Perspectives: Gardy, Tebow, Big Big Money, and Much Much More
By Paul Semendinger
February 20, 2021
Spring Training is here. I love it. The games will begin in just over a week. Baseball. There’s nothing like it.
I love it.
As I look at the baseball landscape, and the Yankees in particular (of course), I have some perspectives:
Brett Gardner is back…and I love it. I wouldn’t want him as a starter, but he brings a ton of necessary components to the team: speed, defense, the ability to work the count, a lefty bat, some power, and leadership.
In the glory days of the 1950s, the story was that guys like Hank Bauer or Moose Skowron used to tell the young players, “Don’t mess with my World Series money.” In other words, play hard, play well, and get the job done. The message was “We’re here to win.” I see Gardner, 100%, in that role this year. He’s taking a big pay cut. He wants World Series money. It might be his last pay day.
If the Yankees win it all and Gardner hits .280 off the bench and provides necessary leadership, and a few home runs, I see him returning on a similar deal in 2022.
The Yankees should ink one more leader to help solidify the middle inning relief corps – David Robinson. He’d be another tie to the glory days. He should also come very inexpensively.
Tomorrow I’ll try my hand at figuring out the Yankees’ 26 man roster that they’ll begin the season with.
This past week Tim Tebow announced his retirement from baseball. That’s too bad. I was rooting for him and am sad that it didn’t work out. In this day and age, so many people want so much handed to themselves. I didn’t get that impression of Tebow. He worked hard to be an NFL quarterback. It didn’t work out. He then decided to try out a different dream – playing big league baseball. For three years he toiled in the minor leagues and tried to make it. The skills just weren’t there. And, to me, that’s too bad. I was hoping he’d make it. I love when guys dream big. I dream big. I think we all should. Why not? What’s the alternative? Tebow gave it his all. What’s not to love about that. Playing minor league baseball is no glory ride. He gave it his best shot. I admire that. Greatly.
$340,000,000. The Padres just signed Fernando Tatis, Jr. for an astronomical contract. Tatis is super talented. Absolutely. But $340 MILLION? That’s just crazy money. Crazy. The padres might have just broken baseball – or exposed it. The teams seem to be more awash in cash then they let on. Fernando Tatis, Jr. is 22-years-old. He has all the talent in the world. He could be a superstar – probably is. But, to be fair, he has played all of 143 Major League games. That’s not even a full season – even a full season pre-1961. He hasn’t hit his 40th lifetime homer yet. HIs lifetime batting average is .301. Is he on the verge of greatness? Yes. Might be he one of the best ever? Sure. But, how many players got off to great starts and didn’t pan out.
The fact is that baseball is awash in money. Teams that are wiling to spend, somehow always find the money. Always. When teams sell, they sell for billions. The richest of the rich own baseball teams. These are smart smart smart investors and business people. They wouldn’t get into the industry to lose money. No way. At all. If the Padres can afford to pay Fernando Tatis, Jr, three-hundred, forty-million dollars, any team can afford any player – especially the Yankees. When teams don’t spend it is more of the owner just looking to make more money rather than investing in the team.
My baseball season begins in just 50 days. I have been throwing regularly since December 26. I have a few tricks up my sleeve this year to hopefully be a winner. I am strong enough, right now, to go nine innings. Speaking of dreaming big, I still have high hopes that the Yankees will offer me a contract. Yes, I dream big. Why not? It could happen! I’ll tell you what, they can sign me for $339 million less than the Padres paid Tatis, Jr.
Speaking of dreaming big, and seeing a dream realized… My upcoming Yankees book, The Least Among Them, is receiving great reviews in previews. I am so touched, honored, and humbled.
Am I crazy to think the Yankees still have one big trade coming? They seem to be going for it now. They could really use one more innings-eating starter.
Baseball likes to tell us all how the teams are struggling, how interest in the game is waning, and such, but what are teams doing to promote themselves? A few weeks ago I mailed an individualized letter to each baseball team asking for fan materials. This article explains it all. To date, weeks later, the collected response from every single Major League Baseball team is nothing. To date they have shown no interest in promoting their teams. No team has even sent a pocket schedule. They have sent a combined nothing at all. Call me crazy, but when fans reach out and you give them to cold shoulder and don’t even acknowledge them, it is a surprise when fans reciprocate and say, “You know what, maybe I also don’t care about you.” That’s not me. I care too much about the Yankees, but this approach is certainly not the way to grow the fanbase.
Johnny Damon was picked-up on a DUI yesterday morning. Uggg. Come on. I do not understand getting behind the wheel of a car after drinking. It is putting your life, and the lives of others, at risk. There is no excuse for this. At all. Ever. In today’s day and age, with Uber being so ubiquitous driving under the influence is more egregious than ever. I am always so disappointed when I see stories like this. Damon knows better. What a huge disappointment.
Domingo German keeps making social media posts and such that confound his teammates and the management. What Domingo German needs to do, today, and he’s already late in doing this, is apologize for whatever it was that he did and state clearly that it will never happen again. I can see the day coming, very soon, when Domingo German is no longer a Yankee. He might be traded soon, but I don’t see him being part of a huge deal. IN fact, I predict that German is not a Yankee on Opening Day.
I love the optimism of Spring Training. “He looks good.” “He’s stronger than ever.” “His bat speed improved.” Time does begin on Opening Day.
Let’s Go Yankees!