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.
(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.
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.
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?
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
ESPN announced their lineup of Sunday night games the other day, and their second one of the season – the April 10th contest – will be Yankees/Red Sox at Fenway. I realize it’s still January but seeing that actual games will be played on actual dates makes the start of the 2011 campaign seem more real, doesn’t it? Like it’s really happening? It does to me.
Of course, while certain aspects of Yankees-Red Sox will seem like old times (the “Yankee suck” chants, the lusty boos for A-Rod and Tex, the presence of familiar villains like Pedroia and Youkilis), it’ll be interesting to see how newcomers Crawford and Gonzalez play into The Rivalry. And it’ll be weird not to have Joe Morgan and Jon Miller to kick around anymore.
The good news is that spring really is around the corner, despite this photo that Friend of the Blog John (aka ooaooa) sent me of his picturesque, snow-covered backyard. Gotta love his taste in barns.