Manka Bros. Studios - Home
  Manka Bros. Studios
  MLB 2005 (Page 1)

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

UBBFriend: Email This Page to Someone!
This topic is 3 pages long:   1  2  3 
next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   MLB 2005
A-List Writer

Posts: 6492
From:Santa Monica
Registered: May 2000

posted December 01, 2004 02:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for indiedan   Click Here to Email indiedan     Edit/Delete Message
Report: Yanks will winchase for Big Unit

Trade likely done next week; BoSox,Cards lack pitcher D-Backs seek news services

The New York Yankees have reportedly won the chase for Randy Johnson and a trade for the Diamondbacks' ace will be completed sometime next week, according to an ESPN report on Wednesday.

The report, citing a source in the Arizona Diamondbacks' organization, said that the D-Backs chose the Yankees because the other two top suitors — Boston and St. Louis — lack the starting pitcher the D-Backs would want in a trade.

According to ESPN, Arizona will either ask the Yankees to go outside their organization to acquire another pitcher to include in the deal, or demand that reliever Tom Gordon be included along with starter Javier Vazquez and third base prospect Eric Duncan. The D-Backs reportedly also want the Yankees to pay $4 million a year of Vazquez's contract.

The Providence Journal has reported that the Red Sox were talking to the D-Backs about swapping Johnson for right-hander Bronson Arroyo, pitching prospect Jon Lester and at least one other top minor leaguer.

The Cardinals are also chasing Johnson, but according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cardinals GM Walt Jocketty was unwilling to part a package of pitchers Danny Haren, Rick Ankiel and Kiko Calero to get the trade done.

Johnson was 16-14 with a 2.60 ERA last season, finishing second to Houston's Roger Clemens for the NL Cy Young award. He led the NL in batting average against and strikeouts, and threw a perfect game on May 18 at the age of 40.

He is a five-time Cy Young winner, including four straight for the D-Backs from 1999-2002. Johnson has a record of 246-128 with a 3.07 ERA in his career. His 4,161 strikeouts are the third most in MLB history, behind only Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Roger Clemens (4,317).

It is expected that Johnson, who is set to make $16 million in the final year of his contract, would demand an extension past 2005 to waive his no-trade clause.

IP: Logged

A-List Writer

Posts: 7112
From:Redmond, WA
Registered: Apr 2000

posted December 13, 2004 02:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message
Report: Pedro Martinez to sign with Mets

BOSTON (Ticker) - Pedro Martinez reportedly is leaving Red Sox Nation for the lure of a guarantee.

The Boston Herald reported Monday afternoon that Martinez, the premier pitcher available on the free agent market, is expected leave the Red Sox and sign with the New York Mets.

According to the report, the Mets swayed the three-time Cy Young Award winner by guaranteeing him a fourth year on his contract, something the Red Sox reportedly would not do. The Mets deal reportedly is worth $56 million.

Neither the Mets nor the Red Sox could confirm the report.

Martinez always had professed his fondness for pitching in Boston, where he won two of his Cy Youngs and was an integral part of the Red Sox's first championship team in 86 years.

Not the dominant pitcher he once was, Martinez went 16-9 with a 3.90 ERA - the highest ERA of his career - this past season in helping the Red Sox to their first World Series title since 1918.

After anchoring the Red Sox's staff since his arrival in 1998, Martinez gave up the title of "staff ace" last season to Curt Schilling.

Martinez's best postseason performance came in Game Three of the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals when he pitched seven scoreless innings, putting the Red Sox on the brink of their championship.

Martinez, 33, has gone an astounding 117-37 in seven seasons with the Red Sox. He won Cy Young Awards in 1999 and 2000, when he went a combined 41-10 with a 1.90 ERA.

Signing Martinez would be a major move for the Mets, who have been criticized in recent years for not aggressively pursuing stars such as Vladimir Guerrero and Alex Rodriguez.

In New York, Martinez would be the ace of a rotation that also includes Kris Benson, Tom Glavine, Steve Trachsel and Victor Zambrano.

Losing Martinez also would be a major blow for the Red Sox, who reportedly lost out in the Carl Pavano sweepstakes to the rival New York Yankees. Boston did sign 41-year-old lefthander David Wells but is not expected to re-sign Derek Lowe, who won all three clinching games in the postseason.

The Red Sox reportedly have been pursuing Oakland's Tim Hudson and Florida's A.J. Burnett for their rotation.

Martinez began his career in the National League with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1992 before moving to Montreal for four seasons. He won his first Cy Young with the Expos in 1997.

A six-time All-Star, Martinez owns a career record of 182-76 with a 2.71 ERA and 2,653 strikeouts in 388 games.

IP: Logged

A-List Writer

Posts: 7300
From:Hollywood, CA
Registered: Apr 2002

posted December 17, 2004 09:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NEWSFLASH   Click Here to Email NEWSFLASH     Edit/Delete Message
Yankees reportedlyset to acquire Big Unit

Blockbuster 3-team deal wouldalso involve D-Backs, Dodgers news services

NEW YORK - Randy Johnson was on the verge of joining the New York Yankees in a three-team megadeal that also includes Shawn Green and Javier Vazquez, sources told The Associated Press on Thursday night.

Green would go from Los Angeles to Arizona while Vazquez would move from the Yankees to the Dodgers in the trade that would put the Arizona ace in Yankee pinstripes.

“It is going to happen,” a source familiar with the negotiations said on the condition of anonymity. Another team source said the principals were in place for the trade to be completed.

Newsday and The Sporting News reported on their Web sites that the other players involved in the deal were Dodgers pitchers Brad Penny and Yhency Brazoban, and Yankees prospects Eric Duncan and Dioner Navarro.

There was no confirmation from any of the teams that a deal had been finalized. And one source said it still could fall apart at the last moment because of the number of players and clubs involved.

A baseball source told ESPN that several obstacles stand in the way of the trade.

The trade was proposed before Adrian Beltre agreed to sign with the Mariners on Thursday. By failing to re-sign Beltre, the Dodgers may rethink their role in the trade, ESPN reported.

Other issues that threatened to derail the trade include the waiving of Green's no-trade clause. A source close to Green told ESPN that the Dodgers outfielder is happy living in Southern California, where he grew up. How much money the Diamondbacks would receive from the Yankees is also an issue. Sources told ESPN that moving Duncan and Navarro would preclude the Yankees from sending money to Arizona.

Another obstacle that might derail the trade is Vazquez's salary. According to ESPN, Los Angeles wants help from the Yankees in playing 3-year, $34.5 million salary.

“We’re still in conversations with a lot of different clubs about a lot of different possibilities,” Dodgers general manager Paul DePodesta said earlier in the day. “We have talked about some three-way deals and some four-way deals. I don’t know if it’s going to happen or not.”

Yankees owner George Steinbrenner has long coveted Johnson, still one of baseball’s most dominating pitchers at 41. New York was not able to pry the Big Unit from the Diamondbacks last summer and called off trade talks with them two weeks ago, saying the price was too high.

But the Yankees and Arizona reopened discussions this week, and the five-time Cy Young winner was now set to move.

According to Newsday, the Yankees are expected to give Johnson an extension when the deal goes through.

Johnson has a no-trade clause, but had said he would accept a deal to the Yankees.

New York already has added free agent Carl Pavano to its rotation this offseason, aiming to improve a team that blew a 3-0 lead against Boston in the AL championship series. The Yankees also have reached a deal with Jaret Wright, while the Red Sox have signed David Wells.

Green also has a no-trade clause. The outfielder would go with Penny and Brazoban to Arizona while Navarro, a catcher, and Duncan, a third baseman, would go to the Dodgers.

The Yankees also are expected to send cash to the Dodgers to help pay for Vazquez's contract, the Sporting News reported.

Johnson had his best years with the Diamondbacks, winning the NL Cy Young Award his first four seasons with them. When Curt Schilling was traded to Arizona from Philadelphia, he and Johnson formed perhaps the most imposing righty-lefty combination the game has known.

Schilling and Johnson were co-MVPs of the 2001 World Series, when Arizona beat the Yankees in seven thrilling games.

Johnson underwent knee surgery during the 2003 season, but came back for what might have been his best year with Arizona in 2004. On a team that lost 111 games, Johnson was second in the majors with a 2.60 ERA. He led the majors in strikeouts (290) for the ninth time and sixth time in the last seven years.

Johnson was 16-14, but 13-2 when the anemic Arizona offense scored more than two runs for him. Along the way, he pitched a perfect game against Atlanta.

Vazquez, 28, was 14-10 with a 4.91 ERA in his first season with the Yankees, and was picked for the AL All-Star team. He was 1-0 with a 9.53 ERA in three games in the postseason, and the Yankees always put a premium on October performances.

Green, 31, has a .282 career average, but dipped to .266 last season with 28 home and 86 RBIs.

Penny, 26, was traded from Florida to the Dodgers last July 30, but saw limited action for Los Angeles because of a problem in his right arm. He was 9-10 with a 3.15 ERA for both clubs.

Penny was selected in the fifth round of Arizona’s initial free agent draft in 1996 but never pitched for the Diamondbacks in the majors. He, right-hander Vladimir Nunez and outfielder Abraham Nunez (as a player to be named) were traded to Florida for closer Matt Mantei in July 1999.

Brazoban, 24, made his major league debut this season with Dodgers, going 6-2 with a 2.48 ERA.

Navarro also made his big league debut this year. He was considered, along with Duncan, among the top prospects in the Yankees’ system.

IP: Logged

A-List Writer

Posts: 6492
From:Santa Monica
Registered: May 2000

posted January 03, 2005 09:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for indiedan   Click Here to Email indiedan     Edit/Delete Message
City officials: Change breaks lease
Associated Press

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Orange County's baseball team on Monday officially took another name -- the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The team released a statement Monday, saying the move will "strengthen the Angels' long-term economic health by enhancing the marketability through this metropolitan area and beyond."

The team said it will continue to use the "A" brand to identify itself.

The name change breaks the terms of the team's 33-year lease with the city, according to city officials.

The City Council earlier threatened to file a suit against the Angels if they renamed the team.

The franchise, owned by singing cowboy Gene Autry, began play as the Los Angeles Angels in 1961. They played at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles for one year and at Dodger Stadium through 1965.

The team became the California Angels when it moved to Anaheim in 1966.

In 1997, they were renamed the Anaheim Angels.

Disney bought a 25 percent share of the Angels and took control of the team from founding owner Gene Autry in 1996, then purchased the remainder of the team after he died in 1998.

The Angels drew 3,375,677 last season -- third-highest total in baseball behind the Yankees and Dodgers.

The Anaheim Angels won the World Series in 2002. A year later, they were bought by Arte Moreno for $184 million and he wanted the name changed.

IP: Logged

A-List Writer

Posts: 7300
From:Hollywood, CA
Registered: Apr 2002

posted January 13, 2005 08:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NEWSFLASH   Click Here to Email NEWSFLASH     Edit/Delete Message
Baseball players and owners forge new steroid agreement to include penalty for first-time offenders

By RONALD BLUM, AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Baseball players and owners have agreed to a tougher steroid-testing program, and it includes penalties for first-time offenders.

A first positive test would result in a suspension of up to 10 days and the penalties would increase to a one-year suspension for a fourth positive test, a high-ranking team official said on condition of anonymity.

Under the previous agreement, a first positive test resulted only in treatment, and a second positive test was subject to a 15-day suspension. Only with a fifth positive test was a player subject to a one-year ban under the old plan.

Commissioner Bud Selig, asked about a steroid agreement at the owners meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., declined comment but said an announcement would be made Thursday. Gene Orza, the union's chief operating officer, also declined comment.

Baseball will regard the suspensions for first-time offenses as a big step because steroids users are likely to be publicly identified -- all other baseball suspensions, such as for on-field offenses, are by games, not days.

However, the penalty falls far short of the World Anti-Doping Agency's code, which has been adopted by most Olympic sports. It says the ``norm'' is two-year bans for a first positive test and a lifetime ban for a second, unless there are mitigating circumstances.

Some in Congress threatened to take action unless baseball reached an agreement on its own.

``I think it's going to entail more testing, some out-season testing, yes, more in-season random testing and stiffer penalties,'' said New York Mets pitcher Tom Glavine, a senior member of the union.

Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer, anticipated confirmation of a deal by the end of the owners' meeting.

``It will be wonderful once it's done, but I don't want to pre-empt any announcement, and I certainly don't want to pre-empt all the work the commissioner has done on this, so I'll reserve my comments until after it's announced,'' he said.

Tony Clark, another senior union leader, said public questions about steroid use had caused players to think about a tougher agreement.

``The integrity of our game was beginning to come under fire, and there are too many great players, past and present, that deserve to be celebrated for their ability to play this game at a very high level,'' the free-agent first baseman said in an e-mail to the AP. ``If a stricter drug policy brings that level of appreciation back, we felt that it was worth pursuing.''

Players and owners agreed to a drug-testing plan in 2002 that called for survey-testing for steroids the following year. Because more than 5 percent of tests were positive, random testing with penalties began last year, when each player was tested for steroids twice over a single five- to seven-day period. No player was suspended for steroid use in 2004.

The new program is slightly less harsh than the policy for players with minor league contracts, who are suspended 15 games for a first positive test. Only players with major league contracts are covered by the union's agreement, while baseball can unilaterally decide policy for others.

First positive tests for steroid use result in a four-game suspension in the NFL and a five-game ban in the NBA. The NHL does not test players for performance-enhancing drugs.

Since the 2002 agreement, baseball has come under increased scrutiny for steroid use. Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield testified before a federal grand jury in December 2003. Giambi and Sheffield admitted using steroids, according to reports by the San Francisco Chronicle. Sheffield said he wasn't aware when he used the substances that they contained steroids.

Bonds, according to the paper, admitted using substances prosecutors say contained steroids.

``Everybody believed that the program we had in place was having an effect and definitely it was doing what it designed to do,'' Glavine said, ``but having said that, with the stuff that was going on and whatnot, it forced us to take a look at revising it or making it a little tougher. It was not a question anymore if that agreement was going to be enough. It was a question to address some of the new issues that came to light and get our fans to believe we were doing everything we could to make the problem go away 100 percent.''

AP Sports Writer Bob Baum in Scottsdale, Ariz., contributed to this report

IP: Logged

A-List Writer

Posts: 7300
From:Hollywood, CA
Registered: Apr 2002

posted January 21, 2005 09:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NEWSFLASH   Click Here to Email NEWSFLASH     Edit/Delete Message
AP NewsBreak: Clemens to play, sets record salary for pitchers

By RONALD BLUM, AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Roger Clemens is coming back for one more year -- and is getting the highest salary for a pitcher in baseball history.

The Rocket and the Houston Astros agreed Friday to an $18 million, one-year contract, and the seven-time Cy Young Award winner made the commitment to play for his 22nd major league season.

Houston called a news conference but did not reveal the subject. A baseball source familiar with the arrangements said it was to announce an agreement with Clemens that would give him a record salary for a pitcher, topping the $17.5 million Pedro Martinez earned with Boston last year in the option year of his contract.

Clemens first retired after pitching for the New York Yankees in the 2003 World Series. But he changed his mind and agreed on Jan. 12 last year to join his hometown Astros, accepting a $5 million, one-year deal that was way below his market price.

The 42-year-old right-hander helped lead the Astros within one win of their first World Series appearance, earning $1,825,000 in bonuses based largely on Houston's home attendance, then said again that he was ``99 percent'' retired.

But momentum built after he returned earlier this month for a Hawaiian vacation, and he asked for $22 million salary -- matching his uniform number -- when proposed figures for salary arbitration were filed Tuesday. Houston offered $13.5 million, leaving the midpoint at $17.75 million.

His agents, Randy and Alan Hendricks, then negotiated the deal with the Astros on Wednesday and Thursday.

Clemens is agreeing to a contract that makes him the highest-paid pitcher for the fifth time, following deals with Boston in 1989 ($2.5 million average), with the Red Sox in 1991 ($5.38 million), with Toronto in December 1996 ($8.25 million) and the Yankees in August 2000 ($15.45 million). The two contracts with Boston and the one with New York made him the sport's highest-paid player overall.

Clemens also is getting the highest, one-year contract in baseball history, topping Greg Maddux's $14.75 million deal with Atlanta in 2003.

His decision to stay is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise miserable offseason for the Astros. All-Star second baseman Jeff Kent left to sign with Los Angeles, All-Star center fielder Carlos Beltran departed to sign with the New York Mets, center fielder Lance Berkman tore up a knee playing flag football at a church function and promising but injured pitcher Wade Miller was let go.

Clemens, a 10-time All-Star, is 10th on the career wins list with 328, one behind Steve Carlton. Clemens' 4,317 strikeouts are second to Nolan Ryan's 5,714.

His decision to sign with Houston last year was spurred by former Yankees teammate Andy Pettitte, who left New York to sign with the Astros. Clemens went 18-4 with a 2.98 ERA and 218 strikeouts, winning his first Cy Young in the NL, but Pettitte hurt an elbow tendon while batting in his first start, was largely ineffective and had season-ending surgery in August.

At $18 million, Clemens tied Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds for the fourth-highest average salary in the major leagues, trailing only Alex Rodriguez ($25.2 million), Manny Ramirez ($20 million) and Derek Jeter ($18.9 million).

IP: Logged

A-List Writer

Posts: 7300
From:Hollywood, CA
Registered: Apr 2002

posted March 30, 2005 04:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NEWSFLASH   Click Here to Email NEWSFLASH     Edit/Delete Message
Odds still against small-market teams
Teams must spend if they want to do more than compete

By Michael Ventre contributor

To hear certain people tell it, the Oakland Athletics represent baseball’s model franchise. They’re small market, so they’re frugal, yet they spend wisely. They use players like Jason Giambi, Miguel Tejada, Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder, among others, until their market value drifts toward the stratosphere, then they sever ties and groom replacements.

That approach has made them the darlings of baseball’s business community and catapulted Billy Beane, the team’s vice president and general manager, into a pantheon usually reserved for this country’s most accomplished captains of industry. Indeed, he was the subject of Michael Lewis’ book, “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game,” now required reading for cheapskate fantasy league eggheads everywhere.

Just one question: What exactly have they won?

Certainly, the A’s have accumulated victories. Last season they failed to make the playoffs, but before that they had made four straight postseason appearances. All of that came on Beane’s watch. The A’s are perennial contenders.

But the last time they won a World Series was 1989.

This isn’t to single out the Athletics for a tongue-lashing, but rather to point out the limitations of such an approach in the current baseball climate. The goal of every team should be to win the World Series. In a sport in which there is no equal distribution of revenue, small-market teams are at a severe disadvantage. Therefore, the Athletics’ methodology is understandable — for them.

But clubs that do have a revenue advantage — like the Los Angeles Dodgers, for instance — are being dishonest if they try to operate like a small-market team but sell their fans big-market dreams.

In the last 10 years, only the Marlins (25th in 2003) and Angels (15th in 2002) won World Series with payrolls in the mid to lower ranks of the majors. The Yankees won four times during that period with a payroll at or near the top. The Red Sox had the second-highest payroll last season.

Most of the time, the reason comes down to veterans, who cost money. The Red Sox finally ended a hex that had lasted since 1918 because they shelled out the dough for Curt Schilling and could then boast two veteran aces (Pedro Martinez being the other) who could dominate in the postseason. In 2001, the Arizona Diamondbacks got the best of the Yanks in the Fall Classic because they had spent money on Schilling and Randy Johnson. The Yankees buy everybody who isn’t nailed down.

That’s not to say it’s impossible for a small-market team to get hot at the right time and win it all. But Beane and his followers love to play percentages, and the odds will always be stacked heavily against small-market teams by virtue of the fact that the big-market competition buys up all the top-notch, experienced talent, the kind that is more likely to thrive under playoff pressure.

The Dodgers’ new general manager, Paul DePodesta, is a Beane devotee. It’s the perfect way for him to be, because he happens to be working for an owner who has no money. Frank McCourt bought the Dodgers by borrowing against his Boston parking lots. Now he’s doing everything to scrape together more cash save for holding season-ticket holders upside down by their ankles and shaking the change out of their pockets.

If DePodesta thinks he can field a contender year in and year out with a small-market payroll, he may be right. If he believes he can win a World Series with that philosophy, he should be aware that there are many fine psychiatrists in Los Angeles.

Spending money doesn’t guarantee success. The New York Mets and Baltimore Orioles are examples of clubs who have spent like drunken sailors the past few years and wound up in the gutter as a result. The Mets had a payroll in excess of $100 million in 2004 and finished fourth in their division. The Cubs’ payroll was over $90 million last year and they missed the postseason. And the Phillies’ payroll was higher than the Cubs’.

This year the Dodgers took the first steps in their transformation to skinflints. It will take a while — any significant change usually does — but someday they may reach their goal of becoming the Milwaukee Brewers.

The most alarming signal came when they failed to re-sign Adrian Beltre, who would have nailed down third base for the next decade. Instead, he signed a five-year pact with Seattle for $64 million after the Dodgers made a tepid attempt to keep him by giving him an inferior offer at the last minute. They also parted company with Jose Lima, Shawn Green and Steve Finley, veterans who were integral to the Dodgers’ playoff push last year.

In fairness, they did sign free-agent pitcher Derek Lowe to a deal worth $36 million over four years. And they signed Jeff Kent and J.D. Drew. But only the Lowe acquisition is binding for the long term. Kent’s deal is for two years. Drew’s is for five, but he can opt out after two, which he probably will do if his value on the free agent market increases as expected. The Dodgers’ eventually plan to surround Lowe with young talent raised in the minors. So the Dodgers’ supposed ace, a ground ball pitcher, could soon have an unproven defense behind him.

Also, which Lowe do the Dodgers get, the one who had an ERA of 5.42 last season, or the one who dominated in the postseason? The Red Sox did not make an effort to re-sign him, nor did they deny rumors that he is a rabid party animal.

No, I’m afraid it won’t be long before you see people dressed in sausage costumes competing in races on the Dodger Stadium diamond. Cheap costumes.

Michael Ventre is a frequent contributor to and a freelance writer based in Los Angeles.

IP: Logged

A-List Writer

Posts: 7300
From:Hollywood, CA
Registered: Apr 2002

posted April 04, 2005 10:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NEWSFLASH   Click Here to Email NEWSFLASH     Edit/Delete Message
Could hockey body check baseball?

The NHL's labor wars could spread by emboldening baseball owners to push for their own salary cap.

A weekly column by Chris Isidore, CNN/Money senior writer

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - It's been a momentous offseason for baseball, with these highlights:

The steroid scandal, complete with congressional hearings.

Major stars changing teams and leagues, taking some team payrolls to new heights.

A near continuous celebration by fans of a long-suffering team, who finally won.

The first franchise relocation in 34 years.
But perhaps the most important event for the long-term popularity of baseball took place far from any ballpark.

The tussle between owners and players in the National Hockey League may have set baseball on a course to another bruising labor war.

The NHL owners locked out the players and stayed the course even though it meant losing an entire season. After holding firm through much of the talks, the NHL Players Association eventually agreed to the concept of a cap on team payrolls in February.

Now, it seems likely that whenever the NHL does reach a labor pact, limits on team payrolls will be part of the deal.

The NHL owners' success in breaking union opposition to a cap could embolden hard-line baseball owners who have long wanted a cap of their own, according to a source familiar with the owners' position.

Before the current baseball pact expires on Dec. 19, 2006, the NBA and NFL will also go through labor negotiations. But both those leagues already have salary caps in place, and neither will disappear in the next contract.

If baseball is the last league without a cap, the salary hawks will only get louder in their demands for a limit on team payrolls.

"If NHL gets a hard cap and then comes back to less than a 20 percent drop in attendance without a several-franchises collapse, the MLB owners will be on war path," said Gary Gillette, editor of the Baseball Encyclopedia, and co-chairman of the business of baseball committee for the Society of American Baseball Research.

The best chance of baseball avoiding another nuclear labor war, Gillette thinks, is for NHL attendance to plummet.

"If the NHL has a 30 to 40 percent drop in attendance and several franchises collapse, then I think there will be a pause before the (baseball) hawks put on war paint, " he said.

More promising signs
As acrimonious as baseball labor negotiations have been in the past, there are some promising signs. Baseball's 2002 labor pact was the first one reached in more than 30 years without a work stoppage of some sort.

"Most hockey teams can stay out almost indefinitely because they lose less money by not playing than by playing. That's not true for baseball," said Sal Galatioto, a leading investment banker for sports teams in all leagues. "I think the majority of owners know that the value for them is keeping the gates open."

Rob Manfred, the owners' chief labor negotiations, did not respond to a request for comments on the possible impact of the NHL labor situation. But union president Donald Fehr commented recently that he doesn't think the NHL talks will affect baseball's talks.

"The economics of the sports are different, the makeup of the people is different," he said. "They all stand alone.''

But Fehr's predecessor, Marvin Miller, said that the union's agreement to open the labor contract this offseason to toughen steroids testing and penalties might raise hopes of some baseball owners that labor is not as unified as it has been in the past.

"Some of the players were leaning on leadership to do most destabilizing thing possible for a union, to open they contract," Miller told me this week. "They will rue the day they did this."

Miller believes the union will remain completely steadfast in opposition to a salary cap, even if the other three major sports unions agree to such a limit on salaries.

Steroids testing and a salary cap "are two very different things," said Miller. "Take the most right wing ballplayer -- take Curt Schilling -- ask him about a salary cap. I imagine they're no more willing to accept it now than before."

The next round of talks could find some of the owners in favor of going nuclear if they think it can get them a salary cap, and the union as opposed as ever to such a limit on salaries. That's not a good prescription for those who want to watch all 162 games of the 2007 season.

So even if you're a baseball fan who doesn't know or care the first thing about hockey, it's worth keeping an eye on the outcome of that sport's labor woes.

They could end up icing baseball before you know it.

IP: Logged

A-List Writer

Posts: 70
From:Seattle, WA
Registered: May 2000

posted April 06, 2005 01:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for grandmothers_parrot   Click Here to Email grandmothers_parrot     Edit/Delete Message
Mariano Rivera is done! Suck it, Yankees fans. Two blown saves out of two chances. Great career, but the guy is cooked.

IP: Logged

A-List Writer

Posts: 7112
From:Redmond, WA
Registered: Apr 2000

posted April 06, 2005 03:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message
Average MLB salary a record $2.6 million
Yanks' payroll of $199.77M more than bottom 5 combined

The Associated Press

NEW YORK - Baseball’s big-money boom pushed the average salary to a record $2.6 million on opening day, and the New York Yankee’ payroll of just under $200 million topped five teams combined.

Following a rare drop in 2003, the average climbed 5.9 percent to $2.63 million, according to a study by The Associated Press.

“That means we’re going in the right direction,” San Francisco Giants outfielder Marquis Grissom said. “When they go up, it’s always good.”

Three Yankees were among the top five in salary: Alex Rodriguez, at $25.7 million, was No. 1 for the fifth straight year, Derek Jeter was fourth at $19.6 million and Mike Mussina was fifth at $19 million.

San Francisco’s Barry Bonds, who started the season on the disabled list following knee surgery, was second at $22 million, followed by Boston’s Manny Ramirez at $19.8 million.

While the players on the Yankees’ opening-day roster totaled $205.9 million, cash received by New York in trades, notably last year’s deal to acquire A-Rod from Texas, cut their payroll to $199.77 million.

“I’m just hoping that they’ll let me in a card game or something around here,” new Yankees pitcher Jaret Wright, who signed a $21 million, three-year contract, joked during spring training. “I don’t know what the buy-ins might be, but I might have to take out some money out of my house or something.”

New York is spending more than the $187 million total of Tampa Bay ($29.9 million), Kansas City ($36.9 million), Pittsburgh ($38.1 million), Milwaukee ($40.2 million) and Cleveland ($41.8 million).

“That doesn’t mean we’re going to go out and give up,” Kansas City first baseman Mike Sweeney said. “We have talent and heart, and if you play with heart, you can win games.”

While the NFL and NBA have salary caps, baseball does not. The current labor contract expires after the 2006 season.

“Sometimes in baseball it’s better being the underdog because you can sneak up on somebody,” Pittsburgh outfielder Matt Lawton said. “It’s been like this the last couple of years, but the deal’s up in 2006 and, hopefully, we can get something done (to make it better) — but without a salary cap. Nobody wants that.”

The World Series champion Boston Red Sox were second to the Yankees, with their players adding to $121.3 million. The New York Mets were next at $104.8 million, followed by Philadelphia ($95.3 million) and the Los Angeles Angels ($95 million).

While the Yankees have had the top payroll each year since 1999, they haven’t won the World Series since 2000. Boston was second last year when it won its first World Series title since 1918. The 2003 champion Florida Marlins were 20th and the 2002 champion Angels were 16th.

“At times it can be frustrating. But there’s nothing we can do,” Tampa Bay outfielder Carl Crawford said. “We’ve just got to keep focusing on what we can do and go out and play.”

Last year, the average salary wound up dropping 2.5 percent, the first decrease since the 1994-95 strike and only the third since record-keeping began in 1967.

Teams then committed $1.29 billion in major league contracts to 146 players who filed for free agency after the World Series, led by the New York Mets’ $119 million, seven-year deal with Carlos Beltran. All that spending prompted Pirates owner Kevin McClatchy to say: “I don’t know what happened, maybe they drank some funny water, but they all decided they were back on the binge.”

McClatchy advocates a salary cap. The current system includes a luxury tax, and three teams paid last year: the Yankees ($25 million), Red Sox ($3.2 million) and Angels ($900,000).

“I think the playing field economically is better,” commissioner Bud Selig said. “Certainly we have work to do, but it’s better than it was 10 years ago. I look at places like Detroit, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, and there’s excitement everywhere.”

After dropping for three straight years from 425 to 374, the number of players making $1 million rebounded to 390. The median salary — the point at which an equal amount of players is above and below — rose to $850,000 from $800,000, still below the 2001 high of $975,000.

Figures for the study included salaries and prorated shares of signing bonuses and other guaranteed income for the 829 players on official opening day rosters as of last weekend; for some players, parts of salaries deferred without interest were discounted to present-day value.

NBA players averaged $4.9 million in the 2003-04 season, according to a preliminary estimate by their union, which did not provide a figure for the current season. In the NHL, where a lockout canceled the current season, players averaged $1.83 million in 2003-04. NFL players averaged $1.33 million last year, according to their union.

IP: Logged

A-List Writer

Posts: 7300
From:Hollywood, CA
Registered: Apr 2002

posted April 21, 2005 08:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NEWSFLASH   Click Here to Email NEWSFLASH     Edit/Delete Message
AP: Yankees Will Pay Record Luxury Tax

By RONALD BLUM, AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK - The struggling New York Yankees will be hit with a record luxury tax this year. Initial projections by the commissioner's office based on opening-day rosters have the Yankees owing $30,637,531, according to information obtained this week by The Associated Press.

The only other team projected to owe a tax is the World Series champion Boston Red Sox, who would pay $969,177.

Going into Wednesday night, the Yankees were just 5-9, tied with Tampa Bay for last place in the American League East.

For the luxury tax, payrolls are based on the average annual values of contracts for all players on the 40-man roster and include benefits. Under that formula, the Yankees opened with a payroll of $204.6 million, followed by Boston ($131.2 million), the New York Mets ($116.4 million), the Los Angeles Angels ($111.2 million) and Seattle ($109.3 million).

Teams with payrolls above $128 million owe tax this year. The Yankees pay at a rate of 40 percent for the amount they are over because they will be exceeding the threshold for the third time under the labor contract that began in 2003. The Red Sox, projected to be over for the second time, pay at a 30 percent rate.

Baseball will send the bills in late December based on end-of-season figures.

Last year, the Yankees paid a tax of $25,964,060 based on a final payroll of $207,046,868, according to the commissioner's office. Figures were adjusted slightly after the initial bill was sent in December, with New York's tax rising by $937,708.

Boston paid $3,148,962, a decrease of $6,272 from the December bill, and the Angels paid $938,309, an increase of $11,250.

In the adjusted 2004 luxury tax payroll figures, the Yankees led at $207 million, followed by the Red Sox at $134.5 million and the Angels at $124.7 million.

IP: Logged

A-List Writer

Posts: 7300
From:Hollywood, CA
Registered: Apr 2002

posted April 21, 2005 11:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NEWSFLASH   Click Here to Email NEWSFLASH     Edit/Delete Message
Garciaparra out 2-to-3 months

By R.B. FALLSTROM, AP Sports Writer
April 21, 2005

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Chicago Cubs shortstop Nomar Garciaparra will be sidelined at least two-to-three months because of a torn left groin.

Garciaparra was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday, one day after he got hurt while leaving the batter's box during a game against St. Louis. Cubs trainer Mark O'Neal said the muscle pulled away from the bone.

The Cubs, doctors and Garciaparra will decide in the next 10 days whether an operation is needed.

``The surgery is really going to be determined by is it something that Nomar wants to do,'' O'Neal said. ``We're trying to make a determination of what would be the most predictable outcome.''

If Garciaparra opts for surgery, O'Neal said the procedure should be done fairly soon so the muscle heals properly.

The Cubs, who entered Thursday's game against the Cardinals without either of their opening-day middle infielders, recalled Ronny Cedeno from Triple-A Iowa. Cedeno was batting .348 with three home runs and six RBIs in 13 games in the minors.

Garciaparra was carried off the field after grounding into a double play and collapsing just in front of the batter's box in the third inning. Garciaparra is hitting just .157 with four RBIs.

Cubs second baseman Todd Walker also is out, perhaps until June, with a knee injury sustained April 10. For now, Chicago will have to make do with backups Neifi Perez at shortstop and Jerry Hairston at second base.

Wednesday's game was delayed 1 hour, 22 minutes at the start by rain, but Garciaparra said after the game that it had nothing to do with his injury.

``I'm not going to blame the rain,'' he said. ``The field was in great condition, the grounds crew did a great job, and the field was definitely playable and all of that stuff. I just slipped.''

The injury is the latest in a series of setbacks for Garciaparra since he won AL batting titles in 1999 and 2000 with the Boston Red Sox. He was limited to 83 at-bats in 2001 after wrist surgery and he missed more than two months last year with Achilles' tendinitis.

IP: Logged

A-List Writer

Posts: 6492
From:Santa Monica
Registered: May 2000

posted April 29, 2005 01:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for indiedan   Click Here to Email indiedan     Edit/Delete Message
Six members of Red Sox and Devil Rays suspended

NEW YORK (AP) -- Managers Lou Piniella and Terry Francona were among six members of the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Devil Rays suspended Friday for their roles in two bench-clearing scuffles last weekend.

Piniella and Francona were suspended three games apiece and fined an undisclosed amount for their teams' actions during Boston's 11-3 victory last Sunday. The game featured six ejections, two beanballs and some high-and-tight pitching.

Boston pitcher Bronson Arroyo was given the harshest penalty, a six-game suspension. Tampa Bay pitchers Dewon Brazelton and Lance Carter were each suspended five games, and Boston outfielder Trot Nixon was suspended for two games. All four players were also fined undisclosed amounts.

All six suspensions are scheduled to begin Friday night, unless the players choose to appeal, in which case they can play until their appeal is heard. The managers can't appeal their penalties. Boston faces Texas and Tampa Bay is at Baltimore on Friday night.

Boston slugger David Ortiz and Tampa Bay outfielder Chris Singleton were each fined for their roles in the fracas.

Arroyo hit Singleton in the seventh inning after both teams had been warned. Arroyo also hit Aubrey Huff in the sixth inning.

In the top half of the seventh inning, Carter nearly beaned Manny Ramirez before the Boston star homered on the next pitch. Then, Carter almost hit Ortiz in the head, causing both benches to clear. Brazelton shoved into the crowd as the teams met on the diamond and was ejected for ``escalating the situation,'' according to umpire crew chief Rick Reed. Nixon was also ejected.

The teams met again after Singleton was hit, prompting a four-minute delay.

IP: Logged

A-List Writer

Posts: 2883
From:Studio City, CA
Registered: Apr 2000

posted April 29, 2005 04:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jpgordo   Click Here to Email jpgordo     Edit/Delete Message
Control issues

Rocker issues walkoff walk in debut with Long Island

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) -- John Rocker once said retirement would beat playing for a New York team. Now, the metropolitan area he slammed so hard provides the setting for a comeback bid.

Rocker, who missed nearly two years after undergoing surgery for a torn rotator cuff, is back in baseball with the suburban Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League.

His debut was awful. Rocker walked four batters in the ninth inning and lost 4-3 Thursday night to the Bridgeport Bluefish.

Rocker got his chance after Chris Latham hit a game-tying single in the top of the ninth. Rocker entered the game to some boos from the few fans who remained from an opening-night crowd of 4,061 at Bridgeport's Ballpark at Harbor Yard.

He retired two of the first three batters, but lost the strike zone. Rocker threw a wild pitch, and a passed ball was charged to catcher Joe DePastino. The game ended when Rocker walked Will Pennyfeather to bring in Corey Hart.

While pitching for the Atlanta Braves in 1999, the left-handed reliever made derogatory remarks in a Sports lllustrated article about gays, minorities and foreigners. Rocker later tried to explain himself by saying he was baiting New York fans.

Now they're his fans -- theoretically.

"Life's funny like that," Rocker said. "It makes it interesting, though."

Team owner and league CEO Frank Boulton believes Rocker deserves a chance for a comeback.

"You can't airbrush away his past, but I think he's a very courageous guy for wanting to come here, instead of someplace like Sioux City or something like that," Boulton said.

Rocker joins the Ducks in hopes of a return to the majors. That strategy worked for Carlos Baerga, Pedro Borbon Jr. and Bill Pulsipher, all of whom returned to the big leagues after stints with Long Island.

Rocker was once a top reliever. He saved 38 games, had a 2.49 ERA and struck out 104 batters in just 72 1/3 innings in 1999.

Then came his infamous interview in the offseason, when he attacked New York fans, especially those who rode the subway to Mets games at Shea Stadium.

Rocker has apologized for his remarks about New York, and hopes fans show him a forgiving nature.

"As far as the New York fans, I buried the hatchet a long time ago," he said Wednesday. "I hope they will return that favor to me."

The 30-year-old Rocker later pitched for Cleveland, Texas and Tampa Bay, appearing in two games for the Devil Rays in 2003. He had surgery in July of that year.

"Doctors said I would never pitch again," Rocker explained. "I happen to have a little bit more confidence than that. There were a lot of ups and downs while I was rehabbing, but I knew that I wanted to take one more shot and have no regrets."

Rocker hopes to be out of the Atlantic League and in a major league clubhouse by July. Boulton would love to see that.

"Of course, there's tremendous irony in this," he said. "Just my belief, but I guess he needs to get through all of this at one time so he can just move forward. That's why he chose to come here."

The game Thursday night was the first of six on the road for the Ducks. They have their home opener Wednesday night against Atlantic City.

IP: Logged

A-List Writer

Posts: 565
From:NY, NY
Registered: Aug 2003

posted May 04, 2005 11:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NEWSFLASH SUMMER INTERN   Click Here to Email NEWSFLASH SUMMER INTERN     Edit/Delete Message
Report: Bonds has third operation on injured knee

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Barry Bonds had a third operation on his injured right knee, the latest setback in the slugger's rehabilitation, he said on his Web site Wednesday.

Bonds underwent arthroscopic surgery Monday in Southern California as doctors tried to clean out an infection, first draining fluids from his knee, according to a journal entry from Bonds posted on his Web site.

``The surgery went well. Dr. (Arthur) Ting cleaned out the infected area and they are now treating me with antibiotics,'' Bonds wrote. ``I know you have many questions regarding me playing baseball but right now I have to spend the time focusing on getting healthy. I've been through ups and downs before and I will be back.''


The surgery was first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle. The newspaper reported Bonds would take antibiotics for at least two weeks and could not resume his rehab until doctors are assured the infection is gone.

Bonds already had operations on the knee Jan. 31 and March 17 to remove damaged cartilage.

The San Francisco Giants have stopped giving medical updates on Bonds, and his agent on Tuesday would not confirm that Bonds had the operation.

``The only comment I have about Barry is that the day his knee is healthy, he will be back on the field in uniform,'' Jeff Borris said.

Bonds has been giving his medical updates on his personal Web site but did not mention the surgery until Wednesday.

``My original plans were to wait a week before reporting on my condition so I would have a better idea on how my leg was responding,'' Bonds wrote. ``Due to informational leaks ... the media has been contacting my PR firm asking about my status. So, before any hearsay or false information is reported, I wanted you to hear about my condition directly from me.''

That will likely delay Bonds' return and the resumption of his quest for baseball's career home run record even longer. In an outburst during spring training, Bonds said he might not be back for at least half the season, maybe the whole season.

The 40-year-old Bonds has 703 career home runs, 11 behind Babe Ruth and 52 from tying Hank Aaron's career record. Bonds batted .362 last season with 45 homers and 101 RBIs and also walked a major league-record 232 times on the way to his record seventh MVP award.

This is just the third time in his career he's gone on the disabled list and the first since April 18 to June 9, 1999, as he recovered from elbow surgery.

Bonds was also dogged by steroid allegations in the offseason. According to the Chronicle, Bonds testified to a grand jury in December 2003 that he used a clear substance and a cream given to him by a trainer who was indicted in a steroid-distribution ring, but said he didn't know if they were steroids. Prosecutors believe the substances were two steroids at the center of the BALCO scandal.

IP: Logged

This topic is 3 pages long:   1  2  3 

All times are PT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | Manka Bros. Studios - Home

© 2008 Manka Bros. Studios - All Rights Reserved.

Powered by Infopop © 2000
Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.45b