Wednesday, April 23, 2014
In TODAY'S COLUMN, we look at how the Red Sox tried to follow the Yankees' example of signing big names to long-term, big-money contracts, with disastrous results.
And now that the Yankees are suddenly fighting for a playoff spot, their big contracts are looking ominous, with a roster of older, highly-played players. Alex Rodriguez is just coming off the disabled list. Mark Teixeira is back on the shelf.
Here is a look at some of the Yankees players and their contract status (information courtesy of a wonderful website called Cot's Baseball Contracts).
Alex Rodriguez, age 37 (10-year, $275-million, through 2017)
CC Sabathia, 32 (5-year, $122-million*, through 2016, vesting option 2017)
Mark Teixeira,32 (8-year, $180-million through 2016)
Derek Jeter, 38 (3-year, $51-million through 2013, player option for 2014)
Robinson Cano, 29 (15-million club option in 2013, then a free agent)
Curtis Granderson, 31 ($13-million club option for 2013, then a free agent)
Rafael Soriano, 32 (3-year, $35-million, through 2013)
Nick Swisher, 31 (free agent after 2012)
Hiroki Kuroda, 37 (free agent after 2012)
Mariano Rivera, 42 (free agent after 2012)
A.J. Burnett** (Yankees paying $8.5-million of his 2013 contract)
* Sabathia re-negotiated original 7-year, $161-million contract (signed in 2009) after the 2011 season
**Burnett now pitches for Pittsburgh
Before Tuesday's game, Bobby Valentine held his usual press conference. The conversation was light until questions turned to thoughts on the 9/11 attacks 11 years ago. Valentine was the Mets manager back then and became very involved in relief efforts, and in helping families of victims.
Asked about Tuesday's anniversary of the attack, Valentine paused, the emotion showing on his face.
“The people who are still dealing - who are personally grieving - every day is an anniversary. Every day they are reminded that they’re lives are changed,” Valentine said. "I’m grateful that I worked side-by-side with a lot of people who gave a damn. I think we should never forget.”
As for the Red Sox 4-3 win on Jacoby Ellsbury's walk-off RBI single, another individual certainly stood out. Junichi Tazawa continues to stand out in the bullpen. He entered in the sixth inning with a runner on second base and one out. He struck out both Nick Swisher and Alex Rodriguez, and then pitched a 1-2-3 seventh, with one more strikeout.
Tazawa now has a 1.54 ERA.
Pawtucket took a 1-0 lead in its International League championship series against the Charlotte Knights, with a 7-2 win Tuesday. Nate Spears replaced Jeremy Hazelbaker as the lead-off batter and went 2-for-5, scoring 2 runs ... Juan Carlos Linares (2-for-4, HR) and Bryce Brentz (2-for-3, double, triple) were other former Sea Dogs who shined.
Knuckleball pitcher Steven Wright, who pitched one game for Portland after his trade from the Indians, went 7 innings for the PawSox (6 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 K). Alex Wilson (1 K) and Josh Fields (1 BB, 2 K) finished it up with one inning each.
Now for the standings:
Rays 77-63 (2 back)
Orioles or Yankees 79-62
Rays 77-64 (2 back)
Angels 77-65 (2.5)
Tigers 74-67 (5)
FOR 2013 TOP DRAFT PICK
RED SOX 64-78
Blue Jays 64-76
Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases
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