Less than two days after their season came to an end, the Yankees resolved one of their biggest questions by re-signing general manager Brian Cashman to a three-year contract.
The contract extension was first reported on Newsday.com, and announced later yesterday afternoon by the Yankees.
Yankees co-chairmen Hal and Hank Steinbrenner - who don't agree with one another on much - had both publicly stated that they wanted Cashman to return as general manager. That support did not waver even as the Yankees missed the playoffs for the first time in Cashman's 11-year tenure and the first time since 1993. It was Cashman, 41, who was not sure if he wanted to return.
Yet yesterday afternoon, Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner were able to come to agreement on a contract extension that will keep Cashman as Yankees GM and senior vice-president through 2011. The exact terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a Yankees source said it is for slightly more than the three-year, $5.5-million contract Cashman has been working under, and in the vicinity of three years and $6 million. (Source)
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera will have offseason surgery on his sore right shoulder but should be ready to throw by spring training.
Manager Joe Girardi said Monday that the procedure will shave down calcification of the A.C. joint on the top of Rivera's shoulder. The surgery hasn't been scheduled, but Girardi said it doesn't appear to be a serious injury and there is no structural damage.
"From what I've learned, he's had it the whole year. Has it progressively got worse over the course of the year? I don't necessarily think so," Girardi said. "I think he just feels more comfortable having it done and then not have to deal with it next year." (Source)
Mike Mussina is not a dreamer. He knows he has just spun a season unlikely to repeat itself. He is too much of a realist to believe that finally winning 20 games — as he did Sunday on the last day of his 18th season in the majors — means he can keep defying age until he reaches 300 wins.
There is a very real chance that Mussina pitched the last game of his career when he beat the Boston Red Sox, 6-2, with six shutout innings at Fenway Park. His contract has expired, his 40th birthday awaits in December, and his family wants him to come home to Montoursville, Pa., for good.
“I’ve been envious of every guy who’s retired since I’ve been playing — you’ve done what you wanted to do, and I still have to grind it out, that kind of thing,” Mussina said, enjoying a soda in the manager’s office between games of a doubleheader. “You get to go home and relax, and you’ve played the game as long as you’ve chosen to play it. I’ve felt good for every one of them.” (Source)
Mariano Rivera is one guy the Yankees have not had to worry about this year -- until now.
Rivera, who is finishing the first season of a three-year, $45-million contract, returned to New York to have his right shoulder examined Thursday. Manager Joe Girardi played down the scheduled physical and MRI, saying it was part of Rivera's year-end physical and that they were simply doing it now because Rivera was unavailable to pitch after throwing in four games between Sept. 19 and 23. Still, it's not standard practice for an active player to leave the team to be checked out. General manager Brian Cashman said in an e-mail: "We just think it should be looked at. Since we have been eliminated, why wait?"
Rivera let Girardi know earlier this week that he had some discomfort. Girardi described the exchange as Rivera saying his whole body felt "cranky."
"It's just a physical," Girardi said. "I'm not concerned about him." He said he anticipates that Rivera will be available to pitch this weekend, in particular the season finale, in which Mike Mussina will try to earn his 20th win. (Newsday)
Brian Cashman was asked by the Steinbrenners to respond by next week to their offer to return as Yankees general manager, according to people familiar with the situation.
Cashman's current three-year, $5.5 million contract doesn't expire until Oct. 31, but the Yankees' owners don't want the issue to linger, not with a roster overhaul in the offing. The Steinbrenners prefer Cashman to commit to them before they present him with a new contract for a significant raise.
Most baseball people believe that for a variety of reasons, including an excellent working relationship with Hank Steinbrenner's younger, quieter brother Hal, Cashman will choose to return to the job he's held for 11 years. Cashman is expected to give both Steinbrenners his answer as early as next Monday or Tuesday. Negotiations on his new deal would begin the moment Cashman provides the go-ahead and are not expected to take long. (Source)
Hunter Walker of Digital City writes about the last night at Yankee Stadium, including a fight on the subway on the way in, and a curious scene in the bleachers when security apparently reached new heights of Steinbrennian Fascism. If the following account is any indication, new Yankee Stadium will be a total dictatorship, where even the slightest infraction will get a person deported.
Another notable incident occurred about midway through the game when a veteran Bleacher Creature named Larry was violently ejected from the stadium for telling 258-pound Yankee right-hander Sidney Ponson to "eat a salad." Ponson laughed it off. Rude cheers from the bleachers are a Bronx baseball tradition and the Creatures are a Yankee Stadium fixture. Fans grumbled about "freedom of speech" as Larry was carried away by cops and stadium security. Larry begged the cops to reconsider pointing out that he hadn't cursed at Ponson.
Be forewarned: At new Yankee Stadium, remarks involving lettuce, carrots, tomato, spinach and croutons will be totally off limits. Police in riot gear will comb the stands listening for references to sliced cucumber and endive. The chubby Steinbrenner clan does not wish to be reminded that such low-calorie food exists. And don't even ask about the guy who yelled at Joba about cottage cheese. His family hasn't seen him since. (Full Story/Source)
NEW YORK - New York City police say they arrested more than a dozen people for stealing pieces of Yankee Stadium during the 85-year-old ballpark's final game.
Police say 18 fans were charged with possessing stolen property.
Officers were out in force for the stadium's final game on Sunday to keep souvenir hunters from tearing away pieces of the place.
Yankee spokesman Howard Rubenstein told the New York Post that they intend to hire a private security team to protect the stadium from other would-be thieves. (Source)
"For all of us up here, it's a huge honor to put this uniform on every day and come out here and play," he said. "And every member of this organization, past and present, has been calling this place home for 85 years. There's a lot of tradition, a lot of history, and a lot of memories. Now the great thing about memories is you're able to pass it along from generation to generation. And although things are going to change next year, we're going to move across the street, there are a few things with the New York Yankees that never change -- it's pride, it's tradition, and most of all, we have the greatest fans in the world.
"We're relying on you to take the memories from this stadium and add them to the new memories that come to the new Yankee Stadium, and continue to pass them on from generation to generation. On behalf of this entire organization, we want to take this moment to salute you, the greatest fans in the world." (Jeter)
Robinson Cano hit an RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning and the New York Yankees staved off postseason elimination Saturday, beating the Baltimore Orioles 1-0.
Playing what is likely to be the penultimate game at Yankee Stadium, New York got a perfect inning from Mariano Rivera (6-5) and a fine start by impressive rookie Alfredo Aceves.
But it was a painful victory. Derek Jeter left after getting hit on the hand by a pitch in the ninth, which started the winning rally. Jeter's status for Sunday night was uncertain, though it's hard to imagine him missing the Yankee Stadium farewell no matter how badly he's hurt.
The Yankees cut Boston's AL wild-card lead to 6 1/2 games with seven to play. The Red Sox lost 6-3 at Toronto. (Source)