Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Who Got Da Props?
2007-02-13 09:39
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Mariano Rivera's contract is up at the end of the season. In order for him to stay in New York, he wants the Yankees to show him some respect, i.e. buckets o cash. Somehow, in spite of the fact that Rivera is 37, I think the Yanks will find a way to come to accommodate his wishes. Murray Chass, Joel Sherman and John Harper weigh in with their thoughts.

2007-02-13 10:08:23
1.   vockins
This one is easy - give the man what he wants.
2007-02-13 10:15:23
2.   smingers
According to, the Yanks have resigned Villone. I would have rather had the draft pick.
2007-02-13 10:25:06
3.   Shaun P
Mo is worth his weight in gold, figuratively and literally. The Yanks will pay him what he wants, no doubt.

2 Any other confirmation of that?

2007-02-13 10:27:38
4.   wsporter
Can't imagine Mo leaving or the Yankees allowing it to happen. There is no one they can replace him with at a price that approaches signing him who can bring what he does. Is this really that complex? Two years from now it may be a far different discussion.

That may be the most positive thing the Chassticle has written in the last ten years. Sixteen months isn't much time to effectively change the corporate culture of such a large and powerful institution as the Yankees. Ca$h is off to a good start. He'll figure this Mo thing out.

If I'm the rest of the teams in MLB I think I'd be crapping a brick right now when I contemplate that the Yankees may finally understand what is needed to win under these current market conditions. With their money there won't be many worthy non-drafted free agents who escape their notice. With things happening like Nardi Contras teaching and Billy Connors finally being confined to doing what he's really good at - running his mouth - the future looks good.

2007-02-13 10:34:03
5.   rbj
Give Mo what he wants.
2007-02-13 10:49:29
6.   kylepetterson
2 From

Ron Villone has agreed to a minor-league deal with the New York Yankees.

He stands to make $2.5 million if he makes the club, which is likely, and an additional $300,000 in incentives based on games pitched. He will compete with Sean Henn and Mike Myers for a spot in the bullpen.

2007-02-13 10:57:00
7.   Jim Dean
Something I learned today:

Mariano (IP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 WHIP):
mL (1990-95): 432 7.21 0.44 2.04 7.96 1.03
ML (1995-??): 881 7.05 0.46 2.31 7.99 1.04

That's projecting! It's like he was born to pitch to those numbers.

Of course, the post-season is plain absurd. Thanks Mo!

2007-02-13 11:03:39
8.   Shaun P
6 Oh good, just a minor league deal for Villone. Who knows, maybe Myers isn't destined to be on the Yanks this year after all.

7 "Of course, the post-season is plain absurd."

Huh? Are you referring to Mo's post-season numbers (so good they are absurd), or are you being sarcastic re: projecting pitchers?

2007-02-13 11:08:22
9.   bp1
Gotta be honest here - I'm not liking someone like Mo saying "if they don't give the respect that I deserve, I have to move on". I know it is silly to think this way - but I guess in my little fantasy world here I like to think that for some guys - some special players - it is about more than the salary. What if one of the "non face of the Yankees" guys said something like that? Didn't Shef just about use those exact words and get killed in the press? And here?!? Isn't Schilling saying sort of the same thing to the BoSox about his desired extension? God - I can't believe I just wrote that.

I know, I know - Mo is Mo and gets a (deserved) pass. I just wish he hadn't said it quite that way. Now that it is an issue, we'll be hearing it all year or until it is settled.


Last year was the Year of A-Rod. This year is going to be the Year of Contract?

But anyway - I hope he gets signed. Everytime he jogs in from the bullpen, it's like I sit up straight and can't look away. Baseball is entertainment, and it don't get any better than the "Enter Sandman" moment.

2007-02-13 11:10:15
10.   Jim Dean
8 I guess both would apply, but I was thinking "he's so good it's absurd".

There truly is only one Mariano Rivera.

And he should finally be paid as such.

2007-02-13 11:10:21
11.   Knuckles
Pay the man.

All the recent fiscal responsbility means nothing if you don't use your fat wallet advantage where it has the most impact. Unless the Cashman has some specific reasoning to expect a sharp downturn or injury for Mo, OR the club has privately (and confidently) identified his successor, he should be extended. If you're wary of two years, then go a little high for year one, and add an automatic option for year 2 that kicks in based upon innings pitched.

2007-02-13 11:10:22
12.   JL25and3
On the one hand, the draft pick might have been nice.

On the other hand, Myers and Henn? I'd rather have Villone.

2007-02-13 11:10:22
13.   Jim Dean
8 I guess both would apply, but I was thinking "he's so good it's absurd".

There truly is only one Mariano Rivera.

And he should finally be paid as such.

2007-02-13 11:12:09
14.   Jim Dean
Honest - I hit 'submit' once!
2007-02-13 11:12:42
15.   JL25and3
7 Kind of amusing - because, of course, he was a completely different pitcher in the minors.
2007-02-13 11:17:03
16.   Jim Dean
15 That's the thing - I look at that and really wonder: Was he?

Sure he was starter, but in my mind it's very hard to argue he changed much more than that since the results are identical.

2007-02-13 11:23:37
17.   Knuckles
I've always admired the McFarlane 'Starting Lineup' type figures, but have never bought any. I've been meaning to track down a Don Mattingly one.
That's all about change, though.
Check. This. Out.
2007-02-13 11:27:15
18.   Cliff Corcoran
Minor league numbers very much predict major league performance. Though usually that's more true for hitters than pitchers. Mo, as always, is something of a freak.

The Yanks will resign both Jorge and Mariano, I have no doubts about either. Seems like a non-story designed to fill talk radio airtime to me. Unlike Bernie, both are still among the best in baseball at what they do.

Lastly, Myers has a major league deal, so the Yanks would have to trade him or cut him and eat his contract to keep him off the roster. I don't see either happening, but I'd think if Villone pitches even moderately well this spring he'll make the team. As I said in the last thread, Henn's giving me major Alex Graman vibes right about now.

2007-02-13 11:31:29
19.   Jim Dean
17 That is a keeper.

18 I knew that about hitters. But I was shocked because I thought like 15 and now think the guy was special for a very long time. Perhaps from the birth of the universe :)

2007-02-13 11:34:26
20.   Dimelo
Even if Mo (God forbid) puts his arm through a wood chipper, then he still deserves a blank check from the Yankees.
2007-02-13 11:36:37
21.   Jim Dean
17 "The strains of "Enter Sandman" ring through Yankee Stadium, a door opens in the outfield wall and out walks the most dominant closer in the history of the game. Mariano Rivera has taken the mound under the brightest of spotlights for the last decade and delivered inning upon inning of brilliant relief -- breaking bats and killing dreams all along the way."

Love that last part.

2007-02-13 11:38:35
22.   joejoejoe
Give him Pettitte's contract - $16M per with extensions at Mariano's discretion. Simple.
2007-02-13 11:44:00
23.   Shaun P
17 Where do I pre-order?

18 However, Myers's salary is only $1.25M, and if Villone pitches well enough to make the team, will the Yanks really carry 2 lefties again? Especially since that leaves only 1 bullpen spot open for Bruney, Britton, Rasner, Karstens, etc?

Admittedly the Yanks could option the remaining lot down to Scranton . . . but I think the Yanks will head north with only 1 lefty.

2007-02-13 11:58:06
24.   The Mick 536
Not one person mentioned the problems that MO has been having. Seems to me that they shut him down a few times the last couple of years.

It is a matter of how he pitches, isn't it? If he does well, give him lots of money, year to year. More chance that Jorge holds up then Mo. But, they do owe him a Cy Young, don't they?

Don't get me wrong. I love both of them and cannot see the team moving them if they can still play at the high lever at which they have been playing. But to keep them for sentimental reasons, I don't think so. And same goes for Bernie

Historically, go back to 1977-78. Sparky wins Cy Young in 1977. Goose wins Rolaids in 1978. Sparky gone in 1979 to Texas. Nettles, "Cy Young to syanara."

2007-02-13 12:02:26
25.   Popcult
I'm a Mariano fan as much as the next guy, but I hate it when pro athletes use the "R" word when it comes to contract negotiations. In sports, respect is now just a euphemism for getting as much money as humanly possible from a team. What gets me is that Rivera is behaving just like any other greedy athlete at this point-isn't this the same guy who was telling us that after this current contract expires, he'd become a evangelical minister back in Panama? No one seems to mention that these days but I'm sure someone can find a few of those articles (such as this one: It just seems somewhat hypocritical of Mo to be reading the bible in the bullpen, talking about God and religion etc., then turn around and be milking his team for every last dime under the pretense of being respected. I'd like to think he was above such petty matters.
2007-02-13 12:02:50
26.   wsporter
23 MFD, One lefty in the pen and two on the starting staff. I agree and don't see both Villone and Myers heading North with the big club.

I do think that signing Villone may spell the end for Mssr. S. Henn. That's too bad, he's something of a one trick piney and that TJ surgery took most of that one trick away. A couple of ticks on that 4 seamer really made a difference. I guess you can't hide a lack of command even if you are a lefty.

2007-02-13 12:23:16
27.   tommyl
25 He's not saying anything like that. Its mostly just media types looking for a story. From Peter Abraham:

I talked to some people who interviewed Mariano Rivera. His tone was not inflammatory at all. Just saying he's going to do what he has to do, he wants to stay and the sides will talk. It's the usual rhetoric.

There's no cause for alarm – although I'm sure some headlines tomorrow won't reflect that.

2007-02-13 12:25:28
28.   Bama Yankee
3 "Mo is worth his weight in gold, figuratively and literally"

You are short changing Mo according to this site:

It's probably more like this guy's weight in gold (or maybe even platinum):

2007-02-13 12:40:42
29.   Shaun P
28 I did not need to see that picture. Ugh.

Well then Bama, Mo is worth at least 10 times his weight in gold! =)

Gold clearly isn't worth what it used to be.

26 MFD, nice save for reminding me about the rotation and its two lefties. Of course I meant the Yanks head north with only 1 lefty in the pen.

Its a shame that, if Henn's days are numbered, Cashman couldn't turn him into something of value. But since he's out of options, no team is dumb enough to trade for a guy who's likely to be waived or released in 6 weeks anyway.

Though after reading Derek Zumsteg's latest rant about the Mariners, you wonder if maybe they would take Henn for something useful . . .

2007-02-13 12:59:00
30.   mehmattski
17 Oh. Man. I actually have the first version, which is Mo in his full extension, throwing that beautiful cutter. For some reason he also has a slight mustache.

Anyway, to quote John Malkovich's character (Teddy KGB) in Rounders, with a thick Russian accent:

Pay the man. Pay that man his money.

2007-02-13 13:02:12
31.   TheWord
I think there are 4 Yankees that will have a contract for as long as they want.

Mariano Rivera
Derek Jeter
Jorge Posada
Mike Mussina

Bernie COULD have been on that list, but good hitting outfielders are much easier to find compared to shortstops and catchers.

Mo is Mo. This needs no explanation.

Moose is not on the same level as the other 3, but the Yanks love him, and it's likely he'll retire before the Yanks no longer want him.

I'm not worried about Mo getting an extension. He's not going anywhere.

2007-02-13 13:25:52
32.   joejoejoe
'Respect' is a euphemism for 'I may give you a hometown discount, but don't expect one'. I think athletes would sound more professional if they just said 'I expect to paid fair market value. I'll forgo some salary and risk by agreeing to a contract without becoming a free agent but management should not use my love of this team and city as a lever to negotiate lower business costs.'

Bernie has a legitimate gripe because he took the hometown discount last year to stay a Yankee when he could have gotten a 2 or 3 year contract for good money. Now he gets a gold watch and bad press for not applauding the fact that the Yankees gave Doug Alphabet his roster spot as thanks for 16 years of service. The way the Yankees have handled Bernie and his roster spot could come back to bite them in dealings with Rivera and Posada.

2007-02-13 14:15:04
33.   Shaun P
32 Bernie took 'the hometown discount' last year? What? Are you saying that an OF who can't play average defense in the outfield, has no ability to play 1B, has a horrible track record as a pinch hitter, and hit like Tony Womack (.249/.321/.367) with no speed in 2005 was worth more than $1.5 million? And that he has a gripe now because that's all the Yanks offered?!

Bernie took the contract the Yanks offered last year because he wanted to play for the Yanks, not because there was any kind of discount involved. End of story.

By the way, according to, Bernie received $103,100,001 in salary from the Yanks for his 16 years of service. To suggest they owe him anything above and beyond that - such as a guaranteed contract for 2007 when he is of no value on the field to the team - is sentimentality, which has no place in the running of a baseball team who's sole objective (as Cap'n Jeter constantly reminds us) is to win the Serious.

How Don Mattingly 'retired' had no impact, none whatsoever, on Paul O'Neill's contract dealings with the Yanks. I fully expect Bernie's retirement - that's what it is - to have no impact on Posada and Mo's contract dealings with the Yanks.

2007-02-13 14:20:10
34.   Rich
It's kind of sad that Mariano Rivera has turned into Scarlett O'Hara.
2007-02-13 14:41:30
35.   ny2ca2dc
re: Mo, Bernie, Posada, I'd be happy for the team to hand out one year contracts to these guys when they're almost done. They can play reserve/bench for a one-year farewell tour. The thing is, Bernie had that already - in 2006. Po will probably be fine for this year, and hopefully next, with the following year probably his farewell tour. Mo might be the same, plus/minus a year or so. Who would you rather have as your backup catcher, and aging slowed JoPo, or that years version of Fasano? the last guy in the pen, or Mo? I'm all for hard nosed assessments, but the way you treat people is also a business decision, and if players see their teammates cast off, it will give them pause when they're nearing the end (a la Mo right now), and they'd be right to pause...
2007-02-13 14:42:24
36.   C2Coke
9,25,27 What you said is precisely the reason why I know I will love the new audio feature that's gonna happen on Peter Abraham's blog. The media tends to translate certain things (especially the mood and emotion) before they get it out to the readers. I don't think it's fair to judge what happened unless we get first hand info.

On the other hand, I think Mo can draft the contract himself...

2007-02-13 14:54:31
37.   AbbyNormal821
Hey all - the media is making Mo look like the greedy, spoiled athlete. He's the furthest thing from that, and I think we all know that. I know a lot of you have said prior to me, but f*ck it, I'll say it again...

You can't put a price on him - he's pricless. But if you have to put a price on him, it should be whatever the hell he wants. He's earned it, perhaps more so than any other closer...and dare I say, even some starting pitchers in the last decade.

With all the ludicrous transactions that have gone on this off-season (two words: Gil Meche!), Mo is worth every penny plus the pennies of several other players...and then some.

Just my $.02 - and Mo can have that too, he's earned it!!!

2007-02-13 15:29:54
38.   standuptriple
Guys, part of the price of winning championships is that you have to cut ties with the nostalgic side sometimes. By all means if Mo/Posada/Jeter are productive keep them in house as long as possible. But the Yankee are about winning. If these aren't the guys to get the next title then the Yanks have an obligation to the fans to go in another direction.
2007-02-13 17:47:35
39.   Chyll Will
2007-02-13 18:33:36
40.   Chyll Will
I hope no one was waiting for me to say something, because I'm not. There's no argument. Mo gets mo' anything. Give me a job at FedEx and I'll deliver it to him, sheeeeeet.

Black Moon... maybe, but in my humble opinion, Mo is more Terminator X than Buckshot...

2007-02-13 19:52:38
41.   Mike T
"He'll figure this Mo thing out."

It's real simple:

1. Ask Mo what he wants
2. Put it in writing
3. Hand him a pen

2007-02-13 20:52:04
42.   BklynBmr
What everyone except 34 stated.

Pay. Mo. Now.

'nuff said.

2007-02-14 05:15:44
43.   KJC
9 "Gotta be honest here - I'm not liking someone like Mo saying "if they don't give the respect that I deserve, I have to move on"."

Thank you, bp1 -- your comment (and 25) beat me to it. I'm sick of players equating "respect" for money -- it's becoming another baseball cliche (can it be added to Don Carman's list?).

It drove me nuts when Pedro kept saying it here in Boston: if that guy didn't get respect -- actual respect as well as money -- then nobody did. And I know Mo gets more respect in NY than anyone this side of Jeter. How could you not like & respect the guy? I wish players would drop the whole "respect" thing and just say what they mean: money.

But what will he be making, and for how long a contract? You don't want an ineffective 40+ year old closer making $18+ million. (Of course, that assumes that Mo will ever be ineffective -- as a Sox fan, I can only hope...)

2007-02-14 05:47:08
44.   Raf
36 I heard Rivera's "respect" comments on 1010-WINS. He sounded pretty agitated, but I don't know if it was because of the series of questions asked.

Anyway, they reported Torre's contract situation today, and he said he'll worry about it after the season.

2007-02-14 07:18:06
45.   Comrade Al
Well, no one is talking about A-Rod now.

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