Posts Tagged ‘New York Times’

Ugly – And I’m Not Just Talking About The Game

Saturday, August 17th, 2013
Photo: Mariela Lombard/Daily News

Photo: Mariela Lombard/Daily News

Lawyer Joe Pacopina has always been a sleazy character, but now that he’s defending A-Rod he’s proving just how sleazy. This story in the NY Times in which he hurls some pretty ballsy accusations against the Yankees, Randy Levine in particular, and at MLB, Bug Selig in particular, is mind boggling. How does A-Rod have the gall to step on the field and actually play for the team he’s accusing of every underhanded trick in the book? How does he dispatch his attack dog to speak to the media on his behalf and then look his teammates and manager in the eyes? Do I think the Yankees are capable of playing hardball? You bet. Tacopina invokes George Steinbrenner’s name in the article as if George didn’t hire Howard Spira to ruin Dave Winfield. But to say Levine forced A-Rod to play in the postseason last year knowing he had a torn labrum, just so he’d “look finished as a ballplayer?”

As for the game at Fenway today, it was ugly too. With Kuroda on the mound, the Yankees should have beaten the Red Sox, despite how well Lackey has been pitching, and I was thrilled not to have been blacked out by FOX for a change. Instead, the Yanks frittered away the opportunity with errors and limp bats (and some questionable calls). They looked helpless – a far cry from the team that’s been hot lately.

Tomorrow night takes on even more importance now. I sure hope CC is up to the challenge.

 

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I’m Leaving All This To Tyler Kepner, For Now

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

As everyone knows, A-Rod’s been implicated yet again in a ‘roids mess. Personally, I’m still getting over his last admission. Remember the blue sweater interview?

AP Photo/ESPN

Remember how I was wearing my own blue sweater that night in sympathy?

Well, this time I’m just waiting for the next step in the investigation. A-Rod has denied everything, as has Gio Gonzalez, and he’s even hired super defense attorney Roy Black. It looks bad, people. Will the Yankees be able to void his contract? I seriously doubt it. He didn’t fail a drug test, which is really the only allowable criterion short of the morals clause and nobody pays much attention to that. One can’t help viewing this news in the context of Lance Armstrong, also a longtime denier who bullied his accusers. The only person who benefits on the Yankees right now is Kevin Youkilis.

Here’s the latest from the New York Times‘ Tyler Kepner who’s known Al from his Mariners days. I was amused to see how Tyler starts off his piece with a reference to marriage – something I did in my first “Confessions” article for the Times.

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Rodriguez Linked Anew to Prohibited Drugs (January 30, 2013)

The Yankees had dated Alex Rodriguez for four years before popping the question after the 2007 season: Will you take this 10-year, $275 million contract? Rodriguez said yes, and together they have had some fun. But a marriage that starts with a lie is bound to fall apart, and that is what has happened.

Rodriguez’s contract, which now strangles the Yankees’ future, might be the most lucrative con in baseball history. It colors everything about him. Tuesday’s revelation in the Miami New Times, which tied him to a supplier of performance-enhancing drugs as recently as last season, was another reminder of his deceit.

The relationship might be over soon. Rodriguez’s latest public-relations firm (he has had several) issued a statement Tuesday in which he denied being a patient of the shuttered anti-aging clinic in the story. But baseball is investigating, and with good cause; three of the players named in the report — Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon and Yasmani Grandal — were suspended last season after positive drug tests.

The results of baseball’s investigation, in theory, could help the Yankees if they attempt to void Rodriguez’s contract. That would not be easy — the Yankees failed to do it with Jason Giambi — but there may be another exit strategy.

The Yankees have continued to emphasize the seriousness of Rodriguez’s hip injury, with General Manager Brian Cashman asserting last week that it could keep him out all season, not just for the first half. The natural next step in that progression is that the injury would end his career, as it did for Albert Belle of the Baltimore Orioles in 2001. This would allow Rodriguez to collect his money — but with insurance, not the Yankees, covering most of it.

That is the dream outcome, anyway, but for now the Yankees are still obligated to pay Rodriguez the five years and $114 million remaining on the deal they gave him before they knew of his chemical past.

That folly is mostly on the Yankees, of course. Hank Steinbrenner had assumed command that fateful winter, vowing to cut Rodriguez loose after he opted out of his contract. Instead, he rewarded Rodriguez with the richest deal in baseball history, even though no other team was known to be bidding, say, nine years. In retaining Rodriguez, the Yankees also passed on a much younger third baseman, Miguel Cabrera, who was traded to Detroit and now annually knocks the Yankees from the playoffs.

It is an amusing footnote that Rodriguez’s contract was officially announced on Dec. 13, 2007, the day Major League Baseball released the Mitchell Report on steroids. Rodriguez, who had always denied steroid use, was not named in the report. Part of the reason for the length of the deal was the presumption that he was clean and would chase Barry Bonds’s tainted home run record in pinstripes.

It was all a fraud, or “A-Fraud,” to use the term that Joe Torre revealed in his book to be a clubhouse nickname for Rodriguez. Fourteen months after signing the contract, Rodriguez admitted he had used steroids from 2001 to 2003.

Lying about steroid use is hardly shocking, but Rodriguez was pathological. Consider this passage from a recent interview by the writer Jeff Pearlman with Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci, who recalled a conversation with Rodriguez in 2002:

“It was in his hotel suite in Chicago after a game one night. He looked at me like I had two heads. ‘Steroids? Gee, why would anybody take them? What do they do? I don’t know anything about it.’ I walked out of the suite shaking my head about his complete and theatrical lack of knowledge about the worst-kept secret in the game. It would be seven years later that we all discovered, by his own admission, that he was loaded to the gills on steroids at that very moment.”

When Sports Illustrated finally exposed Rodriguez as a steroid user, part of his response was to smear the reporter, Selena Roberts, by falsely claiming that she tried to break into his home while his children were sleeping. He sounded vaguely like Michael Corleone with that line, except Rodriguez has always been the Fredo of the Yankee family, awkward and envious and insecure.

Such insecurity has surely fueled Rodriguez’s drive to achieve, while also influencing his many bizarre decisions. He has denied many of them, like sending a baseball to some women in the stands during a playoff game last fall, but with his history of lying, who knows what to believe?

Rodriguez will always have his apologists, mostly people who have never had to deal with him and have never been part of his web of deceit. To some who know him well, including the Yankees and Major League Baseball, he is a source of irritation at best, slippery and duplicitous at worst.

Remember that Rodriguez continued to lie to the Yankees even after admitting his past steroid use. After his first hip surgery, in 2009, he maintained to the team that he had not seen Anthony Galea, the Canada-based physician who pleaded guilty two years later to federal charges stemming from his distribution of human growth hormone to professional athletes.

Rodriguez had, in fact, seen Galea, and baseball officials and the Yankees remain unsure that they know the extent of his links to performance-enhancing drugs. The Yankees might be inclined to overlook that if Rodriguez were still an elite player. But his production slips every year.

That fact, of course, cannot be forgotten. If Rodriguez were a healthy superstar, the Yankees would still want him around. They might have even supported him in their terse statement on Tuesday, which pledged support for baseball’s drug program and noted that the matter was now under the jurisdiction of the commissioner’s office.

Rodriguez has won a championship and two Most Valuable Player awards in New York. He is a historically significant Yankee, emblematic of a complicated era for the game and the team. But the sideshows never end, and it is hard to argue he belongs here anymore.

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A Christmas Present For Yankee Fans

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

I was reading an article in the New York Times this morning about ballplayers who guest star on TV shows, and it linked to this. What a wonderful surprise. For those who either remember the Ed Sullivan show or just get a kick out of seeing our former Yankee greats, you’ll love this as much as I did. Enjoy.

 

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Cashman’s Food Preferences Revealed

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

We don’t know what the Yankees General Manager intends to do about the starting rotation, but we now know what he likes to eat, thanks to today’s New York Times. It turns out that he has a favorite dish that’s been named after him at a restaurant he frequents in New Canaan, CT. In Patricia Brooks’ review of Chef Luis Restaurant:

Cashman’s pasta was equally zesty. Named after Brian Cashman, general manager of the Yankees, the dish features tubelike bucatini tossed with white wine, olive oil, parsley, imported pecorino cheese and bits of pancetta and onions.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Daily News columnist Mike Lupica’s dish sounds more expensive, however:

Especially vibrant was Lupica’s pasta (spaghetti swirled with a luscious mix of jumbo shrimp, tender lobster meat, garlic, fresh pear tomatoes and bread crumbs).

Shrimp and lobster? You’d think Lupica was the one with the giant payroll.

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Pee-Euww

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

(Courtesy: clearseptic.com)

Not such great pitching performances by the Yankees in today’s loss to the Tigers in the series finale.

I know it’s only the beginning of the season, but Hughes is reminding me of the Bad Phil of the past. Remember that version? The one without much velocity who threw 50 pitches in two innings and never seemed to get through five without giving up a bunch of runs? Yeah, that guy. Calling Larry Rothschild.

Colon? So far this new arrangement isn’t working out. A “long man” is supposed to eat innings while keeping the opposing team from scoring more runs. Mission not accomplished.

Joba looked like he was getting squeezed a bit by the ump, but still. The Yankees offense had a chance to get back into the game and he didn’t help matters.

On the positive side, who isn’t loving our bats?  I mean, Tex. Seriously. Russell Martin, clap clap clap. Swisher, way to join the party. Cano too. And great job adapting to the DH, JoPo.

It would be nice to see Brett Gardner not strike out at the top of the order, but maybe Girardi will move him back to the #9 spot and slide Martin up.

Meanwhile, Jeter’s hit total remains at #2928 – just 72 away from 3,000. So let’s talk about the Derek Jeter Countdown Contest, the winner of which will receive a copy of Derek Jeter: From the Pages of The New York Times.

As I wrote here the other day…

Culled from the pages of The New York Times, the book draws upon more than 5,000 news articles and features from the paper’s superb sports reporters, columnists, and photographers, past and present, including Dave Anderson, Fred R. Conrad, Jack Curry, Chang Lee, Buster Olney, Barton Silverman, and George Vecsey, as well as Tyler Kepner, who has written the introduction. The pages are filled with entertaining stories, penetrating insights, and the voices of not only Jeter, but also George Steinbrenner, Joe Torre, Alex Rodriguez, and a host of players. In lively words and action-packed photographs, the volume covers Jeter’s rise, his playing style, his best moments on (and off) the field, his character as a teammate and a leader, and his place in Yankee history.

The book is a really great keepsake item, in other words, and it’s all yours, courtesy of the publisher, if you answer this one tiny question correctly. Ready?

Here it is: When Will Jeter hit #2938?

That’s 10 more hits than he has right now.

I’ll need the following in your answer: the Day and Date he gets #2938 as well as the Opponent (the team, not the pitcher).

Got it? Leave your answer here in a comment by the end of the day on Tuesday. Who knows? If he goes 5-for-5 tomorrow and Tuesday, he could reach the goal before the deadline. So don’t wait if you want this book, people!

One more thing. Has everyone read about Bill White’s new book? Nice piece about it in the NYT.

White had a signing yesterday at Bookends in Ridgewood, NJ, and Friend of the Blog, Roseann, was there with her sister.

You know who else was there? Joe Pepitone. Roseann said he was his old flirty self.

She also said White spent a lot of time talking about the book during a Q&A with the crowd and remarked that his years in the broadcast booth with Rizzuto were “probably the happiest of my life.”

Thanks for the pics, Roseann. I would loved to have been there too.

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Well, There Goes The Red Sox’s 162-0 Season

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Apparently, the Sox lost to the Rangers today.

I know. They weren’t supposed to ever lose, but it seems they’re fallible after all. Who would have believed it?

(courtesy: olaughingpress.com)

Moving on to the Yankees, the team I’d rather talk about, I sure hope A.J. is over his cold or at least laying off the NyQuil. I’d rather he pitched with a runny nose tomorrow than with a head that feels like a cotton ball.

Mostly, what I’d like to talk about in this post is the Derek Jeter book that came out last month.

Here’s what I want to say about the book: YOU MIGHT SCORE ONE.

How? Because I’ll be having a Derek Jeter Contest, and Abrams, the book’s publisher, has generously offered to send a copy of the book to this blog’s lucky winner.

From the publisher:

Culled from the pages of The New York Times, the book draws upon more than 5,000 news articles and features from the paper’s superb sports reporters, columnists, and photographers, past and present, including Dave Anderson, Fred R. Conrad, Jack Curry, Chang Lee, Buster Olney, Barton Silverman, and George Vecsey, as well as Tyler Kepner, who has written the introduction. The pages are filled with entertaining stories, penetrating insights, and the voices of not only Jeter, but also George Steinbrenner, Joe Torre, Alex Rodriguez, and a host of players. In lively words and action-packed photographs, the volume covers Jeter’s rise, his playing style, his best moments on (and off) the field, his character as a teammate and a leader, and his place in Yankee history.

I’m really looking forward to my copy of the book, which includes over 150 color photos and should be a great keepsake. I’ll have the contest details next week so get ready.

And speaking of books, remember last year when I mentioned Kurt Smith’s Ballpark E-Guides and, more specifically, the E-Guide Yankee Stadium Edition? Kurt is back with the 2011 version. New features are a table of contents and bookmarks for easier navigation, plus updated info and tips for an even better experience at the Stadium. You can check out the E-Guide or download a copy here.

Really hoping the weather in the Bronx will allow for a good game tomorrow. Of course, if FOX and MLB would finally rid us of their antiquated black-out restriction, I might actually get to watch it.

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