The organizational meeting held last weekend has cranked the rumor mill into overdrive. People are talking Mike Cameron, they're talking A.J. Burnett, they're talking Mark Kotsay and Preston Wilson and Randy Winn.
The big name you hear on the one side is everyone's favorite time bomb, Mt. St. Sheffield. While it sounds like I'm down on Gary from the nickname, you couldn't be farther from the truth. I like Sheff, as the team's most consistent hitter, as a guy with guts who plays it to the hilt on the field. I also really appreciate his candor, particularly that when the first of those rumored names came up on the front page of the New York Post, in a supposed trade with Sheffield, Sheff let it know that he would not go quietly amidst the noise and haste if traded:
I would go play for them. It doesn't mean I'm going to be happy playing there. And if I'm unhappy, you don't want me on your team. It's just that simple. I'll make that known to anyone.Good for him. I'm not sure most people really think about how strange it is to be in a business where you can traded to another city against your will, and forced to accept the transfer. While, as a fan, I prefer when the ballclub has no impediments for making roster moves and improving the team, I'd be darn ticked if the only way I could practice my profession was by being subject to transfer on the company's whim.
In other news, Mike Stanton learned you can never come home again, and Paul Quantrill's passes onto the realm of Yankee trivia (I'll take "Yankees with a Q" for 400 Alex"). They'll likely be experiencing the annoyance of being traded, or the liberty of free agency, within the next 10 days, having been designated for assignment by the big club.
It's hard to begrudge the team either move: Stanton wasn't setting the world on fire (or rather, to reverse the metaphor somewhat, he was a firestarter); Quantrill had been useless for about the last ten or eleven months--never quite the same after A-Rod clobbered his knee in the opening series, and then Torre pitched him in virtually 2/3rds of the Yanks' contests early last year.
Given how far those two had fallen down the depth chart, this can't be described as a big, important move. The call-ups to replace those two pitchers--once and future Yank Jason Anderson, and lefty Wayne Franklin--aren't names, or likely to become names, that anyone would know. The extra roster spot shuffle continues, with Bubba Crosby taking the place of Kevin Reece, and perhaps being supplanted by Felix Escalona sometime this weekend in Detroit.
None of this is a center fielder who can...field center. Or a starting pitcher who doesn't suck. Or anyone who can remove Tony Woemack from the roster. Nothing to see here, yet.
Speaking of nothing to see, this story looks like BS (sorry for the third-generation link, but if you click through, you'll find the original gossip-column story). The idea that the two biggest baseball stars in New York could have a fistfight, in front of the media, and everyone would keep it quiet...it's dubious at best.