Thursday, January 31, 2008

DHL FanFest

Tickets for the FanFest go on sale on Monday, February 4th at 10AM. I won't be rushing to Ticketmaster to purchase any, but on the Yankees website a list of FanFest ticket prices was shown and I will assume that these will be the prices that will be charged for the mandatory FanFest purchases if we receive the opportunity to buy an All-Star ticket license.

2008 DHL All-Star FanFest Ticket Prices
Children (2 - 12)
Seniors (65 and over)
College & Military
Children (under 2)

2008 DHL All-Star FanFest Family Packs
Four Pack - (2) Adult, (2) Youth
Five Pack - (2) Adult, (3) Youth
Six Pack - (2) Adult, (4) Youth
Seven Pack - (2) Adult, (5) Youth

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Mets Get Santana!

I'm thrilled, assuming the Mets didn't trade away the farm in this deal the way it looked like we were gonna do. It keeps Santana away from Boston, we only have to face him maybe twice during the regular season and it makes the Mets stronger. Personally, I prefer that NYC have two great baseball teams. If you warn me about the dangers of facing Santana in the World Series, baby, I'd love to have that problem.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Michael might get his wish!

There is talk that Joba might start the season in the bullpen. This would strickly be to keep his innings down and thus be available for the postseason.

I personally like the idea since it gives Hughes and Kennedy a chance to show what they can do before making Joba transition back to starter. If they turn out to be great starters then Joba can continue his apprenticeship under Mo. If we need the infusion of a dominant starter to the rotation in June, we don't have to trade for one. Seemingly, this is a win-win-win with the third "win" being the satisfaction I get from successfully orchestrating a compromise.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ticket License Amenities

An offer from the Yanks to buy a Flex Plan contained a number of interesting nuggets which may lend to how All-Star ticket licenses are awarded. My offer for Flex Plan priority contained this information:

Ticket License Account Name: Peter McClain
Ticket License Number: 20-*****
Ticket License Seniority Group: Group C

Within the Yankees website I learned that priority for Flex Plans went initally to Flex Plan Licensee holders (Group A) with a Seniority Date prior to July 31, 2005, then to the remaining Flex Plan Licensee holders (Group B), and finally to all existing Ticket Licensees (Group C) today. This allowed the Yankees to "be in a position to provide those Flex Plan Ticket Licensees with an older Seniority Date an opportunity, subject to availability, to purchase a Ticket License Plan prior to those Flex Plan Ticket Licensees with a more recent Seniority Date."

It would seem logical to me that such a system may be implemented for the All-Star Game where different thresholds are given the opportunity to by a license during a dedicated time before groups with less seniority have the same opportunity.

Also of note is that the DHL FanFest will be held at the Javits Center and that the maximum quantity of tickets, per Licensee acccount, that can be purchased during the All-Star Pre-On Sale is:

Ten (10) Tickets to the Taco Bell All-Star Sunday;
Two (2) Tickets to the Gatorade Workout Day (featuring the State Farm Home Run Derby); and
Two (2) Tickets to the 79th MLB All-Star Game

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Thoughts On The Hearings?

I wasn't able to watch thoroughly. But from the little I've seen and ready, Selig and Fehr were not lambasted nearly enough. They are the ones who fought off testing or ignored the looming scandal because the money was flowing in. the numerous examples of them looking the other way should have been cause for moral indignation. I don't want to let individual players off the hook, but this is a systemic problem. Your thoughts?

Friday, January 11, 2008

If Goose Deserves To Be In The Hall...

...then Joba should stay in the bullpen. Think about it. Hey, at least Goose agrees with me, but middle relievers never get any respect. Jack Curry of the NYTimes thinks Joba should start BUT if Hughes and Kennedy come on like gangbusters then maybe it makes sense to make Joba play the Mo role of '96. I say exactly AND the same is true if the starters are weak. If the starters don't explode out of the box, that strong middle relief is all the more important. Since getting to the sixth with a lead is a struggle, you don't want to blow the chance to get a victory. Plus, with Joba's rookie restrictions on his pitching availability (160 innings?) he can impact some 50 games as a dominant Mo-like middle reliever instead of just 30 games as a starter. PLUS he'll be mentally preparing to take over for Mo in two years. We know he's electric as middle relief. We know we desperately need middle relief. It seems so obvious to me that an ace middle reliever is more important to a team than an ace starter. Just like Mo was the MVP of the dynasty years more than any single starter.

Knoblauch Sorta Doesn't Deny Cheating

Gosh, my heart went out to Chuck Knoublach. It was a nightmare watching that fine player Just couldn't throw to first. I don't boo my own team (not even cheats like Giambi and Sheffield and, gulp, now Pettitte). But I DID boo Knoblauch once. I was in the upper deck in the post-season and the ball was sitting at his feet and Knoblauch was arguing with the umpire about a call instead of picking up the ball and throwing to first (or second?) to get the runner out. Just an inexplicable mind freeze and I wasn't so much booing him as yelling along with 50,000 other people who were screaming "The ball! The ball! For the love of God, pick up the ball!!"

In a truly odd press interview, Knoblauch doesn't say much of anything. He seems so flaky that we shouldn't read too much into it. But the increasingly desperate, unconvincing tactics of Clemens certainly would have been helped if Knoblauch had denied dealings with McNamee. He didn't say he did either, but still. Good to hear from him; too bad it had to be this.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Goose Gossage In Hall; Speaks Out On Steroids

Congratulations to Goose Gossage, whose achievements looked better and better with the passing of the years. And you know I love his straight talk on steroids and other ways of cheating. Gossage said any players who had used performance enhancers “need to come clean and put an end to this” to avoid further tarnishing the sport.

“What we have here at stake is the greatest part of the game, the history of it,” he said. “They can’t allow steroids or anything to get in the way of the history of the game.”

He also said, “I think that it’s kind of weird that these guys had some of their most productive years when guys in the history of the game, their talents were diminishing as they got older,” Gossage said. “And, these guys, it didn’t happen that way. So we’ll just have to wait and see what these guys come clean and finally put an end to this.”

Exactly. Clemens wonders why he is guilty until proven innocent. But he's been given the benefit of the doubt for a decade, despite the rumors and whispers and freakish stats where he pitched better in his late thirties than at any other time of his career. But when hard evidence from a witness that has proven accurate and consistent, a witness who would be the one person to know, came out, then Clemens was deemed guilty by the public. It's not a rush to judgment: it's years of speculation followed by an 18 month investigation.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Clemens on "60 Minutes" -- Reaction

Personally, I thought it was a disaster for him. Not that Mike Wallace sked him any tough questions or tore apart the Rocket's ridiculous answers. But Clemens looked defensive and nervous. Turn the sound off and he was licking his lips, shifting his eyes, darting them here and there -- basically looking every inch the liar. He never took steroids because if he did he would have a third ear? He would like to talk to Congress about Vioxx? He's not sure if it's worth the bother to sue? A lie detector test -- uh, maybe, sure, I don't know, why, what was the question again? When Clemens won't even bother to say he wants to sue a guy who is lying to the world about him, he loses all credibility to me. Clemens wasn't guilty until proven innnocent. He was innocent for decades despite rumours and whispers until hard evidence and a witness who has proven reliable stepped forward. Then Clemens responded with an ever-changing story. I never injected. I mean, I never injected steroids or hgh but sure I injected lidocaine in my butt, even though doctors insist you wouldn't treat joint pain with a lidocaine injection in your bum. What's he gonna do in front of Congress? It's one thing to bluster your way through a patsy interview by a friend. It's quite another to lie under oath.

NOTE: Clemens suing McNamee. The first good advice by his lawyers. Except that if Mcnamee is telling the truth, it'll backfire.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Why Torre And Jeter Are Part Of The Steroids Problem

So Torre was cornered by the media and refused to comment on Roger Clemens, saying in effect "You're not going to get me in that jackpot." As my friend who first saw the quote said, "What else could he say?" Uh, actually, a lot.

Torre and Jeter and all the presumably clean players are the biggest part of the problem right now, as I see it. Cheats like Jason Giambi and Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens and Gary Sheffield know that their teammates will "man up" and get their back and defend them to the hilt, no matter how overwhelming the evidence against them may be. Heck, even Barry Bonds is welcome at ballclubs by the players. So why should the third of pro players who cheat worry about getting caught? They know their teammates want them to cheat, just don't care or maybe care a little but will darn well not ever get caught saying anything bad about them.

Why couldn't Torre say, "Hey, I worked with Roger Clemens. I like him and I respect him and want to take him at his word. I would be very disappointed if he was cheating. I think cheating is wrong and I don't want any player on any team I'm managing to think otherwise. If you want to stop cheating, I'll help you. If your'e caught, I want you gone. I don't think players should break the law and risk their health just to win a ballgame. Cheating definitely taints the championships we won with the Yankees and the sooner players realize they're cheating themselves and stop once and for all, the better we'll be."

Torre is a million miles away from saying that and so is Jeter. As long as they provide cover for the cheats, the game will never clean up.