Wednesday, December 29, 2010

George Steinbrenner would have loved college football game at Yankee Stadium, dubbed 'Boss Bowl'

George Steinbrenner
would have loved
college football game
at Yankee Stadium,
dubbed 'Boss Bowl'
Bill Madden

Originally Published:Tuesday, December 28th 2010, 4:
00 AM
Updated: Tuesday, December 28th 2010, 11:31 AM

Even though the day-after-Christmas blizzard has
already evoked too many bad memories of the last
college football bowl game to be played at
, I'm sure that old football coach, George
, would be pretty pumped up about
Thursday's New Era Pinstripe Bowl that will be
played in his honor, in the ballpark he built.

I prefer calling it the Boss Bowl because isn't that
really what this game is all about? Fulfilling another
of Steinbrenner's dreams - to bring back big-time
college football to Yankee Stadium?

Okay, maybe Kansas State and Syracuse, the also-
rans of the
Big 12 and Big East, respectively, might
not be Steinbrenner's ideal teams for this inaugural
event, but I could see him addressing both squads
before the game, stressing what it means to win in
New York, at Yankee Stadium. Besides, for all of their
10 combined losses, Kansas State and Syracuse are
a heckuva lot better than the two Big Ten teams
Steinbrenner coached in 1955 and 1956.

In 1955, Steinbrenner's first venture into college
football coaching, his
Northwestern team, under
head coach Lou Saban
, went 0-9, resulting in the
dismissal of the entire coaching staff. The next year,
Steinbrenner moved over to
Purdue as backfield
coach under the legendary
Jack Mollenkopf. It was
Mollenkopf's first year and the Boilermakers went 3-
4-2, his only losing season in a
Hall of Fame career
that ended in 1969.

Steinbrenner had wanted to stay around and
continue coaching, but after that season, his father,
Henry, reminded him that he had not been sent to

Culver Military Academy
and then Williams College
to coach football, and called him home to
to assume the executive duties in the family
shipbuilding business.

Even after building the American Shipbuilding Co.
into an industry leader and then purchasing the
Yankees and restoring them to greatness after the
CBS years, Steinbrenner never forgot his
football roots - in particular his days at
Ohio State
when he was earning a master's degree in physical
education and worked as a graduate assistant,
picking up plays and strategies from the iconic
Buckeyes coach
Woody Hayes. It was no wonder the
volcanic Hayes, who won three national
championships at Ohio State only to have his career
ended when he punched out an opposing
player in the 1978
Gator Bowl, was one of The Boss'
all-time heroes. Steinbrenner often referred to
Hayes, along with
General George Patton, as two of
the men he most admired.

In the years after the Yankees won their last world
championship under
Joe Torre in 2000, the only
ring Steinbrenner was ever seen wearing was the
2002 Ohio State national championship one given
to him by Buckeyes football coach
Jim Tressel.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Freeport's Vinas signs with Yankees - by Ken Davidoff -Newsday

Freeport's Vinas signs with Yankees

December 21, 2010 by KEN DAVIDOFF /

Leonel Vinas pitches while playing for Hankraquo;s Yanks
To think that, a year ago, Leonel Vinas seemed to be on a path to nowhere. Yes, he had graduated from Freeport High School in June 2009, but he didn't have any concrete plans, and he kept finding trouble.
His life changed when his friend Herman Hernandez introduced him to Ray Negron, who introduced him to Hank Steinbrenner. And Tuesday in Manhattan's Washington Heights neighborhood, Vinas met Brian Cashman, who officially signed the righthanded pitcher to a professional contract.
"I've been to Japan and China to try to find players," Cashman, the Yankees' general manager, said at Out 27, a neighborhood restaurant owned by huge baseball enthusiast Miguel Montas. "It's great to be able to look around the corner, in our backyard, and find someone."
Vinas, 19, served as the ace pitcher for Hank's Yanks, the 18-and-under baseball team sponsored by Yankees general partner Hank Steinbrenner, that excelled last summer, winning the Baseball Heaven championship in Yaphank. Just as memorably, Vinas outpitched Mariano Rivera Jr. in an August game at Yankee Stadium.
At Hank Steinbrenner's behest, Vinas traveled to Tampa after the season and pitched in front of vice president of amateur scouting Damon Oppenheimer, senior vice president of baseball operations Mark Newman and vice president of player personnel Billy Connors. After three such tryouts, the Yankees offered Vinas a signing bonus in the low four figures. He's hardly a top prospect, yet he'll get a chance to show his stuff in spring training.
"When it comes to baseball, I'm never nervous," Vinas said.
Born in the Dominican Republic, he moved to Freeport when he was 11 years old. He pitched for Freeport High School, he said, but didn't get much attention from professional scouts.
"Our team wasn't really good," Vinas said. "Nobody really came over."
Upon graduating, he hung out with a troublemaking crowd. Hernandez, an area youth baseball coach who had known Vinas for years, kept an eye on the young man. So when Negron and Steinbrenner agreed to put together a team, coached by the Yankees adviser Negron, Vinas ranked among Hernandez's highest recommendations.
"I told him, 'This will get you out of the streets,' " Hernandez said. "He took off and straightened up."
Steinbrenner and Negron are planning another Hank's Yanks team for 2011. The venture will get more publicity because top players such as third baseman Matt Duran (of New Rochelle) and William Jerez (Grand Street Campus in Brooklyn) could get strong attention in the 2011 amateur draft.
"Now we're hoping to keep the other kids out of the streets," Hernandez said.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lee Goes to the Phillies - The BEST Non-Signing by the Yankees of All-Time

Time may prove me wrong, but the non-signing of Lee will be the best move the Yankees never made.  I admit I am not a fan at all of Lee and never have been.  I am glad the Yankees did not sign him.  To me, this guy has no character.  He knew the entire time he was not going back to Texas and knew he was not going to New York.  He could at least have had the courtesy of letting the Rangers know right away he did not want to come back.  He let Ryan fly back and forth over and over to his home in Arkansas and in the end, blew him off.

What is lost in all of this is the Phillies and their B.S. comment on how they do not sign guys to more than 3 years.  They signed the GREATEST pitcher in baseball to a 3 year deal and would not budge with him.  Are they kidding?  Now they sign a guy who cannot hold the jockstrap of one Mr. Halladay and give him 5 years.  The Phillies better add 3 years to Roy's contract ASAP.  If I were Roy, I would be quite upset.  We listened to all that crap about 3 years and they go and sign Cliff to a 5 year GUARANTEED deal.  Makes no sense.  And then to offer Lee $27.5 million for a 6th year to boot. Just to rub salt in the wounds.  I am tired of hearing about how the Yankees throw around money.  The Phillies are just as guilty, and right now, more so.
Lee has a lifetime 3.85 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, and 1,086 SO.  Halladay is a 3.32 ERA, a 1.18 WHIP, with 1,714 SO.  Roy has an entire half point ERA lower than Lee and 700 more strikeouts and he is being treated like a leper. 

I hope the Phillies do the right thing and up the contract of Roy Halladay right now.

Listen, in the end, the Yankees blew it too.  They should have given Lee a 48 hour, take it or leave it, window.  He used the Yankees' offer as leverage and the Yankees got burned.  But they deserved it.

Time will tell if this deal with work out or not....but for now....I am saying the Phillies made a big mistake here...and the fans in Philly will pay for the form of skyrocketing ticket prices.

Stay Tuned.....


December 14, 2010

The New York Yankees announced today that they have signed
right-handed closer Mariano Rivera, the American League’s all-time
saves leader, to a two-year contract.

Rivera, 41, owns 559 career saves, the most in franchise history and the
second-most all-time behind Trevor Hoffman (601).  His 394 saves
over the last 10 seasons are the most in the Majors, while his
978 career appearances are the most-ever by a Yankees pitcher
and place him in 17th place on Baseball’s all-time list. 
Since earned runs became an official statistic in the National
League in 1912 and the American League in 1913,
Rivera’s 2.23 career ERA is the second-lowest all time
among pitchers with at least 1,000.0 innings pitched,
according to the Elias Sports Bureau, trailing only
Eddie Cicotte’s 2.20 career ERA over the span.

The Panama native was originally signed by the Yankees
as a non-drafted free agent on February 17, 1990,
and is currently the longest-tenured
Yankee (15 yrs, 105 days).

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Jeter happy with deal, displeased by process

Jeter happy with deal, displeased by process

TAMPA, Fla. -- The drawn-out affair of the contract negotiation Derek Jeter never wanted to have finally met its end on Tuesday, as the Yankees' captain was restored to the roster in an announcement at George M. Steinbrenner Field. As he spoke from behind a podium outside the Yankees' spring home, having agreed to a new three-year, $51 million contract that includes a player option for the 2014 season, Jeter remarked how odd it was to be welcomed back even though he'd technically never left.
"I never wanted to be a free agent," Jeter said. "I was pretty vocal about where I wanted to be. That never changed. I guess you could say I'm glad it's over."
But while Jeter expressed gratitude to the Steinbrenner family for his new deal and their continuing support, he also did not hide the fact that he had been stung by the public nature of the negotiations, during which Jeter said he had been portrayed as "greedy."
Jeter said that he had told his longtime agent, Casey Close, that he did not want to field offers from other teams, only wanting to finish his career wearing Yankees pinstripes. Jeter was irked and amused by reports suggesting that he had demanded a more lucrative contract.
"The perception was greed, when it's a negotiation," Jeter said. "I think it all started with my 'salary demands,' which still cracks me up. What position do I have to demand a salary? Give me this or what? Where am I going?"
But there were fewer laughs about the suggestion made by general manager Brian Cashman, who -- frustrated by the stalled negotiations -- urged Jeter and Close to test the free-agent market on Nov. 23 and see if there was a better deal out there.
"I was pretty angry about it, but I've let that be known," Jeter said. "I was angry about it, because I was the one that said I didn't want to do it. I was the one that said I wasn't going to do it.
"To hear the organization tell me to go 'Shop it' when I just told you I wasn't going to -- if I'm going to be honest with you, I was pretty angry about it."
Cashman said Tuesday that he understood, but he had felt it was necessary to respond after Close said he was "baffled" by the Yankees' positions. Cashman said he intended to speed up the negotiations by encouraging Jeter to find that there were no better offers.
"We resolved it. It just takes some time," Cashman said. "It is a family, and brothers and sisters can fight, but at the end of the day, you all get past it, because he's a Yankee. He's always been a Yankee and he'll finish up being a Yankee. That's the bottom line."
A pair of meetings were needed to repair the rift. Jeter and Close met face-to-face with managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner, Cashman and team president Randy Levine last week in Tampa.
Steinbrenner and Cashman also held a one-hour meeting with Jeter on Saturday in New York, expressing frustration at the media impact on the negotiations for both sides and eventually finding common ground.
"We were all upset and a little bit angry that it reached the level that it did," Steinbrenner said. "You've always got unnamed sources making this comment or that comment. That's what sells papers.
"But it was escalating, no doubt, which is why we sat down together again face-to-face and started hashing this thing out. It was a difficult three weeks, but we got it done. Everybody is ready to move on."
Cashman said it was Levine's idea to bridge the gap by adding a quirky fourth-year player option into a deal in which he will earn $15 million in 2011, $16 million in '12 and $17 million in '13 for a total of $48 million.
Two million of that will be deferred each year, according to The Associated Press, and if Jeter does not exercise his option for 2014, he would receive a $3 million buyout. The option begins at $8 million and could rise to $17 million based upon Jeter's performance.
"We spent a lot of time with Derek before this was done," Levine said in New York. "He was the usual high-level, integral person that he is. He comported himself with tremendous professionalism, in the spirit of what the captain of the Yankees truly is. I'm just so happy he's going to be here for three or hopefully four years, and I hope he makes every one of those incentives."
The option and incentives bumped the Yankees' original three-year, $45 million offer more into Jeter's arena, making the maximum value $65 million over four years. By then, the fourth year had become a priority for Jeter.
"The longer, the better, so you don't have to deal with this," Jeter said, gesturing to an outdoor tent packed with reporters. "You don't have to answer questions. The first time around, I didn't know what it was like.
"Now that I know what it's like, the fourth year was important. I don't have to be answering these questions for quite some time."
Former Yankees manager Joe Torre, whom Jeter considers a close friend and confidant, said Tuesday in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., that he was pleased Jeter and his old club had finally worked it out.
"Both parties, I think, wanted the same thing," Torre said. "It came and went quick, which I think was important. Jeter, to me -- I'm a little partial -- knowing how he feels about the Yankees, I'm just glad it worked out for both."
Torre said that if there are any lingering feelings between Jeter and the Yankees as a result of the negotiations, Jeter would handle it professionally.
"I still ask Jeter about being hurt in 2001, and he won't own up to it," Torre said. "You can take from that whatever you want. He didn't say anything to me, but it doesn't surprise me, because he's pretty close to the vest in that regard."
Jeter, 36, is 74 hits from reaching 3,000 and has appeared in more Yankees victories (1,379) than any other player in franchise history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
An 11-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove Award winner, Jeter is also the Yankees' all-time leader in hits (2,926), at-bats (9,322) and singles (2,163), ranks second in games played (2,295), doubles (468) and stolen bases (323), and third in runs scored (1,685).
"He'll get back to what he does best, which is playing baseball for the one team he's always wanted to play for," Cashman said. "That's the real story here. He's going to finish his career as a Yankee, exactly where it should be. He's going to get his 3,000th hit with us, as it should be. And we hope he can win some more championships with us."
But Jeter also has something to prove. He is coming off a career-low .270 batting average and has fought diminishing defensive range that suggests he may no longer be the Yankees' shortstop in 2013 or '14, though manager Joe Girardi believes he can rebound and continue to be a top-of-the-order hitter.
"We'd like him to have a big season for us next year, score over 100 runs, hit .300 and just play great baseball," Girardi said. "That's what we expect from Derek every year. This year, when he didn't hit .300, we were all a little shocked."
Jeter will turn 37 in June, and during the negotiations, Cashman said that the organization does have concerns about his age and recent performance. Jeter said that he understands he will need to live up to the new contract and its expectations.
"You'd like to think that last year was a hiccup," Jeter said. "But it's my job to go out there and prove that it was. I understand any concerns that anyone has, especially talking about from an organizational standpoint. It's my job to go out and change that opinion."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Jeter agrees to deal that guarantees $56M by ERIK BOLAND AND KEN DAVIDOFF

Jeter agrees to deal that guarantees $56M

December 4, 2010 by ERIK BOLAND AND KEN DAVIDOFF. /,

Manager Joe Girardi #28 (L) of the
Make no mistake about it: Derek Jeter blinked.
The shortstop agreed in principle yesterday to a complex new contract that should keep him in the Bronx through 2014 in a deal that represents a clear victory for the Yankees.
According to a source familiar with the contract, it is a guaranteed four-year, $56-million deal, with the fourth year an $8-million player option against a $3-million buyout. In that fourth year, Jeter also can earn up to $9 million in incentives that could bring the total contract to as much as $65 million.
Jeter, 36, who will be the highest-paid middle infielder in baseball with an average annual value of about $16 million — pushing him past the Rockies’ Troy Tulowitzki — must pass a physical before an agreement that just about everyone had thought was inevitable is announced by the Yankees.
The Yankees started the offseason hoping to have Jeter and Mariano Rivera re-signed before the winter meetings, which start tomorrow in Orlando, Fla.
With deals in place with Rivera — also pending a physical — and Jeter, they can focus on prized free-agent pitcher Cliff Lee at the meetings, and working on the bullpen and perhaps bench help after that.
The Yankees never had to come up significantly from their original three-year, $45-million offer to Jeter. The shortstop had been looking for a four- or five-year contract worth $23 million a season.
This contract has some deferred money, an industry source said, which will help the Yankees for luxury-tax purposes. Rivera’s contract also calls for some deferred money, the source said.
A source with knowledge of the Jeter negotiations said this past week that the sides were working on some “creative” ways to bridge the gap in the negotiations, and this contract is certainly that.
Built into the deal are “points” that Jeter can accrue, starting in 2011, that can translate into dollars. Points are given, for example, for winning the MVP or finishing second through sixth in the voting. Points also would be given for being named MVP in the World Series or ALCS, for winning the Silver Slugger Award or for winning the Gold Glove.
The Yankees all along were insistent that Jeter — who averaged $18.9 million a year in his just-completed 10-year deal, one in which he made $21 million in 2010 — take a pay cut.
After some public squabbling early Thanksgiving week by both sides — with the rhetoric a bit more fiery from the Yankees — that’s exactly what happened.
Jeter had little leverage in the talks, and he knew it. Apparently he came to terms with that. “I talked to Jeet four, five days ago,” Rivera said yesterday. “He was optimistic. He was fine.”
Curtis Granderson, speaking at an autograph signing yesterday afternoon at Last Licks in Rye Brook, N.Y., said Jeter is likely to be among the last of a kind — a star player spending his entire career with one team.
“I think it’s a great thing,” Granderson said. “A guy who’s played every single game of his career with one team is going to be a rarity. I think after his career is all said and done — with free agency, trades, guys wanting to go to their home towns, all these different things — he’s going to probably going to be the last and final guy to do that.”
Granderson came to the Yankees in a trade last offseason and said he observed Jeter closely. “He’s been a great teammate,” he said. “It’s been good to just sit and watch him, talk to him, be by him, and hopefully it will be that way for  years.”
Rivera, at the same signing as Granderson — reliever David Robertson also was there — said he was somewhat surprised that the Jeter talks at one point got heated.
“I’m surprised, but that’s the business side,” said Rivera, who agreed to a two-year deal worth $30 million. “Both parties have to get to the middle where everyone’s happy and move on.”
Progress in the talks, dormant as the week began, came rapidly. The thaw began Tuesday when managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner, team president Randy Levine and general manager Brian Cashman met with Jeter and agent Casey Close for nearly five hours in Tampa. More progress came Thursday and Friday, when talks extended late into the night, laying the groundwork for the deal struck yesterday.

Source: Derek Jeter, Yanks agree - By Wallace Matthews and Andrew Marchand

Source: Derek Jeter, Yanks agree

By Wallace Matthews and Andrew Marchand

NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter agreed to a new contract with the New York Yankees on Saturday afternoon, a source with knowledge of the negotiations said.
Earlier Saturday, two sources said the Yankees and their captain were hoping to finish a contract that would pay Jeter approximately $17 million a year for three seasons with an optional fourth year at a lower salary, although those terms were among the details still to be worked out.
Those terms, obtained through conversations with several sources who requested anonymity, represent a pay cut of approximately $2 million a season from the 10-year, $189 million contract Jeter finished. The Yankees did, however, increase their initial offer of $45 million over three years.
Finishing the deal will allow Yankees general manager Brian Cashman to know exactly how much money he has in his budget heading into the winter meetings, which begin Monday in Orlando, Fla. The Yankees are expected to make a strong bid for free-agent pitcher Cliff Lee and possibly outfielder Carl Crawford.
Jeter was asking for a four- to six-year deal in the area of $22 million to $24 million a year, and he and his agent, Casey Close, seemed surprised by what they considered a lowball offer from the Yankees. At one point, Close described the Yankees' negotiating strategy as "baffling" and implied he felt his client should be treated as if he were Babe Ruth.

Earlier this week, asked a source involved in the negotiations what it would take to get the deal done. "Jeter and Close need to drink the reality potion" was the reply.

And coming off the worst offensive season of his career since he became an every-day player -- .270 batting average, 10 homers, 67 RBIs and an on-base percentage of .340 -- and without any concrete offers to match even the Yankees' initial offer, Jeter and Close gradually came to alter their demands.

The two sides met earlier this week in Tampa after Close called Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner to set up the get-together. Jeter was present, as was Steinbrenner, Cashman and team president Randy Levine.
That started the ball rolling. As of Friday night, sources briefed on the negotiations were using terms like "significant" and "terrific" to characterize the tone and progress of the meetings.
And although Jeter had no real leverage, the Yankees also softened their stance. After publicly talking about how they would treat Jeter like any other player in a contract negotiation and judge his value solely on performance -- and pointedly expressing reservations about his age (36) and diminishing range in the field -- the decision to raise their offer even by a couple of million dollars per year is an indication that they were recognizing and rewarding his iconic status in club history.
The proposed new contract would place his average annual salary at about $17 million per year, keeping him as the highest-paid middle infielder in baseball, ahead of the Colorado Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki, who this week signed a 10-year deal worth $157.75 million, an average of nearly $15.8 million per season.
In the end, what happened between Jeter and the Yankees is what many expected to happen from the moment his previous contract expired at the end of the 2010 World Series.

"I think the deal was always going to get done," said a party involved in the negotiations. "It was inevitable that the Yankees and Derek Jeter would stay together. It just took a little time to get to where we all had to be."
That, and a round of reality potion for everyone in the room.
Wallace Matthews and Andrew Marchand cover the Yankees for

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Jim Leyritz gets probation, fine

Jim Leyritz gets probation, fine

Associated Press
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Former New York Yankees World Series hero Jim Leyritz was sentenced Thursday to one year's probation and fined $500 for a drunken driving conviction, a far lesser penalty than he had faced before a jury decided he wasn't responsible for a woman's death in a 2007 traffic crash.
Circuit Judge Marc Gold imposed the sentence for the misdemeanor on the 47-year-old former ballplayer, who was acquitted last month of DUI manslaughter in the death of 30-year-old Fredia Ann Veitch. Leyritz could have gotten up to 15 years if convicted of manslaughter, but he said Thursday it was no victory.
"I said it from the very beginning, there would be no winners in this case," Leyritz said in a tearful statement to the judge. "This was a horrible, horrible tragedy."
Leyritz could have gotten up to six months in jail for the DUI, but his attorney David Bogenschutz said that was far too severe for a first offense DUI.
"He is a first offender, plain and simple," Bogenschutz said, adding that the sentence should be the same "whether it be Jim Leyritz or Jim Smith."
Prosecutor Stefanie Newman wanted a four-month jail term for what she called Leyritz's "air of entitlement" as a former professional athlete and because he had several violations while out on bail of a vehicle interlock device that detects alcohol on a driver's breath.
"He acted with reckless disregard," Newman said of the 2007 crash. "He put the public at risk. He put himself at risk."
Gold noted that Leyritz had completed two alcohol treatment programs but warned him not to violate probation or the law again.
"If you violate probation, I will give you the maximum jail sentence," Gold said.
Jurors decided that Leyritz did not run a red light and cause the crash, and evidence showed it was Veitch who likely ran the light. Veitch was also driving drunk before the crash and was thrown from her vehicle because she was not wearing a seat belt, according to court documents.
But the jury found that Leyritz was driving with a blood alcohol level above Florida's 0.08 limit and convicted him Nov. 20 of the lesser charge. A blood sample taken three hours after the crash showed Leyritz had a blood-alcohol level of 0.14; a state expert testified it could have been as high as 0.19 when the crash happened about 3 a.m. on Dec. 28, 2007.
A state toxicologist said Leyritz downed the equivalent of 11 to 12 shots of liquor.
Veitch's husband, Jordan Veitch, said he hoped the case would deter people from deciding to drink and drive.
"Making the decision to get behind the wheel while intoxicated is selfish and irresponsible and shows a lack of respect for the lives of others as well as yourself," Veitch said in a prepared statement.
Leyritz settled a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Veitch's family for $350,000, with $250,000 covered by insurance and the rest to be paid beginning in April 2011 out of his own pocket. Leyritz, a divorced father of three boys, had been out celebrating his birthday at local bars before the crash.
Leyritz played 11 major league seasons -- primarily as a catcher and mostly with the Yankees -- and is best remembered for a dramatic 1996 home run that helped the Yankees win the championship that year. He also played with the Angels, Rangers, Red Sox, Padres and Dodgers, with 90 career homers and a .264 average.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press