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Sweeny's Notes: How A-Rod Hijacked Another Week Of Yankees News

By Sweeny Murti
» More Columns

Outrage?  Nah, we're done with that.  What's left to be angry about?  He cheated, he lied, he cheated again, he lied again, blah blah blah.

Redemption? No chance. Hit well, earn some of the money being paid, but redemption won't come at any price now. Cooperstown is closed.

Come clean? With what exactly? We know what we need to know, and his public confession -- if there is one coming -- means nothing. Been down that road before.

Two things jumped to mind in light of the latest news about Alex Rodriguez. First was the 2009 press conference in which he asked everyone to "judge me from this day forward." Sure thing, we can do that.  I don't think he'll be happy with our conclusions.

Second was the plea of innocence to Mike Francesa last winter, and not the lie, but the idea that he wanted to fight for "my legacy."  Yes, we know what that looks like now, too.

There is no longer a debate here. We know who ARod was and who he is, and let's just leave it at that.

And yes, he will want to come back strong next spring and prove ... something.


David Robertson is set to cash in, whether he takes the one-year qualifying offer of $15.3 million or not. It's hard to see him getting more than a three-year deal, but it's not impossible, especially given he doesn't turn 30 until next April.

It's also hard to see the Yankees breaking up the back end of their bullpen, but it's not impossible. It will be interesting to see if the Yankees would commit to Robertson for even a third year, since by that time Dellin Betances will be earning more money in arbitration and could certainly have enough experience built up to assume the closer role.

The Yankees will see how this market for Robertson develops, and it could very well be a big one. A closer under age 30 with big strikeout numbers will be very popular. And given the copycat nature of the sports business, teams may be willing to spend big to build up the back of their bullpen to try and emulate the Royals' formula for success in 2014. The Giants and Orioles also owe much of their success to strong bullpens.

The qualifying offer and the draft pick compensation attached to it could work in the Yankees' favor. However, there are 10 teams that have protected first-round picks: Houston (two picks actually), Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Minnesota, Boston, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia, and Cincinnati. Perhaps some team in this group is prepared for a big money offer.

The Red Sox could have been a sleeper here, but after re-signing Koji Uehara they are out. Of the rest, I am intrigued by the Rangers and White Sox. Texas has Neftali Feliz, but he is a free agent after next season, while the White Sox have a miserable bullpen (first in the league in walks and last in strikeouts = bad combination).

However it turns out, Robertson is one of the good guys in the sport who has earned his payday. And it's coming, here or somewhere else.


Are the Yankees really not going after Jon Lester and Max Scherzer?  I have to say I'm surprised, even though I won't be certain that's the case until they actually sign somewhere else.

Lester is the one who surprises me the most.  The Yankees have been built on left-handed power and left-handed pitching forever, and without exception when you look at the championship eras.

At the plate: Ruth, Gehrig, Henrich, Berra, Maris, Jackson, Nettles, O'Neill, Martinez, Matsui.  (That's in addition to the switch-hitting power of Mantle, Williams, Posada, Teixeira).

On the mound:  Pennock, Gomez, Ford, Guidry, Pettitte, Sabathia.

Look at what the Yankees currently have:  Major question marks in CC Sabathia, and switch-hitters Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran. Brian McCann, who struggled for much of the season, is the only legit power threat from the left side.

Clearly we do not know yet what the Yankees' roster will look like on Opening Day, but unless they bring some serious clout from that left side, history is working against them.


Sad news about the hiking accident that claimed the life of 33-year old Brad Halsey, who pitched for the Yankees in 2004.

Halsey showed up during an interleague road trip to make a start against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Because he hadn't been in big league spring training, nobody on the big league staff had ever seen Halsey before, so when he showed up to the clubhouse that day with a blond mop top and raggedy jeans he looked more like a clubhouse attendant. In fact, Joe Torre joked that Halsey looked more like his paper boy than his starting pitcher.

Halsey pitched okay for the Yankees, earning a permanent place in Yankees Classics as the starting pitcher against the Red Sox on July 1, 2004 -- the night of Derek Jeter's dive into the stands. After seven starts that year, he was traded over the winter to Arizona in the deal that brought Randy Johnson to New York.

A sad way to go at such a young age.  Thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.


Bernie Williams will once again host "Speak Out Against Hunger," his annual benefit for The Hillside Food Outreach, Nov. 15 in Danbury, Conn.  It's a fun night of baseball talk and music with Bernie's special guests and his band.  Plenty of great live and silent auction items, all helping to raise money to feed hungry families in the Hudson Valley.  Check out HFO here if you'd like to attend and help out.

Please follow Sweeny on Twitter at @YankeesWFAN

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