Chat with Wally Matthews
Welcome to ESPNNewYork.com! On Wednesday, New York Yankees beat writer Wally Matthews will stop by to take your baseball questions.
Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He joins ESPNNewYork to cover the Yankees, which he's done since the days of Stump Merrill, having worked for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and 1050 ESPN Radio.
Send your questions now and join Matthews Wednesday at noon ET!
Wallace Matthews (11:59 AM)
Happy Wednesday everyone, time for the weekly Yankee chat, the Jeter Edition. We'll get started right at high noon so bring on your questions.
David (Brooklyn , NY)
Is it true that the Yankees have made an offer to CLiff Lee in the range of 6-years for 140 million dollars? If its true, do you think Lee should jump on it?
Wallace Matthews (12:02 PM)
Helo, David: I do not know if that offer has actually been made. Tim Brown of Yahoo, an excellent reporter, says it has. other excellent reporters say it has not. B Cashman won't comment on it. But it certainly sounds to be in the expected range. and no, I don;t think Lee should jump on anything until he and his agent are satisfied that he has heard everything that is out there for him. No harm in waiting it out; offers tend to go up over time, not down
i don't understand the logic of the new yankees pitching coach. with the yankees having a priority to win, why hire a coach from a losing team?
Wallace Matthews (12:04 PM)
Hey, John: I think the answer is not so much where Larry Rothschild comes from but what he showed in the interview process, which Cashman and Girardi value highly. apparently, he said all the right things after watching videotape of CC, AJ and Hughes -- he said he studied the tape for eight hours -- and the fact that he managed Girardi as a player could not have hurt. His Cubs staff was one of the best in baseball for awhile. That's the good news. the bad news is, two of their best pitchers, Wood and Prior, got seriously hurt on his watch. So we'll see
Is Jeter really that offended by the offer or is this all just a misguided negotiating ploy by his agent? Do you think they would take more money but fewer years (say 2 years/$25 million per) from the infamous mystery team if it came up?
Wallace Matthews (12:06 PM)
Hey, Eric: as in any negotiation, it's tough to tell what is real and what is posturing here. But as I wrote in my column, if Jeter is going to adopt the position that $15 million a year for a soon to be 37 year old SS is an insult, then that is a misguided ploy by his agent. sometimes privileged people are so accustomed to being treated like royalty they become tone-deaf to how they look and sound to the average working person. that will not be a good strategy for Jeter and Close to pursue
Chioke Hassan (Baltimore,Md)
Dear WallyWill Roger Maris make the Hall?
Wallace Matthews (12:09 PM)
Hello, Mr. Hassan: As a HOF voter, I'm not sure Maris' career stats would have warranted my vote had he been eligible in my time. However, you never know what the veterans committee will do, asp. the old-timers who are offended by the suspect accomplishments of the steroid generation that has wiped many of them out of the record books. What I think should be done, and I have written about it several times, is that Bud Selig should declare the numbers of Bonds, Sosa and mcGwire invalid and return Maris and Hank Aaron to their rightful places as the single-season and all-time HR kings
Why is it OK for the Yankees to overpay for garbage like Irabu, AJ and Pavano but no one says anything about them nickel and diming Jeter? If the Yankees are going to overpay for someone, isn't the face of the franchise precisely the player to overpay?
Wallace Matthews (12:12 PM)
Hey, Matt: I'm not sure anyone is "OK" with those horrendous deals, and just because you;ve made bad deals before doesn;t mean you have to keep making them. In a perfect world, sure, you would rather overpay Jeter than a bum like Irabu or a mess like AJ. But what's done is done and there's no sense throwing good money after bad. If nothing else, I think what';s going on here is a sign of how different things are going to be with the Yankees in the post-Boss era: less emotional, less reliant on sentiment, more hard-nosed, cold-blooded and bottom lne oriented. For all the stories about what a tyrant George M was, he was also a softy who had a loyalty to his favorite players that sometimes overruled his business judgment. Don;t think Hal or Cashmam share that trait
Rich (Denver, CO)
This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen, George Steinbrenner must be rolling around in his grave... How dare the Yankees treat the face of "SPORTS", not just the Yankees, in such a manner! Derek Jeter embodies all that is good in the World of sports... Not Mr. Woods, Mr. Lebron, Mayweather Jr., Farve... Are you freeking kidding me! Derek Jeter is like family, I will burn every Yankee posession I own and never attend another game ever! George Steinbrenner would have never alowed this to happen. Mike Lupica's column in the Daily News was spot on today, at least that writer is getting it right!
Wallace Matthews (12:16 PM)
Hey, Rich: You are not alone in feeling the way that you do, but you must realize you are reacting emotionally, as a fan, and the yankees feel they must approach this dispassionately, as a business. And to them, Derek Jeter, as great as he has been for this franchise, is coming near the end of his period of real usefulness as a player. In fact, I believe they don;t think he even has three good years (read: $15 million years) left in him. Their concern is winning ballgames, not paying players for past accomplishments, which in the case of Jeter, they feel they already have. Hate to break it to you, but most teams and just about every business behaves in the same exact way, and if you dont think so, go ask your boss for a raise or a guaranteed contract after we get done with this chat. Sad to say, but what is happening to Derek Jeter right now is what is happening to aging workers all over the country
How long do you suspect this Derek Jeter negotiation will take to be resolved? And why is it that both parties are just putting all this negative information out and worrying us Yankee fans?
Wallace Matthews (12:30 PM)
Sorry for th ebreak. Had to take a call from a baseball source re: You know Who. Anyway, Hello Sergio and Happy Thanksgiving in Iraq. Wish you were here with us. I think the Jeter negs are going to drag for awhile. I'm told the two sides are quite far apart in years and money. And what the two sides are doing is saber-rattling, each trying to win public opinion to their side of the argument. Really, it's not worth worrying about Derek Jeter will live the rest of his life quite comfortably and the NYY will go on, eventually wiht a diff. SS. And yes, I think Jeter will be a Yankee in 2011. Good luck
Arbitration to Vasquez? Just one question: why?
Wallace Matthews (12:31 PM)
Hey, Mark. Because the Yankees got assurances he wouldn;t accept it, meaning they will get two draft picks when he signs with another team, which he will. Same thing in reverse for Wood, who the Yankees were going to offer to arbitrate until they got the signal that Wood would accept, meaning they might have to pay him even more than the $11 million option they had already rejected for 2011
Were you surprised the Type A guys on the Yankees all didn't get arbitration offers?
Wallace Matthews (12:34 PM)
Hey, Jason. Except for Wood, not really. The Yankees hate going to arbitration with anyone because they feel they can;t totally control the process. Besides, most of those free agents are either going to sign with them (Jeter, Mo, Pettitte) or are guys they don;t want or need for next year. Wood was a surprise bec. Cashman changed his mind in the evening after talking to Wood's agt., leading me to believe Wood would have accepted, which is the last thing they wanted.
Zack (New Jersey)
If you wrote a book about the 2009 Yankees what would you name it?
Wallace Matthews (12:34 PM)
Hey, Zach: The Looseleaf Chronicles. Until I come up with somethign better
Richard (Point Pleasant, N.J.)
Who has the greatest chance of not being a Yankee in 2011, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Petitte or Cliff Lee?
Wallace Matthews (12:35 PM)
Hey, Richard: I think all 4 will be Yankees next year but if I had to pick I'd say Pettitte, simply because he flirts with retirement every season and sooner or later, he will do it
This Jeter mess is getting out of control! What do you forsee happening by spring training?
Wallace Matthews (12:36 PM)
Hey, Paul: I see Jeter in camp doing what he always does and everyone all lovey-dovey again, at least in public
Michael C. (Westport, CT)
Say Montero starts the first 15 or so games but doesn't cut it. Would the Yankees make Posada number one again? Seems like a risky strategy. Your thoughts?
Wallace Matthews (12:38 PM)
Het, Michael: I don;t think that is what will happen. I'm sure the Yankees will sign a veteran catcher altho I dont know who it will be --Barajas? The Molina of the day? -- just in case Montero is not ready to assume the everyday job yet. and don;t count Cervelli out as a viable backup, if not an everyday C. But I expect Jorge to DH 80 percent of the time next year
Mike (Long Island)
Funny, I don't seem to remember Hal and Hank getting into a public fight with Scott Boras when A-Rod opted out of his contract.
Wallace Matthews (12:39 PM)
He, Mike: That's bec. A-Rod took him out of the equation, remember? He went to Hank directly and got what he wanted
mike (newburgh, ny)
Wallace, how can poeple say that Derek Jeter is coming to the end of his career? Okay, his numbers werent as good as most years, but remember that a year before, he posted his best stats in his career. A one year drop off does not mean the guy is done. What is your opinion?
Wallace Matthews (12:41 PM)
Mike, my opinion is that he'll be 37 on his next birthday and at the point where a dropoff almost always occurs.the Yankees seem to be of the opinion that 2009 was the aberration, the 2010 the norm from here on in. they might be wrong, but history and the human body tells the odds are they are right
Wally - really, what is the difference between the Jeter process and what happened to Bernie Williams? I realize Jeter is that much "more" of a HOF candidate, but Bernie was pretty important to the modern Yankees era too. The franchise and fans got over that in time...can't we suspect the same will happen with Jeter - especially if his stats continue to fall?
Wallace Matthews (12:42 PM)
Zero difference, Todd. Same way Mets fans got over the trade of Tom seaver in 1977 and Rangers fans got over the trade of Brad Park for Phil Esposito, not less, in 1972 IIRC. Life goes on, teams change, guys retire.
Rich (Denver, CO)
Mr. Mathews,Please post the comment I just sent you. Be fair and present both sides of the issue... I heard some of your commentary on ESPN, and I think most Yankee fans ( all of the ones I know ), would rather have him than not... And over pay him! If we can waste money on the Pavano's and Javy's... And Nick Johnson? Are you freeking kidding me! Just pay the one guy who always has the teams best interest at heart!
Wallace Matthews (12:43 PM)
I posted your comment, with my answer. I always try to present both sides of an issue, but as a columnist, I make it clear which side I agree with. and remember, it's always easy to spend somene else's money. The Yankees have the right to pay or not pay anyone they like, no matter whether you or I agree with it.
Wallace Matthews (12:44 PM)
That's it for today, peeps. Sorry about the break, migt have some decent info for you later from that phone call. Happy Thanksgiving all