Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Just What We Need...
2007-09-11 10:37
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

...For MLB to pattern itself after the NBA. This could take some time...

Howard Bryant is now writing for ESPN. He tackles the Mitchell Investigation in his latest piece.

Over at the NY Times' blog, Tyler Kepner has a nice post about Harlan Chamberlain.

Can the Yankees win the East? Larry Mahnken takes a look.

Will Alex Rodriguez leave the Yankees? Tim Marchman thinks that is a possibility:

Some mysteries are no mystery at all. Take the ongoing speculation over whether or not Alex Rodriguez will be a Yankee next year. This is not, in fact, a mysterious issue. It was clear in January that he would opt out of his current contract, it became clearer when he had mounted one of the great displays of hitting the game has ever seen in April, and it is clearer still today, as he readies himself for a drive toward his 60th home run. Thus, absent a massive loss of face for the Yankees brass, he will almost certainly be playing for another team next year.

There are two reasons why this is clear. The first is that Rodriguez's agent, Scott Boras, prefers whenever possible to have his clients set their value on the open market. The second is that the Yankees have loudly proclaimed that if Rodriguez does become a free agent they won't be bidding on him, a claim to which general manager Brian Cashman has publicly attached his name and which has precluded any negotiations on a contract extension that would keep Rodriguez in the Bronx. Because Boras's tactics are sensible and consistent, and because Cashman is not known for publicly lying, it would seem there is only one possible outcome here, absent a sentimental decision on Rodriguez's part to surrender control over his future in exchange for having his games called by Suzyn Waldman.

Thanks to Baseball Think Factory for some of the links...

2007-09-11 11:06:37
1.   Vandelay Industries
"The second is that the Yankees have loudly proclaimed that if Rodriguez does become a free agent they won't be bidding on him, a claim to which general manager Brian Cashman has publicly attached his name and which has precluded any negotiations on a contract extension that would keep Rodriguez in the Bronx."

I believe the Yankees have ten days between the end of the World Series and Alex Rodriguez's opt-out date, a date carefully included in the contract by Mr. Boras. I also believe that if the Yankees and Alex agree to a contract extension in that time period, the money coming from the Texas Rangers would not be affected.

Another silly rumor stirring article leaving out critical facts that any third grader could have written from watching ESPN for a few minutes. Putz!

2007-09-11 11:09:08
2.   OldYanksFan
lets just name the whole damn show FLB and get it over with. I am disgusted with the degree that finances are making final decisions for baseball.

Baseball was always a business. That's why Ruth was traded. But we called it 'our National pastime'. No more. MLB (or FLB) is indistinguishable from IBM or ATT.

2007-09-11 11:10:35
3.   Sliced Bread
My only disagreement with Marchman is the A-Rod-to-Boston possibility.
No doubt, Boras will try to work the Yawkey Way crew into the bidding, but the only way I see A-Rod leaving NY is if he and wifey-poo seek a better quality of life, which would first and foremost include a baseball town with kinder and gentler press corps, and fan base than NY. A-Rod knows better than to subject himself to the Boston haters, who make the clowns who booed him in NY appear worthy of his pity.

No, I maintain Chicago (NL) and Los Angeles (AL) are where he's headed, if, in fact, he's leaving, which Marchman is more sure of than I am.

2007-09-11 11:10:47
4.   joejoejoe
The Marchman piece in The New York Sun makes things black-and-white where they are a lot more gray. Is there no other alternative than calling Brian Cashman "a liar" if circumstances change enough for the Yankees GM to alter front office policy? One easy to see factor is the Yankees have Melky, Cano, Kennedy, Joba, Hughes, and Betemit all at close to the league minimum salary for the near future. Doesn't that change the spending decisions in the near term?

The Yankees can extend A-Rod and factor in the Texas money in the deal. That might make up the difference between what A-Rod can get on the open market. A-Rod opting out changes "the market" to make his total compensation solely what he gets as a free agent, NOT the money Tom Ricks pays every year for ARod to play in pinstripes. If the amount of a Yankees extension + the Texas contribution is greater than what Boras thinks he'll get on the open market than it's better NOT to opt out.

2007-09-11 11:10:53
5.   Rob Middletown CT

"The second is that the Yankees have loudly proclaimed that if Rodriguez does become a free agent they won't be bidding on him, a claim to which general manager Brian Cashman has publicly attached his name"

Does not support this: "which has precluded any negotiations on a contract extension that would keep Rodriguez in the Bronx."

On the contrary. Cashman's point is that, by opting out, ARod would be burning the Texas money. An extension of the current contract would allow the Yankees to keep the Texas money - which is Cashman's goal. Therefore, Cashman is angling for an extension. Will he get it done? I don't know. But that particular bit of writing doesn't pass muster.

Further, I read another column by this Marchman character and he is another "Billy Beane wrote Moneyball" guy. I'm not terribly impressed.

2007-09-11 11:14:12
6.   Mattpat11
Cashman did publically proclaim that the Yankees would allow Bubba Crosby to start in CF in 2006. Its not unheard of for him to not show his hands.

And this team better not lose a series to the Toronto Blue Jays.

2007-09-11 11:19:24
7.   Shaun P
5 "Further, I read another column by this Marchman character and he is another "Billy Beane wrote Moneyball" guy. I'm not terribly impressed."

What in the name of Gary Huckabay are you talking about? Marchman is a well-known sabermetric proponent, beloved by Steven Goldman, the BP folks, and Rob Neyer (among many others).

Marchman does overlook two very important facts, though. The Cubs cannot and will not spend huge megabucks on A-Rod with their ownership situation still up in the air. And the Yanks are going to have plenty of money to spend themselves.

If the Yanks win it all, and A-Rod is the hero, Cashman will offer him a ridiculous extension - say, 5 years/$175M - the day after the Series victory parade, and A-Rod will accept. Being in NY, and on the Yankees, gives A-Rod far more reach than being on any other team and playing in any other city. Including Boston.

2007-09-11 11:19:51
8.   Shaun P
6 Word is Glaus might miss the series, so that's good news.
2007-09-11 11:20:00
9.   Vandelay Industries
6 He certainly does seem to confuse strategy with lying. But what do you expect from a moron like Marchman?
2007-09-11 11:21:44
10.   Vandelay Industries
8 Why? Did FedEx call to let him know they will be delivering his shipment between seven and ten EST?
2007-09-11 11:23:40
11.   Schteeve
Sliced, the Cubs are for sale. I don't see Tribune Co.commiting to the kind of contract that A-Rod's going to get while potential new owners are lining up.
2007-09-11 11:24:12
12.   Sliced Bread
7 Don't underestimate the Cubbie money, nor the reach of that franchise.

I agree however, that a 27th championship for the Yanks, and a ring for A-Rod would instantly heal all wounds here, and he would most likley stay.

Anything short of that, I'm not so sure...

2007-09-11 11:27:01
13.   Schteeve
11 Unless of course someone like Cuban buys the Cubs and wants to make a big splash, but that would mean that A-Rod's future won't be known until late Dec at the earliest, because that's the earliest the Cubs sale will close.
2007-09-11 11:27:38
14.   Sliced Bread
11 Earlier this summer, I floated a possible (admittedly not likely) scenario, in which A-Rod, with a team of investors led by Boras, becomes a part-owner of the Cubs.

The way he's playing, and with the money we've seen thrown at far less talented players in recent summers, I'd say that is not out of the realm of possibility.

2007-09-11 11:28:24
15.   Sliced Bread
14 winters, not summers
2007-09-11 11:28:31
16.   Keith R A DeCandido
"because Cashman is not known for publicly lying"

Uh, yeah he is. He lies all the time. Constantly. "We'll go with Bubba Crosby as our everyday center fielder" was a particular favorite of mine. :)

2007-09-11 11:44:01
17.   Sliced Bread
Marchman, I think, is very good.

His A-Rod/Suzyn Waldman line is darkly hilarious.

2007-09-11 11:46:16
18.   monkeypants
16 How do you know that was a lie (that is, a deliberate attempt to deceive)? For all we know, Cashman was willing to go with Bubba as CF until an acceptable alternative surfaced. It's sort of like you telling your friend that you are going to eat lunch at McDonalds, but later your boss offers to buy you a fancy steak lunch and you accept. Did you lie to your friend?
2007-09-11 11:54:40
19.   Shaun P
12 13 I don't doubt the Cubs' buying power, but the earliest the Cubs' sale could close is just before Opening Day 2008: Until then, no way they up the payroll even further.

14 Its an interesting idea, but I don't think Boras would give up being an agent, which he'd have to do in order to be part of an ownership group (like Jeff Moorad did when he bought into the Diamondbacks). The other thing is that the current estimated sale value of the Cubs and everything that goes with them is $1 billion, and even A-Rod doesn't have that kind of money.

2007-09-11 12:07:41
21.   NJYankee41
20 9/11 should be in all of our thoughts today, but I don't think that entry is appropriate for this blog.
2007-09-11 12:10:49
22.   Sliced Bread
19 That reminds me, Moorad is who I was thinking of when I thought of my scenario. It might have been when the Yanks were playing the D-Backs in June. Anyhow, via creative financing A-Rod wouldn't have to put much money down. A billion would be fairly easy for Boras and some investors to scratch together, and I don't doubt he has more than a little Steinbrenner ambition in him.
Even ruthless Michael Corleone wanted to go legit, or at least pretended to.
2007-09-11 12:12:34
23.   Vandelay Industries
17 Funny, yes. However, when you omit critical facts which any reader must have in order to fairly analyze your argument you are not "good." You are, in fact, not a journalist at all.
2007-09-11 12:18:50
24.   Ken Arneson
Reader11722: re: comment #20: we are not a free advertising service. If you wish to advertise your book, please contact us, and we can negotiate a fee. Thank you.
2007-09-11 12:27:18
25.   Sliced Bread
23 Then you're a columnist, and it is well within your rights as a columnist to include or omit whatever facts you need to make your case.
It's up to readers to decide your credibility. I think Marchman is generally a good read, and credible.
2007-09-11 12:47:20
26.   OldYanksFan
Detroit losing by 11 after 7 innings.
Detroit losing by 6 after 8 innings.
2007-09-11 12:47:40
27.   Vandelay Industries
25 I suppose if his argument is simply that if Alex opts-out the Yankees won't negotiate with him, then you're right. I simply think leaving out the fact that the Yankees can negotiate with him after end of play before the opt-out date, and the reason why the Yankees won't talk with him after that (Rangers money) leaves the reader with a horribly incomplete picture of the situation.
2007-09-11 13:25:22
28.   monkeypants
26 Detroit lost by 7. Deep breath.

; )

2007-09-11 13:34:55
29.   YankeeInMichigan
16 I believe that Cashman's line was "we are prepared to go with Bubba Crosby as our centerfielder." Dombrowski made a similar comment regarding Inge as catcher before signing Pudge.
2007-09-11 13:41:59
30.   YankeeInMichigan
4 I believe that Cano will be arbitration-eligible next year as a "super 2," as will Wang. For the Yankees to keep their roster intact will cause considerable stress on the payroll, as several players will or may be demanding significant increases (or extensions) to stay:
- Posada, Rivera (free agents)
- Vizcaino (free agent, though he shouldn't demand much more than his current $3 million)
- A-Rod (opt-out, will demand lucrative extension to stay)
- Pettitte (player option, may demand extension to stay)
- Abreu ($18 million team option, may be lower risk than multi-year at lower rate)
- Cano, Wang (arbitration -- could demand $8-10 million each)

At least they can shed Clemens' salary.

2007-09-11 14:07:39
31.   Rob Middletown CT

Ah, then it must have been humor on his part that I missed (deliberately saying that Beane wrote Moneyball in order to mock those who assert this). I suspected it, but decided otherwise. My bad.

2007-09-11 14:17:05
32.   Rob Middletown CT
Great interview with Cashman:

Hat tip to RAB.

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