The Decision

December 13, 2010 | 126 comments | in Featured | by Louis Winthorpe III


No word if Lee’s mom was having an affair with Delonte West.

Shhhhhhhh….

December 12, 2010 | 18 comments | in Announcements | by SJK

To purchase, click here.

Do it before you know who sends his minions out to claim rights to the English alphabet.

Return of the Stealth Bomber Series: Interview with 2B David Adams

December 11, 2010 | 14 comments | in Featured | by Gary Wallace

In the our Stealth Bomber series, we talk to players in the farm system who aren’t yet on the New York radar, but hope one day to be so.

In our first interview of the off-season, we visit with David Adams, the Yankees’ 2008 3rd round draft pick out of the University of Virginia. For those who follow the minors, Adams isn’t exactly what you’d call a “stealth” prospect. He’s one of the best position players in the system, and his name was often mentioned in the potential mid-season Cliff Lee trade.

In 2010, the second baseman’s season was cut short after only 39 games due to a broken ankle. However, prior to the injury, the 23-year old was lighting up Trenton to the tune of .309/.393/.507

Gary Wallace: Mark Newman told us you’d be spending the off-season rehabbing. What’s the off-season routine been for you so far, and how’s the ankle feeling?

David Adams: It has been groundhog day over and over. Haha! Rehabbing is a pain in the butt and all athletes know it. But I have my mind set on the prize. I know what I need to do to be ready for the season, and I am doing everything I can and more to come back better than ever.

As for my ankle, it is getting better everyday. There have been days when it has felt worse than it did a couple weeks ago, but it is a process. We are at the point now where it is consistently getting better. Any day now, I am going to wake up and it is going to feel like new – I know it!

GW: Before getting injured, you were killing it at Trenton. Anything click for you recently?

DA: No. I think hard work is beginning to pay off. Now I need to be patient and focus on rehabbing so I can get back on the field.

GW: How did you feel to see your name tossed around in the Cliff Lee trade talks over the summer? Was it nerve-wracking at all?

DA: It is an honor to see my name tossed around with someone such as Cliff Lee. It was a little nerve-wracking, but it’s one of those things that is out of my control. I try not to put too much thought into it until everything is set in stone.

GW: You’re regarded as one of the best position player prospects in the Yankees system, but there’s an MVP-caliber player manning second base in the Bronx. Does the presence of Cano affect your outlook on your future with the Yankees?

DA: No, not at all. Cano is a great player and deserves to make millions of dollars for many years. The numbers he puts up consistently are remarkable. I cannot worry about what Robinson Cano is doing. I wish him the best! I simply worry about what I am doing right now. Everything will take care of itself!

GW: Along the same lines, has there been any talk of you moving from second base?

DA: People have talked about me playing other positions since high school. I have heard people say, “he can’t play here, put him here.” Everybody has an opinion. I do not care… I just want to play. Whatever gets me to the big leagues and allows me to stay there longest I will do. I want to play second base though.

GW: You’ve put up some really nice numbers. How would you describe yourself as a hitter? What are your biggest strengths offensively?

DA: Gap-to-gap hitter is the first thing that comes to mind. For me to succeed, I cannot think about hitting homeruns or doing too much at the plate. I feel my best when I simply try to hit the ball with the barrel of the bat. After that, whatever happens, happens.

GW: In prospect circles, you’re generally considered to be an offense-first second baseman. Is that a fair assessment? How would you rate your defense at this point in your career?

DA: I think that is fair. Hitting is something that my father and I have taken pride in since I first picked up a baseball bat when I was five-years old. Some of my fondest memories are of my father and me going out to the baseball field every day as a young boy, and hitting a bucket of baseballs.

As for my defense, it has come a long way. I’m not the smoothest, don’t have the most range, don’t have the best arm, but I work hard to make what I have work. I think it is good enough to work at the next level, and there is always room to improve.

GW: What types of drills or training do you perform to work on your defense?

DA: Typically a lot of maintenance work, basic fundamentals: ready position, soft hands, watching the ball into my glove, forehand, backhand. One of my favorite drills is working on extended plays. That is one area of my defensive game that has drastically improved since I signed. It is fun diving and jumping all over the place, but it is a necessity at the nextlevel.

As a middle infielder, I have to be able to make plays like Roberto Alomar and Omar Vizquel if I want to stay in the big leagues for a number of years. And that is the goal – to be in the big leagues for a number of years.

GW: We assume you’ll start 2011 at Trenton?

DA: I do not know. We as players usually won’t find out where we are going until spring training.

GW: What are your goals for next season whether they be promotion to AAA, good health, etc.?

DA: I have a few personal goals for the season. One includes being healthy for the entire year, not only myself but my family as well. Another is staying consistent throughout the season offensively and defensively. Ultimately, the goal is to win a ring. I think that is always the goal!

GW: You’re an ACC man. Does Duke basketball make you sick?

DA: I did attend The University of Virginia and root for them every opportunity I get. But to be honest, I’m a huge sports fan at heart. I love watching great programs, as well as great teams compete for national championships year after year. Coach K’s is a special coach! Whatever he is doing at Duke, I tip my hat to him, because it is fun to watch.

And that is unfortunate, David. We’ll let it slide though. We wish you the best of luck, and look forward to your teeing off on pitchers once again.

Baltimore makes smooth move at SS

December 10, 2010 | 53 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by Vizzini

When we highlighted Jeter alternatives in our “What-If” article a couple weeks ago, JJ Hardy was one of our top recommendations. After seeing what ultimately happened with Hardy, the Jeter contract is even more mystifying.

On Thursday, the Orioles traded two bottom of the barrel relief prospects to the Twins for Hardy (AND Brendan Harris AND $500k). Hardy, 28, put up the same WAR as Jeter last year…in 365 less PAs! Hardy has 4.4 WAR (2007) and 4.9 WAR (2008) seasons to his credit, and his elite defense alone provides solid value.

So, the Yankees committed $51 million to Derek, while the Orioles have a comparable and younger player for one year at about 1/3 of Jeter’s annual salary. That’s extra money the Yankees could have used elsewhere. Man, sometimes the front office just seems lost when it comes to dealing with legacy/iconic players and personnel. And we don’t think it’s Cashman. Orders are coming from above.

Hypocrites?

December 9, 2010 | 41 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by Reginald Cornelius III

Feb 18, 2009:

Boston Red Sox owner John Henry renewed his call for a salary cap on Wednesday after an offseason in which the New York Yankees added three free agents for $423.5 million.

Or, as Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said, “the Yankees have spent like the U.S. Congress.”

“I think we all agree that competitive balance is an issue and if there was a way to put together an enlightened form of a salary cap, I think everybody among the ownership parties would support it. I think it’s quite possible to put together a partnership between the players and owners going forward,” Henry added. “I think it’s something that should be at least explored.”

Henry, Lucchino and Red Sox chairman and part-owner Tom Werner held their annual session with reporters Wednesday, the first official workout day for the entire squad.

Henry’s call came exactly five years after he first proposed a salary cap in the wake of the Yankees’ trade for Alex Rodriguez after the Red Sox failed in their attempt to obtain him from the Texas Rangers.

At that time, Henry advocated a cap “to deal with a team that has gone so insanely far beyond the resources of all the other teams.”



Boston issues Emancipation Proclamation

December 9, 2010 | 49 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Red Sox sign Carl Crawford to the 9th-largest deal in MLB history, 7 years/$142 million. In nomimal terms, he becomes the highest-paid outfielder in the history of the game.

They better take insurance out on his legs, and maybe move the Green Monster back so he has some actual ground to cover.

Lee contract will turn CC Sabathia into Ted DiBiase

December 8, 2010 | 57 comments | in Featured | by SJK

Bryan Hoch of MLB.com:

The Yankees have made an offer to free agent left-hander Cliff Lee, general manager Brian Cashman has confirmed.

Cashman would not disclose the years or dollar amount, but it is believed to be in the neighborhood of six years and about $140 million.

For those scoring at home, that’s an average salary of $23.3 million per year. That’s slightly more than Sabathia gets ($23 mil), and CC is 2 years younger. Why does this matter?

CC will opt out.

Yeah, yeah, he said Lee’s contract won’t matter, but come on, the loyalty of players and their agents is to the money. It’s nice to romanticize that players care more about the team than their own bank accounts, but unfortunately, it’s all about the cash. We might be able to find an exception, but they’re few and far between.

So if you’re CC, and you see Lee pull down a 6-year contract at the age of 32 at a higher salary than you, why would you not opt out of a deal that has 4 years left on it when you’d only be 31? Tack on a few years to that bad boy at big $$. Or are you going to wait until you’re 35 to negotiate your next contract? Um, no.



We said Ted DiBiase not Virgil!

The NoMaas No Holds Barred Midnight Live Chat

December 8, 2010 | 6 comments | in Announcements | by SJK

Is this your normal daily routine? Wake up after noon, do some crap, eat hot pockets, play Magic: The Gathering, go on the internet til 4am, sleep, repeat. If so, boy do we have a treat for you!

Join NoMaas’ Vizzini on Thursday night for the first ever NoMaas midnight live chat. Try to peel yourself away from redtube and head over here for a no holds barred Q&A about Yankee baseball.

Vizzini will kicks things off on Thursday night at 11:59pm (as midnight will then technically be Friday). It’s been a while since we did a live chat, and this one should be nutty. So again, Thursday night 11:59pm.



Hello, Derek?

December 7, 2010 | 18 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

From Derek Jeter’s press conference on Tuesday:

Jeter, 36, said he does not envision this to be his last contract. He made it clear that he never wanted to leave the Yankees and said that gave him little leverage in negotiations with the team.

“I heard statements saying I have salary demands,” he said. “I was in no position to demand anything because I basically said this is where I wanted to be. So, what could I demand?”

Jeter did laugh about being photo-shopped in the uniforms of the Mets, Phillies and Red Sox.

“I’ve been photo-shopped in a lot worse pictures than other teams’ uniforms,” he quipped.

Amazing.



Worse than being photoshopped in another team’s uniform? A NoMaas graphic from years ago…

“Sacrificing long-term viability for short-term gain”

December 7, 2010 | 64 comments | in Featured | by SJK

A very provocative line in Newsday from Ken Davidoff’s latest article on the Cliff Lee negotiations

Here’s a little bit more, but we suggest reading the full article. It’s one of the more thought-provoking articles we’ve read in a while:

Common sense tells you that the Yankees, who appear increasingly desperate to sign the lefthander, will be the team to step up to six.

And baseball wisdom tells you that the Yankees, by doing so, again would be sacrificing long-term viability for the sake of a short-term gain. It’s a practice they’ve exhibited too often, even since Brian Cashman took full control of the baseball operations after the 2005 season.

Many Yankee fans couldn’t care less about what the team looks like in a few years. We’re a “win now, figure it out later” fanbase. And we’re sure Ken will hear from plenty of post-1996 fans who angrily type away at their keyboards in response to his article. But, we think he raises some amazing points.

The Yankees have some monster contracts on the books, some of which are already restricting player movements (i.e. Electric Stuff!). Alex Rodriguez is signed until he’s 54, and experienced his worst season in 2010. An aging Jeter was just locked up for at least another three years at money that way exceeds his actual baseball value. Teixeira’s deal is enormous. Sabathia’s is gigantic, even though he can opt out. And if the Yankees ink Lee, we’ll likely see a 32-year old signed for six years at big money. There’s even talk that Lee could get 7 years.

At what point do these behemoth contracts restrict what the organization can do? We don’t know the answer to that, or know if these bloated deals will even be a problem. Yet, it’s certainly something to think about, especially since Hal Steinbrenner continues to emphasize a budget.


Throwing globs of money at the problem now while ignoring long-term ramifications?

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