Buster Olney- Rich still getting richer

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Buster Olney- Rich still getting richer

Post  RedMagma on Sun Feb 03, 2008 6:23 am

Buster Olney- Rich still getting richer


http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?name=olney_buster

Since the Yankees' dynasty ended on Nov. 4, 2001, six different teams have won the World Series in the last seven years. Twenty-one of the 30 teams have played in the postseason in this decade, including all five teams from the NL West and four of the five teams from the NL East; the NL hasn't had a repeat champion in more than a decade.

We know that Major League Baseball will never have a completely level playing field, because of industry decisions made by the owners decades ago and because the players will never accept a hard salary cap. If you're anticipating the day that the Rays post the same payroll as the Yankees and the Red Sox, well, you'll be waiting into the other side of mortality.

Baseball's parity has improved, however, fueled by the agreement on revenue-sharing and the luxury tax in 2002. Franchises like the Pirates and the Reds and Royals have seemed hopeless at times, but you see what the Twins, Indians, Padres, Rockies and Athletics have accomplished and you see there is reason for hope. Heck, even the team in the worst possible position -- Tampa Bay, a wounded franchise which inhabits the AL East with the sport's two financial superpowers -- goes into this year with a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel.

But we have seen the sport drift into a place where it has never been before, a place where the most expensive players can only be afforded by the very richest teams.

The best position player and the best pitcher on the planet moved onto the open market this winter, and the market for Alex Rodriguez, at more than $25 million a year, was effectively one team. The Angels might have been willing to stretch their budget and offer him $250 million, if the situation had dragged out, and there is suspicion within the industry that the Tigers would have pursued A-Rod at some point (a suspicion reinforced by the fact that Detroit wound up trading for a player who might cost them $150 million in an extension, in Miguel Cabrera).

But the only team bidding in the range of $300 million was the Yankees, and at least 27 other teams could not have even considered a bid within $100 million of that.

Johan Santana became available and there were only three teams in play -- the three richest teams, naturally, in the Yankees, Red Sox and Mets. The Mets landed him and gave him the highest salary for a pitcher in the history of baseball, at nearly $23 million per year -- as they should have. They have the money, and they desperately needed him.

But in the wake of the Santana signing, the Cleveland Indians -- whose payroll is about one-third of the Yankees' -- would seem to have zero chance of re-signing their best pitcher, C.C. Sabathia, if he is to get paid anything close to market value as a free agent next fall.

Sabathia has loved playing in Cleveland and could conceivably give the Indians a hometown discount. But given the Indians' payroll, and the risks involved in having one player account for a 25 percent or greater share of a budget, they probably cannot even consider paying the left-hander much more than $17 million -- and Sabathia might get $22 million to $24 million as a free agent next fall.

He wouldn't be giving them a discount; he'd probably be selling himself short by some 30 to 40 percent.

So we can sit here today and pretty much assume that unless Sabathia and the union are very generous to the Indians, he is going to land with the Yankees, or possibly the Angels or the Tigers, or perhaps Boston, depending on how the Red Sox pitching needs evolve. Unless something changes dramatically, the list of potential employers might end there.

In the past, the mid-market and small-market teams could hang onto the elite players by stretching their budgets, making exceptions, and making cuts and concessions elsewhere. The Giants could keep a Barry Bonds, the Rockies could make the decision to lock up a young Todd Helton. But the salaries of the very elite players have begun to take them completely out of the reach of the majority of the teams.

There really is no one to blame for this situation, unless you want to dig up the ghosts of owners past. The sport's financial structure is what it is, and it is not going to change: Teams like the Red Sox and Yankees and Mets are doing their best to compete with the resources they have, and continue to extend themselves to a place where the Indians and Twins really can't ever get to.

Many teams are now addressing the problem as the Rockies have done, by signing their best young players (like Troy Tulowitzki) to multi-year deals. But there will be a day, in the years ahead, when that strategy, too, might become too expensive for the mid-market and small-market teams, when the financial circumstances will drive the elite young players toward the super rich. (Read this Tom Haudricourt piece, from today, about the Brewers and their young players).

In the last few years, we've seen teams look more quickly to trade their best young players who don't sign long-term deals -- Mark Teixeira, traded 15 months before his impending free agency, and Erik Bedard, who might be traded two years before he hits the market. The fear of losing an elite talent to the high-priced market is growing, and the potential reward for players to wait to hit the free agent market is growing, as well.

This is not a debilitating problem for the sport right now. But there is a slow drift taking baseball to a place it does not want to go.





• Finishing high in the Cy Young Award balloting could earn Johan Santana a whole lot more dough. There were times, Omar Minaya said, when he wasn't sure the Mets would sign Santana.

Brian Cashman stuck by his young guns, writes Nick Cafardo, rather than pay high for Santana.

Landing Santana doesn't fix all that ails the Mets, writes Bill Conlin.

• Bill Smith lacked leverage during the Santana trade talks, writes La Velle Neal. The Twins are building a contender for 2010, writes Jim Souhan, who also wrote the other day that the Twins missed George Steinbrenner in this situation.

There is no guarantee that Carlos Gomez will be the Twins' center fielder on Opening Day, writes Joe Christensen.

• Miguel Tejada is on a roll in the Carribean Series.

• The drag on the Bedard deal has reinforced the Orioles' reputation for not being able to push stuff across the finish line, writes Rick Maese. The Mariners will pay a big price if the Bedard deal is a go, writes Larry Stone.

Some baseball people are saying this about the proposed trade: The Orioles are crazy if they don't finish it, because they are getting an exceptional package of players.

• Scott Spiezio has been singing about his troubles, writes R.B. Fallstrom.

• The Giants are in even worse shape than the rebuilding Athletics, writes Ray Ratto.

• Khalil Greene agreed to a two-year deal.

• Dan Haren will line up as the D-backs' No. 3 starter, writes Jack Magruder. Within the same piece there is word that Chad Tracy could open the year on the disabled list.

• Jeff Cox will give the White Sox some lessons in spring training, writes Mark Gonzales.

• The Reds signed Scott Sauerbeck. Matt Belisle is fired up for this season, writes Hal McCoy.

• Casey Blake finished a new one-year deal with the Indians.

• A Tigers pitching prospect works in a sub shop in the offseason, as Jon Paul Morosi writes; here are some suggestions on what he should name his sandwiches.

• Nolan Ryan shared some stories recently, and Richard Durrett was there.

• The Astros are confident that their young pitchers can fill a void, writes Jesus Ortiz. I don't know if they really have a choice other than to hope for that.

• Before Peyton and Eli, there was Orlando and Livan, writes Murray Chass. Within the same piece, there is word that the commissioner is not an A-Plus Cheesehead: He was unwilling to sit for four hours in weather that was 25 degrees below zero, which speaks well for his sanity.

• A ton of unsigned free agents remain, writes Michael Silverman, because it's good to be young in baseball these days.

• Jon Rauch landed a two-year contract, writes Barry Svrluga.

• Willy Taveras is ready to go, writes Troy Renck. Jayson Nix will get a shot at second base for the Rockies.

• The Pirates are setting bids on free agents and sticking to them, writes Dejan Kovacevic. There is word within the same piece that former No. 1 pick Brad Lincoln took a major step forward in his rehab from elbow surgery.

• There is talk of changing the name of the Yankees' spring training home to Steinbrenner Field, writes Tom McEwen.

• Evan Longoria is the Rays' third baseman of the future, and the team has to decide when to install him in the big leagues, writes Marc Lancaster. He just wants a chance, writes Marc Topkin.

• A Blue Jays coach loves the Patriots, as Richard Griffin writes.

• Jim Salisbury breaks out XLII Super Bowl nuggets.

• The Braves' Peter Moylan has covered his pitching arm with a tattoo, as David O'Brien writes.

• Benjamin Pomerance, of Plattsburgh State, may have conducted the last interview with Johnny Podres.

AND OTHER STUFF

• Vanderbilt won ugly. But at least we won.

• Wrote a story about this long-distance runner when he was in middle school, in San Diego County; he and his family are refugees from Eritrea. This news is a bummer.

• I don't have a dog in this hunt, but here's a prediction: Giants 30, Patriots 24; Tom Brady gets blasted in the first 20 minutes of the game and is affected thereafter. Of course, I was a rabid Vikings fan as a kid -- and had my guts ripped out four times, watching Fran Tarkenton and Co. get crushed -- so what do I know?

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Re: Buster Olney- Rich still getting richer

Post  RedMagma on Sun Feb 03, 2008 6:29 am

First the Red Sox, Now the Mets What's Next For the Yankees


http://yesnetwork.prospero.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?tsn=1&nav=messages&webtag=yesnetwork&tid=36979


As Yankee Fans, can we all see what is happening here without George running the show anymore. Well it’s as simple as the eye can see. We are being outscored by our most hated rivals. Fist the Red Sox and now we are giving the Muts a major chance to take over the headlines inNew York.



After losing 4 straight to the Red Sox they have beat us out on just about everything after that. They have no fear of the Yankees anymore, the Yanks without George allow the Red Sox to beat us out for the rights to Dice K, they beat us out for Josh Becket. And now we are allowing the cross town rivals to beat us out for the best pitcher in today’s game Santana. I can’t believe this, and as Yankee fans you can make all the excuses you want as to why we didn’t give up Hughes and Melky for Santana, but the bottom line is there is no way the Yanks should have let Santana go.



We are talking about a legitimate Number 1 Ace of a Staff that can take the Yankees over the top. But instead they have just allowed the Muts to be the favorite in the National League and inNew York to be the team to be the favorite to be in the World Series. Just by adding this one pitcher the Muts are the favorite. And they got him for nothing, yes for nothing. The best prospect they got Gomez, batted 225 in the minors and the pitching prospects are having a hard time in double A. What a joke and what a big, big mistake by Cashman and theNew York Yankees.



Since when was money ever a matter to the Yankees and their great tradition to give the fans and the team the best chance to win on the field of play. Who here can tell me if it comes down to a game 7 in the world series would rather have anyone in the Yankee Rotation over Santana. If you do, you are living in a dream world.



Sure only time will tell, but the time was now and we let it go big time. Hughes still has to prove himself, so does Joba when it comes to the starting rotation for a full year. I have great hopes for both, but the question marks are still to be answered. Hughes was hurt when he was down in the minors, he got hurt when he was brought up. Who knows if he is injury prone? Melky has a good future and is a dam good centerfielder, but I would give them up any day of the week for Santana.



But now we allow him to go to the Muts and be the King of New York, we really have lost so much without George running the show, And I think not getting Santana was one big huge mistake.

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Re: Buster Olney- Rich still getting richer

Post  RedMagma on Sun Feb 03, 2008 6:37 am

As a Yankee fan, I'm so happy we didn't trade for Santana
luckynumber0 Post #1: 5:14 am Quote | Report Violation
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They wanted Ian Kennedy, Phil Hughes, and Austin Jackson.

Look what they had to settle for after the Yankees backed out.

It happened almost exactly how I said it would on here.

I said the Yankees backing out would give the Redsox no reason to up their offer, and Santana would be a Twin for 1 more year then hit Free Agency. That's almost what happened except instead the Twins, desperate, dealed him for no proven players.


Had the Yankees made that deal, we'd not only have given up 2 definite starters, but also 1 of our 2 star OF prospects who are supposed to be all-world when they go pro (not that they will, but AJ is a lot better of a prospect than anyone the Mets gave).

And for what?

A Superstar Pitcher who is already having arm trouble, and will be on the books for a min. of 6 years, when he's already getting injured from the millions of pitches he's thrown..... and at the bargain price of 21 mil. a year!!


Yeah, we're better off, thanks.
2004redsoxchamps Post #2: 5:17 am Quote | Report Violation
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Im glad yankees didnt get him to, I think the yankees made a mistake though but we will see.
BigWootB33 Post #3: 5:25 am Quote | Report Violation
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I agree that the Yankees may have played it smart, but Hughes got hurt in his first start, so he isn't exactly the healthiest pitcher.

I live in Minnesota now, what arm trouble has Santana had? I don't recall him missing any starts because of injuries.

Looking back at some of the Twins other big trades the prospects they get usually amount to more than what they traded for... the Viola and Knoblouch trades for example.
mdawg226 Post #4: 5:26 am Quote | Report Violation
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The Twins rejected the Red Sox trade, that included Ellsbury.



I think Minnesota didn't want any big name top prospects because they knew that they would have to sign them to big contracts as well.
2004redsoxchamps Post #5: 5:28 am Quote | Report Violation
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LOl, the twins didnt reject the redsox, the redsox told them they wont trade lester and ellsbury together, ellsbury alone is better then the whole package the mets gave, the redsox pulled out when they where told that santana wanted 150ML
mdawg226 Post #6: 5:36 am Quote | Report Violation
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LOl, the twins didnt reject the redsox, the redsox told them they wont trade lester and ellsbury together, ellsbury alone is better then the whole package the mets gave, the redsox pulled out when they where told that santana wanted 150ML



No, the Twins rejected a trade that was Ellsbury and some INF for Santana. Freakin Gammons brought it up as soon as the trade was originally accepted.
lacaprup Post #7: 5:44 am Quote | Report Violation
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They wanted Ian Kennedy, Phil Hughes, and Austin Jackson.

Look what they had to settle for after the Yankees backed out.

It happened almost exactly how I said it would on here.

I said the Yankees backing out would give the Redsox no reason to up their offer, and Santana would be a Twin for 1 more year then hit Free Agency. That's almost what happened except instead the Twins, desperate, dealed him for no proven players.


Had the Yankees made that deal, we'd not only have given up 2 definite starters, but also 1 of our 2 star OF prospects who are supposed to be all-world when they go pro (not that they will, but AJ is a lot better of a prospect than anyone the Mets gave).

And for what?

A Superstar Pitcher who is already having arm trouble, and will be on the books for a min. of 6 years, when he's already getting injured from the millions of pitches he's thrown..... and at the bargain price of 21 mil. a year!!


Yeah, we're better off, thanks.



This is about as disengenuous a post as I've ever read. The only question marks in the proposed Yankees / Twins deal were those on the Yankees side. Unproven everywhere with the exception of Melky Cabrera: he's an above average CF (excellenet arm, but average everywhere else. Most likely will never play in an all-star game). Johan Santana will have just turned 29 years old and be the best pitcher in baseball when the season begins. Phil Hughes is totally unproven as is Ian Kennedy (all I can say about both of them is that they both have gotten injured in the very brief stints in the majors, you want to call Santana's durability into question). Austin Jackson is total unknown, and may never even make the bigtime.

It's one thing to be happy the Yankees didn't sacrifce youth, but you can stop piling on the BS. Johan Santana will be the best pitcher in baseball for the next 5 seasons barring an unforeseen injury. Everyone the Yankees offered is a total unknown.
luckynumber0 Post #8: 6:20 am Quote | Report Violation
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I agree that the Yankees may have played it smart, but Hughes got hurt in his first start, so he isn't exactly the healthiest pitcher.

I live in Minnesota now, what arm trouble has Santana had? I don't recall him missing any starts because of injuries.

Looking back at some of the Twins other big trades the prospects they get usually amount to more than what they traded for... the Viola and Knoblouch trades for example.



Bone Spurs removed from his elbow.





Bone spurs are most commonly associated with osteoarthritis. As osteoarthritis breaks down the cartilage in your joint, your body attempts to repair the loss. Often this means creating new areas of bone along the edges of your existing bones.

Bone spurs may also be a normal part of aging. Many older people who don't have osteoarthritis or other diseases may still have bone spurs, though they aren't aware of them. Your body may create bone spurs to add stability to aging joints. Bone spurs may help redistribute your weight to protect areas of cartilage that are beginning to break down. For some people, bone spurs may actually provide a benefit, rather than a painful condition.

DrJohn82469 Post #9: 7:30 am Quote | Report Violation
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I agree that the Yankees may have played it smart, but Hughes got hurt in his first start, so he isn't exactly the healthiest pitcher.

I live in Minnesota now, what arm trouble has Santana had? I don't recall him missing any starts because of injuries.

Looking back at some of the Twins other big trades the prospects they get usually amount to more than what they traded for... the Viola and Knoblouch trades for example.



Bone Spurs removed from his elbow.



I believe he had those bone spurs removed from his shoulder and that was between the 2001-2002 seasons.

I'm glad the Yankees decided to pass on Santana and that he is on the mets. The mets got him for a lot less than what the Yankees were offering. The only player that was in the mets favor was Gomez. Smith and the twin scouts believe he has a much bigger upside than melky.

The Yankees will need their prospects for a mid season sign and trade for Sabathia when the Red Sox begin to pull away from them in the division.

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Re: Buster Olney- Rich still getting richer

Post  RedMagma on Sun Feb 03, 2008 6:38 am

Yes your right NY Sports teams are Legends ;-D Sorry Boston.

The True!!!!

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Re: Buster Olney- Rich still getting richer

Post  RedMagma on Sun Feb 03, 2008 6:43 am

Sabathia In 'Stripes? Fat Chance, I Hope


http://blog.cleveland.com/sports/2008/02/terry_pluto_terrys_talkin_6.html

From Terry Pluto -

I never expected C.C. Sabathia to sign an extension with the Tribe. The market for the 27-year-old Cy Young Award winner is far too rich not only for Cleveland, but most teams. The Indians have talked about contracts recently given to Roy Halladay (three years, $40 million), Jake Peavy (three years, $52 million), Carlos Zambrano (five years, $91 million) and Chris Carpenter (five years, $63 million). They'd probably give any of those deals to Sabathia, or even the four-year, $80 million that Johan Santana turned down from the Twins before he was traded to the Mets.

But the market for Sabathia will be set by two contracts -- the seven-year, $126 million that Barry Zito received from San Francisco last winter and the six-year, $137.5 million deal Santana secured from the Mets. That means Sabathia will be a $100-plus million pitcher, and perhaps in line to become the highest-paid pitcher in history when he's a free agent at the end of the 2008 season with a contract that could run as long as seven years.

The general rule is the longer the contract, the more risk by the team. That's especially true for pitchers, who have a higher probability of injury. I would be stunned if the Tribe offered a seven-year deal to Sabathia -- and just as shocked if Sabathia took anything significantly less than what Santana is paid.

When you consider how much money is coming off the Yankees payroll after this season, and how few decent starting pitchers are available via trade or free agency, and the salary demands of Sabathia, how long from now do you think it will take to have stories popping up about Sabathia coming to the Bronx in 2009? Not very long at all, if you ask me.

Sabathia's effort last year was probably the 4th best season by a LH-SP in the AL since 2001. But, I just don't see him, because of his size and conditioning, as being someone who can pitch well as he gets near his 30's. If he hits the market, I hope the Yankees raise the "Not Interested" flag as soon as possible.

source - Thanks to Steve Lombardi of Waswatching.com for the Link

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Re: Buster Olney- Rich still getting richer

Post  RedMagma on Sun Feb 03, 2008 2:00 pm

Mets Fans want Yu Darvish to pitch Mets Next year after getting Johan



http://www.metsrefugees.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=35704&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

RoterMorte137

Now that we got Johan lets go get this dude next year

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yu_Darvish

from Gammons

Quote:
No matter what some other teams think about Gomez or how far Guerra is from the majors, the Mets still had to shell out four of their top 10 prospects and pay somewhere between $137 million and $151 million to acquire Santana. Now, when the Nippon Ham Fighters decide to post Yu Darvish -- the half-Iranian, half-Japanese phenom -- can they expect to get a $100 million posting fee in addition to whatever Darvish can extract from the Yankees, Mets,




AdropOFvenom

Yu Darvish is the best pitcher in Japan since Matsuzaka left. He's only 21 years old and look at these numbers already.

15-5 Record, 1.82 ERA, 207 2/3 IP, 123 H, 9 HR, 49 BB, 210 K, .174 OBP Against

This kid is sick. Granted, he won't be an FA for another 6 years or so, so there's little reason for him to be posted anytime in the next 3-4 years.


AaronHeilman

With Matsui gone how do the Yankees expect to sell their product to the Japanese, especially with Dice-K in Boston?

They'll do what the Sox did and put in an absolutely ridiculous bid

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Re: Buster Olney- Rich still getting richer

Post  RedMagma on Sun Feb 03, 2008 2:03 pm

I would say same thing-

Same commie mantra, rich vs poor, meanwhile the only team in red in Baseball is the Yankees, Redsox and Mets, Tigers, Angels and Cubs. Don't blame only the Yankees. They're all axis of Evil.

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Re: Buster Olney- Rich still getting richer

Post  RedMagma on Sun Feb 03, 2008 2:18 pm

Quote:
Down in one of the concrete front rows, a distinguished man in Hugo Boss sunglasses, Washington Nationals baseball cap and blue windbreaker cracks perhaps the widest grin of all. He jokes with his son Franklin and another family member. Although he is an avid bullfight fan, the man is giddy for a much different reason.

"I know, I know, wrong hat," Jesús Santana Burgillos says in Spanish, as someone points out the "W" logo stitched above his bill. He quickly reverses the cap and laughs when told what his other son Johan might say. "Cristian Guzman (Nationals shortstop) gave me this cap as a present. Soon I will need a new hat."


Quote:
"We're just very happy that Johan was able to make a deal and that, thanks to God, he has his health," says Burgillos, who has three daughters and a son from another relationship in addition to Johan and Franklin. "I think he will have a great year with the Mets; he'll have success and help the team. All of his family will celebrate."


Quote:
"I still think Johan is a better center fielder than pitcher," says Burgillos.


Quote:
Burgillos adds that at one point in December, he thought Johan might have ended up with the Yankees after the Bombers dangled an offer to the 28-year-old lefthander.

"If he had gone there, they would have wanted him to shave his beard and he didn't like that," says Burgillos. But the elder Santana still calls the Yankees "powerful" and a contender, even though his son's arrival in Flushing instantly makes the Mets a strong favorite to make a World Series run.

"He wanted to play for a contender," says Burgillos. "The Mets have a lot of talent."


Quote:
"The thing about Johan, he's never looked above anybody's head," says Gerardo Castillo, 23, a close friend of the family. "When he comes back home to Tovar, he gets together with friends. He's just a normal guy."

There is nothing casual about Santana's generosity toward the town where he was born, however. There is the yellow fire truck that Santana and his Twins teammates donated to the Tovar firefighters. And in what has become a yearly ritual around Christmas, Santana hosts the Cy Youngnaso fiesta at the Coliseo - or Coliseum - near his sprawling estate. Santana donates thousands of toys to needy children during the celebration, while residents enjoy music and dancing. He also gives sizable chunks of money to charitable efforts around Tovar, a town of nearly 50,000 that is tucked in a valley surrounded by the Andes. In a country with a huge fan base for soccer and cycling, Santana's pitching success is responsible for a new fan base throughout Venezuela, especially in Tovar.

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/mets/2008/02/03/2008-02-03_spirit_of_venezuela_comes_alive_in_mets_-1.html?page=0

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Re: Buster Olney- Rich still getting richer

Post  RedMagma on Sun Feb 03, 2008 2:25 pm

YES won't inject steroids into reports


http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/2008/02/03/2008-02-03_yes_wont_inject_steroids_into_reports.html?page=0

Sunday, February 3rd 2008, 4:00 AM

Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network suits have already cast aspersions on George Mitchell's report on steroids in baseball.

After watching YES' "Hot Stove" feature on Phil Hughes, it appears, according to YES, certain allegations made about Roger Clemens don't really exist. They are imaginary - just like the Tooth Fairy.

Much of the Hughes piece shows the pitcher going through his daily offseason workout regimen (lifting weights, etc.) at the Yankees' Tampa facility.

At one point in the story, Hughes says: "God-given ability can only get you so far, then it's up to you to maximize that. Even if I can just take a little bit of what Roger did for us last year, (to) see the way he works out ... see the way he goes about his business, it kind of gives you an idea of what you need to do to stay in this game as long as he did."

It seems the "idea" of what Clemens needed to do "to stay in this game as long as he did" is contained in Mitchell's report. Or, at least, allegations of what Clemens did. In the report, Clemens' former trainer, Brian McNamee, alleges that the seven-time Cy Young Award winner had been juicing since 1998.

If the Hughes feature was shot before the Mitchell Report came out, it would have been a good idea for YES - perhaps through "Hot Stove" host Bob Lorenz - to mention that fact. And if the Hughes interview was shot after the report was released, well, YES made the young pitcher look like a fool.

Someone should have edited the Clemens line out of the story. Unless, of course, it was left in on purpose to further discredit Mitchell's report.

(Page 2 of 4)

After all, when David Justice, a YES analyst, was named in Mitchell's report - Justice denied allegations he paid Kirk Radomski, the Mets' former clubhouse attendant, for "two or three kits" of human growth hormone - Ray Hopkins, YES' chief operating officer, said he had no reason to doubt Justice's claim that he had not taken performance-enhancing drugs.

Curiously, a few weeks after Hopkins' vote of confidence, Justice was out as YES' studio analyst. His departure was accompanied by some typically lame Al Yankzeera spin about Justice having to supervise the "rebuilding" of his house.

Now that's creative.

Almost as creative as Hughes' take on Clemens' longevity.

Nominating Rudy

Yes, there is an opening at YES.

Who better to fill it than Rudy Giuliani? The man has plenty of time on his hands, now that he has ended his run for the presidency. And the No. 1 Bombers fan loves spending time in the WCBS-AM radio booth with Ma and Pa Pinstripe, Suzyn (Georgie Girl) Waldman and John Sterling.

So, why not put him on YES' pre- and postgame show with Mr. Lorenz. It would make for much more interesting TV than the alternative - another former Yankee player grunting into a mike.

Or maybe Rudy should be the third mouth in the radio booth. Sterling wouldn't mind giving "America's Mayor" two or three innings of play-by-play duty, would he?

Santana doesn't rate alone

Tonight between 10 and 10:30 p.m., the page will be turned. The only thing that will matter around here is baseball.

Really, you think anyone actually cares about the inhabitants of Madison Square Garden (unless someone is getting a number retired) or the Nets, who already have cashed their ticket to oblivion? Or any of the other local NHL teams?

No, in terms of a TV product that keeps on giving healthy ratings for six months, seven if there's a postseason run, there is nothing like baseball. The suits at SportsNet New York and YES would not argue this point.

(Page 3 of 4)

Nor would they argue another. It's winning that pushes the ratings needle. This point is important to remember with the news of Johan Santana becoming a Met. Only a story like this - a big-time baseball story - could relegate a Super Bowl involving the Giants to secondary status.

This is a tribute to Santana's star power. But how much can he - or any other big name in baseball - drive TV ratings?

When Fred (Skill Sets) Wilpon let his SNY crew know the Mets had sealed a deal with Santana, the TV guys were happy, but probably not popping champagne corks.

Flashback: Remember Scott Boras claiming Alex Rodriguez would be worth added ratings points to Yankees telecasts on YES? There was no shortage of baseball scribes who swallowed Boras' blarney.

TV suits know better. Especially those whose outlets air major league baseball. They did not subscribe to the agent's "star" ratings theory.

So, Santana's greatest value to SNY's Mets ratings will be as a piece of a winning puzzle. His value as a star, a stand-alone commodity, won't jack the ratings.

"Short term, out of the gate, Johan Santana is like a deodorant for the Mets," said one TV honcho. "He gets rid of the stink of their late-season collapse. This might help bring some casual fans to SNY's door, but the hardcore would have been there - with or without Santana."

The suit said Santana produces a "halo" effect for SNY.

But the "halo" goes away if the Mets don't win.

So do respectable ratings.

Adam bombs

Who wrote Adam (Nabob of Nugget) Schein's list of questions to Tom Brady? Gisele Bundchen?

On his Sirius Satellite Radio show last week, from Super Bowl headquarters, Schein was fawning over the Pats QB in a one-on-one chat. Call this a major Twinkie Munch. The least NON could have done was ask Brady why Randy Moss has not been much of a target for him during the playoffs.

(Page 4 of 4)

At the end of the spot, Schein told Brady to "go get 'em on Sunday." Pom-Pom City. Unusual for Mr. Schein. Perhaps he was longing for his foil, Mr. Ray Lucas.

FAN's Super mouth

Mike (Sports Pope) Francesa, on a work-release program from the FAN Cave to do Super Bowl duty, played the role of human wind machine all last week.

It only took one of the marquee guests, who parade from show to show on Supe radio row, to start responding to a Francesa inquiry before Sports Pope was already answering his own question.

Why bother even having a guest?

Favorite moment: Falcons owner Arthur Blank was telling how he met with Bill Parcells at Tuna's Saratoga home. Francesa interjected, saying: "We rented a house on the same block."

Some big-timers drop names. Francesa is creative. He drops real estate. Was this rental on Park Place? Baltic Ave., perhaps?

Chris (Mad Dog) Russo had a glazed look while this blowhard session was in progress. Either he was totally blown away, or wondering if his agent can finally get him comparable money to Francesa, who recently got a contract extension from the FANdroids.

Sobering reminder

And to all of you who will be attending Super Bowl parties this evening, please take the advice of Tony Paige.

Don't drink and drive.

RedMagma

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Re: Buster Olney- Rich still getting richer

Post  RedMagma on Sun Feb 03, 2008 2:26 pm

Raissman: YES Make Hughes Look Like A Fool?

From Bob Raissman:


http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/2008/02/03/2008-02-03_yes_wont_inject_steroids_into_reports.html



Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network suits have already cast aspersions on George Mitchell's report on steroids in baseball.

After watching YES' "Hot Stove" feature on Phil Hughes, it appears, according to YES, certain allegations made about Roger Clemens don't really exist. They are imaginary - just like the Tooth Fairy.

Much of the Hughes piece shows the pitcher going through his daily offseason workout regimen (lifting weights, etc.) at the Yankees' Tampa facility.

At one point in the story, Hughes says: "God-given ability can only get you so far, then it's up to you to maximize that. Even if I can just take a little bit of what Roger did for us last year, (to) see the way he works out ... see the way he goes about his business, it kind of gives you an idea of what you need to do to stay in this game as long as he did."

It seems the "idea" of what Clemens needed to do "to stay in this game as long as he did" is contained in Mitchell's report. Or, at least, allegations of what Clemens did. In the report, Clemens' former trainer, Brian McNamee, alleges that the seven-time Cy Young Award winner had been juicing since 1998.

If the Hughes feature was shot before the Mitchell Report came out, it would have been a good idea for YES - perhaps through "Hot Stove" host Bob Lorenz - to mention that fact. And if the Hughes interview was shot after the report was released, well, YES made the young pitcher look like a fool.

Someone should have edited the Clemens line out of the story. Unless, of course, it was left in on purpose to further discredit Mitchell's report.

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