After Sports Illustrated released a report accusing Alex Rodriguez of testing positive for performance enhancing drugs in 2003, Rodriguez owned up to it in an emotional interview with Peter Gammons. “When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure, I felt like I had all the weight of the world on top of me and I needed to perform, and perform at a high level every day” Rodriguez told Gammons. He admitted to using performance enhancing drugs from 2001 through 2003, his entire tenure with the Texas Rangers, but said he had been clean since 2004.Alex Rodriguez is under contract with the New York Yankees until 2017.
The New York Yankees may have won the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes, but they did not have the biggest offer on the table. The Sox had a 10-year $212 million deal on the table that included two vested option years. Yahoo Sports’ Gordon Edes reports that Boras balked at the option year conditions, and pressed Boston for a contract with an average yearly salary exceeding $23mm. The best per-year offer was still from the Yankees, who Teixeira says were his preferred team all along.
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After long negotiations and huge amounts of speculation, the New York Yankees have signed Mark Teixeira to a 8 year $180 million contract. Despite rumors that the Red Sox were frontrunners, and that the Nationals offered the most money, Teixeira opted for pinstripes and a full no-trade clause. Full terms of the deal have not been announced yet.
The Yankees are still rumored to be after Manny Ramirez as well.
Check the 2009 New York Yankees schedule for a full list of games. Tickets are available now!
The trade and acquisition market in the MLB is heating up. Steve Phillips of ESPN is reporting that the Red Sox and Diamondbacks could swap shortstop Julio Lugo ($18 million left on his contract) for outfielder Eric Byrnes ($22 million left). Boston would use Byrnes as a fourth outfielder.
The Yankees solidified their deal with CC Sabathia. He agreed to 7-years $161 million with an opt-out clause after three years. Additionally, the Yankees seem to be in the process of swapping Melky Cabrera for the Brewers’ Mike Cameron.
The Mets, Mariners, and Indians have pulled off a large 3-way trade: JJ Putz, outfielder Jeremy Reed, and RHP Sean Green will head to the Mets, Aaron Heilman, Endy Chavez, Franklin Gutierrez, and Mike carp will Go to the Mariner, and Joe Smith and Luis Valbuena will go to the Indians. The Indians have also recently signed closer Kerry Wood, and the Mets signed record-setting closer Francisco Rogriguez.
The Boston Red Sox are still in the hunt for a starting pitcher, and possibly Mark Texeria.
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The New York Post and Fox Sports have both reported that CC Sabathia will sign a 7-year $170 million contract with the New York Yankees. This would be the fourth highest contract in baseball history, and would give Sabathia an annual average salary slightly less than Mets ace Johan Santana. The Yankees, badly in need of experienced starting pitching, may still be pursuing AJ Burnett and Derek Lowe.
The 2009 New York Yankees Schedule is out and tickets are available now for all games!
Everyone knew the New York Yankees would have money to spend this off-season with Giambi and Pavano coming off the books. We all knew that meant a run at C.C. Sabathia. The Yankees apparently offered Sabathia 6 years at $140 Million on Thursday in the first formal offer after the Brewers offered 5 years at $100 Million to retain Sabathia. Hank Steinbrenner confirmed the offer and stated the team’s intentions to make offers to Derek Lowe and A.J. Burnett as well. The Yankees are looking to sure up a rotation that certainly came up short in the 2008 season.
The Yankees’ offer to Sabathia has apparently perturbed Brewers GM Doug Melvin. Melvin can’t understand why the Yankees would offer so much more than the Brewers’ offer when no one else has even jumped in to the bidding war.
The Yankees have not heard back on whether or not C.C. Sabathia will accept their offer.
2009 New York Yankees Schedule & Tickets
The New York Yankees have made their first decisions of the Fall GM meetings. Brian Cashman announced that New York will buy out the final years of Jason Giambi’s and Carl Pavano’s contracts. “Given the circumstances and the money involved, I don’t think they were surprises to anybody,” Cashman told the AP on Tuesday. While there is an outside possibility that both could re-sign with the team, Giambi may be heading back to Oakland, and Pavano’s solid starts late in the season drew interest from many teams.
Andy Pettite is likely to remain a Yankee, although he would likely take a significant pay cut from his $16 million 2008 salary.
What will the Yankees do in October? Since 1995 the answer was simple, play baseball. However 2008 marks the first time since 1995 that the New York Yankees will not be in the playoffs. For Derek Jeter its the first time in his MLB career that he is not playing baseball in October. With the playoff streak broken you can bet the bank that the Yankees will try to reload this off-season.
The first step in preparing for next year is now done. The Yankees signed General Manager Brian Cashman to an extension through 2011. According to ESPN.com Cashman said, “I’ve got a job to finish here”. The Yankees are still a very talented team and will likely benefit from some pitching upgrades. Many speculate that the Yankees will make a play for C.C. Sabathia, the best free agent pitcher on the market for 2009. Other Pitching options could include Derek Lowe and A.J. Burnett.
The New York Yankees will also benefit greatly if they can stay healthy. Injuries to Wang, Posada and Chamberlain definitely contributed to New York’s woes this season. They should expect a better year at the new Yankee Stadium in 2009. Only time will tell though.
2009 New York Yankees tickets will be available in December of 2008.
The last MLB game played at the old Yankee Stadium happened last night on 9/21/2008 against the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles. The Yankees will finish up their 2008 season on the road and will not make a playoff appearance this year. Sadly that means the old stadium is basically finished. The Yankees went out in style at home though, with a great pre-game ceremony featuring some great Yankees from the past including Yogi Berra and Reggie Jackson. They also managed to close out the Stadium with a 7-3 win over the Orioles. At the conclusion of the game, captain Derek Jeter addressed the crowd and led the Yankees in a walk around the Stadium to honor the fans.
The soon to be famous “Lasts” at Yankee Stadium:
Last Game Played at Yankee Stadium: 9/21/08 Yankees beat Orioles 7-3.
Last Homerun at Yankee Stadium: Jose Molina 2 run homer in 4th inning on 9/21.
Last Strikeout at Yankee Stadium: Recorded by Phil Coke of the NYY against Aubrey Huff, 7th inning.
Last Out Made at Yankee Stadium: M. Rivera pitching, Brian Roberts grounded out to first base.
Last Run Scored at Yankee Stadium: Sac fly by Robinson Cano in 7th inning, B. Gardner Scores.
Other Notes: Andy Pettite recorded his 2,000th Strikout in the game. The Yankees are technically not eliminated from the playoffs with their win last night.
With some help from Jason Giambi, the New York Yankees avoided a three game sweep by beating the Boston Red Sox 3-2 yesterday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. Giambi hit a pinch hit homerun in the seventh inning to tie the game at 2-2 and then delivered in the clutch once again in the ninth inning, knocking home the game winning run off of Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon. The game was the last meeting between the two teams at Yankee Stadium before the park is set to close following the culmination of the 2008 season.
The Yankees who had dropped to 7 games behind the Red Sox in the Wild Card race following Wednesday night’s defeat needed a win badly to keep the thought of the playoffs alive, and with Giambi’s heroics, they still have some life.
“We have a pulse,” Giambi said. “Hopefully, this will jump-start this ballclub.”
The Red Sox took a 2-0 lead in the fifth inning when they were able to piece together two hits and a hit batsmen off of Yankees starter Mike Mussina to go ahead. Jason Varitek collected an RBI single and Jacoby Ellsbury drove in the second run on a fielder’s choice.
Sox starter Jon Lester was brilliant through 7 2/3 innings allowing only five hits while striking out eight over the outing. He was removed after allowing a two-out double to Cody Ransom on his 119th pitch of the afternoon. Hideki Okajima came on in relief to face Jose Molina, but in an odd move, Yankees manger Joe Girardi called for the lefty Giambi to pinch hit against the left handed pitcher.
Turns out Girardi knew what he was doing. Giambi sent Okajima’s second pitch over the center field wall to even the score and energize the stagnant Yankees lineup.
“We’ve been stale. We haven’t been able to get the big hit. We haven’t been able to make a big pitch,” Giambi said. “Hopefully, this turns it around.”
The Yankees bullpen was able to keep the Sox at bay in the eighth and ninth innings setting the stage for some fireworks in their bottom of the ninth. Justin Masterson was on the mound for the Sox and allowed a leadoff single to Xaiver Nady. After a line out by Robinson Cano and a stolen base by pinch runner B Gardner, the Sox chose to intentionally walk Hideki Matsui to set up a double play or force out at third. Sounds like a good plan but Masterson followed up by issuing another walk to Ivan Rodriguez to load the bases for Giambi with only one out.
Sox manager Terry Francona summoned his closer in Papelbon to try and get out of the jam but even he could not work his way out of this one. Giambi laced the game winning RBI single up the middle on an 0-2 96 mph Papelbon fastball.
“I don’t care about the first two games—this one hurt,” Francona said. “We played our hearts out. We lost a really tough game.”
The Sox head back to Boston after going 6-3 on their nine game road trip, winning all there of the series 2 games to 1. Of their 29 remaining games, 20 of them will be played at Fenway Park where they’ve collectively gone 43-18 this season for a .705 winning percentage, the second best home percentage in the American League behind Tampa Bay.
Tonight, the Red Sox welcome the Chicago White Sox to town for a three game series. Pitching for Boston will be Dice-K Matsuzaka (15-2, 2.98 ERA) vs. Chicago’s Javier Vazquez (10-11, 4.37 ERA). Dice-K currently has as many wins this season as he posted in his MLB rookie campaign last year, and is looking to surpass that mark for the second start. This past Sunday, he did not factor into the decision of Boston’s 6-5 extra inning victory over Toronto.
Tickets are still available for this weekend’s games vs. Chicago as well as next week’s series vs. Baltimore. The Sox will break MLB’s consecutive sellout streak of Fenway Park this coming Wednesday afternoon and ACE has your seats to the game!