TAMPA, FL – They can try to pull me back in all they want, but you will NOT get another A-Rod column out of me. Not here and not now. Let him show up at Tradition Field in Tampa three days earlier than required. Let him take BP. Let him hit a couple of balls over the fence. Let the insufferable Michael Kay wax poetic about the noble way in which Rodriguez took his punishment like a man. That he’s paid his debt and deserves a second chance and our forgiveness. He hasn’t and doesn’t.
The Yankees are now the 2011 Mets. Not sure what the hell Brian Cashman‘s plan is but I was taught back in B-School that “Hope” is not a strategy. This seems to be the extent of the Yanks’ strategy in 2015. They chose not to sign either Max Scherzer or James Shields, the top starting pitchers available this offseason in free agency. Instead, they’re going to hope Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia are upright often enough to lead their staff. The Yankees are choosing to be discrete and measured with their spending now. Further evidence is allowing the Red Sox to out-bid them for Yoan Moncada, the Cuban Shortstop wunderkind who by all rights, should be setting up shop in Flushing right now.
Speaking of the woebegone Mets, they’ve spent the entire off season so far talking about being “locks” for the postseason. Players, coaches, the late Terry Collins… they all say they believe the roster is “playoff” caliber. What am I missing? This same roster got hot in last season’s final week and managed to win 79 games as a result. The euphoria of that last week has done a fantastic job of obscuring virtually all of the rest of their 2014 season. A season when the same lineup would literally go weeks without getting more than 3 hits in a game. Tell me what I’m missing!
Oh, and upon arriving at Spring Training in Port St. Lucie, each player was handed a t-shirt with the following words:“Take the Damn Thing!” Anybody? Anyone? No idea what this is supposed to be. These shirts were part of the bundled package included with the Mike Barwis Conditioning Camp tuition each player had to pay.
The NBA trading deadline passed last week with 36 players changing teams. Sounds like some great action until you realize that in the NBA, trades are made Not for the purpose of improving your team. No, in the David Stern era NBA, deals are mostly done for salary cap reasons. Rare is the NBA swap that involves one player being dealt for a similarly valuable other player. The Denver Nuggets sent Center JaVale McGee to the Philadelphia 76ers last week. In exchange for McGee, the Sixers sent Denver… nothing. The Sixers agreed to take McGee and his salary and for agreeing to take him off the Nuggets’ hands, the 76ers were rewarded with a 1st round draft pick from Denver. Guys get dealt to free up “Cap” room in 2027.
Whatever happened to DeBuscherre for Bellamy? Ryan for Fregosi? Barry Beck for Hickey, DeBlois, et al? So many great sports memories are born out of plate-shifting trades that lead to championships. The missing piece. Messier. Hernandez. Are these blockbusters gone forever?
Come back tomorrow for the untradable and cap-hit-worthy, Angry Ward.