A Bronx-Centric Wednesday: WBC, Salary Cap, Pettitte, Swisher
1.No more about the Mark Teixeira negotiations, I promise. But it's worth mentioning here that Teixeira said yesterday he is passing on the World Baseball Classic this time around because, ahem, he needed to "learn my teammates, learn my coaches." New Yankees pitchers C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett said versions of the same thing. This is not good. The WBC simply won't work if top players decline to play, and it won't work if some teams hand over all their top players while others don't. Teixeira insisted the decision was his, not the team's, and I don't dispute that. But it doesn't matter. The whole endeavor is predicated upon players playing, as well as the equal sacrifice of all MLB teams.
2. All these calls for a salary cap in baseball--all of them stemming, somewhat understandably, from the Yankees' $423.5 million winter spending spree--are silly. First of all, it isn't going to happen. Secondly, it shouldn't. Not when baseball has seen eight different franchises win the World Series in the last nine years, and not when the Yankees have gone eight years without winning one, despite having the highest payroll in the game in each of those years.
3.For two sides who profess to love each other unconditionally, Andy Pettitte and the New York Yankees sure seem to be at each other's throats all the time. On Tuesday, the Yankees scarcely tried to hide their frustration at Pettitte's decision to turn down their offer of a one-year $10 million contract, and the offer is now believed to be off the table. "All I'll say," Yankees GM Brian Cashman said, "is [that] it's gotten more complicated."
Pettitte surely is chafed by the notion of taking a $6 million paycut following a 14-14 season, while the Yankees are undoubtedly still stung by the fact Pettitte accepted their $16 million offer last winter without informing them of his involvement in the Mitchell Report. The only way I can see this getting resolved is for Pettitte to come crawling back, saying he'll take the $10 million if the Yankees would offer it again. Otherwise, Pettitte is staring at a choice between retirement or signing with another team.
Meantime, here is the Yankees' rotation as of now (not necessarily in this order): C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Chien-Ming Wang, Joba Chamberlain, (choose one) Pettitte/Phil Hughes/Alfredo Aceves/Jason Johnson/Ian Kennedy.
I'd take my chances with that.
4. Yes, the Nationals asked the Yankees about Nick Swisher. No, the Yankees had no interest in what the Nationals were offering.
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