Smokin' aces (cont.)
Posted: Monday August 20, 2007 12:04PM; Updated: Monday August 20, 2007 1:18PM
As for the other races ...
AL Rookie of the Year
NL Cy Young
NL Rookie of the Year
Around the Majors
Brian Cashman saying the Yankees won't keep negotiating with Alex Rodriguez once he opts out isn't really a story since nobody in baseball thought they would. As has been written many times, the Yankees lose Tom Hicks' $29 million gift over the next three years once A-Rod opts out of his current Rangers/Yankees deal, and the Yankees won't make a deal without the $29 million. Yankees people consider Hicks' gift "a free year.'' If they did a deal after A-Rod opted out, they'd look like fools for doing it without the $29 million from Texas.
Joe Torre tied Casey Stengel for second place on the all-time Yankees managerial win list at 1,149. Since he'll trail only Joe McCarthy by year's end, it would seem like a tough time to make a change. But word is he'll still have to have a good postseason showing to stay.
No question about it, Joba-mania has taken hold in the Bronx.
The Tigers tried to stem their slide with big preemptive moves that included replacing Craig Monroe with talented 20-year-old Cameron Maybin. But they still didn't look like the fashionable spring World Series pick they were (yes, they were mine) in losing three of four to the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
Maybin hit a home run against Roger Clemens in his third game. Maybin also had a hit against rehabbing Pedro Martinez in a minor-league game for Class A Lakeland.
Another Tigers starter who could use replacing (at least offensively) is third baseman Brandon Inge, who in 51 August at-bats has 11 hits, no home runs and 26 whiffs.
The Tigers' 10-21 record over the past 31 days is the second worst in baseball. The worst? The Brewers' 9-20 is percentage points behind.
Every team in the AL Central has a losing record during that time, points out Danny Knobler of Michigan's Booth Newspapers (MLive on the 'net). Kansas City is best at 14-15.
Jermaine Dye cost himself quite a bit with his poor first half, and his $22 million, two-year extension reflects that. Going into the year, it looked like J.D. Drew's $14 million salary should be the baseline.
On the field they've been a disappointment, but at least the White Sox continue to sign players to favorable or reasonable contracts.
It doesn't hurt that a lot of players like the idea of staying in Chicago. Can't really blame 'em. Nice town.
It worked in the Cubs' favor that Carlos Zambrano couldn't help from saying aloud many times how much he wanted to stay. They needed to keep him -- although $91.5 million (plus a sixth-year option for $19.25 million) makes for a record annual salary for a pitcher on a multi-year contract, which isn't a bad deal for Zambrano, either, especially considering he didn't exactly play poker with the Cubs. (Clemens remains the highest salaried pitcher overall, about $21 million for three-fourths of a season, not bad work if you can get it, and Barry Zito remains the record-holder for highest overall contract at a whopping $126 million.)
Congrats to John Smoltz for passing Phil Niekro on the Braves' all-time strikeout list. Smoltz is a better pitcher than the Hall-of-Famer Niekro ever was.
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