Tag Archive | "Derek Jeter"

Thursday 3-Pointer: 2011 Yanks- Underdogs and Overlords, Niets No Longer & Talking Terps and Tourney

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Thursday 3-Pointer: 2011 Yanks- Underdogs and Overlords, Niets No Longer & Talking Terps and Tourney

Posted on 24 February 2011 by Thyrl Nelson

Thursday 3-Pointer

 #1 – 2011 Yankees: Underdogs and Overlords

 

A lot of things can come to pass over the course of a 162-game baseball season, but I’m having a hard time adapting to this perception of the Yankees cast as underdogs in the AL East. Perhaps the off-season realization that pinstripes don’t always sell themselves and that some people (even modern ballplayers) still value some things more than money isn’t sitting well with a team who has handed out more than their fair share of blank checks in recent seasons. Although the Yanks clearly aren’t as improved as the Red Sox since the end of last season, they’re still a 1/5 billion dollar juggernaut and a force to be reckoned with, regardless of their own futile attempts to make us believe otherwise.

 

If the Yanks do have one thing potentially working against them going forward, it may be the seemingly cumbersome oversight of the team by Hank Steinbrenner, whose mid-eighties King George act has only seemed to pick up steam in the months since his father’s passing. Never shy about taking shots across the bow at the opposition, after a round of contentious off-season negotiations with Derek Jeter, and another with CC Sabathia probably looming on the horizon, Prince Hank has turned his ire toward his own team and their front office of late too…a la 80′s George.

 

One thing’s for sure, Hank’s not George. For now though it appears that he’s working like mad at trying to be, which could mean opportunities ahead for their AL East contemporaries. It arguably wasn’t until George himself was forcibly removed from Yankees operations at the behest of Major League Baseball that the organization finally found the breathing room needed to be champions again. We’ll see if it takes as drastic a circumstance to make Hank realize the same.

 

#2 – Niets No More

 

Once the highly anticipated Carmelo Anthony trade took place on Monday, it seemed a safe bet that any other movement set to take place would pale by comparison and largely be an afterthought. That of course changed with the surprising announcement on Wednesday that the Nets had acquired the services of All-Star point guard Deron Williams from the Utah Jazz.

 

Call them the Niets no more…the New Jersey Nets, seemingly having learned their lesson after the speculation and disappointment surrounding their bid for Carmelo Anthony did a great job at keeping this one under wraps until it was done, and in Williams they have gotten a difference maker, and facilitator that will immediately help get Brook Lopez game back on track, and should provide compelling reasons for future free agents to consider New Jersey or Brooklyn.

 

After Jerry Sloan’s departure in the midst of his 23rd season just a couple of weeks ago, apparently at least partially due to a rift with his star point guard, it seemed that the team had chosen the young guard over the old coach, and put the aftermath to bed. If nothing else the trade indicates that the team likely wasn’t feeling the same amount of love in return from their playmaker.

 

It also appears that Utah wasn’t willing to go through the day-in day-out drama next season that they saw the Nuggets having to deal with this year. Conspiracy theorists may also conclude that the uncertain nature of impending collective bargaining and the likelihood that the 2011-12 season may not go off as planned may have compelled the Jazz also to act now, while the getting was good.

 

No sooner did the news of the trade break than speculation began to abound about the potential return of Sloan to the Jazz now that Williams is no longer an issue. I’d have to guess no. Regardless of Sloan’s reasoning in leaving as he did, he denied reports that Williams was the issue and remained protective of both the player and team on his way out the door. I doubt he’d do a 180 on that stance. What’s more, Sloan’s replacement Tyrone Corbin was an internal promotion from Sloan’s staff, and a player that worked under Sloan for a few seasons as well. The Jazz made no bones from the day of his promotion that interim was not a part of his title. I doubt the former coach or the team would sweep the rug out from under Corbin this quickly. And lastly, without Williams it remains to be seen how the Jazz move forward. Derrick Favors has lots of legitimate upside but joins and already crowded Jazz frontcourt. Devin Harris has big shoes to fill, we’ll see if he’ up to the task. And who knows what the team will make of their draft picks? At least for now, it’s a step back for Utah that Sloan wouldn’t likely be excited about jumping back in with.

 

#3 – Talking Terps & Tourney

 

The Terps took the next logical step in attempting to solidify a respectable tournament resume with a win over Florida State on Wednesday. With 3 games remaining on their conference schedule, the most important and most dangerous looks to be the next, coming on Sunday at Chapel Hill. A win against the Tarheels would provide the Terps with their only signature caliber win before they put their case before the NCAA Tournament selection committee. It would also keep them on track to finish conference play with a 10-6 record, and a legitimate shot at a top 4 seed in the conference tourney, giving them a shot at one of the conference’s lower echelon teams and a pseudo-bye in the first round, seemingly providing more fodder to impress the committee.

 

The Terps sure had their fair share of respectable showings against legitimate competition in the early part of the season, but those likely won’t gain them much favor with the committee. What will though is a spirited run through the remainder of conference play and into the conference tourney. As susceptible as the rest of the conference has been all season, a run through the ACC tourney wouldn’t be out of the question, and would put any bubble issues to bed as well.

 

What’s certain about this team of late though, is that they aren’t the same team that played good teams close early on, nor are they the same club that dropped a few disappointing games in conference to teams that they arguably should have beaten. No, as young and frenetic as these Terps are, they remain a work in progress. In the last month or so, Pe’Shon Howard has shown a willingness to take and make the big shot, with a propensity to drive into traffic and find open shooters or finishers in the lane. Terrell Stoglin has unleashed the quickest first step seemingly since Steve Francis and is evolving quickly into an adept scorer with other components of his game playing catch up. And how can you ignore the recent growth of Dino Gregory? I’ve said a number of times that Gregory’s athleticism is both encouraging and frustrating. While it has been impressive at times, those times were too few and far between to be overly encouraged about. Recently though, Gregory has unveiled a mid-range game that will have to make opposing frontcourts think twice about stacking the lane to deny Jordan Williams.

 

In open space Gregory looks much more comfortable than he has at the rim this season. And in February these Terps look much more comfortable in their own skin than they did just a month ago. It’s encouraging to think what both might look like once March comes around…and beyond perhaps.

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Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7-Top 7 “Coolest” Athletes of All Time

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Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7-Top 7 “Coolest” Athletes of All Time

Posted on 01 February 2011 by Glenn Clark

In honor of the copy of GQ Drew picked up at BWI Airport Sunday, today’s Tuesday Top 7 Topic was “The Top 7 Coolest Athletes of All Time”…

Glenn Clark’s Top 7…

7. Landon Donovan

landon

6. Wayne Gretzky

gretzky

5. Andy Roddick

roddick

4. Shaquille O’Neal

shaq

3. Joe Namath

namath

2. Muhammad Ali

ali

1. Andre Agassi

agassi

Drew Forrester’s Top 7…

7. Greg Maddux

maddux

6. Dan Wilcox

wilcox

5. Johnny Damon

damon

4. Mike Tomlin

tomlin

3. Derek Jeter

jeter

2. Grayson “The Professor” Boucher

boucher

1. Fred Couples

fredcouples

If you missed the explanation of why these players made the list on “The Morning Reaction” Tuesday on AM1570 WNST, hit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net!

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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The best seat…In the house (Wednesday Edition)

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The best seat…In the house (Wednesday Edition)

Posted on 01 December 2010 by Thyrl Nelson

Here’s a look at the night that was on Tuesday and the one that lies ahead on Wednesday along with a few random musings from the best seat in the house, literally, at home in front of the TV.

Yesterday, I speculated here that there was little chance that Pat Riley had any intentions of replacing Erik Spoelstra on the Miami Heat bench because their level of chemistry, commitment, and overall play, and the lack of assuredness that Riley himself would be able to get much more from this squad. With 24 hours to think on it, I might amend that line of thinking and say that Riley may replace Spoelstra, but he won’t likely jump back onto the bench himself. Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojinarski wrote this piece about how James’ me first act is a safe bet to wear thin pretty quickly, and speculates that it was James’ inner circle that began floating the “Spoelstra is panicking” rumors in the first place. With the Heat, and James headed to Cleveland on Thursday, the drama, and attention are bound to continue.

 

Speculation also abounds today that perhaps Roger Goodell’s main motivation behind not suspending Andre Johnson and/or Cortland Finnegan for their brawl on Sunday is because the Texans are playing on Thursday night. As it related to Johnson, Finnegan or even a possible James Harrison suspension (that won’t happen either), it would seem that the NFL’s appeals process would have allowed all 3 the chance to play this week, and every other until their appeals were heard. Maybe the NFL was afraid that Johnson would decline an appeal and serve his suspension to spite the league. I wonder if Goodell is compiling a manual of precedents for the punishments that the league is dishing out, seemingly at random, this season.

 

Jim Harbaugh, the Stanford coach, former Ravens’ quarterback and brother of Ravens head coach John Harbaugh projects to be one of the hottest commodities on the market as schools begin to make and fill coaching vacancies. Michigan seems like the natural fit, if they choose to part company with Rich Rodriguez, but some believe that Harbaugh would be crazy to leave Stanford, where success is measured in academics and his feet aren’t likely to be held to the fire anytime soon, even if his now successful program took a dramatic U-turn. I would be at least mildly surprised if Jim Harbaugh didn’t have at least one eye on the NFL if he has any desire to change jobs. It should develop into an interesting off-season story line.

 

With all of the purple towel resistance building before Sunday night’s game, crowd noise is becoming topical. Now there are talks of a “No means no” chant for Ben Roethlisberger. On the surface, it’s funny, hilarious actually, but that’s from my perspective. I’m guessing there’s another side of this issue that would find it tasteless and appalling. In other words, it might make the Steelers fans that are on hand a little more comfortable. Count me out on the “no means no” chant, but I’ll be listening, and laughing a little inside.

 

I have to say that no matter how the Derek Jeter negotiations work out, I am amused. I’m not sure what Jeter’s value might specifically be to the Yankees, but I’m pretty certain that 4 Derek Jeters wouldn’t be worth the kind of money that both sides are discussing to any other team. His legend is intact, his skill set is declining, and we’re talking about projecting him beyond his 40th birthday. The one thing that has never failed Jeter in his opportunistic Major League career has been his timing. From the ball hit to Jeffrey Maier, to the inexplicable flip to get Jeremy Giambi at the plate, to seeking out his last payday with hit #3000 on the horizon, Jeter’s always been the guy in the right place at the right time.  

 

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Tex, Jeter, Cano Win Gold Gloves, Markakis Denied Again

Posted on 09 November 2010 by Jay Trucker

In what has become an annual event, Nick Markakis was not amongst the winners for an American League Gold Glove Award. MLB announced this year’s recipients on Thursday. Yankees Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano man the 2010 infield alongside third baseman Evan Longoria of the Rays. Longoria’s teammate Carl Crawford shares the award-winning outfield with Mariners Franklin Guitierrez and Ichiro Suzuki.

This year’s Gold Glove slighting may come as no surprise to Orioles RF Nick Markakis and his fans. The strong-armed Bird had arguably a better fielding season in ’09 when he was turned down for the honor in favor of teammate Adam “I Play Really Shallow But I Run Well On My Heels” Jones.

Markakis as at a disadvantage as a right fielder because MLB recognizes three outfielders rather than players at each outfield position. Center fielders have more opportunities to make plays and are generally (often, though not always rightfully) considered the best outfielder on a team, so the Gold Glove may have three CFs awarded on the same year. Oddly, they do not do the same for the infield; otherwise, they’d have to find three shortstops not named Jeter to honor each season.

Also, rather than take a systematic approach to assessing the highest producing fielders, the Gold Gloves tend to go to the same high profile recipients each year. Ichiro “Fancy Catch” Suzuki just won his 10th glove in 2010, and Derek “Tilt-A-Whirl” Jeter his 75th.

So, still no recognition for Markakis. On the brightside, Ty Wigginton did get to play a half inning of All Star defense this summer.

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Is quiet leadership a bad thing in today’s world?

Posted on 05 November 2010 by Domenic Vadala

As we know, sports can be a great motif for life in general. As a part of the oh-so-competitive corporate world, I’ve been told time and time again that it’s important to toot-your-own-horn when you do something good at work. If you don’t, they say, you’ll never be able to move up. I come from humble stock, and bragging about how great I am is just not something with which I’m comfortable. Having said that, I’ve seen less-than-qualified people be promoted over me, and I’ve even been threatened with my job for giving credit to others.

The purpose of this column is not to vent about my job. However if life mirrors sports, does the same theory or idea hold true? As a Washington Redskin fan, I hated Donovan McNabb for years. Not only did he play for the Eagles, but he had the uncanny ability to beat the Redskins whenver he needed to do so. However looking back on those games today (with McNabb now playing for the burgundy and gold), I can see that he played all of those games with the grace, class, and leadership that he exhibits now with the Redskins. He’s not an overly emotional player in that he never lets you see him sweat when he’s under duress. My point isn’t to bring up or discuss his benching last Sunday afternoon in Detroit, although I’ll say that I think it was a bad move. However that was only the latest instance in a long line of times where McNabb’s been embarrassed during his football career. He even refused to publically denounce T.O. when they were teammates and Owens saw fit to call him out. He was benched by Andy Reid in Baltimore a few years back at halftime, and he took his medicine without complaining. However each time his team wins or he makes a great play, he’s always up there saying how great of a route Chris Cooley or DeShawn Jackson ran on that play.

On the other hand, showboaters such as Michael Irving and Deion Sanders never seemed to struggle for respect. Both of them were great players without a doubt, however they never carried themselves with the humility or grace with which someone like McNabb does. Derek Jeter (as much as we hate him) is a quiet guy, but he plays for the Yankees so he’s essentially loud by association. Alex Rodriguez can be loud at times, and as we saw earlier this season he seemingly has no regard for the game’s unwritten rules (ask Dallas Braden). The league, media, and fans even swept Rodriguez’s steroid use under the rug. Yet a quiet type of guy like Rafael Palmeiro was villianized. (Granted Palmeiro lied to Congress, but on the field he was fairly mild-mannered.) So what am I trying to say here? To be honest, I’m really not sure myself. I guess what I’m trying to say is that for whatever reason, it’s easier for society to accept someone like a Michael Irving or Alex Rodriguez. The majority of society are emotional people; therefore they react and empathize with someone like that. When people see someone like Donovan McNabb or even Raffy, they immediately think that the guy has no moxie whatsoever. In fact, when they screw up people are potentially more likely to hold them accountable. McNabb was benched because he threw a horrible interception late in the game, or Palmeiro single-handedly ruined baseball with his steroid use. This, as opposed to Michael Irving may act like a thug and have a drug addiction but he’s a great receiver, or Alex Rodriguez took steroids, but so did everyone else.

What’s right is right, and what’s wrong is wrong. Steroids are wrong no matter how you look at it, and regardless of who’s taking them. However I suppose what I’m saying is that people can accept the shortcomings of humanized athletes or public figures moreso than they can those of the quiet leaders. And I think that’s a horrible trend. We should all aim to be like Donovan McNabb, telling reporters how great his teammates are. Instead, as a society we’re more like Michael Irving, who never wasted an opprotunity to promote himself to the cameras or microphones. Nowadays NFL players are almost expected to do some kind of endzone dance when they score, whereas the true legends of the game such as Johnny Unitas simply walked off the field. Again, we all wish that we had that kind of class.

I don’t think for one moment that Donovan McNabb isn’t respected in the NFL, however I’ve heard that he wasn’t always liked by the fanbase in Philadelphia because of his professionalism. All jokes about that making sense for Philadelphia people aside, that’s a sad state of affairs. Is that why he was traded? I don’t know, however I would assume that had he perhaps spoken his worth from time to time, they might have thought twice about it. Instead, he motored along like a good soldier and propped people up around him. To me, that’s leadership much moreso than someone that steals the limelight on a continual basis. But yet, those are the people that seemingly make it in today’s society. What comes first, the chicken or the egg?

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Note to Orioles: make Derek Jeter an offer he can’t refuse …..

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Note to Orioles: make Derek Jeter an offer he can’t refuse …..

Posted on 04 November 2010 by Rex Snider

Yes, you can believe your eyes. I just mentioned the Orioles and Derek Jeter in the same sentence. And, no, I’m not kidding …..

In a few days, Derek Jeter will be free to negotiate his next contract with any team he desires. The popular conclusion is there’s no way he leaves the comforts of New York and his pinstripes. After all, he’s the face of a behemoth organization and he represents the latest chapter of baseball’s most notable franchise.

Of Major League Baseball’s 142 potential free agents, he’s the surest bet to stay put – regardless of outside influences.

But, is Derek Jeter truly untouchable?

Is his return to the Bronx a mere formality?

Common sense dictates a response of “YES.” But, common sense does not always govern reality.

At 36, Jeter no longer possesses the consistently dependable stroke, superb speed and versatile, ranging glove witnessed throughout his Hall of Fame career. He is by no means a below average producer in any of these stated areas; the guy is simply slowing down.

That said, he can still be counted upon for slightly above average production in an array of offensive and defensive considerations.

New York Yankees' shortstop Derek Jeter warms up before the Yankees take on the Texas Rangers in game four of the ALCS at Yankee Stadium on October 19, 2010 in New York.   UPI/Monika Graff Photo via Newscom

We’re not led to believe the Yankees will simply reward Derek Jeter with an exuberant contract, because they need a “slightly above average” player in the middle infield. Indeed, he’s going to get paid a hefty sum of money due to his influence and overall leadership qualities.

Oh yeah, and he’s the face of baseball’s wealthiest franchise.

Ask yourself this question …. are the New York Yankees counting FIVE World Championships, in the last 15 years, without Derek Jeter? If not, how many would they be counting?

How much is that worth?

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A gut-wrenching flashback for Orioles fans during ALCS

Posted on 19 October 2010 by Luke Jones

The second inning of Game 4 of the American League Championship Series between the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees brought back an excruciating memory for Orioles fans tuning in on Tuesday night.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmEH7r85yrU[/youtube]

Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano’s drive into the right field bleachers was ruled a home run by umpire Jim Reynolds despite the protests of Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz and manager Ron Washington. It was eerily similar to one of the worst memories in Baltimore sports history — also taking place in the Bronx — with Tony Tarasco as the right fielder and Davey Johnson as skipper.

You might want to scroll down if you have a heart condition or other stress-related conditions.

[myspace]http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=15623423[/myspace]

Unlike the blown interference call by umpire Richie Garcia in Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS, umpires are now afforded the luxury to review a home run in which there is possible interference.

Despite a fan clearly making contact with Cruz’s glove in the field of play, the umpires made no attempt to use instant replay to see what really happened, if even to confirm Reynolds got the call right.

Was it a clear case of fan interference? Maybe not, but it unquestionably warranted a review. The players, the fans, and baseball deserved that much.

Apparently, video review isn’t necessary in Major League Baseball if the umpire “knows” he got the call right.

Ironically, Lance Berkman came to the plate two batters later and hit a ball down the right field line that was initially called a home run, but the crew reviewed it and overturned the decision — it was a foul ball.

But no such luck with the previous batter.

It doesn’t make any sense.

Yes, the NFL has its own problems these days with the controversial helmet-to-helmet hits and the impending threat of a lockout, but there’s no way that call would have stood without the referee first going underneath the hood to look at it again before making a definitive call. It’s just the latest example why pro football rules supreme in America while baseball continues to lag hopelessly behind in popularity.

Regardless of Tuesday night’s outcome, which turned out to be a 10-3 victory to give Texas a 3-1 series lead, Baltimore can empathize with Rangers fans on that second-inning call and the anger and uneasiness it created.

The difference is umpires have a chance to fix potentially egregious calls in 2010.

For whatever reason, they decided to forgo the opportunity.

And that was even more pathetic than this guy.

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Yankees could be in for a Lone Star stomping

Posted on 13 October 2010 by Rex Snider

If you share my hatred for the New York Yankees, are you optimistic about their potential demise in the upcoming American League Championship Series?

I think it’s quite possible …..

Admittedly, I have a very soft spot for the Tampa Bay Rays. They exist in Major League Baseball’s most competitive division and they’ve assembled a collective group of ballplayers capable of beating the very best teams. Their cast of talent championed the American League’s Eastern Division, which is a huge accomplishment.

But, last night, I steadfastly rooted for the Texas Rangers in the finale of the teams’ five game series. I wanted to see Nolan Ryan advance to the next round. I wanted to see Josh Hamilton on a bigger stage. I wanted to see Cliff Lee, again.

Oh yeah, and I hope to see Mark Teixeira beaten by his old team.

Most of all, I think the Rangers stand a better chance of beating the Yankees, in comparison to the Rays. While realizing the Rays handled the Yankees during the regular season and they’re very familiar with their divisional rival, I think they’re quite evenly matched. Whereas, I think the Rangers might have the respective strengths to exploit the Yankees weaknesses, especially in a short series.

We all know the Yankees vulnerability is the starting pitching. They’re forced to add A.J. Burnett and his 5.26 ERA and 1.51 WHIP to the postseason roster; he’ll likely pitch Game #4. Burnett joins C.C. Sabathia, Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes in rounding out the rotation. Aside from Pettitte’s postseason resume’, the Yankees staff is not overly impressive.

Maybe it’s just me, but I like the Texas lineup against New York’s staff. The Rangers can hit. Better yet, they can MASH …. and the power potential in that lineup exists from top to bottom. They’re also aggressive on the basepaths, as we saw in last night’s win over the Rays. On two occasions, the Rangers scored from 2nd base on ground balls to the infield.

At the same time, I respect the Yankees lineup. However, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter have suffered through less than stellar seasons. And, we may very well see the Yankees finally paying the price for an assembled outfield that includes Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner. Not exactly a vintage Yankees cast, huh?

If I look at these teams with a sobering view, the impressions are pretty simple …..

Yankees lineup vs. Rangers lineup – Advantage Rangers

Yankees starting pitching vs. Rangers starting pitching – Advantage Rangers

Yankees bullpen vs. Rangers bullpen – Advantage Rangers

Yankees intangibles vs. Rangers intangibles – Advantage Yankees

I’m certain some readers will think I’m crazy and making conclusions exclusively with my heart, while hoping the Yankees get smoked. Well, I’m certain that figures somehwere into my perspective – I’m only human. And, I do hate the Yankees.

However, I think the Texas Rangers are a more complete ballclub. They just beat the team that outlasted the Yankees through 162 games. And, they rose to the occasion when it mattered most.

When these two teams meet, the Rangers will feature the best player of the two rosters, thanks to Josh Hamilton. They’ll also feature the best pitcher on both clubs, as Cliff Lee has proven. The Rangers are a better team and they’ll prove it in 6 games.

You heard it here …..

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Less Is More

Posted on 18 August 2010 by Joe Giglio

The Baltimore Orioles spent a little over nine million dollars yesterday, not only wisely, but symbolically. The cash spent on the most expensive draft class in Orioles history not only represents the potential growth of the farm system, but the most prudent way to compete on an annual basis with the Yankees and Red Sox. Although sports radio callers and bloggers enjoy harpooning the team for not spending enough money through free agency, it really doesn’t make a lick of sense to try to compete that way in the AL East. Could a few splashy moves over the past 13 seasons made the Orioles a .500 club? Sure. Could it have gotten them into the Wild Card race once or twice? Maybe. Would it have put them on even footing with the Yankees and Red Sox on a consistent basis? No way.

For the Orioles to have a shot at competing with Boston and New York, they must model themselves after Tampa Bay and Minnesota, and I believe spending big money on the draft this year is a positive step in that direction. Brian Matusz and Matt Wieters are great building blocks for the future. The 2010 draft class will have their chance to join them in this process sooner rather than later. We must stop thinking of the Orioles as a “big market” team with a rich owner. Every team has a rich owner. But “big market” teams are built from the ground up…not from free agents down.

Why are Tampa Bay and Minnesota excellent playoff caliber baseball teams? Scouting and drafting-which includes signing the draft picks. Carl Crawford, Evan Longoria, David Price, Jeremy Hellickson, Denard Span, and Joe Mauer are just a few of the high draft picks that those teams have drafted, signed, and developed over the years to make themselves into the power they are today. The results? 1. Winning 2. In Minnesota’s case, revenue. Joe Mauer was able to receive a contract close to $200 million because his team makes the playoffs and packs the stands every year. They went through some lean years and their ownership was lambasted for not spending money on free agents. Now look at them and try not to be envious of what they have in place.

Odds are that this organization won’t spend over nine million per year on any free agent this off season. The odds are even greater than fans will complain and not want to be bothered hearing about draft picks that may or may not contribute in 3-4 years. It is hard to remain patient as a fan of a team that hasn’t won in seemingly forever, but the reward is there. Just ask the fans in Minnesota who sit in brand new Target Field, watching their first place team, with a payroll now over $100 million, and one of the games best players locked up for the next ten years.

The plan for the Buck Showalter Orioles is a long term one, regardless of how well they play over the remainder of this season. Free agents can be brought in to supplement and add to a young talented roster over the next few years. Our responsibility as fans is not to be envious of the Yankees and Red Sox for having money and great players, but rather focus on the guys in the system who can become the Baltimore version of those stars. Free agency is for the back pages of newspapers and the lead story on ESPN. Championships are won and lost in the draft room. Big checkbooks can help, never more so than on deadline day to sign those very picks.

When the Orioles either don’t enter the Cliff Lee or Carl Crawford sweepstakes, or more appropriately, come up short, remember the nine million spent this August. Buck Showalter’s Yankees came up short going after Greg Maddux in 1993, but were able to point to the millions they spent the previous August in signing their draft picks. The first round selection from that draft? Some guy named Derek Jeter.

It may not be sexy and it may be the farthest thing from instant gratification, but sometimes less truly is more.

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YES Broadcaster Ken Singleton Thinks George Steinbrenner Was Good For Baseball Because It Forced Other Owners To Keep Up

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YES Broadcaster Ken Singleton Thinks George Steinbrenner Was Good For Baseball Because It Forced Other Owners To Keep Up

Posted on 14 July 2010 by Ryan Chell

Former Oriole great Ken Singleton, now a television commentator for the Yankees’ YES Network, has been in the New York clubhouse for the last 13 years and saw firsthand how the Yankee players reacted and interacted with owner George Steinbrenner, who passed away early Tuesday morning at the age of 80.

Ken Singleton YES Broadcaster

He said that if one player were to take the news the hardest, it would have to have been Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter, who has spent the last fourteen years-his entire MLB career-in a Yankee unfiorm under Steinbrenner’s ownership, and who often saw Steinbrenner as a father-figure.

Why, you might ask? Because Steinbrenner treated his players with the great admiration in the world the last decade and a half, and day-in and day-out put his players in a position to succeed and win, because that’s what Steinbrenner wanted and he knew that’s what his players wanted.

Steinbrenner won 7 World Championships during his 38 year run as owner of the Yankees.

“I think that those players, the ones that have been there the longest…”, Singleton told Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” Friday,  “they realize George gives them the opportunity to win each and every year. He is going to go out and do the best he can, spend the money if you will, to put the best team possible on the field. It’s cause he wants the Yankees to win every single year.”

Singleton said in a way, Steinbrenner has spoiled his Yankee players because he knows no other organization in the league has the resources to treat the players this well.

“And those players really appreciate it because they’ve been there the longest. Derek Jeter’s been there 14 years, and been to the playoffs 13 years. He realizes with another team, that might not be the case.”

But Singleton also told Forrester that in the last day, he has talked to several players like Jeter who know that things are not going to change under Hank and Hal Steinbrenner because George built up the Yankees team so well and left it a good enough position to hand off the keys to his sons.

“If you’re a player and you’re competitive like he is,” Singleton said of Jeter, “you want someone who is going to support you. He realizes what Steinbrenner meant. I’m sure he hopes that that legacy continues. I think it will because I think they have the resources to do so.”

And Singleton also said that Steinbrenner’s sons know what kind of responsibility this stepping into their dad’s shoes, but already over the last four seasons in which Hank and Hal have really been in charge, they are a chip off the old block and this doesn’t mean bad news for the Yankee organization.

“I think the sons realize that the Yankees play more against their own legacy more than anyone else,” Singleton said,  “because they’ve won so many times. Now that’s expected and that’s the goal every single year.”

Singleton not only wanted to emphasize the fact that Steinbrenner left a great mark on the Yankees, his actions may have saved the game of baseball as a whole as well, just because the other owners of the league had to invest in their teams in order to keep up with Steinbrenner’s above and beyond attitude.

“I think George Steinbrenner has been pretty good for baseball because he’s forced the other owners to try and  keep up with him, ” Singleton said. “  With things like building the YES Network, the Red Sox wouldnt have NESN and the Orioles probably wouldnt have MASN if the Yankees hadn’t got YES. What has happened is that it opened even bigger revenue streams for the other teams.”

“In that regard, he’s been good for baseball. Baseball’s been as popular as it’s ever been. When I was playing, the attendance figures were no where near where they are now.  The Yankees draw well. The Orioles , when the Yankees or the Red Sox come to town, draw well…I think in a way, it has forced other teams to get their acts together and see how their going to get their revenue streams together to try and keep up.”

Think of it this way. The Yankees may be worth billions of dollars now, and we as Oriole fans may hate that now, but every team in the major leagues had to spend money to make money, and that’s been in the case now with all the other successful teams in the league now, such as the Red Sox, Cardinals, Dodgers, Mets, and so forth.

And Singleton said if skeptics want proof of Steinbrenner’s investments or a physical piece of evidence to take a memento of Steinbrenner’s accomplishments as owner of the Yankees, he said all you need to do was go watch a game at the new Yankee Stadium, which was one of George’s last hurrahs as patriarch of the baseball’s storiest franchises.

“The fans have always had a great venue; it’s a great place to watch a baseball game. The old place had a lot of history, but you still get some of that feel in the New Yankee Stadium.”

Tune into WNST and WNST.net for more news regarding the sudden death of Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner. WNST-We Never Stop Talking Sports-Baltimore or not!

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