by Ed Botti
December 17, 2021
Well, somehow we made it through another week of Baseball being in the witness protection program. Oddly enough, the sport that is shut down has made some headlines this week. Some good. Some bad. Some ugly.
Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge and his longtime girlfriend Samantha Bracksieck, who some claim is his high school sweetheart, got married over the weekend in Hawaii in what is being called a secret ceremony.
The very small and secluded ceremony was held in Maui on Saturday with only a few of the couple’s closest friends and family in attendance.
The couple were overtly discreet about their wedding plans, however in November rumors leaked of their bachelor and bachelorette parties.
Photos from the Instagram account of Judge’s close friend and ex- teammate Tyler Wade showed what appear to be the bachelor party weekend in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Judge (if they play Baseball) is in line to make $17 million next season and will then become a free agent.
He has made it known that he wants to spend his career with the Yankees.
According to sources, the Yankees can expect to pay him somewhere in the neighborhood of $203 million for an eight-year deal, once he hits free agency.
No word on whether or not Brian Cashman and/or Hal Steinbrenner made the trip to Maui.
Yes, folks I am actually covering a Yankee wedding. That’s how much this lockout has effected the coverage of what should be an interesting winter re-load!
Lifetime Minnesota Twin and lifetime .304 hitter (over 15 seasons) Tony Oliva was finally elected into the Hall of Fame.
Oliva, 45 years after playing his final MLB game, was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum by the Golden Days Eras Committee.
On the Golden Days ballot, Oliva, Jim Kaat, and Gil Hodges made it to the Hall of Fame with each player getting 75 % of the votes (12 out of 16) from the committee members, the minimum vote tally required for a plaque in Cooperstown.
Oliva (83) will be inducted next summer in Cooperstown, New York by his longtime Twins teammate, pitcher Jim Kaat.
The two former Twins are part of a Class of six inductees for the Hall’s Class of 2022. The other inductions will be made posthumously, to first baseman Gil Hodges (as we discussed last week), left fielder Minnie Minoso, Negro Leagues player/manager/ambassador Buck O’Neil, and a 19th-century superstar, Bud Fowler, the first black professional baseball player.
Congratulations to all of them.
In the aftermath of last week’s devastating tornados, Major League umpire Tripp Gibson is putting his money where his mouth is and has returned to his home town of Mayfield, Kentucky to assist and provide relief funds.
Mayfield is considered ground zero of the tornado’s path.
Gibson who now makes his home in Seattle reacted immediately and got busy helping out. Less than a day after a tornado touched down in Mayfield and devastated the community, he was on his way back home to help family members and neighbors evaluate and repair the catastrophic destruction.
Through Umps Care, the MLB umpires’ charitable branch, Gibson and his colleagues are raising funds to support the relief effort for others.
Donations are being solicited to aid the Independence Bank – Mayfield-Graves County Tornado Relief Fund.
It should be noted that although Gibson’s family has been personally impacted by the tornado destruction, all funds from this effort are going to the Graves County community, at large, not Gibson’s family.
The Yankees, prior to the lockout, essentially did nothing to enhance their major league roster, with one exception being keeping Joely Rodriguez.
Having said that, they are projected to have a 2022 payroll of about $225 million.
So, the Yankees have $225 million invested and yet they don’t have a shortstop or first baseman, a dependable catcher, center fielder or No. 2 starter.
That tells me that they have demonstrated an ongoing inefficient mishmash of poor spending practices, not having nearly a sufficient amount of impact players come through their system and the failure to determine why players such as Greg Bird, Clint Frazier, Miguel Andújar, Deivi Garcia, Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres and Luke Voit have seen their talent levels fall under their tutelage to the extreme level of Bird and Frazier being released without yielding any return of any value whatsoever to the Yankees.
Not a good look. As currently constituted, this team has more holes then sure things.
If and when this lockout ends, I would imagine Cashman and his crew will be trying to fill as many holes as possible leading to the start of 2022 Baseball.
The questions are, will they have time, and if so, what type of players will they be adding?
I, for one, do not have faith in the current administration to address these needs in an efficient and productive manner and bring in the right type of players.
The promotion of Dillon Lawson, the organization’s minor league hitting coordinator since 2018, to hitting coach is a telling sign.
The Yankees have increased their reliance on analytics (now being called “data-driven coaching”), on the hitting side with the promotion of Lawson.
Before joining the Yankees, Lawson was a college coach at Southeast Missouri State and Missouri.
It’s pretty clear, Cashman is doubling down on analytics as Lawson is a proponent of increased average exit velo. Not necessarily increased contact.
Music to the ears of Joey Gallo!
Photo Charles Wenzelberg
I am not quite sure exactly when or why it happened, but CC Sabathia seems to have turned into a foul mouthed shock jock on his podcast with his side kick Ryan Ruocco,.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not offended by bad language by any stretch of the imagination and I have always been a CC fan. But when you tune in to hear sports talk, you expect to hear sports talk, not inconsiderate and impervious nonsense and gibberish.
In a recent airing of the awe inspiring podcast, CC while discussing Clint Frazier had the following words of wisdom. “If I see another Clint Frazier story, bro, I’m gonna punch somebody in the F****** face,” “S*** is ridiculous. That kid played 15 games in the f****** big leagues. Get the f*** out of here with all these stupid-a**f****** stories.”
He completed his thought by stating, “I don’t even wanna go there, it’s not worth talking about. The f*** outta here.”
First of all CC, he has played in 228 Major League games and was considered a major component of the Yankee future. The fact that he was released by the Yankees 8 months after earning a starting job in the outfield is news.
The fact that his career is in jeopardy before it barely got started is tragic.
Now we find out that indeed, Frazier had some serious mental health issues to deal with. Issues that not only cost him his Yankee career, but possibly his entire MLB career.
Like CC with his personal struggles, Frazier kept that information to himself.
I can understand why both of them did so.
CC should show some humility and class and not blast an ex-teammate that clearly has struggles himself, albeit not the same type of struggles as CC, but struggles nonetheless, and he should also refrain from his foul mouth diatribes that apparently have become more of the rule and not the exception on that podcast.
I think he owes Frazier an apology.
Earlier this year he stated “Tony La Russa is out of touch with the game. He should not be managing one of the best teams in the American League period, If you’re going to put a f******* position player in there to pitch, guess what? If he’s going to lob s*** over the plate, we going to f****** tee off.”
Note to CC: La Russa’s White Sox won the AL Central with a 93-69 record and he was a finalist for AL Manager of the Year.
As another example he had this to say about the Astros and Correa.
“They cheated and then they’re mad at us. Like get the f*** out of here,” “It’s a f****** joke. And then you finish under .500 this year. Like, shut the f*** up. … The kid’s a clown, I’m sorry.” “F*** them dudes, man.”
It’s one thing to think it and even talk privately that way, but it’s entirely different when you have a platform and microphone and are heard by many.
He has a wealth of knowledge from a pitching and baseball perspective, and he should share that with his listeners, and leave that other stuff to the many shock jocks.
CC has publicly stated that he wants to remain with the Yankees in some form or capacity, and he currently is a special adviser to Yankees GM Brian Cashman. If so, he should probably turn it down a bit.
There have been many great athletes that transitioned to management – he should follow the path laid out before him by them.
A few that come to mind would be Doc Rivers, Mike Scioscia, Magic Johnson, Bill Russell, Joe Torre, Lenny Wilkens, Jim Harbaugh, Larry Bird and Pat Riley.
All great players who remained professional off the field and become successful at the management level in professional sports.
Currently on that path is ex-Giant linebacker Carl Banks. Each week, for many years now, as an NFL analyst, Carl intelligently speaks to game plans, blocking assignments, injuries, under achievers, drafts, etc., in a way that lets the listener know that this is a person speaking with great knowledge and experience that carries himself as a leader.
I am not sure what Carl’s career goals are, but I believe he should be the front runner for the New York Football Giants’ General Manager’s position.
You will be hard pressed to find any audio of Carl speaking out like CC does. Ditto for Magic Johnson, Doc Rivers, Joe Torre and the others.
It’s just not the way a professional speaks in public.
I hope most people remember CC as the workhorse ace he once was; the guy that had no problem taking the ball on 3 days rest. Not the shock jock he has suddenly turned into.
Lastly, the New York Mets, who have made one bad hire after another, are still without a manager, yet they interviewed Buck Showalter almost a week ago.
You really have to wonder what is going on over there? They have one of the sharpest baseball minds in the game ready, willing, and able to take the job, and they are interviewing more candidates.
Maybe they feel there is no reason to rush into it since the only other team in need of a manager is the Oakland A’s, and they are not in on Showalter.
I just wonder what exactly the other candidates (Joe Espada and Matt Quatraro) who have no major league managing experience, could possibly have said during their interviews that would make the Mets pause on Showalter.
Sign the man!
Have a great weekend!