St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

Yankees are hoping to build on (insert smirk) early playoff exit

By MARC TOPKIN, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times
published October 13, 2002

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Yankees are gone, but not forgotten.

Every day during this ALCS there seems to be some type of Yankees reference, whether it's what the Angels learned by beating them, or how the Twins made out by acquiring Eric Milton and Cristian Guzman in trade, or how refreshing it is to have new faces (code for not the Yankees) playing in mid October.

The Yankees, knocked out after the first round for the first time since 1997, don't like the feeling.

"There's a bitter taste in everyone's mouth," general manager Brian Cashman said.

The early exit figured to provoke a tirade from Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, demands for answers, significant change and even a few resignations.

But according to Cashman, it has been just the opposite.

"He was certainly disappointed, but he's been supportive," Cashman said. "Supportive in the way to allow us to concentrate in the failure here and make it something to work off of, counseling us to use the early-round knockout as something to propel us.

"We're motivated to turn this thing around and motivated to not let it happen again."

In theory, Cashman shouldn't have extensive work to do.

There's talk of trimming the payroll, given the ramifications of the new labor contract, but at the most that could lead to a trade of a corner outfielder (Raul Mondesi or Rondell White) and some reworking of the overly deep rotation.

Of the five significant free agents, there are four pitchers -- Roger Clemens (whom they have to pay $10.3-million whether he returns or not), Andy Pettitte (on whom they hold an $11.5-million option), Ramiro Mendoza and Mike Stanton -- and third baseman Robin Ventura.

"It should be," Cashman said, "a typical baseball winter."

It just started a few weeks earlier.

RAYS REPORT: Having the first pick in the 2003 draft could yield an unexpected bonus for the Rays: the chance to sign Cuban defector Jose Contreras, whom Orlando Hernandez calls "the best pitcher in Cuba."

Contreras is a 6-foot-4 right-hander who says he will be 31 in December. He was dazzling against Baltimore in a 1999 exhibition and is considered at the least a No. 2 or No. 3 starter.

Contreras may have defected with the idea he would be the subject of a bidding war among the big-market teams. But Major League Baseball has said that unless Contreras establishes residency in another country, a process which could take months, he would be subject to the draft.

No Rays players were named to the all-star team that tours Japan next month, but PR director Rick Vaughn was chosen by MLB to go along. ... If the Indians relocate their spring base to Fort Myers in 2004, where they would share a stadium with the Red Sox, the Rays could consider a move to Winter Haven. ... Baseball America rates Rocco Baldelli the No. 1 outfield prospect in the game and Josh Hamilton fifth. Dewon Brazelton is the 15th-best right-handed starter, B.J. Upton the fourth-best shortstop prospect.

CALL MALCOLM: Oakland's Billy Beane has been mentioned prominently as a candidate for the Red Sox GM job, but owner Steve Schott doesn't sound receptive to the idea of releasing him from a contract that runs through 2008, even for compensation.

"Like the Jon Gruden thing?" Schott said. "If they want Billy, they'd have to give me their whole team and some cash besides."

AROUND THE LEAGUES: The Red Sox, planning to add several hundred seats above Fenway Park's Green Monster, are exploring building two decks that could increase capacity by 10,000. ... Former Indians skipper Charlie Manuel is actively seeking another managing opportunity, including the Rays' job. If he doesn't get one, expect him to be Boston's hitting coach. ... Jamie Quirk and Bob Apodaca are expected to join the Rockies coaching staff.

-- Information from other news organizations was used in this report.

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright

From the Times sports desk

College football
  • This 1 left
  • Bulls prove to be ready for prime-time players
  • Tigers keep Gators reeling
  • Orangemen honor deceased tackle
  • Around the state: Golden Knights break into win column in MAC
  • Hybl has tough day in victory
  • Sooners stage comeback to beat Longhorns again
  • Big 12: Buff runs for 309 in win over Kansas
  • C-USA: Second quarter sparks Tulane over Cincinnati
  • Crowd's cheers lift Bulls
  • Despite early frustrations, Dorsey keeps composure
  • 'Canes leave win to fate
  • Jones-led ground attack sustains Seminoles until fourth
  • FSU Quotebook
  • Miami Quotebook
  • ACC: Injured tailback keeps N.C. State unbeaten
  • Big East: Pitt moves but can't score enough on ND
  • Big Ten: Michigan keeps Penn State searching for answers
  • SEC: Dawgs edge closer to SEC goal
  • Pac-10: Ducks outgun Bruins to remain undefeated
  • Gators continue one trend, Tigers end another
  • Called on to carry club, UF defense falls flat

  • NFL
  • NFL Game Day: Week 6
  • Injuries, defense hurt Bears

  • Baseball
  • Giants miss a chance to gain a stranglehold
  • Angels within a win of first World Series berth
  • Thome waits for an offer from Indians
  • Yankees are hoping to build on (insert smirk) early playoff exit
  • NLCS: Benes has new view after injury
  • ALCS: Mays just sticks with strengths

  • NHL
  • Panthers earn win with 10.2 left in OT
  • NHL Slapshots

  • NBA
  • Miami stops Orlando in final minutes

  • Sailing
  • Round-robin 1: a few surprises

  • Gary Shelton
    Gary Shelton
    Gary Shelton
    Gary Shelton
  • Stewart happy to finally be on top

  • Et cetera
  • Highs & lows
  • Sports briefs

  • Preps
  • Santa Fe overwhelms IRC
  • Plant quiets nemesis with two-game win
  • Big kicks decide races in favor of Raider, Shark
  • Believe the hype: Kerry Allen is fast
  • Amerman emerges and Lyons cruises

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report: Tournament insider

  • Letters
  • Series with no Yankees incomplete

  • Rays
  • Piniella starts the ball rolling

  • Bucs
  • Winning Bucs stick to routines
  • Receivers take similar route
  • Chucky's Chalk Talk
  • He's big on Predator, short on planes
  • High Profile -- Anthony Henry
  • Sideline

  • Letters
  • Hey, Chucky, climb aboard the A-Train

  • Lightning
  • Another smashing victory
  • Fedotenko makes Lightning look good
  • Dingman defends penalty minutes

  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts