Keeping up with the Joneses

jones_250.jpgA COUPLE OF VERY QUICK NOTES AS WE HEAD INTO THE WEEKEND
?    Too bad that Andruw Jones turned down the Yankees’ non-roster invite. The Yankees had nothing to lose by making said offer, and Jones everything to gain. I’d like to have an actual Andruw sighting, preferably of him in fighting trim, before I would be inspired to offer him anything more substantial than that.

?    Despite rumblings of “collusion” in the land, I prefer to look at many of the free agents still without deals as evidence of the financial crisis putting pressure on general managers to be smarter. Every one of the remaining players has serious flaws, whether it be Manny’s character issues or Adam Dunn’s defense or the general downward trend of Bobby Abreu’s game or the potential that Orlando Hudson won’t hit outside of Arizona. Those players could help their ultimate teams, and probably will, but it’s not unreasonable for clubs to try to drive a hard bargain with them. That should have been true in any economic environment, but it’s particularly valid now.

?    It’s fascinating how the Joe Torre book is going to boomerang on Torre. Anyone (apparently, including my YES classmate Michael Kay) with a negative story on Joe is now going to feel free to retail it, with the knowledge that he gave them implicit permission to do so. In the coming years, his reputation is going to be almost continually assailed, to the point that the very nature of his impact on his best teams is going to be called into question. I said last week that this book, on its own merits, was a great example of a man destroying his own reputation, but let us go a step further and say that the aftermath of this book will lead to an even greater savaging of the man. He put everything on the table, seemingly without restriction (whatever his protestations to the contrary), and it will be open season on him as well. And here’s the thing, Joe, and this is something I know very well from studying the life of Casey Stengel: the players are going to outlive you by a long, long time and will be commenting on you long after you’re gone. You’re not going to get the last word in, so you might as well mend fences if you want history to paint a fair picture.

?    A transcript of today’s chat can be found here.

?    With the conclusion of the Yankees Hot Stove show’s run for this season, I’d like to thank the entire cast and crew for having me on. Enjoy Florida, guys. 

4 Comments

A question about Posada. If he is not ready for the start of the season (and I can’t imagine he will be at full strength), wouldn’t it make sense to see if they can trade for Saltalamacchia or Teagarten from the Rangers? They can back up Jorge for a couple of years, or share the catching duties until his contract expires (or goes to DH after Matsui leaves after 2009). I am aware the Rangers would hold up the Yanks like they tried to hold up the Red Sox for one of these two guys, but with the alternatives being Molina, Cash and the new guy they traded Wright for…..you have to give up something to get something. A good starting catcher is someone they need, not a luxury this year. Your thoughts? Thanks

I think everyone is making too much of Torre’s book. I think Joe is an intelligent and honest man. He knew he would be criticized for the book, that it could impact how the Yankees honor (of don’t honor) him with a day, number retirement, etc., and he knows his players will outlive him. I think that Torre is an honest man who tells the truth as he sees it and lets the chips fall where they may. He isn’t afraid of the truth and, if others don’t accept what he says with maturity, it’s their problem – he doesn’t make it his. Here we have a manager who tells us what he believes in his heart and everybody criticizes him for it. Would you rather a Glen Sather-type who is aloof, secretive and hostile to the media? Torre’s a unique man who should be appreciated for his honesty which is refreshing.

Andruw Jones either thinks he can get a guaranteed Major Leaugue contract or he’s so washed up he can’t even come to camp for the Yankees and beat out Melky or Gardner for the CF job. How can a guy who hit about 100 points less than his own weight be so deluded to think that a team would just hand him a job after he ripped the Dodgers off already. He’s the one with something to prove, no one owes him a chance. Maybe it’s that he doesn’t think he can handle New York after being so god-awful in L.A. or he really just want to go back to Atlanta to see if he can relive his glory days.

It’s too bad Joe Torre didn’t “honestly” own up to his own measure of blame for the last 6 years of his tenure but was all too eager to get a nice payday for “honestly” discussing the blame of his players.

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