Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Disclosure? Why?

By John Gottlieb
The Phanatic Magazine

Yet once again I’m baffled by the Yankees offseason program.

First there was the Joe Torre thing, which was handled the wrong way from top to bottom.

Then throw in A-Rod. The biggest problem I have with the situation surrounding the self-centered, egotistical moron would be if the Yanks got back in the running like the New York Post suggests they might. STAY AWAY FROM MIKE LOWELL AND A-ROD AND GO GET PEDRO FELIZ.

Joe Girardi was brought, another situation I had no problem with, but at the same time unceremoniously slamming the door on one of the most beloved Yankees at the same time. Either Girardi will probably be the better manager so I’m fine with that. You can’t just hire someone because you don’t want to hurt their feelings.

They let Jorge Posada taste free agency before overpaying for a 36-year-old catcher who will never again have the type of season he had last year. Fine, the free agent class is abysmal and there was no one to replace one of the last original winners from the now defunct dynasty.

Finally, there is the public nature of the way the new Hank/Hal Steinbrenner Yankees are doing business. Yesterday, Hank felt the need to let us know exactly what was offered to the greatest relief pitcher of all time…but why?

First of all the Bombers and Mariano shouldn’t even be in this position. If you’ve listened at all to Johns on Sports (Saturdays from 5-7 pm on WTBQ 1110- AM in New York or on – Yes, I know I’m a self-promoting whore) then you’d know that I thought they should’ve made this move a long time ago.

They had their chance to sign Mo to an extension and for much cheaper too, but they wanted to play hardball before the season started. Mariano wanted to stay and the Yankees wanted to keep him, but they had to wait until after the season.

The surefire first ballot Hall of Famer deserved the money and the extension for everything he’d done. I thought they should’ve given him a blank check, which still would’ve been cheaper than this offer.

Despite coming down with injuries in 2005 and 2006 Rivera still had tremendous seasons and proved that he could still be counted on at crunch time.

Rivera had another solid year and stayed healthy and now he’ll reap the benefits the Yanks could’ve saved. Listen, I know it’s not my money, but when it comes to salaries fans and journalists must think like businessmen. And the untouchable Brian Cashman decided could’ve had Mo for less money and, like many of the relief pitchers he imports, the GM blew it.

Now, much like the Joe Torre debacle, the Yankees decided to go public with their exorbitant offer to Rivera. I just don’t get it. Why did they need to play their hand through the press?

Once they didn’t ink Posada and Rivera to extensions before the campaign, these certainly should’ve been done well before the end of the exclusive negotiating window. Instead, Posada got his new moments before the window expired while now we wait to see just how bad Rivera wants to remain a Yankee.

They could’ve kept it quiet. Cashman should’ve given Rivera the offer and said this offer will make you by far the highest paid relief…by a lot. You have 24-48 hours to accept the generous deal or we’ll take it to the press and let the team and its millions of fans know that sticking with the Yankees isn’t your top priority.

I understand the move the Yankees brass played, but I’m confused by the timing or the necessity.

When all is said and done they put undue public pressure on the greatest pressure pitcher.

Have I been sleeping for the last 20 years? Never can I ever remember a time when organizations made contract offers so public. Normally, executives are quiet about contract offers after players accept them, but now we are in an era apparently when you will know exactly what kind of offer was turned down.

Before Randy Levine told us that Joe Torre was not going to remain as Yankee manager he felt the need to give us every intricate detail of the offer that was given to Torre. Only after five minutes of rambling did we hear that he hadn’t accepted the pay cut and ridiculous bonuses.

Rivera will almost certainly accept this offer, but he probably can’t feel too good that the team made him twist in the wind for the entire year; they thought Posada was more important, and then they went all-in by announcing the contract offer to the press.

When the Yankees ultimately lose in the first round of the playoffs again and this time Cashman is made to pay for it, let’s hope that the Yanks bring in someone with a little more savvy

Now it's the Yankees who will have to play the waitng game.

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