Friday, December 10, 2010

Random Yankee thoughts - winter meetings wrap

And some people thought the Rivalry was dead. The Boston Red Sox outshone the New York Yankees at the winter meetings this week, stealing Carl Crawford from the grasp of the Angels and pulling off a deal for Adrian Gonzalez, two young superstars who will spend their peak years at Fenway Park. Gonzalez knows exactly what he was brought to Boston to do, making sure to mention his eagerness to beat the Yankees during his introductory press conference.

CC Sabathia then upped the ante by declaring that the Yankees are still the team to beat in the American League East. CC doesn’t have Pedro Martinez’s bravura (who does? Pedro was one in a million), but it was nice to see that the Yankees ace willingness to defend his teammates doesn’t stop when he walks off the pitching mound. This was a great week for baseball because it is a much better sport when the Yankees and Red Sox hate each other.

• Props to Casey Close, Derek Jeter’s agent, for putting together a solid contract with the Yankees despite having both hands tied behind his back by Jeter’s refusal to even consider negotiating with other teams. Close had no leverage and was wrongly blamed for starting the war of words with the Yankees, but still managed to secure a deal that is worth at least $20 million more than he probably should have gotten given everything he was up against.

• Sandy Alderson has a lot of nerve complaining about the deal the Washington Nationals gave to Jayson Werth. Sure, the contract seems excessive, but the Nationals had to overpay to get a guy like Werth to join a losing cause. And at least they're willing to spend money, unlike Alderson and the Mets who are content to sit next year out waiting for contracts to expire. And it was completely unprofessional of him to criticize and openly mock a fellow general manager (even if his line about reducing the deficit was pretty funny).

• But perhaps Alderson doesn’t have much of a choice. With the Mets officially getting sued in relation to the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, they are in a tough financial predicament no matter how they try to spin it. The Wilpons will have their lawyers fight like hell to keep as much money as possible, but they are going to lose a chunk of their ill-gotten gains. I feel kind of bad for them in the sense that they got screwed over by a friend. But unlike some of Madoff’s other victims, the Wilpons will be just fine.

• The two great sports loves of my life - the Yankees and the Syracuse Orange - will come together this holiday season when the Orange football team plays in the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium on December 30. Needless to say, I already bought my ticket and will brave the elements to cheer on my Orange.

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