Archive for December 23rd, 2008

…The Bad News Is, They Can Pretty Much Forget About Manny.

Well, this was unexpected:

The New York Yankees swooped in Tuesday and hooked prized free agent Mark Teixeira, reaching agreement with the first baseman on an eight-year contract worth $180 million, three sources involved in the negotiations said.

The agreement, which is subject to a physical, includes a signing bonus of about $5 million paid out over the first three years of the contract, no opt-out clause and a complete no-trade provision, the sources said.

With the Red Sox, Angels, Nationals and Orioles making well-documented runs at signing Teixeira, the Yankees made an offer weeks ago, but then withdrew it; their intention all along was to make an offer, which they did formally on Tuesday, if it fell within parameters acceptable to the organization.

I really did not see this coming at all.  The Yankees did an excellent job of pretending to be only slightly interested, and everyone (myself included) thought they were going to go after Manny, who is a better hitter… for the next year or two.  Assuming he’s not Yet Another Guy Who Can’t Play In New York, Teixeira is a much better long-term signing: He’s young, he’s a switch-hitter, and he plays good defense at a position the Yankees have struggled to field ever since Tino Martinez left.

The offensive upgrade, along with the pitching upgrade of Sabathia and Burnett, means that the Yankees can afford to trade offense for defense in centerfield and play either Melky Cabrera or Brett Gardner there until Austin Jackson is ready.  They probably won’t, but they can.

Another plus about choosing Teixieira instead of Manny: If the Yankees had signed Manny, the Red Sox could still sign Teixiera.  But now that the Yanks have signed Teixeira, there’s no way the Red Sox will take Manny back.  They’ll just have to learn to love Jason Bay… or bring up yet another kid who turns out to be an MVP or Rookie Of The Year candidate.

The one thing that worries me is when I think back to about five years ago, when the Yankees were looking at trading for either Javier Vazquez or Curt Schilling.  I was so relieved when they picked Vazquez, the young, strong guy (same age as Teixeira is now, I believe) – sure, Schilling was a better pitcher, but he was getting up there and probably didn’t have that many good years left.  Yeah, that worked out well.

On the other hand, I was right about Vlad Guerrero vs. Gary Sheffield – they made the wrong call on that one, too.

December 23rd, 2008 at 09:50pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Sports

It All Depends On What The Meaning Of The Word “Involved” Is

Here’s a wonderfully wankerish poll from Rasmussen Reports…

Forty five percent (45%) of U.S. voters say it is likely President-elect Obama or one of his top campaign aides was involved in the unfolding Blagojevich scandal in Illinois, including 23% who say it is Very Likely.

Just 11% say it is not at all likely, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey taken Thursday and Friday nights.

Okay, fine.  Now tell me what “involved” means.  If it means Rahm or some other Obama staffer called Blago up to pass along Obama’s thoughts on who he might like to see in his old Senate seat, then yeah, I think he was “involved” too.  If it means they actually got to the point of talking turkey with Blago about what they might give him in exchange for said seat, then I’d say it’s very unlikely.  And someone would have to be extremely stupid to have such a conversation with a governor who was already under investigation (by bulldog Fitz, no less) and therefore much more likely to be bugged or wiretapped than the average governor.

I also found this interesting:

Voters nationally are more skeptical than those in Illinois. Thirty-two percent (32%) of Illinois voters said in a survey late last week that there is no way Obama was involved in the Blagojevich case, while only 13% said it is Very Likely that the president-elect was involved, with another 13% saying it is Somewhat Likely.

I mean, they’re they closest to it, right?  They know Obama, they know Rahm, they know Blago, and the relationships (or lack thereof) between them, and they don’t think there’s any there there.

If you wade through the various other splits, including the oh-so-enlightening tidbit that married people and people with dependent children are more mistrustful of Team Obama than unmarried or childless people, you come to my favorite stat (and quote) in the whole survey:

[T]wo percent (2%) of voters nationally say Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, arrested last week on federal corruption charges including trying to sell Obama’s vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder, is more ethical [than] most politicians.


December 23rd, 2008 at 08:58pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Obama,Politics,Polls,Republicans,Wankers

Farewell To Philly Photoblogging

Well, that’s it for the Philly photos – just a couple more building shots:

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December 23rd, 2008 at 11:28am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Photoblogging

Hopefully This Will Put The Obama-Blago “Scandal” To Rest…

Finally, Team Obama will release a rundown of all their contacts with Governor Blagojevich, which the Village and the right wing been clamoring for (“What’s Obama hiding???”), and which Pat Fitzgerald actually asked them to sit on until now.

Of course, if it doesn’t contain anything sufficiently juicy, i.e., if there are discussions about possibilities for Obama’s Senate replacement that don’t include Obama staffers offering Blago something more than “appreciation,” then the cries of “What’s Obama hiding???” will surely continue unabated, since the criers have obviously decided that it’s a given that Obama and his staff are just as corrupt as the average Republican.

December 23rd, 2008 at 07:25am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Media,Obama,Politics

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