Thursday Morning Musings: Joe's New Contract Edition

You know the drill, let's do this. - Glad to see Joe's new deal get hammered out quickly.  Both he and the Yankees made it clear they both wanted him to return and kudos to both sides for not wasting any time and letting things drag out close to or past the end of the month.  Joe's done a good job as Yankee manager, he's experienced and comfortable in the atmosphere, and he's the best man for the job of navigating this club through its transition from the end of the Core Four Era to the present day MLB landscape.

- As for the whole "what about Chicago" thing, I don't think that was ever really as big a possibility as the MSM was making it out to be.  If Joe was really that interested in going back to Chicago, he wouldn't have been sitting down with the Yankee brass days after the end of the season.  He knew when his contract was up, he knew what he wanted to, and he didn't want to waste time getting it done.

- Personally, I think the whole "going back home" storyline is a little lame and doesn't carry as much weight as people think.  Guys in the pro sports world aren't a bunch of homesick orphans, they're professionals.  They want to win championships and get paid.  The bottom line is the Yankees offer a better chance for Joe to do both, even in this tricky transitional phase.  The Cubs are at least 2, maybe 3 years away from even sniffing the top of the NL Central, let alone contending for a championship.  Their 3 core young players aren't that great and they all regressed last year.  What's the appeal in going home to manage that situation?

- On Joe's salary, his $4 mil per year now makes him the 2nd-highest paid manager in MLB.  Highest?  Mike Scioscia.  Can you believe that?  Mike Scioscia is the highest paid manager in baseball.  That's a scary thought.

- Now that Joe's new deal is checked off the offseason to-do list, it's time to put some serious effort into the Robinson Cano talks. Hal told anybody who would listen earlier this week that the Yankees weren't going to go 10 years for Cano, and that's smart.  If they aren't going to do that, it'd be nice to see them do something in the next week, reach out and take the next negotiating step.  I think the Yankees have every intention of bringing Robbie back, and regardless of what the figures of that new deal end up being I'd like to see them follow the path they took with Joe.  Get the deal done and out of the way so Cash can focus the rest of the offseason on building up the roster around Cano.

- Anybody else watch Adam Wainwright pitch and think "damn you, Phil Hughes.  That could have been you."?  It's astounding how good the Cardinals are at developing young pitching and how not even close the Yankees are in comparison.  If Hughes had been brought up through the Cardinals system, how much better of a pitcher do you think he'd be?

- I don't have MLB Network, so I haven't been able to check out Mark Teixeira as a studio analyst, but I can't see that going well for him.  He's a stiff; an absolute bland, boring robot of a human being.  Anybody who follows him on Twitter knows what I'm talking about.  Maybe I'm wrong though.  Maybe that one stint on "Rock Of Ages" released the fierce personality inside.  If you've seen him, let me know what you thought.

- Didn't mention this last week, but the candlelight vigil for A-Rod?  Spectacular.  I don't care if he and his legal team paid those people or not.  If you're fighting a huge legal battle against Bud Selig and you've got people supporting you with a candlelight vigil, that's good stuff.

- Prediction for Tigers-A's Game 5 tonight- A's 3-2.  Verlander and Gray each throw 7 solid innings of 2-run ball and Oakland scratches out a run against the Detroit 'pen in the 8th to win it.