Tuesday, October 22, 2013

2013 AB4AR Season Review: The Rotation

(Courtesy of Reuters)

The Yankees got a pretty good collective effort from their starting rotation in 2012, and they appeared to be primed to at least repeat and hopefully improve upon that in 2013.  The same 5 faces were back for another run, giving the rotation a familiar blend of right and left handers, old and young guys, and plus stuff and plus command from multiple sources.  We thought the biggest issue surrounding this group coming into the season was injury concerns and how each of them would hold up physically.  We learned that the issues ran much deeper than that, and the rotation as a whole was unable to build on 2012's performance.

Yanks Suddenly Have All The Leverage In The Cano Contract Talk

(Hopefully money ain't too much of a thang for Robbie.  Because he isn't getting anything close to $300 mil now.  Courtesy of Cano's Twitter)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

It's been a little under a month since Robinson Cano and his camp came out with their initial contract figures.  That A-Rod-ian 10 year/$305 million proposal was met with a hefty chunk of scorn from the Yankee fanbase and blogosphere and relative silence from the Yankees, who simply referred back to the offer they made Cano earlier in the year - 7 years/$161 million - as their starting point for negotiations.  The most we've heard since last month was Hal reiterating on his recent media tour that the Yankees would not be willing to go 10 years for Cano, which would be a wise move considering the mess they're in with the A-Rod contract.  Other than that it's been all quiet on the Cano front.  Somehow, in the midst of all the silence between the 2 sides, the Yankees have seemingly made a big gain in the leverage department and are now in the driver's seat heading into the official start of free agency.

A-Rod's Legal Team Is Straight Up Putting In Work

I know I said a long time ago that I wasn't going to use AB4AR to post every little A-Rod story, but it's hard not to when there's new stuff like this coming out every other day.

"Alex Rodriguez’s lawyers were blocked from holding a news conference Monday with a person they described as a 'Major League Naseball whistleblower' when the commissioner’s office obtained an order from the arbitrator hearing the case.

More than an hour after the scheduled start of the news conference, one of Rodriguez’s lawyers read the substance of the order from arbitrator Fredric Horowitz to the assembled media.

The lawyers would not say whether the 'whistleblower' worked for Major League Baseball, one of its teams or some other affiliate. They also said the 'whistleblower' had facts not directly related to the substance of the case."

Staying on the offensive against MLB at every turn.  Love it.  I can't wait until this thing runs its course and ends up as the base storyline for an episode of "Law & Order" in a few years.

New Yankee Ticket Prices For 2014 Are ... OK, I Guess?

The Yankees announced their new ticket prices for 2014 yesterday, and on the surface it looks like they're doing everybody a solid.  From the team:

"Prices for 96 percent of tickets will either remain the same or decrease.

Approximately 39,000 tickets (78 percent) will have the same price in 2014 as they had in 2013, while approximately 9,000 tickets (18 percent) will have a decrease in price. There are approximately 2,000 tickets (four percent) that will have an increase in price."

I don't want to come off like a complete malcontent here, because having 96% of tickets either stay the same or decrease in price is a good thing.  Everybody who's been to the new Stadium knows how much of a strain it can be on the wallet.  That's a lesson I learned the hard way during my Yankee weekend trip back in early September.  Keeping ticket prices as affordable as possible for the majority of the common fan is a good thing.

But when I read about how the 4% of ticket prices that are going up are doing so because the team is creating more suites and more specialty field-level seating, that makes the efforts on the other 96% of prices ring a little hollow.  The lengths the Yankees go to now to cater to the deep-pocketed, bougie baseball fans has gotten a bit tiresome and it'd be nice if they would take the hint from this past season that maybe they need to do a little more for the rest of us.  Yankee Stadium attendance was down over 9% this year, a little over 3,000 fans per game, and that decrease has just as much to do with the insane prices as it did the mediocre product on the field.  Adding more luxury seating to the stadium hardly feels like the right move given the current state of the organization, but what are you gonna do?  It's Hal's team now and he can do whatever he wants with it.