Results tagged ‘ Ramirez ’

Return of the Holdout

Here’s what I love about the Manny Ramirez situation: It’s a good old-fashioned holdout, that long-lost tradition which used to spice Spring Trainings.
With the Dodgers his lone overt suitor, this isn’t about maximizing free agency, but about holding out until El Lay sweetens the deal.
This bit of flashback couldn’t be better placed. The Dodgers have a rich lore of holdout episodes, most starring that late agitator of a GM, Buzzie Bavasi.
Two of his favorites:
Don Drysdale-Sandy Koufax, 1966 — The mound’s dynamic duo became a demonic duo for Bavasi, negotiating in tandem for a shared $1 million across three years (or $167,000 annually apiece at a time Willie Mays’ $125,000 topped baseball’s books). Don and Sandy did the Ed Sullivan Show in New York while the Dodgers were training in Vero Beach. The 32-day stalemate ended on March 31, with Koufax ($125,000) and Drysdale ($110,000) each signing one-year deals.
Maury Wills, 1963 — The year after he stole 104 bases and the NL’s MVP Trophy, Wills held out for a $5,000 raise and finally took a meeting with Bavasi. It did not go well, Wills recalls.“I thought I was going to get a big raise, but after 10 minutes in Buzzie’s office, I was still happy I was on the team.”

SPEAKING OF flashbacks: So many free agents signing Minor League contracts that come with Spring Training invitations (a remarkable 38 at last count) means camp competition for jobs — virtually killed off in the modern era by guaranteed contracts — will again be fierce. …

JAKE PEAVY: Good as gone. When the Padres screened a video retrospective of highlights of their first 40 seasons at their awards banquet last week, two significant contributors to that history were omitted. Trevor Hoffman, who has already left. And, yes, Peavy, who must be packing his long johns for those cold April nights in Wrigley Field. …

KEN GRIFFEY, JR.: Even though he remains unsigned, he already is one of the best-paid free agents coming out of this winter. Reason: The deferred portion of the contract he signed with the Reds kicks in this year at $5 million, continuing until 2025. …

GOING DEEP: But you won’t go far. The ultimate condemnation of this home-run era, and the undeserved fascination with the long ball, is that now half of the top dozen on the all-time list have never played on a World Series winner. They include Barry Bonds,Griffey, Sammy Sosa, Harmon Killebrew, Rafael Palmeiro and Alex Rodriguez. …

JOE TORRE: Fans don’t share the frothing New York media’s verdict that “The Yankee Years” soiled his Bronx heritage. In an ongoing New York Daily News poll, their sentiment is 69-to-31 for retiring his No. 6 over dismissing him for having tarnished his legacy.

Faultless Joe

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Thirty years after Sparky Lyle and collaborator Peter Golenbock gave us the incisive “Bronx Zoo,” New York seems to be of the opinion that Joe Torre’s forthcoming book should be titled “Bronx Pooh,” given how it reportedly spoils his Yankee Years.

Please. The flash point of sneak peaks into the 477-page book (it will be released on Tuesday) has been Torre’s portrayal of Alex Rodriguez as an attention freak, someone who “needs people to make a fuss over him.”

You mean, someone prone to letting his agent announce that he is opting out of his contract during the final game of a World Series?

Gee, never saw that one coming.

The same media which mocked A-Rod’s duplicity and respected Torre’s candor now sure seems quick to label The Skip as a pariah.

That seems to happen a lot to people who leave The City. A suggestion for high-profile folks moving out: Leave backwards, without exposing your back. …

Oh, by the way — the Yankees have to start from scratch, but Torre’s postseason streak is alive at 13 (one more, and he ties Bobby Cox’s record). …

In retrospect, given the clubhouse contempt for Rodriguez of which GM Brian Cashman had to be aware, how amazing is it that the Yankees gave him a new 10-year contract after he had voided the old one? …

Scott Boras, on Nov. 12, two days before open-bidding commenced for Manny Ramirez: “Beginning Friday, I will begin, for the first time, taking serious offers.” That was a nice dig at the Dodgers’ opening bid of two years for $45 million but, 10 weeks later, Boras is still waiting.

So, naturally, he tells us yesterday that “the process has begun.” I’d love to give Dr. Cal Lightman, the Tim Roth character in Fox’s new “Lie to Me” series, five minutes in a closed room with all agents, one by one. …

Why Lou Piniella has to bat Alfonso Soriano leadoff: He’d be a rally-killer in the middle of the lineup; he’s always been allergic to runners on base. Soriano is a career .255 hitter with men in scoring position and last season hit .160 with men on third and two outs.

Such stats help explain his 270 career homers but only 705 RBIs, an amazing split. He is one of 28 historical players who have hit between 260 and 280 home runs; among the other 27, only Adam Dunn has a lower RBI total (a shameful 672 on 278 blasts) — which might help explain why he’s also still looking for a uni. …

And in case you were wondering of the current whereabouts of George Mitchell, the former Senate majority leader whose name is on the report that brought baseball’s PED culture into the open — he’s visiting Cairo.

No, not Miguel — as Pres. Obama’s special Middle East envoy, Mitchell is on the first leg of an eight-day tour of Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, France and Britain. Dude’s pretty important, and tells you why his report has so much credibility with the big boys of government. …


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