Vacation continues for your friendly neighborhood beat writer. But Journal New columnist Sam Borden attended the Mark Teixeira coronation yesterday. He was gracious enough to pass along this entry for the blog:
After almost three hours at Yankee Stadium yesterday, two things stood out to me as I left:
1. Hal Steinbrenner is beginning to sound a lot like his dad.
2. The Yankees are basically done spending this winter, so forget about Manny Ramirez.
The first point was clear right from the beginning, when Hal – who is clearly the only Steinbrenner that matters right about now – repeatedly mentioned how the Yankees are committed to, basically, spending a ton of money because “the fans deserve it.” Referencing the fans was a big thing with George Steinbrenner, and as Hal brought it up over and over, it was hard not to imagine his father doing the same thing.
Obviously Hal (and Randy Levine and Lonn Trost and other officials) were upset about remarks made by people around baseball regarding their haul of players this winter. “”We had about $80 million come off (the payroll),” Hal said. “So we have some money to spend, and we’re going to reinvest it. That’s going to continue, whether people like it or not. That’s for the fans. They deserve the best team we can put out there.”
Hal also said that if owners don’t like it, “I’m not going to lose any sleep about it.” Very George-ish, too.
As for the second point, listen to what Brian Cashman said about the state of the current payroll, which is currently projected to be slightly below last year’s mark: “We’re going to come in lower. … The decisions we made this winter would compromise my ability to be aggressive in the free agent market (going forward). Let’s leave it at that.”
In other words, don’t expect another $20 million a year signing.
Cashman wouldn’t bite on where he expects the Yankees latest signing, Mark Teixeira, to bat in the 2009 lineup, and Joe Girardi said he had some preliminary thoughts but wouldn’t reveal them. If you’ve got an opinion on how the Yanks lineup should look, click over to the Faceoff blog, where Rick Carpiniello and I are debating that exact question (hint: Jeter bats second in my lineup. Shocking, I know).
Thanks to Sam. Go check out the debate and Carp are having. Sam will have another guest post later today.