Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Theo, please!

by Mr. November

Theo Epstein called Mike Mussina a "bad seed" today, seemingly for complaining about the Yanks' trip to Japan three seasons ago.

I'm not sure why Theo would do this, other than out of pure boredom. Maybe his Xbox is busted and he can't play "Dance, Dance Revolution". Or maybe he had too much homework and felt like lashing out at an adult. What's most likely is he's a small boy who wishes he was a player instead of a flunkie who's at the beck-and-call of rich adults (who can seemingly hire and fire him at will, mind you); not to mention the fact that he works for a group of businessmen who, most likely, still have George Mitchell in their pockets.

Whatever the reason, Theo, shut your damn mouth.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Can You Retire Infinity?

posted by Mr. November

1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 23, 32, 37, (42), 44, and 49

Nope, this list doesn't represent a question from the analytical portion of the SAT. It's a list of the numbers currently retired by the Yankees. The 8 is there twice for, of course, Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey. The 42 is in parentheses because it's Jackie Robinson's number, retired by every team in the majors. Of course, it's also Mariano's number, so whenever he retires, expect the 8 to no longer be the only duplicate - the Yanks don't like to make legends share.

The subject of retired numbers came up recently when my esteemed co-blogger brought to my attention the fact that her father thinks the Yankees have retired too many numbers and that, quite frankly, some of the numbers that have been retired don't deserve that honor.

Of the 16 players the above numbers represent (not counting the 42 just yet), I can personally say I've seen only 4 in my lifetime. One of those 4, Billy Martin (#1), I only saw as a manager, but that counts, seeing as the basis for retirement of a number is being a Yankee "legend," not necessarily being a "legendary" player. But, that doesn't mean I don't have an opinion about all 16 as a whole.

Without going into statistical specifics or individual arguments, I will sum it all up by saying - each and every one of those numbers deserves to be retired. On top of that, numbers 2, 6, 21, the second 42, and 51 should (and probably will) also be retired some day. Add to that number 13 (assuming the wearer of that number isn't disgruntled 3 years from now and gets traded) and we will be us to 21. And that's only a reasonable estimate; I'm not making the quantum leap and including all the youngsters and potential stars 20 years from now.

Why should all those numbers be retired? Why not? I don't believe that retiring one number lessens the honor for all the other numbers. Each player to wear those respective uniform numbers did something and (and/or off) the field to warrant forever being enshrined in the Yankee Stadium hall of fame. Just because some players did substantially more than others, and some had a great historical impact than others, doesn't mean they don't deserve the honor.

There was a time when I'm sure no one in the organization would have thought that 1 and 44 would be retired. Billy Martin and Reggie Jackson were never big fans of The Boss, and vice versa. But their impacts were honored (Martin's untimely death may have hastened the retiring of #1, but it would have happened anyway). The same can be said for 15 - one can assume that it would have been retired anyway if Thurman Munson's Yankee career had continued along the path it was following, but losing him unexpectedly should pushed the process along.

As for the "questionable" guys (from what I hear, #49 is tops on the aforementioned dad's radar screen), in short, they all deserve it. (Shameful stat alert: all #49 did was win 20 games three times, played his entire career as a Yankee, won a Cy Young award, and pretty much single-handedly brought a World Series title to the Bronx in 1978.) And they all deserve it because they played the hearts out for a team that took the time to honor them for it.

Retiring a number doesn't water down the honor, it keeps the honor in tact.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

For What It's Worth...

Posted by: Miss October

Jason Giambi signs baseballs for fans at spring training while wearing a sweatshirt that says "Wasted Space."

He got paid $23.4 million last year for 254 at-bats and a .236 batting average.

I'm just sayin'..... (couldn't help but use lingo from

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Signs of Spring...

Posted by: Miss October

Nothing beats the winter blues better than seeing the first signs of activity in spring training. Currently, pitchers and catchers and a few other ambitious position players are taking to the field to try to shake that off-season rust. It's a nice sight -- since all the recent baseball coverage the past week or so has taken place at a Senate hearing.

For the Yankees, 2008 is a year of new beginnings. It will take some time to get used to not seeing Joe Torre in the dugout... but I'm excited about the change. The bittersweet part of this year will be the final year of the current Yankee Stadium.... I still have mixed feelings about that. We'll see how I feel when I'll be sitting there for my final Opening Day in the Stadium on March 31.