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Coming from the Daily News is a report that the City of New York demanded a suite, along with free food in exchange for additional parking spaces in the new Yankee Stadium scheduled to open this spring.

The Daily News obtained copies of e-mail correspondence through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), showing that the City wanted a suite, and the Yankees obliged.

Assemblyman Richard Brodsky started the investigation into the details surrounding why taxpayer costs are going up for the Stadium, and this is one of the startling pieces of information he has discovered.

“The city’s pursuit of a luxury suite at Yankee Stadium was achieved at a significant cost to taxpayers,” Brodsky said in releasing dozens of e-mails dating back to January 2006.

This has been an ongoing battle between the city and the organization. The city owns the current Stadium and plans to sell off items from inside, including seats, urinals, and other items. Now that the city wanted a suite and the organization complied, it’s going to cost taxpayers more.

The article can be found here.

Check this out — a blog that has all of the teams in baseball and the contracts for each team for its players.

Hat tip to the guys at River Ave. Blues.

For all of the problems the Knicks have with their selfish “star” Stephon Marbury and the Giants with their wacko receiver Plaxico Burress, the Yankees look less nutty than their city counterparts.

So it looks like Phil Hughes is looking forward to 2009. Mark Feinsand wrote a piece where he interviews Hughes at his Southern California home and got some comments from him.

“It’s just one of those wait-and-see things,” Hughes said from his family’s Southern California home. “We’ll sign whoever we sign this winter, and I’ll go to spring training with the same attitude that I always do. I don’t worry about the things I can’t control.”

Hughes dropped his slider and worked on his cutter and changeup in the AFL, helping build up his innings total to a shade under 100 this past season. His hopes are to get to 150-175 in 2009 and get a spot on the rotation.

People are constantly reminded that Hughes is only 22 years old. CC Sabathia, in comparison, didn’t start his MLB career until he was 17 in the minors and got into the majors at age 20. Hughes started in the minors at 18 and has only pitched in 21 big league games and only racked up 107 total innings in the bigs. That is nothing compared to other pitchers who have started late.

As far as I can tell, Hughes is still a prized commodity in the Yankees’ organization, whether you like it or not.

The Yankees are asking fans to vote for the Top Cathedral Moment.  Recently, the Yankees asked fans to vote for the top ten moments.  Now that the Top 10 have been picked, its up to the fans to pick the #1 Moment.  The Top 10 are:

April 18, 1923: Ruth hit the first home run as the Yankees opened their $2.5 million palace, Yankee Stadium, with a 4-1 victory over the Red Sox in front of a crowd announced at 74,217. Yet another 20,000 fans were turned away from watching Bob Shawkey log the first victory at the triple-decked wonder, which was built in just 185 working days.

July 4, 1939: In one of the most memorable speeches ever given, a dying Gehrig spoke into a microphone near home plate at Yankee Stadium and proclaimed himself “The luckiest man on the face of the earth.” The ceremonies paid tribute to the Yankees’ captain, who had announced his retirement on June 21 after being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The Yankees retired Gehrig’s No. 4 that afternoon, and he was elected to the Hall of Fame in December.

Oct. 8, 1956: Don Larsen, the imperfect man, pitched a perfect game — the only in World Series history — as the Yankees defeated the Dodgers in Game 5 of the Fall Classic. Only one batter, Pee Wee Reese, would run the count to three balls and Larsen fanned seven, including the 27th and final out, a checked-swing punchout of pinch-hitter Dale Mitchell. The gem complete, catcher Yogi Berra charged to the mound and leapt into Larsen’s arms, creating one of the most memorable images in baseball history.

Oct. 1, 1961: In the thrilling conclusion to a summer-long chase of one of sport’s most hallowed records, Roger Maris belted his 61st home run on the final day of the regular season, supplanting Ruth’s mark of 60 set in 1927. Maris’ third-inning shot into the right-field bleachers off Boston’s Tracy Stallard accounted for the only run of the game in a Yankees victory; however, since Maris did not break the record in 154 games, an asterisk — later removed — was affixed to his record. Maris’ mark would hold until Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa surpassed it during the 1998 season.

Oct. 18, 1977: In one of the game’s most dominant clutch performances, Jackson hit three home runs on three pitches — from three different pitchers — to power the Yankees past the Dodgers, 8-4, in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series. It was Jackson’s trio of blasts, off Burt Hooton, Elias Sosa and Charlie Hough, that solidified his standing as “Mr. October.” With the Yankees up, 8-3, and on the cusp of their first Series victory since 1962, Jackson came out of the dugout to pump his fists and acknowledge the crowd.

July 18, 1999: In one of the magical coincidences that Yankee Stadium has become known for, the afternoon of David Cone’s perfect game opened with the Yankees honoring Yogi Berra, who caught the first pitch from Larsen almost 43 years after they teamed for the only perfect game in World Series history. Cone then became the 16th pitcher in Major League history to pitch a perfect game, retiring 27 straight Expos and enduring a 33-minute rain delay in the process. The final out came from Orlando Cabrera, who popped up to third baseman Scott Brosius. Cone dropped to his knees in disbelief and hugged catcher Joe Girardi on the infield.

Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2001: It was the moment Derek Jeter earned the nickname “Mr. November,” taking center stage in an emotionally-charged World Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. With Arizona just one out from taking a 3-1 Series lead, Tino Martinez belted a two-run, ninth-inning home run off Byung-Hyun Kim in the ninth inning to tie the game. With Kim returning for the 10th, Jeter came up with two outs and sliced a full-count slider into the right field corner for a game-winning homer, clearing the wall at 12:03 a.m. — the first World Series game played in November. The startling comeback marked only the third time in World Series history that a team won after trailing by two or more runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. But even more shocking, the Yankees would go on to win Game 5 in nearly the exact same fashion, with Brosius and Alfonso Soriano playing the roles of Martinez and Jeter.

Oct. 16, 2003: In one of the most dramatic endings to an American League Championship Series, Aaron Boone clubbed a knuckleball from Tim Wakefield over the left-field wall in the bottom of the 11th inning, giving the Yankees a 6-5 victory and sending New York to the World Series while prolonging the Red Sox’s ongoing agony. Boston knocked Roger Clemens out with a 4-0 lead and appeared in command with Pedro Martinez on the hill — but five outs from elimination, manager Grady Little stayed with his ace and the Yankees tied the game on a two-run Jorge Posada double. Mariano Rivera stifled the Red Sox for three innings and Mike Timlin kept Boston alive with a scoreless ninth before Wakefield came on in the 10th and held the Yankees down, but it all ended on the first pitch of the New York 11th, when Wakefield’s knuckleball hung and Boone sent the Red Sox home.

July 1, 2004: In one of the iconic replays that will define his career, Jeter suffered a laceration of the cheek and bruised right shoulder diving into the stands for a foul in the 12th inning by Boston’s Trot Nixon. Jeter was forced out of the game, another one of the typical heart-stopping, drag-out affairs between the Yankees and the Red Sox. Manny Ramirez homered twice, including a leadoff shot in the top of the 13th, but New York won, 5-4, in the 13th inning, on a hit by pinch-hitter John Flaherty, who sent Miguel Cairo home with two outs in the bottom half.

Sept. 21, 2008: The end of an era at Yankee Stadium as the final game is played in the ballpark’s long and storied history. The gates opened seven hours early, so fans could walk the warning track one final time — leaving handprints all over the outfield walls — and a stirring pregame ceremony paid tributes to the largest collection of Yankees greats ever assembled on one field. The Yankees defeated the Orioles, 7-3, behind six innings from Andy Pettitte, and Jose Molina hit the final home run in the Stadium’s history, which opened 85 years prior with Ruth’s historic shot into the seats.

My Pick?  I’m torn between two.  First would be the Lou Gehrig speech in 1939.  Probably one of the most heart-felt messages given and heart-wrenching moments in history.  The second is the Aaron Boone homer in the 2003 ALCS.  I’m torn because I am not sure I want the top moment to be from a guy who was barely a Yankee, but I will never forget that night, watching the most unlikely hitter hit the most unlikely homerun to win the ALCS for the Yankees.

Anthony McCarron of the New York DailyNews wrote a piece yesterday cautioning any team who signs CC Sabathia to a $100 million-plus contract.

The previous 4 $100 million pitching contracts have not resulted in much — sans Johan Santana.

McCarron states:

Long-term contracts for pitchers are generally considered risky by baseball executives, but when deals reach the $100 million mark, teams flirt with doom. In the brief history of $100 million contracts for pitchers – there have been only four, including Kevin Brown who signed a seven-year, $105 million deal with the Dodgers before the 1999 season – every pitcher except Johan Santana last season has been plagued by injuries, ineffectiveness or both.

I remember wincing at the $105 million contract that the Dodgers gave Kevin Brown because I remembered that he wasn’t that good of a pitcher in the first place. Sure he had pitched in the Marlin’s 1997 World Series team, but I didn’t feel he deserved a $100 million contract. I’d have thought back in 1999 either Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens, or Greg Maddux would have gotten the first $100 million contract.

Now that Santana has actually been decent enough this past season, all he has to do is turn out production on 5 similar seasons like this past one and he’ll be considered a successful contract signing.

However, McCarron points out that the Yankees can afford to get this contract because they need a product to sell the fans.

“The Yankees are the one team who has to err on the high side coming into this season. Once the novelty of the new park wears off – and at those prices, it might wear off quicker – they will have to deliver a product.

“People will have to feel like they are coming to see the Yankees, a team that is going to be in the postseason. The Yankees are sort of in a corner right now where it’s probably not the worst thing if they took on more risk than they might want to.”

The novelity of the new stadium will wear off in 2-3 years. That means aside from emerging stars like Joba Chamberlain, Jesus Montero, Austin Jackson, Andrew Brackman, Phil Coke, and the possible reemergence of Melky Cabrera and Robinson Cano gets settled into the mettle of the Yankee fan mind, there needs to be a marquee player to replace the big ego we had in Roger Clemens in the pitching rotation, and CC Sabathia is the person to do that.

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