The Yankees, as you might expect, have a luxurious suite at the Bellagio. There’s a wet bar, a large conference table and another meeting area with a couch and two easy chairs. There were enough laptops to run an internet start-up company.
When we arrived at 3 p.m., Brian Cashman was meeting with Joe Girardi, assistant GM Jean Afterman, pro scouting director Billy Eppler, amateur scouting director Damon Oppenheimer and farm director Mark Newman, among others.
There was a large white board with important plans on it. At least I assume they are important because it was covered up when we were in there. The Yankees also had a wide variety of candy, chips and peanuts.
Sure, the execs get junk food and the players go without. That’s not right. No wonder Mike Mussina retired
Anyway, here are some of the more interesting comments Cashman had on CC Sabathia:
“He’s got a life choice to make that will direct where they will reside for the next however many years determined by the contract he decides to negotiate. He’s going through the process.”
On whether the Yankees would pressure him for a decision: “If you’re a marginal free agent or a low-end guy, you can speed the process up – from the club’s perspective — by pushing the envelope. With the premier free agents, all that’ll do is push them away.”
On Reggie Jackson’s involvement: “He went through the same (free agent) process at relatively the same age. He’s someone who came to New York, conquered New York and can give the perspective.”
(Slick move by the Yankees here. Mr. October lives in the Bay Area now. He was a free agent, went through ups and downs in New York and knows the terrain. Who better to talk to CC?)
On CC’s process: “We’re not being played, we’re not being manipulated, we’re not being used. I just think that he’s making an informed decision, and there’s a process that will take.”
I also spoke to Joe Girardi, who said the meeting with Sabathia went well on Sunday. He seemed heartened by the idea that CC was asking about the lifestyle in New York. CC and his wife have three kids, the latest coming seven weeks ago. Joe and his wife also have three kids.
Girardi explained to Sabathia that he encourages players to bring their sons into the clubhouse and to be around the team. He talked about his situation, living in Westchester and putting his kids in school.
In the end, it’ll be about the money. But the Yankees are pleased that Sabathia is asking the right questions. If the guy wasn’t serious about the Yankees, why did he ask for a second meeting? I don’t see the Steinbrenners letting the Dodgers get close.
Meanwhile, wise-guy Cashman planted a remote-controlled whoopie cushion under one of the chairs (yes, it was mine) and tried to prank us. I honestly didn’t hear the noise, but he was having a good old time with it.
“I got it at CVS,” he said.
I wonder if he tried that with CC. I suspect not.
In other news, Ben Sheets is here and the Yankees have met with him. … Back later on with some more. But that will be it for a while. Don’t forget, there will be a live video chat at 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday. Please tune in and ask questions.