What, Exactly, Is a “Performance Bonus?”

Along with the news that Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon are reuniting to join the Rays comes word that Damon will be paid a $750,000 performance bonus. I’m not even going to attempt to make a bad joke about performance.

 Viagra Ad.jpg
(Okay, I just did. Sorry about that.) Anyhow, I’m wondering how the Rays will determine whether or not Johnny earns his $750,000 in 2011. Will the bonus be based on the number of tickets sold throughout the course of the season or the number of bodies that actually show up at the Trop? If so, how would they attribute the totals to Damon, as opposed to any other player? Or maybe it has to do with how many Damon jerseys they move? How many bobble head dolls? I don’t mean to be deliberately obtuse. I just don’t get it. Can someone explain?

As for the Angels’ acquisition of Vernon Wells, I’m glad he’s out of the AL East. He may be a streaky player for whom Anaheim overpaid, but he always seemed to do damage against the Yankees and I’m not sorry to see him go west.

Meanwhile, we head into another weekend without answers for our rotation. I remain mystified by this. Yes, Yankee fans are spoiled, used to having our pick of the best guys available, blah blah blah. So what. We’ve long moved past the years when Andy Hawkins and Dave LaPoint were our aces. We deserve better. Right, Hal? Look at me. I’m talking to you.


hal-steinbrenner.jpg

So Let Me Get This Straight About Andruw Jones

The Yankees signed him instead of re-signing Marcus Thames because, unlike Thames, Jones can play every position in the outfield?
Okay, I get that he’s lost weight since his unfortunate stint with the Dodgers, but how confident will any of us be to see him out there? I wish him the best and hope he gets a hit every time he’s called upon. I just hope kids like Colin Curtis are ready to fill in if necessary.
Speaking of kids, Friend of the Blog Wendy alerted me to this story on the MLB web site about a terrific kid, an avid Brewers/Prince Fielder fan, who lost his life to a drunk driver. His family is trying to raise money to build a state-of-the-art field in Wisconsin in his honor, and you can help. Take a look – and grab a box of Kleenex while you’re at it.

Random Thoughts On Soriano’s Press Conference

Have a peek at this excerpt if you haven’t seen the whole thing already.
Here are my take-aways:
1) Cashman: Did he gain some weight this off-season? Or was it just those pancakes he ate at the breakfast yesterday? Also, I loved how he called Soriano “Rafi” and Mo “Mr. Mariano Rivera.”
2) Girardi: “Now we have two closers.” Works for me, Joe. It’s not my money.
3) Soriano needed a translator? Or maybe Boras was just afraid his client would blurt out, “Hey, Cash, I know you didn’t want me here but everybody else did so stuff it.”
4) I really liked Soriano’s suit. No undertaker look for him in that taupe or whatever color it was.
5) I don’t want to be done with these press conferences. There needs to be another one before spring training – and I’m not talking about Pettitte, despite reports today that he’s been “throwing” just in case he decides to join the party. I’m talking about an as-yet-to-be-named starter who will put on the pinstripes for the first time. The Tigers DFA-ed Armando Galarraga. He pitched a perfect game, for God’s sake, and he’s only 29. Could he really be that bad?
galarraga.jpg
 

Who’s The Greatest NY Athlete Ever?

Even though I’ve lived in California for a long time, I still subscribe to New York magazine. Can’t help myself. I love their articles, and the recent one in which Will Leitch asked a panel of experts (including Al Leiter) whom they thought qualified as New York’s Greatest Athlete Ever was one of my faves. Among the candidates:
Joe Namath
Lawrence Taylor
Patrick Ewing
Phil Esposito
John McEnroe
Babe Ruth
Lou Gehrig
Joe DiMaggio
Willie Mays
Derek Jeter
It’s a really interesting article and I urge people to read it if they haven’t already – and then weigh in. A case was certainly made for Jeter, Gehrig and Ruth but Mays had one very loyal supporter. If they had asked me, I’d have said “Mariano Rivera,” but I’m not objective when it comes to him.
Turning to present day events, it appears that Rafael Soriano will be officially introduced by the Yankees tomorrow. I’ve read so much about his temperament; how he refused to pitch more than one inning for the Rays and had hissy fits about this or that. We don’t need divas on this team, so if he pulls any crap I have no doubt that the aforementioned Mo will take him aside and gently but firmly explain the facts of life in Yankeeville.

Is the Pujols/Cardinals Marriage on the Rocks?

Pujols,dugout.jpg
While I’ve been busy moaning about Andy Pettitte and the state of the Yankees’ starting rotation, I’ve completely neglected the little drama happening in the middle of the country where Albert Pujols continues not to have a new deal with the Cardinals. According to Ken Rosenthal, the detente won’t become Jeter-like in terms of antagonism….in his opinion.

“This will not be Derek Jeter, Part II. Pujols is in the prime of his career, not nearing the end. He remains under contract for 2011 with a full no-trade clause. The Cardinals will not snipe at him. He will not snipe at them.

Oh, really? Did anyone think the Jeter negotiations would be anything less than civil? Tough, yes, but not unpleasant. My point is that despite Pujols’ sunny demeanor and the Cardinals’ high regard for him, business is business and things have a way of turning ugly when it comes to dollars and cents (or, in this case, millions and millions). I hope for Cardinals fans (that would be you, Jeff) that we’ll be reading a happy announcement soon and all will be well in the heartland.

Six Out Of Eight Isn’t Too Shabby

My predictions for the Golden Globes weren’t perfect but they were pretty good. I missed calling “The Social Network” for Best Picture/Drama (I went with “The King’s Speech”) and I picked Johnny Depp instead of Paul Giamatti in the Best Actor/Comedy category, but otherwise I was right on the money. Who wasn’t on the money was Ricky Gervais as the show’s host. I enjoy snark as much as the next person, but he was repulsive. There’s no need to make everyone in the room feel uncomfortable, and that’s what he did with his mean-spirited “jokes.” I doubt very much if he’ll be back next year.

My dinner was a hit: grilled steak, roasted potatoes, zucchini/tomato gratin, Caesar salad and the same chocolate cake I made for Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving.cake.JPG
Meanwhile, I see the Jets beat the Patriots. I don’t follow football, but congrats to the Jets fans among us. 
As for the Yankees, maybe this will be the week we hear from Andy Pettitte? Oh, wait. I forgot. I’ve already said goodbye to him and vowed not to mention him again. My bad. I guess I haven’t gotten him out of my system after all.

My Golden Globe Predictions

golden_globe.jpg
I love award shows, and the Globes are one of my favorites because the actors get to drink, which causes them to say bizarre things instead of the usual scripted banter. And this year Cher has a nominated movie, so there’s a chance we’ll see an outfit that’s a little off-center.
cher-oscars_l.jpg
I’m having friends over to watch, but in the meantime I thought I’d offer my predictions in the movie/acting categories. These picks are not necessarily the ones I want to win, but those I think those wacky foreign press people will choose.
Best Motion Picture: Drama
Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
Winner: The King’s Speech
Best Actress: Drama
Halle Berry: Frankie and Alice
Nicole Kidman: Rabbit Hole
Natalie Portman: Black Swan
Jennifer Lawrence: Winter’s Bone
Michelle Williams: Blue Valentine
Winner: Natalie Portman
Best Actor: Drama
Jesse Eisenberg: The Social Network
Colin Firth: The King’s Speech
James Franco: 127 Hours
Ryan Gosling: Blue Valentine
Mark Wahlberg: The Fighter
Winner: Colin Firth
Best Motion Picture: Comedy or Musical
Alice in Wonderland
Burlesque
The Kids Are All Right
Red
The Tourist
Winner: The Kids Are All Right
Best Actress: Comedy or Musical
Annette Bening: The Kids Are All Right
Anne Hathaway: Love and Other Drugs
Angelina Jolie: The Tourist
Julianne Moore: The Kids Are All Right
Emma Stone: Easy A
Winner: Annette Bening
Best Actor: Comedy or Musical
Johnny Depp: Alice in Wonderland
Johnny Depp: The Tourist
Paul Giamatti: Barney’s Version
Jake Gyllenhaal: Love and Other Drugs
Kevin Spacey: Casino Jack
Winner: Johnny Depp
Best Supporting Actress: Motion Picture
Amy Adams: The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter: The King’s Speech
Mila Kunis: Black Swan
Melissa Leo: The Fighter
Jacki Weaver: Animal Kingdom
Winner: Melissa Leo
Best Supporting Actor: Motion Picture
Christian Bale: The Fighter
Michael Douglas: Wall Street Money Never Sleeps
Andrew Garfield: The Social Network
Jeremy Renner: The Town
Geoffrey Rush: The King’s Speech
Winner: Christian Bale
We’ll see how well I did tomorrow night!