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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.

By Dave Sheinin  |  January 7, 2009; 10:36 AM ET
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The WBC is stupid anyways, so it IS good that they're not playing.

Posted by: iishoagie07 | January 7, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the WBC games a few years ago (which probably means there is something wring with me), but the only way that MLB's WBC participation program will ever be fair is if each team has to provide x players. It would not have ot be tied to nationality, but it would have to be tied to 40 man rosters (at a minimum). The biggest problem with that of course is the Players Association agreement. Without ammending the collective bargaining agreement, you could not force players to participate so concievably a team might not be able to find X volunteers on the 40 man roster.

And BTW, what are the Nats likely offering for Swisher? Because I'd be ok if it was O'Connor and Casto.

Posted by: natbisquit | January 7, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I loved the WBC, and I'm very much looking forward to this year's iteration (assuming it's on a channel I get). Frankly, I don't see why anyone would dislike it.

It sure seems like the American players are the ones really dragging their heels over playing in this exhibition. Disappointing.

Posted by: Scooter_ | January 7, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

The WBC is a joke. Forget it

Posted by: 8andeight | January 7, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

So far this is the WBC lineup of people that have definitely committed to play for team USA:
C - McCann
1B - Youkilis
2B - Pedroia/DeRosa
SS - Jeter/Rollins
3B - Chipper/Wright
LF - Braun
CF - Sizemore
RF - ......
SP - Lackey
SP - Oswalt

Looks like so far, they're gonna be ok.

Posted by: CharlieF | January 7, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I 100% disagree with your logic behind not needing a salary cap in baseball. Granted, a bunch of different teams have made the post season in recent years (and won titles), but the ability of the small market teams to compete on a SUSTAINED BASIS and hang on to the talent they developed is severely hindered by the lack of a salary cap. Sure, the Yanks haven't WON the World Series in 8 years, but they consistently made the post season for over a decade (and the Redsox are in the midst of a similar run of prosperity). Your flawed logic is a prime example of why many of us who grew up watching baseball don't give a damn any more. The playing field is FAR from level and until there is a salary cap, it never will be. Let's see the Yankees try and build a team that can make the post season for 11 or 12 yrs in a row if their spending is in line with the rest of the league. Ain't gonna happen.

Posted by: chombie13 | January 7, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | January 8, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

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