Archive for February 20th, 2007

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

A-Rod Still Has One Friend

Yankees Rumors & News

Michael Geffner of the Times Hearld-Record reports that new Yankees first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz has offered his shoulder should A-Rod need a good cry. Says Geffner:

Alex Rodriguez may not have Derek Jeter as a clubhouse ally, but he has his old high school teammate and new Yankee first baseman, Doug Mientkiewicz, now.

“Any time Alex wants to come to me about anything, a problem on or off the field, I’m here for him,” said Mientkiewicz, who played baseball and football with A-Rod at Westminster Christian High School in Miami. “I know that he’s such a proud man. He wants to figure everything out on his own. That’s being a man to him. He puts a lot of pressure on himself, is his own worst enemy at times. But, hopefully, if something is bugging him and he needs a familiar face to go to — we’ve known each other since we were 16 — I’ll be the first one he wants to sit down with. Not that I’m a psychiatrist or …

Beltran Talking the Talk

Mets Rumors & News

Carlos Beltran, as quoted by Newsday, on the Adam Wainwright curve ball that ended the Mets 2006 season:

“I’ve got to tip my hat against him. He made good pitches to me. And the last pitch was a pitch, maybe this year, even if I feel good at the plate, I don’t think I can hit that pitch. That’s how nasty that pitch was. It was a pitch on the outside corner for a strike. I mean, I saw it, but I couldn’t do anything with it.”

Beltran also stated he would like to have an even better season in ’07 than the one he had in ’06, in which he won the first Gold Glove of his career and reached the 40-homer mark for the first time as well. Beltran’s 88% stolen base success rate is the best in major league history among players with at least 200 steals. Despite that fact, he only nabbed 18 bases last season, and has managed just 35 total in his two …

Lastings Impressions

Mets Rumors & News

The Times reports on Lastings Milledge’s first day in Mets camp:

Milledge showed up Monday looking great. He had packed on 13 pounds of muscle after lifting weights and giving up red meat, and he said all the right things. The Mets had asked Milledge to play winter ball, but they eventually reached an understanding that it might be better if he rested. He seems committed to work hard and challenge Shawn Green for the right fielder’s job. He resolved to take more responsibility for his actions.

All of the above should be music to a Mets fan’s ears. At this time last year, fans were salivating over the prospect of finally seeing the highly-touted outfielder in action. A year later, those feelings have been replaced by dreadful anticipation of the rookie’s next misstep. It would be wonderful if Milledge could silence his skeptics by tearing the cover off the ball this spring, perhaps earning a spot platooning with Shawn Green in right field. More likely, he’ll begin …

Introducing Ambi

Mets Rumors & News

The young pitching staff of the New York Mets continues to be an area of focus for the local media. On Monday, The New York Times profiled a new addition to the bullpen, Ambiorix Burgos, acquired from Kansas City in the offseason in exchange for Brian Bannister. Burgos had a hideous year as the youngest closer in baseball last season, converting just 18 of 30 save opportunities. The Mets however feel that the Royals severely bungled the 22-year-old’s development, basically promoting him to the majors directly from Class A (he played just 12 games at AA, and skipped AAA altogether). Burgos has a fastball that can crack triple digits, and a diving splitter that could be devastating if he ever learns to control it. The Mets are confident they can teach the kid to harness his raw talent in order to pitch effectively in the middle innings this season.

The Times writes:

Only two days into camp, Burgos and the Mets know what to expect from each other. …

Going Got Tough: Beltran Got Going, Unit Got Lost

Mets Rumors & NewsYankees Rumors & News

In today’s Newsday, columnist Mark Herrman cites “a snowy doubleheader on Jan. 11, 2005” during which the Mets held a press conference to introduce Carlos Beltran at Shea Stadium while the Yankees introduced Randy Johnson at Yankee Stadium. At the time, reporters debated which team had come out on top on that day, but as Herrmann reflects, in the end “it wasn’t even close.”

Jeter Hates A-Rod

Yankees Rumors & News

To anyone who’s seen the death stares that Derek Jeter directs toward Alex Rodriguez after each E-5, this news comes as no surprise. But it’s nice to see that A-Rod’s finally coming out with his true feelings, or as he put it, “I think it’s important to cut the sh**.”

On Monday, Rodriguez confirmed for the media that while they were once “blood brothers,” things have thawed considerably between himself and the Yankees captain. He maintained that the two share “a good working relationship,” however the days of friendly “sleepovers” are long gone.

While A-Rod wouldn’t pinpoint the exact turning point in the relationship, I’ve got a crazy suspicion it might have something to do with a little 2001 piece in Esquire magazine.

From Newsday:

In it, Rodriguez said, “Jeter’s been blessed with great talent around him” and “he’s never had to lead.”

“You go into New York, you want to stop Bernie [Williams] and [Paul] O’Neill,” Rodriguez said in the story. “You never say, ‘Don’t let Derek beat you.’ He’s never …

Shanny Inspires Ranger Mates

Devils Rumors & NewsRangers Rumors & News

The news on Rangers winger Brendan Shanahan is largely positive, as it seems now that the majority of the safety measures taken on the ice on Saturday afternoon were precautionary in nature. Shanahan was knocked unconscious and suffered a concussion, however X-rays and CAT scans showed no further damage, and it’s believed he will be able to resume playing once his postconcussion symptoms subside. According to coach Tom Renney, “He saw the neurologist and they are pleasantly surprised with where he is today…they’re optimistic with where it sits this morning.” The Rangers have placed Shanahan on IR, thus he won’t be eligible to play until Friday at the earliest.

On Sunday morning, upon being released from Saint Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan, Shanahan went directly to the Garden to visit his teammates prior to their 2-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Said center Matt Cullen:

“Honestly it was pretty inspirational seeing him coming in here and it shows how much he really cares. For what he’s done for our team and …

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