in his dumpster that hasn't been dug up yet?
Cramer should just make it a mad lib book because everybody so enjoys filling in the blanks around ARod.
My only hope for this book is that Suzyn Waldman voices the audio version.
2008-07-28 12:33:23
4.   rbj
It should be a picture book filled with nothing but pictures of puppies.
2008-07-28 12:52:27
5.   Sliced Bread
4 and Suzyn could still do the audio version:

Suzyn: "Chapter One, page one: Awwww. Chapter One, page two: lookit the cutesy wootsie! Chapter One, page three: Oh, are these Pomeranian poodles? Adorable! Chapter One, page four..."

2008-07-28 13:02:07
6.   Chyll Will
1 I mentioned the Yankee side of this situation briefly a day or two ago, but as an OT and was completely blown off because of that I guess >;)
2008-07-28 13:25:28
7.   RCK
Well, I would love to read a book that examines Alex as something other than a controversial villain. But I suppose that's not what I'm going to get.
2008-07-28 13:36:17
8.   Chyll Will
7 Does this qualify?

(by the way, you've got the initials of my blasted high school, no offense >;)

2008-07-28 14:10:01
9.   NetShrine
A biography about a guy who is 33-years old? That's crazy. How would Barry Bonds' bio have read if it was written when he was 33? Gotta wait for more time on A-Rod, if you ask me. His story has yet to develop.
2008-07-28 14:22:11
10.   RCK
8 Ha. That's right, I had forgotten about that one. I should get it for my niece and nephews.

(Since it's merely a coincidence, I'll try not to be offended, but being associated with anyone's high school is rarely flattering.)

2008-07-28 14:31:11
11.   Chyll Will
10 My apologies, friend. It's my duty to point out the subtle, coincidental and the absurd whenever they randomly appear. Oh, and I'm kinda big on puns... >;)
2008-07-28 15:00:43
12.   Shaun P
10 My kids like it. Its a little cheesy, but a cute book. Some nice lessons etc.

9 I'm with you, Steve. I suppose it will capitalize on the current interest - and it can always be updated later! ;)

2008-07-28 15:03:20
13.   OldYanksFan
PeteAbe has a poll up asking the inevitable question: If Manny is a FA next year, do you want him in Pinstripes?

Me personally, I don't have the vocabulary to say NO strong enough.

2008-07-28 15:09:31
14.   standuptriple
13 That's exactly the type(s) of contracts the Yanks should stay far, far away from. I'd love to see him get the BLB treatment (but that won't happen).
2008-07-28 15:10:27
15.   Chyll Will
13 Seriously, not even as a full-time DH? Compared to Bonds, how bad can he be? Then you concentrate on getting a decent RF and 1B, or a decent CF and 1B... C'monnnn... >;)
2008-07-28 15:35:21
16.   Chyll Will
Word on SportsCenter is Jorge is definitely having the surgery... will confirm somehow.
2008-07-28 15:51:15
17.   OldYanksFan
Jorge Posada to have season-ending surgery
6:04 PM EDT, July 28, 2008
Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman announced on Monday that catcher Jorge Posada will have season-ending shoulder surgery.

"It's just the obvious way to go," Cashman said.

Cashman made the announcement about an hour after Posada tried to hit in batting practice.

Cashman said he hoped Posada would be ready for the start of next season, but could not guarantee it.

2008-07-28 16:38:39
18.   monkeypants
13 You would sign Bonds in a heartbeat, but not Manny? Interesting.
Bad Moose tonight...interest waning early, especially having to listen to Sterling.
2008-07-29 08:44:29
19.   The Mick 536
9 Not enough of a life to chronicle. I agree. Wonder whose idea it was? Won't be a in depth or as interesting as the Joe D book, because he didn't marry Marilyn Monroe, hang out at Toots Shor's, or sell coffee makers. I'd settle for a little more dirt than Lupica put in Reggie, published in 1984.

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