LADY AT THE BAT: Nickled & Dimed?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Nickled & Dimed?

New York Daily News Columnist Juan Gonzalez has a story out in today's editions in which he presents evidence that the Yankees "had a penny-pinching policy toward expenses racked up by the manager and other team members on the road."

Apparently the Yankees frowned on things like room service and room upgrades, having the costs for these things deducted from the player's and from Joe Torre's paychecks. For instance, in 2005 Gary Sheffield accumulated an extra $2,920 in expenses for a suite upgrade and for a separate from for his buddy. Alex Rodriguez was charged $785 for a room upgrade and $375 for room service. Joe Torre was more careful: $39.98 for grilled chicken, two Amstel Lights and pay-per-view.

Gonzalez appears to sympathize with Carl Pavano: "Not just free spenders got billed. The Yankees had the nerve to dock chronically injured pitcher Carl Pavano for the grand sum of $17.97."

Other interesting tidbits in the article: 1) Yankees president Randy Levine spent around $15 for in-room video services, plus another $2,312 on a rental car, yet there is no evidence that his pay was docked for it. 2) Joe Torre's hotel room always had to be on a floor on which no players were staying and it had to be "a 'corner suite' with 'feather pillows,' stocked with 'fruit/bottled water/soft pretzels.' (He wasn't docked for these perks, by the way.)

I don't know what to say about Levine's expenses but, if the Yankees agreed to give Torre perks that's their business. I also don't have a problem with the Yankees docking the pay of players whose expenses exceed what is allowed. Any business does that! I'm sure if you examined the records of the other 29 Major League teams, you'd see the same thing. Juan Gonzalez is way off the mark, here.

This isn't the Juan Gonzalez who had his salad days with the Texas Rangers. It isn't even little Elian's father. This Juan Gonzalez spends most of his time writing about the injustices (real or imagined) to Hispanics living in or around New York City. He's a good writer, respected by many (including myself), but he should stick to what he knows, and leave baseball to people like his News colleague Mike Lupica.

In Playoff News: I knew the Red Sox could win last night's ALCS Game 6, but it's the way they did it that floored me. JD Drew had 5 RBIs ? JD Drew? The guy's done nothing all year but take the Red Sox to the cleaners. Just goes to show, baseball is, indeed, a very, funny game.

The Lady

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