Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
2003-12-11 13:26
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

The winds were whipping around last night. I was up for an hour in the middle of the night, tossing and turning, listening to the wind, and thinking about Andy Pettitte pitching for the Astros. It was still windy this morning, and raining. On the subway ride to work the two guys next to me almost came to blows over who was taking up more seat room. After exchaning obscenities, they sat silently next to each other until we reached 96th street. I sat quietly next to them and read the morning papers. The setting was ideal, considering the news.

It's not a chipper day in Yankee Land, that's for sure. Andy Pettitte is in fact close to signing with the Astros. Pettitte has kept the door slightly ajar for the Yankees to overwhelm him with money, and he will make up his mind by tomorrow. The New York columnists--Jack Curry, Mike Lupica, and Mike Vaccaro are all in agreement with who is to blame here: George M. Steinbrenner. Pettitte may have wanted to go home all along, but the Yankees have not handled his negotiations with class. Last week I argued that these Yankees are not quite the Yankee teams of the eighties. But the one thing that does remind me of that era is that the Yankees' biggest obstacle is not the Red Sox, Blue Jays or anyone else in the American League: it is their owner.

While the Yanks are on the verge of losing Pettitte, but they may still sign Gary Sheffield (although they are reportedly players in the Vlad Guerrero sweepstakes). Sheffield was at a Maryland hoops game with Darryl Strawberry last night, and said that "the deal will get done." It's hard to know what exactly is happening here. Judging from the bit that Brian Gunn offers at Rebird Nation, maybe Steinbrenner will leave Sheffield at the alter. But still, I doubt it. Not when he has "true Yankees" like Doc Gooden and Strawberry in his corner.

Meanwhile, Alex Rodriguez is still playing for the Texas Rangers. Tom Hicks and John Henry as expected to meet during the next couple of days, and The Boston Globe reports that the two might be waiting for this weekend to announce a deal. (Take that, George.) But should the blockbuster deal fall apart, the Red Sox would have to deal with a dicey situation with Nomar Garciaparra.

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