It's T-minus one hour before the George Mitchell steroid press conference. I swear, MLB must have scheduled this thing specifically to interfere with my writing schedule, since I'm on deadline for three different projects, two of them baseball. A few short-form reactions to recent news:
1) The Yanks Sign LaTroy Hawkins:
I'd have been much more psyched about this a few years ago than I am now. I'd always imagined LaTroy to be a strikeout guy, but if you look it up, he's pretty weak in that aspect, and getting worse. Still, with Joba in the rotation, Kyle Farnsworth being sucky and limited, and Luis Vizcaino leaving us for greener pastures, Joe Girardi is going to need a setup guy that he's comfortable going to in the eighth. I like the fact that this is only a one-year deal.
2) Carl Pavano asked to take a minor league deal:
This one was reported as a done deal over the weekend, before Can't Pitch Carl balked. The move would've allowed the Yanks to clear space on the 40-man, while somehow still getting insurance to pay for part of Pavano's salary, meanwhile Pavano would have had someplace to rehab. This made too much sense to ever happen. It would mean that Carl would have to do something that actually benefits the Yankees--can you imagine that? I swear, if this guy blew his brains out, the bullet would still manage to hit a vital member of the Yankees' team.
3) Yanks Say Good-bye to Andy Phillips, Darrell Rasner, Matt DeSalvo, T.J. Beam, and Bronson Sardinha:
Phillips was released just before the Rule 5 draft, to make room for Jose Molina. Rasner, Beam, DeSalvo, and Sardinha were non-tendered last night to make room for the Yanks' returning free agents. The only one of these that's a surprise is Sardinha, since it looked like the team was warming up to him last season, putting him on the playoff roster. The others were arms who'd been passed on the depth chart, and Phillips, who never showed the power he'd need to be a backup corner infield guy.
4) Kuhn to the Hall, Miller on the Outside Looking In
Marvin Miller should have gotten into the Hall of Fame when the Veteran's Committee vote was expanded to all living Hall-of-Famers a few years back. That group, dominated by the same veteran ballplayers who enjoyed big salaries and pensions as a result of Miller's advocacy on their behalf, couldn't get its act together to get the job done, one of the single greatest acts of ingratitude that you'll see, ever. This year, with the keys to the gates of Cooperstown given to baseball management types, Miller never stood a chance. That his nemesis, the late Commissioner Kuhn, was voted in while Miller was rejected was as direct a snub as you'll see.