Tuesday, December 22, 2009

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Yankees hit with close to $25.7M luxury tax

Yankees hit with close to $25.7M luxury tax

NEW YORK (AP) — Winning came with a hefty price for the New York Yankees.
The World Series champions were hit with a luxury tax of nearly $25.69 million Monday, the penalty for once again crossing the payroll threshold in baseball's collective bargaining agreement.

New York is the only team to pay a tax for this season and has crossed the threshold in all seven years since the tax started. According to the collective bargaining agreement, the Yankees must send a check to the commissioner's office by Jan. 31.

The Yankees have been billed $174 million of the tax's $190 million total since 2003. The only other teams to pay have been Boston ($13.9 million for 2004-7), Detroit ($1.3 million for 2008) and the Los Angeles Angels ($927,059 for 2004).

At least the Yankees got value for their spending, winning the World Series for the first time since 2000 after adding high-priced free agents CC Sabathia (FSY), A.J. Burnett (FSY) and Mark Teixeira (FSY). And the Yankees did lower their tax bill from $26.86 million last year, when their streak of consecutive playoff appearances ended at 13.

WORLD SERIES REWIND: Relive the Yankees 2009 championship
New York's payroll was $226.2 million for the purpose of the luxury tax and the Yankees pay at a 40% rate for the amount over $162 million. To compute the payroll, Major League Baseball uses the average annual values of contracts for players on 40-man rosters and adds benefits.

The Yankees' regular payroll — using 2009 salaries and prorated shares of signing bonuses — finished at $220 million. That was a drop of $2.5 million from 2008 but more than $77.8 million higher than any other team — a gap larger than the payrolls of the bottom 11 clubs.

The New York Mets were second at $142.2 million, followed by the equally disappointing Chicago Cubs ($141.6 million).

Boston ($140.5 million) was next, followed by Detroit ($139.4 million) and NL champion Philadelphia ($138.3 million), a big increase from the $112.7 million the Phillies spent when they won the World Series in 2008.

Only two teams outside the top 11 by payroll made the postseason: Colorado (16th at $84.5 million) and Minnesota (23rd at $73.1 million).

Florida again was last in the majors, even though the Marlins raised their payroll by $10.5 million to $37.5 million. San Diego dropped from 23rd at $71.2 million to 29th at $43.2 million.

Half the 30 teams cut payroll from 2008. In addition to the Padres, Seattle dropped from $120.5 million to $102.3 million, Toronto fell from $98.3 million to $84.1 million and Cincinnati sliced from $82.9 million to $72.7 million.

Besides the Phillies, other teams with big increases were Tampa Bay ($51.0 million to $71.2 million), San Francisco ($82.1 million to $95.2 million), Kansas City ($69.2 million to $81.9 million), the Cubs ($130.5 million to $141.6 million) and Washington ($59.7 million to $69.3 million).

Overall payroll rose 1.2% to $2.91 billion from $2.88 billion, down from a 6.3% increase the previous year.

Payroll figures are for 40-man rosters and include salaries and prorated shares of signing bonuses, earned incentive bonuses, non-cash compensation, buyouts of unexercised options and cash transactions, such as money included in trades. In some cases, parts of salaries that are deferred are discounted to reflect present-day values.

The commissioner's office computed the average salary at $2,882,336. The players' association, which uses slightly different methods of calculation, had its average at $2,996,106.

Vazquez returning to Yanks, Melky off to Atlanta

Vazquez returning to Yanks, Melky off to Atlanta
December 22, 2009 by KEN DAVIDOFF / ken.davidoff@newsday.com

The Yankees are about to re-acquire Javier Vazquez, Newsday has confirmed, in return for a package headlined by Melky Cabrera.

Vazquez, 33, put up his best major-league season in 2009, going 15-10 with a 2.87 ERA for the Braves. He struck out 238 batters in 219 1/3 innings. The New York Post first reported that the Yankees were targeting Vazquez as their fourth starter.

As SI.com first reported, the Yankees will receive Vazquez and lefty Boone Logan in return for Cabrera, young lefty pitcher Mike Dunn and pitcher Arodys Vizcaino.

Most Yankees fans probably don’t have fond memories of Vazquez. The team acquired him prior to the 2004 season, as part of a plan to make the team’s starting rotation younger, and Vazquez put up a 4.91 ERA. Joe Torre didn’t use him as a starting pitcher in the 2004 American League Championship Series, and when Vazquez relieved Kevin Brown in ALCS Game 7, he promptly served up a second-inning grand slam to Boston’s Johnny Damon.

Vazquez has established himself as an innings-eater who has, in general, put up better numbers in the National League in the AL. Now that the Yankees can slot him in the back end of their rotation, however, expectations should be reduced.

Cabrera, 25, put up a solid 2009 season, and he was in line to be the Yankees’ starting leftfielder. It’s unclear whether the Yankees will replace him with a big-money veteran _ Jason Bay, Johnny Damon and Matt Holliday are all still available _ but the Yankees have insisted they’re going to stick to a budget this offseason. Vazquez has one year left on his contract, at $11.5 million.
(Graf) With four established starting pitchers, the Yankees will likely wind up using either Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes as the primary setup man for Mariano Rivera, assuming that Vazquez, CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte all stay healthy.

Top 10 NY games of the decade

Top 10 NY games of the decade
December 21, 2009 by NEIL BEST / neil.best@newsday.com

Like any good story - be it from a book, a movie or a weekend in Vegas - the best part of a memorable game is reliving the details for days, and sometimes years, after it is over.

So it is with some of the best from New York sports in the 2000s, starting with the most shocking of all from a historic night in Glendale, Ariz.

As always in our series looking back at the past decade, extra credit was given for important games, but the regular season counts, too.

Especially when the Red Sox are in town. Or if Jumbo Elliott catches a touchdown pass.

1. Super Bowl XLII, Feb. 3, 2008, University of Phoenix Stadium

Some of New York's biggest championship upsets, such as Super Bowl III and the 1969 World Series, lacked a dramatic, climactic finale.

But like their Super Bowl XXV ancestors, the 2007 Giants won it all with a flourish, one so grand it was easy to forget the big picture:

Their 17-14 victory over the Patriots ruined the first 18-0 start in league history and foiled the most productive offense the NFL ever has seen.

After three quarters, the Patriots led 7-3 in a defensive struggle, one that hardly was the stuff of football lore.

The final quarter more than made up for it, with the lead changing hands thrice, the final time when Eli Manning found Plaxico Burress in the end zone with 35 seconds left.

What at the time was the largest TV audience in sports history saw Manning win the MVP award, David Tyree's life change forever and the Giants' secure their seventh league title.

2. Game 7, 2003 ALCS, Oct. 16/17, 2003, Yankee Stadium

You could fill a top 10 list with Yankees playoff games from the '00s - Game 1 of the '00 World Series, Games 4, 5 and 7 of the '01 Series, Games 4 and 5 of the '04 ALCS, Game 2 of the '09 ALCS, etc.

But one stands above the rest: Game 7 of the '03 ALCS.

The Red Sox bounced Roger Clemens en route to a 4-0 lead and led 5-2 in the eighth when the Yanks got to a tiring Pedro Martinez - who assured manager Grady Little he was fine.

Mariano Rivera came in for the ninth and would pitch three scoreless innings.

In the bottom of the 11th, Aaron Boone led off against Tim Wakefield, and soon the Red Sox would be waiting another year to seek their first championship since 1918.

3. Giants-49ers playoff game, Jan. 5, 2003, 3Com Park

It was one of the wildest, most controversial playoff games in NFL history.

The Giants led the 49ers, 38-14, in a wild-card game late in the third when the offense congealed and the defense collapsed, allowing San Francisco to rally for a 39-38 lead.

A Matt Bryant field goal still would have won it in the final seconds, but Trey Junkin's snap was off target, forcing holder Matt Allen to attempt a desperate pass.

Allen might have hit Rich Seubert if Seubert had not been pulled down by Chike Okeafor. But the officials forgot the guard had checked in as an eligible receiver. No pass interference was called.

The NFL apologized the next day. It was too late.

4. Big East quarterfinals, March 12/13, 2009, Madison Square Garden

Syracuse upset Connecticut, 127-117, which seems like an unusually high score until you consider they played six overtimes, one short of a Division I record set in the pre-shot clock era.

The Orangemen, who had an apparent buzzer-beater waved off at the end of regulation, did not lead in any of the first five OTs but took charge in the sixth, starting with a three-pointer by Andy Rautins.

Said Syracuse guard Jonny Flynn, who played 67 minutes and had 34 points and 11 assists: "I can't even feel my legs right now.''

Syracuse came back the next night to beat West Virginia - in one overtime.

5. Game 6, NBA second-round series, May 19, 2000, Madison Square Garden

The 1999-2000 playoffs were the last significant gasp of the Patrick Ewing-era Knicks, who made it to Game 6 of the conference finals before losing to the Pacers.

There were dramatic turns along the way, including a second-round struggle against Pat Riley's Heat typified by Game 6, in which the Knicks fell behind by 18 but rallied to win, 72-70.

"This is absolute madness,'' said Riley, whose team scored only 25 points in the second half.

Game 7 was another thriller, with the Heat's Clarence Weatherspoon missing a shot in the final seconds and the Knicks - controversially - being awarded the ball after an out-of-bounds play.

6. Dolphins vs. Jets, Oct. 23/24, 2000, Giants Stadium

The Dolphins and Jets both were 5-1 when they met on "Monday Night Football,'' but there was little pre-game hype, seeing as how it was the night between Games 2 and 3 of the Subway Series.

There was no ignoring this one, though, not after the Dolphins took a 30-7 lead behind quarterback Jay Fiedler of Oceanside, then watched the Jets come back to win, 40-37, in overtime.

With some of the thousands of fans who had left early returning to their seats, the Jets tied it at 37 on a tackle eligible throw to Jumbo Elliott with 42 seconds left.

In the fourth quarter alone, the other Long Island-raised quarterback in the game, Vinny Testaverde, was 18-for-26 for 235 yards and four TDs.

7. Red Sox vs. Yankees, July 1, 2004, Yankee Stadium

The ALCSes of 2003 and '04 were defining events of New York's sports decade, but between those two series the Yankees and Red Sox showed even a regular-season game between them can be a classic. GRAF

It happened in July of '04, a 13-inning battle in the Bronx best remembered for Derek Jeter's catch and dive into the stands in the 12th. GRAF

There was much more that night, including a third-to-home double play started in the 11th by Alex Rodriguez, who later moved from third to shortstop to replace the injured Jeter.

Manny Ramirez homered in the top of the 13th, but the Yankees answered with two in the bottom. John Flaherty drove home Miguel Cairo to win it, 5-4.

8. NFC Championship Game, Jan. 20, 2008, Lambeau Field

Super Bowl XLII somewhat has obscured what preceded it, but how can you beat an overtime conference title game between two historic franchises at Lambeau Field - in below-zero temperatures?

The capper was Corey Webster's interception of Brett Favre on Favre's last play as a Packer at Lambeau, setting up a 47-yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes, who had missed two earlier tries.

Favre appeared far less comfortable in the cold than did Manning, a fellow Southerner. But even Favre didn't look as frozen as Giants coach Tom Coughlin, whose face was a bright, scary shade of red. GRAF

Plaxico Burress caught 11 passes for 154 yards despite the horrendous conditions.

9. Game 7, 2006 NLCS, Oct. 19, 2006, Shea Stadium

As special as the Mets' run to the '00 pennant was, there is no game fans will remember more from the 2000s than Game 7 of the '06 NLCS against the underdog Cardinals.

Oliver Perez and Jeff Suppan battled evenly through the early innings, and the Mets' Endy Chavez kept the score tied at 1 when he leaped over the leftfield fence in the sixth to deny Scott Rolen.

Yadier Molina's two-run homer in the ninth put St. Louis ahead, 3-1, setting up a dramatic bottom of the inning.

The Mets loaded the bases with two outs, but Adam Wainwright struck out Carlos Beltran looking to eliminate the Mets' best team of the decade.

10. Galaxy-Red Bulls, Aug. 18, 2007, Giants Stadium

Why the Red Bulls when we have excluded the Nets and Devils? Because unlike the Nets and Devils they are the area's only major-league team in their sport - the world's favorite, by the way.

The mostly moribund franchise flashed its potential when it hosted David Beckham and the Galaxy in the summer of '07 and drew 66,238, the most for a league game there since the Cosmos era.

Better yet, the teams provided enough action to satisfy even the most skeptical soccer spectator, with the Red Bulls winning, 5-4, on a late goal.

Said Beckham, who set up three scores: "I haven't been involved in a game like that since I was 9 or 10 years old.''

Monday, December 21, 2009

Yankee Stadium not a landmark to U.S. government

Yankee Stadium not a landmark to U.S. government

Sep. 21--There will be no last-minute federal bailout of Yankee Stadium. The National Register of Historic Places has declined, more than once, to consider the big ballpark in the Bronx for landmark status -- an honorific, it turns out, that would not have guaranteed protection from demolition.

And the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, which could have stopped this year's scheduled tear-down of the 85-year-old walls, repeatedly has rejected landmark designation because of the Stadium's 1974-75 "unsympathetic renovation."

One more game tonight and the joint is a goner. All those who are now offering testimonials extolling the Stadium as a cultural marker, a place of mythology and folklore passed from generation to generation and reflecting America's soul, will just have to accept that, of more than 80,000 National Register listings and more than 2,400 National Historic Landmarks, Yankee Stadium did not make the cut.

Even though the high school football field in Newton, Kan., a Works Progress Administration project completed in 1936 as part of the New Deal's recovery from the Great Depression, did. So did the former minor league/Negro League park in Indianapolis, used in filming the 1988 movie "Eight Men Out," formerly called Bush Stadium and now the 16th Street Speedway, site of midget auto dirt racing. Just to name two athletic museum pieces.

If it will make Yankee Stadium fans feel any better, both Tiger Stadium in Detroit and Cleveland's Municipal Stadium are listed as National Historic Landmarks, and both were bulldozed into oblivion, anyway.

In 1999, South Bronx Congressman Jose Serrano wrote to President Clinton about NHL status for the Stadium, only to be informed by the historic-places director at the time that, "while the contribution of the New York Yankees to baseball and America is of national importance in many respects, the National Park Service is unable to conclude that Yankee Stadium retains the high degree of architectural integrity required . . . "

A 1986 landmark survey, which examined several professional baseball stadiums, already had concluded that the Stadium's mid-1970s remodeling "compromised the integrity of the Stadium."

Likewise, NYC Landmarks Commission spokeswoman Lisi de Bourbon said in an e-mail, a "number of requests" for landmark designation -- from Bronx assembly member Jeffrey Klein (now a state senator) and several members of the public -- were not pursued for the same reason. (The Yankees, by the way, never asked.)

"From an architectural perspective, they're right," said "Field of Schemes" author Neil deMause, who operates a Web site casting a critical eye on public subsidies for sports facilities. "But from a baseball perspective or fan perspective, they're not. The current stadium is much more like the original Yankee Stadium than the new one will be. It's the same footprint, the same building with a different face on it. I think it should have been landmarked. Probably, most people in the city feel that way, too."

Strict brick-and-mortar arguments that the 1970s modifications completely replaced the "House That Ruth Built" in 1923, ignore the hallowed-ground considerations, that the playing field remains the place where sports giants have trod for more than three-quarters of a century. (Ruth and Gehrig, DiMaggio and Mantle, Giants-Colts overtime, Lewis-Schmeling, Knute Rockne, and on and on.)

According to Alexis Abernathy of the National Register of Historic Places, criteria for NHL honors include "significant contribution to the broad patterns of history, associations with significant persons, distinctive architectural engineering or informational potential -- mainly archaeological."

To architect Aaron Parker, formerly based in New York and now in Minneapolis, said: "If baseball is our national sport and is a true reflection of our national character, then Yankee Stadium could easily be landmarked under [the first two criteria]. Indeed, if Yankee Stadium does not rise to that standard, no other structure in the nation qualifies."

A similar belief motivated the Boston citizens -- architects, lawyers, preservationists, hard-core fans -- who coalesced to form the "Save Fenway Park" group in the mid-1990s, when Red Sox ownership began making noises about dramatically redoing their storied old stadium.

Among the Save Fenway Park members was Erika Tarlin, a librarian from suburban Somerville who was outraged at plans to create "a Disneyland ballpark" that would replace much of the old Fenway flavor. "I grew up going to Fenway," Tarlin said in a telephone interview. "It is a symbol of Boston and I'd leave the city if they knocked it down. The city will lose its soul when they knock down Fenway.

"The situation at Yankee Stadium is so similar," she said. "These historic stadiums; what else makes you shudder besides Fenway and Yankee Stadium? It's nothing against change. That's not it. Fenway survives because it's organic and can adapt. I try to get to Yankee Stadium every year. It's a tragedy what they're doing there."

One more game, and this (unofficial) landmark will be history.

To see more of Newsday, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.newsday.com Copyright (c) 2008, Newsday, Melville, N.Y. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For reprints, email tmsreprints@permissionsgroup.com, call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.
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© Copyright 2008 Newsday





Proposed by Citizens and Groups
from Around the Country to Help
at the
"The House That Ruth Built"

For the purpose of saving historic Gate 2 at Old Yankee Stadium, baseball groups historyoftheyankees.com, the Committee to Commemorate Old Yankee Stadium & the Committee to Commemorate Babe Ruth - speaking for and acting on behalf of Baseball fans, historians, architects, historic preservationists, and other concerned citizens, groups, and relevant experts from New York and around the nation, has voluntarily researched and developed a
public fundraising campaign to the City of New York, entitled the "SAVE THE GATE" Commemorative Brick Drive.

This Commemorative Brick Drive will be similar to ones throughout Major League Ballparks and other leading sports venues throughout the world, such as the highly successful programs employed by the Mets at Citi Field (Fanwalk), the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium, the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, and the Cleveland Indians' "Heritage Park."

Based on Committee studies and expert estimates, commemorative bricks at plazas & walkways encompassing the new parkland and ball fields scheduled to replace the historic site of Old Yankee Stadium could generate well over 5 Million dollars (as other MLB "legacy" brick memorials have) - depending on exact design. This would provide the City of New York millions of dollars more than is needed to save historic Gate 2!!

Legacy brick plazas & walkways would also dramatically increase YEAR-ROUND tourism and visitation to the much-in-need Old Yankee Stadium neighborhood - where residents and businesses have lost critical revenues with the Stadium's closure and destruction. Saving Gate 2 will make the new park one of the most respected and profitable in the country. These brick plazas & walkways would also simultaneously enhance the currently poor aesthetics of the preliminary "Heritage Field" plan, exponentially improving the historic and cultural "disconnect" decried by historic design experts. (Adding extra elegance and attraction, the commemorative bricks can be made in magnificent blue, white and gray combinations, in unique tribute to the Stadium's unparalleled place in history.)

The Parks Department's preliminary plan for the historic Old Yankee Stadium is the highly controversial and criticized "Heritage Field", which retains absolutely NOTHING from Old Yankee Stadium. This as yet unapproved plan has been emphatically objected to by officials, experts, and fans, who regard it as historically, architecturally, and aesthetically "bland" and "inauthentic". It's MOST tragic failure is that it omits saving anything from original Yankee Stadium - a fatal flaw easily corrected with the saving of the 1920's era Gate 2. (The Parks Department abruptly withdrew from their October 5 appearance before the NYC Design Commission, where they were scheduled to defend against these widespread and well-informed criticisms in a Public Hearing before New York City Design Commission, which oversees the aesthetic and architectural suitability of all public projects in New York City.)

Parks Department has told the media (without providing any evidence whatsoever ) that the cost of saving Gate 2 - the original Stadium's most glorious remaining element - is too prohibitive, claiming (again without providing any evidence) it would cost "10 Million dollars". Architectural and structural engineering experts assess the cost at only 1 Million dollars, less than the cost of demolishing and removing the Gate. In other words, experts believe it will cost less to save Gate 2 than to destroy it!!!

In any case, the "SAVE THE GATE" Commemorative Brick Drive would eliminate any cost concern - providing up to 10 Million dollars - thereby saving a majestic part of America's greatest and most historically important stadium, thereby assuring that the historic site of Old Yankee Stadium be more properly preserved, protected & commemorated - making it one of the premier urban parks in America - rather than the unnecessary mediocre and uninspired architectural, aesthetic, cultural, and historical flop that's now proposed by the Parks' Department.

For further information, please call or write the contacts below - who can also put you in touch with historians, preservationists, architects, and other relevant experts, helping to save the gate.

SAVE THE GATE videos prepared by Committee to Commemorate Old Yankee Stadium members can be seen at:
http://www.ultimateyankees.com/savethegate.htm. See, for example: "TOP 9 REASONS TO SAVE THE GATE" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tyqyl1WJuJM, a musical summary of why the Gate should be saved (to Four of a Kind's "Take Me Out to the Ballgame"), which includes a brief depiction and description of the proposed SAVE THE GATE Commemorative Brick Drive (at "Reason No. 7", 1:04 - 1:14)


Information provided above was derived from consultation with top authorities in the fields of Baseball, architecture, New York history & historic preservation, as well as with top"legacy brick" fundraising experts.

For Further Information, Please contact:

Brad Turnow
(516) 523-4749
(631) 874-5754


Tim Reid
Committee to Commemorate Old Yankee Stadium
(754) 368-1295

Rivera named top Pro Athlete of '09

Rivera named top Pro Athlete of '09
Yanks closer haul grows with award from Sporting News

By Anthony DiComo / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Adding to his cabinet of accolades, Mariano Rivera on Thursday took home the Sporting News' 2009 Pro Athlete of the Year Award.

complete awards coverage

Rivera, who turned 40 after the season, saved 44 games with a 1.76 ERA while winning the fifth World Series title of his career -- not to mention allowing just one run in 16 postseason innings in the process. In June, he became the second player in baseball history to record 500 career saves. Later increasing that mark to 526, Rivera now trails only Trevor Hoffman's 591 saves.

It's been a banner hardware year for the Yankees, who have enjoyed plenty of attention since winning their 27th World Series title last month. Rivera has already won the Delivery Man of the Year Award, given annually to the game's best reliever, and his teammate, Derek Jeter, was named Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year -- becoming the first Yankee to claim that honor.

Rivera, by contrast, is the fourth Yankee to win the Sporting News' Pro Athlete of the Year Award. Ron Guidry won in 1978, followed by Joe Torre in '96 and the entire Yankees team in '99.

Two other Yankees, Jeter and first baseman Mark Teixeira, won both Gold Gloves and Silver Sluggers this offseason.

The Sporting News honored Rivera alongside its College Athlete of the Year, Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, and its High School Athlete of the Year, North Carolina basketball recruit Harrison Barnes.

And the accolade, like everything else in Rivera's career, is something the closer is sure to take in stride.

"You know what? I'm OK with whatever happens," Rivera told the magazine for its award story. "I'm not a guy who goes looking for numbers or chasing records."

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Friday, December 18, 2009


PRESS RELEASE December 18, 2009


From: Committee to Commemorate Old Yankee Stadium

Christmas has come early to the Bronx; Gate 2 at The House That Ruth Built is alive and well, standing proudly and defiantly (must be that Edison Concrete) as the rest of the Stadium slowly crumbles around her. She still serves as a reminder of and a portal to thirty-seven American League Pennants and twenty-six World Championships.

On Monday, December 14, representatives from the Committee to Commemorate Old Yankee Stadium walked the streets of the Bronx (specifically, 161st Street and River Avenue) as well as those of the Nation’s Capital, seeking funding, landmark status, and assurance that the Gate, which is original to the old Stadium (1923), will go untouched until all structural inspections, preservation cost estimates, and evaluation and analysis of those estimates have been conducted. After extensive review of its originality, aesthetic and architectural worth, and its great historical importance, the Design Commission of the City of New York recommended that the City’s Parks Department redo its preliminary plan to include Gate 2 as a monument in the new park.

Chris and Cindy Jones (Committee to Commemorate Old Yankee Stadium) traveled to Washington, DC last Monday, armed with press releases, letters, and photographs…ammunition as well as evidence of the Gate’s historical, architectural, cultural, and spiritual importance…and spoke with the offices of individuals and staff members of organizations whose support of the preservation effort could make a difference.

Chris and Cindy’s visit and correspondence(s) were also about requesting federal stimulus funds for this “shovel-ready” project, as well as for historic preservation funds for this preeminent historical site (as stated above). The Committee, to garner additional funds, has also initiated a Volunteer Worker Program and a Commemorative Brick Drive, much like the one at Citi Field’

Their trip was also a preliminary step toward application for Federal land marking and funding for the old Yankee Stadium site.

Mr. and Mrs. Jones spoke with individuals at the National Park Service (Historic Preservation Program); the office of United States Senator, Charles Schumer (New York); Congressman, Jose E. Serrano (New York’s 16th District); and Adolfo Carrion, former Bronx Borough President and currently White House Director of Urban Affairs. Ironically, the office of Jim Bunning, former Major League pitcher, 1996 inductee into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and United States Senator from Kentucky, was down the hall from that of Senator Schumer, and information regarding Gate 2 was left for him as well.

The Committee to Commemorate Old Yankee Stadium has also contacted the Steinbrenner Family and Mayor Bloomberg and requested that they supply the needed funds (if they don’t accept/approve/apply for the proposed funding).

Contact Information for MR. AND MRS. JONES GO TO WASHINGTON

Chris and Cindy Jones, Committee to Commemorate Old Yankee Stadium

13722 Long Cove Place

Midlothian, Virginia 23112

Chris: chris_jones86@comcast.net

(804) 639-9472 (Home)

(804) 441-2112 (Cell)

Cindy: cin_jones@comcast.net


(804) 639-9472 (Home)

(804) 426-9911 (Cell)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Yankee adviser sad to see old Stadium go

Yankee adviser sad to see old Stadium go
December 17, 2009 by JIM BAUMBACH / jim.baumbach@newsday.com

Ray Negron and George Steinbrenner

In what used to be centerfield at the old Yankee Stadium Ray Negron stood Wednesday with his shoulders slumped, a somber look plastered on his face.

Clearly he did not like what he was seeing.

“Sad,” he said. “Just sad.”

The stadium is slowing coming down, and of all the people who have come through these hallowed grounds over the years, perhaps no one has a stronger connection to it than Negron.

After all, it changed his life.

It was some 36 years ago when new Yankees owner George Steinbrenner caught Negron painting graffiti on the outside of Yankee Stadium. Instead of turning Negron over to the police, Steinbrenner made him the batboy for that night’s game, telling him he could keep the job if he stayed out of trouble.

That began a lifelong relationship between Steinbrenner and Negron, one that has inspired Negron in recent years to give back to children – and to Steinbrenner, for what he describes as living a dream ever since the Yankees owner dragged him away by the shoulder that day.

He has brought sick children, underprivileged kids – basically anyone in need of hope – to the stadium for a pick-me-up. Or he has brought the Yankees to them, including one time last summer appearing with Alex Rodriguez at the handball court across from Yankee Stadium for an impromptu game of stickball.

He has written three Yankee-themed children’s books, all dedicated to Steinbrenner, but his current passion has been films.

There’s an animated movie due out next spring, “Henry and Me,” detailing a young sick boy’s magical journey in which various Yankees give him life lessons. Richard Gere lent his voice for the lede role, with more than a dozen Yankees from Yogi Berra to Joe Girardi making cameos.

Finally, there’s a movie tentatively entitled “Keeper of the Pinstripes,” focusing on a kid Steinbrenner finds on the street and instructs to move the ghosts and spirits from the old Yankee Stadium to the new one before it is gone. That’s why Negron and his movie crew were on hand at the old stadium yesterday.

“You want to feel the heart and soul of what Yankee Stadium represents, and you want to feel the spirits in the room,” executive producer Alfred Zaccagnino said, “so you can convey that on screen.”

If you believe in the Yankee Stadium ghosts and think they’re still there, then they must be residing in the Lou Gehrig room, the last place still standing in its original form. This is the place Gehrig’s widow once told Negron Gehrig used to go to sit, cry and pray in his remaining days as a Yankee.

To commemorate the room, there is a painting on the pillar of Yankees captains Gehrig, Thurman Munson and Derek Jeter, which still stands there today amid the construction.

“Jeter would never come into this room,” Negron said. “He was afraid. Everyday I used to say to him, ‘Let’s go to the room.’ And he’d say, ‘We will. We will.’ But I finally gave up.
“A month before we closed the stadium, I accidentally bumped into him right by the room and I said, ‘This is not a coincidence. Do me a favor. Let’s go there.’ And we did.

“He saw this, and he was silent but you could tell he was moved. He only said one thing. He repeated thank you, eight or nine times.”

That it was Negron who was in position to give Jeter that perspective of history is not lost on him.

Negron is the first to tell you he’s lived a life every Yankees fan could dream of, and he owes it all to a can of graffiti and an owner willing to give a kid a chance.

Ongoing demolition of old Yankee Stadium a sad sight

Ongoing demolition of old Yankee Stadium a sad sight
December 16, 2009 by JIM BAUMBACH / jim.baumbach@newsday.com

Inside the old Yankee Stadium there's no telling where home plate is . . . errr . . . used to be. Same goes for the pitcher's mound, dugouts, outfield walls, clubhouses. They're all gone. Even Monument Park. It's a stunningly empty, sad scene.

>>CLICK HERE: Photos of the demolition of Yankee Stadium

Standing inside this once proud baseball landmark you remind yourself that this really shouldn't be that surprising. There hasn't been a game here in more than a year, and the scaffolding outside the stadium for several months has signaled that the deconstruction process was well under way.

But that knowledge still doesn't take away the sting when you walk through the doors to Yankee Stadium and see her in this sad shape, inching closer to her death with each day.

Wednesday, Yankees adviser Ray Negron accompanied a film crew to take shots for his upcoming motion picture, tentatively titled, "Keeper of the Pinstripes." Loosely based on Negron's childhood - he got his first job with the Yankees 36 years ago when George Steinbrenner found him putting graffiti on an exterior wall of the Stadium and "punished" him by making him a batboy - the film is billed as a modern-day "Pride of the Yankees."

This Newsday reporter tagged along for the trip inside the old stadium. The first thing that strikes you when you walk inside is that one of the most historic fields in baseball history is now one giant slew of mud, the soft type that sinks six inches with every step you take.

The stadium's structure is still very much in place, letting you know you're still standing inside what was once Yankee Stadium. But the upper deck is missing its seats, giving it a sickly depleted look.

At least there still remains some semblance of an upper deck. The concrete that used to hold the loge level and box seats are now only a memory, replaced by a mixture of rubble and construction trucks.

The only room still intact is "the Lou Gehrig room," an old storage room along the rightfield wall that Negron says Gehrig used for solitude during his last days.

There's a pillar there with a painting of Gehrig, Thurman Munson and Derek Jeter, completely undisturbed by the commotion going on around it. Its days are numbered, as well, but it's fitting that it is the last to go.

>>CLICK HERE: Photos of the demolition of Yankee Stadium

Monday, December 14, 2009

Source: Matsui signs one-year deal with Angels

Source: Matsui signs one-year deal with Angels
December 14, 2009 by NEWSDAY.com and THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

FILE - Hideki Matsui, Most

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Hideki Matsui has signed with the Los Angeles Angels, according to a report by The New York Times.

The deal is for one year, and worth $6.5 million, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.
Matsui batted .274 with 28 homers and 90 RBIs for the New York Yankees last season, then was selected World Series MVP despite starting only three of the six games against Philadelphia. He went 8 for 13 (.615) with three homers and eight RBIs, tying
a Series record by driving in six runs in Game 6.
“I can confirm that we are in serious discussions with the Angels,” Matsui’s agent, Arn Tellem, wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
Tellem declined further comment.
Slowed by surgically repaired knees, the 35-year-old Matsui would replace Vladimir Guerrero as Los Angeles’ primary designated hitter. Guerrero, also hobbled by injuries, will turn 35 in February. Both sluggers are free agents.
Matsui has surpassed 100 RBIs four times in seven seasons with the Yankees after coming over from Japan, where he was an enormous star. He just completed a $52 million, four-year contract with New York.
Matsui and the Yankees beat Los Angeles in the AL championship series last season. The Angels have won three straight AL West titles and five of the past six, but haven’t reached the World Series since winning the 2002 title.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Official Family Site of George Herman "Babe" Ruth

The Official Family Site of George Herman "Babe" Ruth


We added and made changes...more coming!


Free Doorbuster if you spend more than $99

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Yanks bring back Pettitte, but still looking to build starting rotation

Yanks bring back Pettitte, but still looking to build starting rotation
December 9, 2009 by KEN DAVIDOFF / ken.davidoff@newsday.com

INDIANAPOLIS - Andy Pettitte served as the Yankees' "first priority" this offseason, Brian Cashman said Wednesday, and that's why the general manager spoke happily of bringing back Pettitte for a 13th season in the Bronx.

But Cashman wants to build upon his starting rotation, and that looks to be a far greater challenge than bringing back the veteran lefthander.

"The starting pitching market is a headache," Cashman said at the winter meetings after the team completed both the Pettitte re-signing - a one-year, $11.75-million deal - and the three-way trade for Curtis Granderson.

The Yankees continue to engage the Blue Jays on Roy Halladay, yet the same potential roadblocks exist; the Yankees don't want to give up prospects and pay him a huge extension, and Toronto will likely charge a premium from its AL East neighbors. Toronto wants catching prospect Jesus Montero and either Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes as the nucleus to a deal.

Throw in the fact that the Yankees just weakened their farm system with the Granderson trade, and one person in the loop said the Yankees would likely not wind up with Halladay. The other high-end option is free agent John Lackey, and Cashman met Wednesday with Lackey's agent, Steve Hilliard. An agreement there, however, appears unlikely.

The Yankees will consider Ben Sheets, who missed all of 2009 after undergoing right elbow surgery, but they didn't go after him last winter because of concerns about his health. So they likely won't be very aggressive.

Pettitte, meanwhile, said he briefly considered retiring after winning the Yankees' clinching games in all three postseason series. "I could not have written a script any better after last year ended," he told reporters in a telephone news conference. "I was like, 'What else is there to do, man? Why would you even continue to play?'

"Then you start talking to guys. I want to make sure I'm done. I want to make sure I fully exhaust myself. I don't want to regret not playing. I want to try to come back and help this organization win another one, basically. That's what you play for."

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Source: Yankees ink Pettitte for another year

Source: Yankees ink Pettitte for another year
December 9, 2009 by KEN DAVIDOFF / ken.davidoff@newsday.com

Andy Pettitte and the Yankees have reached a deal to bring back the left hander for another year in pinstripes, Newsday has confirmed.

The two sides reached an agreement on one-year contract worth $11.75 million, a source said. This is a significant raise over the $5.5 million he made in base salary in 2009.

For Pettitte, 37, it will be his fourth season back with the Yankees after a three-year stay with his native Astros in Houston, and his 13th season, overall, with the team that drafted him.

With Pettitte fortifying their starting rotation, the Yankees will stay engaged on free-agent starting pitchers -- more likely reclamation projects like Justin Duscherer, Rich Harden and Ben Sheets than a high-end target like John Lackey -- and in trade discussions with Roy Halladay.

However, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is wary of depleting too much of his farm system after using trade chips to acquire Detroit’s Curtis Granderson.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Remembering Tommy Henrich - by Harvey Frommer

Harvey Frommer on Sports

Remembering Tommy Henrich

"I was always a Yankee fan."

The oldest living Yankee, the final survivor of their great teams of the 1930s, Thomas David Henrich has passed away at the age of 96.
Born in Massillon, Ohio February 20, 1913, Henrich took to playing baseball often and well at an early age. In April 1937, Commissioner Landis ruled Henrich a free agent after he had been illegally hidden in the Cleveland farm system. He signed with the Yankees for a reported $25,000 and made his New York debut on May 11, 1937.
In an eleven year Yankee career Henrich batted .282. In 1948, he led the league in triples and runs scored, batted .308 with 25 homers and 100 RBIs. In 1949, his consistent clutch hitting helped keep the injury-racked Yankees in the pennant race. In 115 games, he hit 24 homers, drove in 85 runs, scoring 90 more.
Along with Joe DiMaggio and Charlie Keller, Henrich formed one of baseball's most celebrated outfields for the Yankees before and after WWII. Although Henrich played in only four World Series because of injuries and three years of military service, he was a key figure in two of the most famous Series games.
In 1949, his ninth inning homer off Don Newcombe of the Dodgers in Game One gave the Yankees the win and created the atmosphere for a Yankee world championship. Moments like those inspired Mel Allen to nick-name the four time All Star "Old Reliable" for a railroad train that was always on time that ran from Cincinnati through the Yankee announcer's Alabama birthplace state.
But Henrich will always be remembered most for his role in Game 4 of the 1941 World Series. It was Sunday baseball at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn before 33,813, standing room only. Yankees against Dodgers.
The first ball was thrown out by New York Mayor LaGuardia. The match-up pitted Brooklyn's Kirby Higbe against New York's Atley McDonald in the first Subway Series between the two teams. Higbe and McDonald were long gone as the game moved to the ninth inning and Brooklyn's Hugh Casey and Yankee reliever Johnny Murphy held forth with "Dem Bums" leading 4-3.
Tommy Henrich faced the burly Casey. There were two out. The count was three and two.
MEL ALLEN (GAME CALL) "Casey goes into the windup. Around comes the right arm, in comes the pitch. A swing by Henrich . . . he swings and misses, strike three! But the ball gets away from Mickey Owen. It's rolling back to the screen. Tommy Henrich races down toward first base. He makes it safely. And the Yankees are still alive with Joe DiMaggio coming up to bat."
"That ball broke like no curve I'd ever seen Casey throw," Henrich remembered. "As I start to swing, I think, 'No good. Hold up.' That thing broke so sharp, though, that as I tried to hold up, my mind said, 'He might have trouble with it.'"
Catcher Owen that 1941 season set the National League record of 476 consecutive errorless chances accepted was the goat. But there were those who thought a bit too much spit or other substance came along with the ball to home plate.
Whatever, the passed ball shook up Casey. The Yanks scored four times and won the game 7-4 and the next day won the world championship.
And "Old Reliable" Tommy Henrich, once again in the right place at the right time, helped the Yankees to another win.
The man from Massillon, Ohio was one of a kind. He will be missed.
Harvey Frommer is his 33rd consecutive year of writing sports books. The author of 40 of them including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE STADIUM, an oral/narrative history (Abrams, Stewart, Tabori and Chang) was published in 2008 as well as a reprint version of his classic "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball." Frommer's newest work an oral and narrative history of Fenway Park will be published in 2010.
Frommer sports books are available direct from the author - discounted and autographed.
FROMMER SPORTSNET (syndicated) reaches a readership in the millions and is housed on Internet search engines for extended periods of time.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Help Save Gate 2 Today! Contact the Yankees Today!

Gate 2 is nearing demolition. We must act QUICKLY to save the gate!!!!!!

You can contact the Yankees today and ask them to SAVE THE GATE!

Go here and fill out the form:

Or Write or Call the Yankees at:

Write the Yankees:
New York Yankees
Yankee Stadium
161st St and River Ave
Bronx, NY 10452

Call the Yankees:
(718) 293-4300

Save the Gate - Contact the Yankees Today!

Gate 2 is nearing demolition. We must act QUICKLY to save the gate!!!!!!

You can contact the Yankees today and ask them to SAVE THE GATE!

Go here and fill out the form:


Or Write or Call the Yankees at:

Write the Yankees:
New York Yankees
Yankee Stadium
161st St and River Ave
Bronx, NY 10452

Call the Yankees:
(718) 293-4300