Monday, January 26, 2009

Pettitte To Return To Yankees!

The Yankees announced today that they signed Pettitte to a one-year deal. The AP says Pettitte is guaranteed $5.5MM and could reach $12MM with incentives.

This is great news for Yankees fans. Despite his horrendous August and September, Pettitte is a proven veteran and brings leadership to the staff--especially for Bronx newcomers CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett. I stated last week that I would go as high as $10MM. Anything else I would have told the Hendricks Brothers to go fack themselves. $5.5MM guaranteed is not bad for a 4th/5th Starter. The Yankees can say that their opening day payroll was less than last year's. If it ends up higher, that is no fault of their own as Pettitte has met his incentives. I would imagine that the incentives include reaching 200 Innings--which was Pettitte's only real asset last season. Others probably include All Star game appearance, Cy Young and bonuses for each win over 15. Kudos to Cashman and the Pettitte camp for getting it right.

If he signs, Pettitte would join a projected starting rotation featuring CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Chien-Ming Wang and Joba Chamberlain. I will go to war with that rotation in the AL East.

Number of Days Until Spring Training: Scott Brosius (#18)

Scott Brosius was only a Yankee from 1998-2001. However in his four seasons with the team he became a Pinstriped Hero. Every year he was on the team the Yankees won the AL Pennant. Not to mention the 3 World Series titles that came during those years…

Brosius arrived in the Bronx in 1998 from the Oakland Athletics in a trade that sent away one of most maligned Yankees ever, Kenny Rogers. Most Yankees fans were ecstatic to see Rogers sent away so anything that Brosius provided would be Sicilian gravy. In his first season with the club, Brosius provided a very generous helping of that said sauce — batting .300 with 19 HRs and 98 RBI. For his efforts he was named an All Star but most importantly to Yankees fans, he was the MVP of the 1998 World Series. Against the Padres, Scott hit .471, 2 HRs and 6 RBI. Both of these HRs can in Game 3 of the World Series and one of them was off of perennially choking closer Trevor Hoffman to give the Yankees a 3-0 Series lead.

Another memorable World Series moment provided by “Brosius The Ferocious” (obviously a John Sterling creation) occurred in Game 5 of the 2001 World Series. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth and the Yankees down two runs to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Scott crushed a 1-0 B.H. Kim slider into the left-field seats of the Yankee Stadium to drive home Jorge Posada and tie the game. The previous night, when Brosius had went 0 for 2 against Kim, New York first baseman Tino Martinez launched a two-out, two-run home run to tie the game as well. It marked the first time in World Series history that this had ever occurred.

In four World Series appearances, Brosius had a .314 BA/.333 OBP/.529 SLG with 4 HRs and 13 RBI.

He was a slick fielding third baseman, a master of the bare-handed scoop for balls slicing down the third baseline. In 1999, he won the AL Gold Glove for his glovework at 3rd.

Brosius’ “clutchiferousness” is one of the reasons why current 3B Alex Rodriguez is maligned by Yankees fans. Fans could always count on the trusty but unsexy Brosius to plate a go ahead run or make a game-saving defensive play. Yet the sexy, regular season monster A-Rod cannot seem to buy a big play in October. If you ask me and most other Yankees fans, we would take Scott over A-Rod every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Coincidence or not, the Yankees have never been to a World Series with A-Rod manning the Hot Corner.

Brosius retired after the 2001 World Series and now is the head baseball coach at his alma mater Linfield College in Oregon. In 2005 he was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame. In 2007, he appeared at his first Old Timer’s Day at Yankee Stadium. Hopefully he will become a mainstay in the future.

Thank you, Scott! We miss you!