Fingers Drumming

So glad I decided to wait on posting on the Yankees’ summit of the brass until this morning.  I saw from Chad Jennings at LoHud, Bryan Hoch at the Yankees’ website, and Buster Olney at ESPN that the Yankees sought to pare down payroll, perhaps by $20 million to roughly $185 million for 2010.  This led to their obvious and understandable questions about whether or not the Yankees would bring back JD, Matsui, and Pettite, and what a reduced payroll might mean for any potential pitching acquisitions such as Lackey and Halliday.  Yet upon reading all three pieces, I immediately noticed a problem: upon what were they basing their numbers and presumption that the Yankees would seek to reduce payroll to that level?  Not one of the three articles quoted GM Brian Cashman or another member of the Yankee front office directly with that figure.  Olney wrote this without reference to anyone, presumably based either on some inside information if not outright speculation:

The defending world champions, who had a payroll of $208 million in 2009, were, at year’s end, expecting to reduce that number to around $185 million for the upcoming year.

I had considered posting about the speculative nature of this figure–that it was not based on any specific source, that it seemed an ephemeral figure, that the Yankees might say one thing about paring down payroll for both free-agent and trade negotiations, and that while many have surmised that the Yankees would do so in the past, the team did not necessarily do so–and to counsel patience.  However, instead of writing yet another we’ll-wait-and-see post, I figured I’d spend my time more productively late last night–having a few cold Sam Adams Winter Lagers and watching the Lakers beat the Heat 108-107 on Kobe’s last-second off-balance prayer of a three off the window over Dwayne Wade, who missed one of two free throws with three seconds left to allow the three to beat them instead of tie the game.  I contend it was time well spent.

This morning, I awoke and checked LoHud to see that Jennings linked an Olney Twitter message from late last night saying,

The Yankees’ budget is set somewhere between the low $190s and $200 million. Of course, it is not a hard ceiling — as always.

No shit.

This is exactly why I have officially adopted a wait-and-see attitude toward hot stove stuff.  It isn’t as though I don’t enjoy the speculation and banter that the hot stove brings; I do.  It’s just that after a detailed initial assessment of the off-season possibilities and, unless something new and unexpected arises, there is precious little to actually discuss without simply regurgitating innuendo and conjecture.  Frankly, that quickly becomes hackneyed.

I for one am still awaiting some hard news, which hopefully comes soon.

Published in: on December 5, 2009 at 11:06 am  Leave a Comment  

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