A-Rod on Canseco: No Comment

Here we go again...Alex Rodriguez is making headlines. This time, Jose Canseco has the dirt on A-Rod. Canseco allegedly has information on Rodriguez that he plans to reveal in his next book. He did not disclose if the info was directly related to steroIds.

Canseco, in an interview on Friday with WEEI Radio in Boston, said Rodriguez was a "hypocrite" who "was not all he appeared to be."

Via ESPN.com:
"Jose has information about A-Rod and the Yankees that will be in the book. But, I am not sure if Jose is willing to disclose it at this point," Canseco's lawyer, Robert O. Saunooke, told The New York Times.
When asked about Canseco's comments, A-Rod said he hadn't heard them and had "no comment". Canseco who played with the Yankees in 2000 and won a ring that season also says he stuff on Yankee players during his tenure there.

Joe Torre offered his opinion on the matter, via Mark Feinsdad, NY Daily News:
"You worry about anything like that, because unfortunately, when people see it in print, they add credence to it. That's the sad part about it," Torre said. "It's a shame, because when you play this game, you'd like to believe you play with some kind of respect. Obviously, Jose needs the money."
Johnny Damon also stood behind A-Rod:
"I just hope he thinks about not ruining someone's life, marriage, or whatever he plans on doing," Damon said. "If that's what Jose Canseco wants to be remembered for, so be it."

"To me, Alex is a great teammate who will always respect the game, play the game right and work hard. He loves the game, so hopefully nothing that can ruin a family or something comes out. ... Hopefully (Canseco will) think twice about it."
Rodriguez is seeking Home Run No. 500 and that seems to be his focus at the moment, not Canseco's comments. He's 0-for-12 since he hit HR No. 499 on Wednesday night. In a season filled with off the field and on the field drama, milestones and pending free agency, you would have to say Rodriguez has had his shares of headlines. Should Canseco's comments pertain to steroid usage, A-Rod will be making headlines worldwide. Ahh, that's life in the big city...even at 25 million a year.
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High Five for No. 55

Hideki Matsui, never one to show emotion, whether it be anger, joy or disbelief, was doing just that through the first half of the season. He, like many other Yankees, have been underachieving leading to the Yankees overall disappointing season. That is, until recently. In his last 17 games he’s batted .366 with 9 HR and 17 RBI. The Yanks record in that span, 12-5.

It seems as if “Godzilla” has finally found his stroke, probably at one of the best times of the season. The Yankees need him, and everyone else for that matter, to produce. Alex Rodriguez can't do it alone. Matsui bats behind Rodriguez, in the fifth spot in the lineup, and right now he’s even hotter than the A.L. MVP candidate. In Sunday’s game Matsui went 5-for-6 with a HR and 2 RBI. His 5 hits tied his career high which was set in Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS against Boston. He has lifted his season average to .291.

Via Roger Rubin, Daily News:
"You accept it as a fact you're going to have ups and downs during the season - it's just part of baseball," Matsui said through an interpreter. "You play believing you'll have a streak like this and prolong it as much as possible."
Said Johnny Damon, in reference to the Matsui he remembers from the 2004 ALCS:
"He was pretty dangerous...He looked pretty damn good."


Matsui is starting to get back to the dangerous form we were all accustomed to since his arrival in 2003. Last season he missed four months due to a broken wrist, an injury for which he apologized to the fans and his teammates. If Matsui can sustain these numbers over the course of the final 2 months, then don’t look for any apologies from No. 55.
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Next Generation of Yanks Continue Rehab

Phil Hughes and Jeff Karstens were on hand for yesterday’s game at Yankee Stadium and are both scheduled to make their Bronx returns this season. Hughes and Kartens ran on the field before yesterday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Hughes a day after throwing for Double-A Trenton threw lightly on the field, while Karstens threw a bullpen session. Via Mark Feinsand, Daily News:
"They feel good; we have them in our sights right now," Joe Torre said.
Via Bryan Hoch, MLB.com:
"I knew I could pitch at this level and compete at this level," Hughes said. "I think when you have that ultimate goal in mind, it's always easier to drive to something. It was tough at times, but when you have that to think ahead to, it made it easier.”
"Once you get a taste of it, you always want to taste it some more," Karstens said. "It's a lot different up here than down there. I was definitely motivated to come back."

Kartens hasn’t thrown a pitch in the majors since his one pitch outing against the Red Sox on April 28th when he was hit by a line drive on the first pitch of the game. Hughes hasn’t pitched in the majors since May 1st, he was taken out in the 7th inning while pitching a no-hitter because of a pulled hamstring. Both will be headed to Triple-A Scraton/Wilkes Barron in a few days.
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Let the Drama Begin A-gain

Alex Rodriguez is making headlines again…both good and bad. On Wednesday the Yankees said they would like to negotiate with A-Rod concerning a new contract, however A-Rod's agent Scott Boras wants no part of it. He wants to wait until the end of the year to start talking money. According to the NY Daily News, the Yanks are sending A-Rod and his agent a message: "sign an extension before opting out of your contract, or don't sign with us at all."

Various sources are indicating several interesting stances on this situation. Via ESPN.com:
MLB sources told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney that the Yankees were willing to negotiate with Rodriguez -- under the condition that he agrees not to opt out of his current contract after this season and that he agrees to tack on any extension to that deal, which expires after the 2010 season.
Meanwhile, when asked about his contract situation on Thursday, he said he has no plans to negotiate a deal during the season. Via the Daily News:
“Like I've said all year, I think it's something we need to do at the end of the year," Rodriguez said. "I think it would be selfish on my part to talk about my contract status when our team desperately needs wins……The whole business sense of things, that's something I leave up to the people upstairs," Rodriguez said. "My only concern is to play baseball and to play at a high level."
Oh and by the way, the Yankees did play baseball last night. They defeated the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 7-3. A-Rod hit his 31st HR of the year and 495th of his career. Scott Boras is counting these numbers and you better believe he’ll be taking them to the bank this offseason. Stay tuned, your local A-Rod drama continues.
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The Bronx is Burning.....2007?

The first half of the 2007 season has come and gone. With all the stories of the first half, one story can not be overlooked - the disappointment of the New York Yankees. After 85 games, the Bronx Bombers boast a baffling 42-43 mark and sit 10 games out of first place going into the break. How stunning is it? This is the first time since 1995 that they are under .500 before the All Star Break. The greatest closer of all-time, Mariano Rivera, only has 11 saves. They are 6-15 in 1-run games. They threw a pro-rated 28 million dollars at a 44 year old (he’ll be 45 next month) in mid May. They were swept by the Colorado Rockies. They became the first team in MLB history to use 10 different starting pitchers in its first 30 games. They spent 46 million on Kei Igawa, and he’s spent most of the last 2 months in the minors. The list can go on and on, but hey, let’s lay off them for now. It is only the All-Star break.

They did have some bright spots. Alex Rodriguez is having the season of a lifetime. He leads the Majors in almost every offensive category. Jorge Posada is quietly having one of the best years of his career, and Derek Jeter has been nothing but stellar both on the field and at the plate. Young phenom Phil (Don’t call me Philip) Hughes showed signs of brilliance in his last start when he took a perfect game into the 7th inning before he hurt his hamstring and landed on the DL. Andy Pettitte gave a quality start just about every time he took the mound. After that, not much to cheer about these days in the Bronx.

In early June, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner told General Manager Brian Cashman he was on a “big hook.” The Yankees then went on a winning streak and all was forgotten. A 14.5 game lead by the Red Sox became 7.5 in 10 days. Roger Clemens was on his way to save the season and the bats were starting to heat up and A-Rod continued launching balls out of every ballpark. Then they returned to their early season form, inconsistent hitting, pitching, and “lack of effort” according to Pettitte and Posada. The talent is there, but apparently it doesn’t show up to the ballpark everyday. Certainly, a cause for concern in Yankeeland. We all want to see hustle, determination, concentration, quality at-bats, moving guys over, driving in runs in big spots, the Yankees of old. Are they there? Or are we beating a dead bush?

Whatever the case may be, the Yankees have 77 games to make or break the 2007 season. They have an upcoming schedule that favors them and looks to put them in a position to make a serious run at the postseason. Games against Tampa Bay, Baltimore, Kansas City, Toronto, and Chicago should give the Yanks a shot, if they can win these series. Now is the time for Yankee fans to look at their team and realistically sense a possibility of a no show in October. The Yanks must win every series for the rest of the year to reach 95 wins, a mark that usually gets a team into the wild card. Or hope for a Boston collapse in the second half, just like 1978 when they came back on the Red Sox after they were down 14.5 games on July 14th. History is on their side. It’s time to rise to the occasion, time to reclaim their throne atop the A.L. East, time to quiet all the critics, but most importantly, its time to win!
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