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October 5, 2008 at 7:00 am ET
Sorry, Bobby, Moose: No long-term deals

Word is that both Bobby Abreu and Mike Mussina want three-year contracts to return to the New York Yankees.

My reaction? See ya later, fellas. It’s been nice, but so long.

Abreu will be 35 next season. He has driven in 100 runs six straight seasons, but he is a horrid defensive outfielder and his on-base percentage has been declining in recent seasons. At most, the Yankees should offer him arbitration and see if he will come back for one year. If they simply let him walk, I am OK with that, too. No way they can give him three years.

Mussina is 39. Yes, he just came off the only 20-win season of his career but I find it unlikely he ever pitches that well again. Same as with Abreu. If he wants a one-year deal, fine. If not, have a nice retirement, Mike.

The Yankees simply have to stop tying themselves to lengthy contracts with aging players. They gave too many years to Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Alex Rodriguez last winter. I think GM Brian Cashman understands this, and I would be shocked if Abreu or Mussina get that type of lengthy offer from the Yankees.

Great piece about Manny Ramirez the other day by ESPN’s Bill Simmons. Kudos to Bronx Banter for pointing it out. It’s looooong, but incredibly insightful. Simmons, by the way, ends the article by making his case that Manny will be a Yankee in 2009.

So, how will this play out? I see Manny leading the Dodgers to the 2008 World Series, breaking their hearts and donning pinstripes next season. He won’t feel bad, because he’s Manny. The L.A. fans will feel bad. I will feel worse. It will be the single most painful sports transaction of my lifetime. It will make me question why I follow sports at all, why we spend so much time caring about people who don’t care about us. I don’t want to hear Manny booed at Fenway. I don’t want to root against him. I don’t want to hold a grudge. I don’t want to hear the “Mah-knee! Mah-knee!” chant echoing through the new Stadium. I am not ready for any of it. You love sports most when you’re 16, then you love it a little bit less every year. And it happens because of things like this. Like Manny breaking the hearts of everyone in Boston because his agent wanted to get paid, then Manny landing in New York because the Yanks offered the most money.

There is part of me that thinks that would be fun — for a while. Manny would play like hell, for a year or so. Then, eventually, he would begin doing to the Yankees what he did in Boston. He’s a great hitter, but I want no part of him in pinstripes.

Boy, Joe Torre sure has lost his post-season touch! Yep. Watching him manage the Dodgers the past few days and I am absolutely certain all the Yankee failures in recent seasons were his fault. I mean, he couldn’t get any of the Yankees to execute a hit-and-run, or get a bases-clearing double. And he could never hex the opposing infielders into all making errors in the same game. And he couldn’t get the pitchers opposing the Yankees to walk the ballpark. Yep, Joe was to blame for everything. Shame he can’t manage anymore!

No offense to the Tampa Bay Rays or anyone else still playing. I think we are headed for a Dodgers-Red Sox World Series, though. And how much fun will that be, watching Manny and Torre try to beat the Red Sox for the big prize?

I am interested in how the New York Mets’ post-season plays out. They have kept GM Omar Minaya and maager Jerry Manuel. They will keep their nucleus intact. They will probably sign closer Francisco Rodriguez. Bob Klapisch is predicting a bidding war between the Yankees and Mets for CC Sabathia. That would liven up the off-season, that’s for sure.

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5 Responses to “Sorry, Bobby, Moose: No long-term deals”
  1. FrankDiscussion says:

    No to three year deals for Abreu and Mussina, I’d offer Mussina 1 year with an option, Abreu I’d let walk. I like his production but his defense is a liability. The problem is that without Mussina, the Yankees have 3 holes to fill.

    Manny ? No comment, I’m still on the fence about that. Congrats to Joe, Donnie and Larry, should be a good series with Philadelphia. Regards Torre, I’ve never forgiven him for 2004 (call for a bunt, dammit) but I can’t help but wonder how this season might have played out if he was still in town. Rest assured we wouldn’t have been watching hapless Melky Cabrera for the majority of the season and Bowa would have kept Cano in line.

    I wouldn’t count Tampa Bay out yet, they look really strong and it doesn’t seem like the pressure of the postseason is fazing them in the slightest. I wouldn’t complain with a Tampa / Boston ALCS.

  2. John says:

    Hey Ed,

    I love the blog, I’m a regular reader.

    Thanks for calling the attention to the Simmons story. Haha, that added a whole new element to the Manny as a Yankee possibility for me- while I do like his funny football pieces, I absolutely HATE some of Simmons Boston-centric woe-is-me writing, so it would be nice to see him get screwed.

    Also, on the Dodgers to the WS….that was my pick BEFORE the season! Haha, I knew Torre was still a great manager, regretted the Yankees getting rid of him (although I don’t hold a grudge against girardi) and said that based on the situation he’s walking into in LA, that team with a manager like torre is the recipe for success.

  3. Ed Valentine says:

    In regards to Torre, just listen to the way veterans like Derek Lowe and other Dodgers speak about the man. It’s not his game managing that make him great, it’s the type of person he is and the belief he inspires.

  4. Jeff says:

    1 year with options is the most either of them should get. Although I do understand where Moose is coming from. If he comes back for 1 year he has to chase 300 wins which would, in all likelihood, would take him 3 years.

  5. coops2001 says:

    Starting pitching is one area that the Yankees need help in. I’d give Mussina one year and an option, but no more.

    With Abreau, I’m torn. His RISP (through Aug) was 4th best on the team (behind Damon, Jeter, and Nady), plus his numbers have been pretty steady over the past four years (.296/.371/.471 in ’08), with the exception of OBP, which has dipped below .400 two years in a row. The NYY’s problem was producing runs, and he seemed pretty good at that. So I’d give him two years.

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