It's been a bit of a quiet baseball week (although not at work) so I haven't posted much. Naturally, the first days I take off, Peter Abraham links to my page at my request.
Thanks a ton, Peter. If you're a Yankee fan or even just a baseball fan and you're not reading Peter's blog, you're stupid. There's a link to the left. Click it, bookmark it, and read it a few times a day.
A few minor Yankee stories this week. Looks like they're going to tie Robbie Cano up for a least four years with two club options after that. The guaranteed years would last through Cano's arbitration years, the options his first few years of free agency.
This makes a ton of sense from both parties perspectives. Cano gets a salary guarantee regardless of injury, the Yankees control his salary at a fair price and avoid Sori-itis: a player who loses arbitration and still gets $10 million. The two option years at the start of free agency is really the big victory for the Yanks. Cano figures to be one of the top second baseman in the league and having him under control for six years is a smart move.
Even smarter is not extending the same option to Wang. Six year deals for pitchers is what they call in the biz a "bad idea." Projecting that far for a pitcher is almost impossible and is rarely worth the money. Wang's KO rate still scares me, as did his post season performance. I can't hold the ALDS against him too much yet, but it does give one pause. It's better to negotiate with Wang on a year to year basis while they can and, if he makes it to free agency successful and uninjured, they'll pay him what he deserves.
All of this raises an interesting point regarding the arbitration system in baseball. What seems somewhat unfair to the players regarding the managing of their salary has different effects on position players and pitchers. Many more position players receive longer contracts during this period than pitchers simply because of injury risk and predictability. If you're 23 years old and tearing the cover off the ball, chances are that will continue. If you're 22 years old, throw 98 MPH and a splitter, you're surrounded by The Fear. I have always had my doubts that the indentured servant/arbitration system is fair, but there needs to be something to protect salaries in the majors, especially when teams have to back off of draftees for fear of high signing bonuses.
In other random news, Chuck Knoblauch has not yet been tracked down by federal authorities attempting to issue him a subpoena. This is just bizarre. In his first comments following the report, Knobby told the New York Times, "I have nothing to defend. I have nothing to hide at the same time." I do believe that hiding yourself counts as something to hide.
My favorite Knobby quote, though, was "One of my strongest characteristics is not really caring what people think." Not caring what people think? If he really didn't care what people thought of him, do you think he would have come down with the throwing yips at second base that he did? That scream psychological self consciousness to me. But I'm no doctor.
Turn yourself in, Knobby. Nobody cares what you did. You'll make a better name for yourself by standing up and doing what's right then the legacy of your last few years in the majors .
And finally, Brian Cashman and Theo Epstein are friends. Cute. Can we officially pronounce the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry watered down, if not completely meaningless? The Sox have won two World Series. The Curse is over. It doesn't mean anything anymore. The Sox are going to be in contention for a long time and, truth be told, are built to last in much better shape than the Yankees. It's a different world so we might as well get used to it.
Finally, do the Giants stand a chance against the Patriots? I'm not convinced that the Pats played all out in their last meeting at the end of the season. Tom Brady came out the second half and eliminated the Giants lead while sipping a cup of coffee. The game stayed close, but I think seeing them a second time, Belichick is going to pick apart the Giant defense.
Take this with a grain of salt. I don't know squat about football.