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The Yankees are interested in Grant Balfour

Dec 23, 2013, 9:08 AM EDT

Grant Balfour AP AP

I think the best thing about the Orioles pulling the rug out from under Grant Balfour is that the two teams who have expressed interest in him since that deal fell through — the Rays and now the Yankees, according to the New York Post’s Kevin Kernan — are both in the AL East, thereby giving Balfour ample opportunity to hit Orioles batters and bark up in the direction of the Orioles’ owners box as often as possible.

Balfour — who says, in no uncertain terms, that he’s healthy — posted a 2.35 ERA (154 ERA+) in his three years with Oakland while tallying 64 saves.

  1. Jason @ IIATMS - Dec 23, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    I so very much want this to happen.

    I mean, who doesn’t want the players to flip off the corpse of Peter Angelos?

    • karlkolchak - Dec 23, 2013 at 9:18 AM

      Rumor has it that Angelos is actually Dan Snyder’s father.

  2. Old Gator - Dec 23, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    Someone in one of the recent Balfour threads predicted this but I’m too preoccupied with cooking for tomorrow night to bother to scroll back to it. Yeah, this would be fun.

    • barrywhererufrom - Dec 23, 2013 at 3:12 PM

      I am still batman and you are still an ass!!

      • Old Gator - Dec 23, 2013 at 4:27 PM

        No doubt you are still Batman (pat pat pat), and we’re all still waiting for you to try swinging from your roof to the one on the taller building across the street.

  3. twenty1miles - Dec 23, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    I would love to see this. There’s something to be said for having intense, competitive guys like McCann and Balfour on your team. You’d have to figure though, that for him to go to NYY, Robertson would have to remain the setup man.

    • pastabelly - Dec 23, 2013 at 12:47 PM

      Being competitive is no excuse for being a jackass for either of those two.

      • mikhelb - Dec 23, 2013 at 2:24 PM

        Once McCann has acted like a jackass and now he’s know as “a jackass”, but that’s the way it happens, like when Joba shouted and everybody said he was being a jackass and when Papelbon shouts and does obscene gestures he’s being “competitive”.

    • anxovies - Dec 23, 2013 at 2:03 PM

      Which would be a good thing. Robertson is a fine setup reliever but he tends to allow players to get on base. He usually works out of it but that’s not something you want to see in a closer.

      • mikhelb - Dec 23, 2013 at 2:52 PM

        Has a very good WHIP and a very good record retiring the first batter he faces, but you’re right, I don’t like him as a closer and I think he could be worth more for the Yanks bullpen as a “closer before the 9th inning” pitcher, not necessarily setting up a save but using him whenever he’s needed be it in the 6th/7th/8th inning.

      • twenty1miles - Dec 23, 2013 at 8:03 PM

        I see where you are coming from, but I remember reading somewhere that D-Rob has cut his walk rate down significantly since the middle of 2012. He might thrive, who knows.

  4. nymets4ever - Dec 23, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Yea, because what could be more fun than watching Orioles hitters get plunked and possibly injured bc of a contract issue they had nothing to do with? Glad you watch the game for the right reasons.

    • indaburg - Dec 23, 2013 at 10:19 AM

      Craig is very against players getting intentionally HBP. Do a search on past postings on the topic. Like most of us, he thinks it is stupid. Most real fans of the game are against this.

      As for Balfour, I hope he comes to the Rays for ample opportunity to strike out Orioles batters and to bark at Angelos. I doubt Balfour will exact vengeance by putting runners on base and hurting innocent players.

  5. indaburg - Dec 23, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    I am not happy to hear this news. The Rays are not going to win a bidding war against the Yankees.

    • spudchukar - Dec 23, 2013 at 10:30 AM

      No but it is fun bidding them up, insuring more cash come “luxury tax” time.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 23, 2013 at 11:09 AM

        Heck it’s the holiday season, time for the Yankees as usual to spread a little cheer in the “Salvation Army” kettles to MLB’s destitute team owners like:
        Charles Johnson – SF Giants, estimated worth $5.6 Billion
        Ted Lerner – Nationals, estimated worth $4.9 Billion
        Michael Ilitch – Tigers, estimated worth $3.2 Billion
        Hiroshi Yamauchi – Mariners, estimated worth $2.1 Billion (prior to his death recently)
        Ray Davis – Rangers, estimated worth $1.9 Billion
        John Henry – Red Sox, estimated worth $1.7 Billion
        Art Moreno – Angels, estimated worth $1.5 billion
        Mark Walter – Dodgers, estimated worth $1.3 Billion

        Those numbers provided by Forbes. And does not include owners worth in the very high 9 figure category. Have a very Happy Holiday Season.

      • spudchukar - Dec 23, 2013 at 12:20 PM

        What is more pathetic than a “poor little rich kid” crying over a decreasing financial advantage. Hey, we “deserve” the top spot and payroll advantage, cause you know we are the “Yankees”. This whole “fair play”, and “level-playing field” is so marxist. We represent Baseball’s aristocracy, “Don’t you get that?”

        Sure we still have all the advantages, fan population, TV deal, media center of the world, but that “entitles” us, “Don’t you get that?” We “own” Baseball, “deserve” our place atop the food chain.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 23, 2013 at 12:39 PM

        “What is more pathetic than a poor little rich kid crying over a decreasing financial advantage.”?

        It’s a bunch of poor little rich kids crying poverty wanting a hand out wanting and believing they deserve assistance as if it’s their God given right.

      • spudchukar - Dec 23, 2013 at 1:17 PM

        As you point out many owners have plenty of cash to spend if they choose to, to put better products on the field. Baseball is however, a business, run by businessmen, who do not make a habit of losing money, or else they wouldn’t be in the position of owning teams.

        MLB is also a business. And it is trying to ensure that all participants have a somewhat equal opportunity to succeed. Monopolies have been deemed in the past to do harm to the general public, and at times the governing bodies have stepped in to eradicate business practices that “corner the market”. This is why Baseball chose the “luxury tax”. It is more of a penalty designed to ensure that all of its agencies have similar opportunities to succeed. The meager “hand-outs” do little to increase a teams operating costs. To the truly disadvantaged it helps a little, but to most it is nothing but symbolic.

        But it is a penalty to those who chose to expand beyond reasonable means. Still it does little to discourage those who have amply access to large amount of cash.

        Baseball is still a game. And games are interesting when they are competitive. Few fans are interested in lop-sided contests. Granted some people root for the lions against the Christians, but after awhile the titillation ends.

        Baseball is just trying to insure its own success. Stop crying over spilled milk.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 23, 2013 at 1:53 PM

        My friend if you should have learned anything from my posts over the years here, I don’t cry over spilled milk. I’ve always said and still believe you play the hand you’re dealt whether that be a “royal flush or a pair of deuces”.

        What troubles me is the crybabies who think everyone should feel sorry for their “poor” owners or teams and those who somehow feel a sense of entitlement that it is someone else’s responsibility to make sure they are competitive.

        Yes, baseball is a business and right now and for the past 24 years baseball has been run by a dictator who has his roots in small market mentality. Owners who aren’t willing to invest in their teams or field a competitive product don’t deserve a “handout” they deserve to be removed and replaced by someone who will invest. There never has been and never will be a shortage of people looking to buy a MLB team. Do what every successful business does replace the weak owners with strong ones.

        That’s just the way I feel.

      • spudchukar - Dec 23, 2013 at 2:27 PM

        Just because you didn’t use to cry over spilt milk doesn’t mean you aren’t here. Your representation of the situation other teams falls far short of accurate. Regardless of how much net worth an owner has, the product he buys should produce a profit. The margin in Baseball happens to be so great that even gross mismanagement still nets gain. No MLB team in the history of the game (in the modern era) has gone broke.

        However, if an owner recognizes that he is inhibited from maximizing his investment, by a competitor, then it is his job to rectify that.

        It is curious, my friend, that you choose card games as a metaphor, because it is so apt to the conversation. In poker, levels of betting are set to insure fair play. No limit games exist, but are frowned upon by most because they extinguish the possibility of all players. A guy who comes to the table with a bundle of cash, already has a serious advantage, because a losing streak, won’t be as costly, gambling play not as devastating, and that can be intimidating, but nobody argues that it is unfair because he is loaded.

        What is unfair, is making bets that nobody can match, thereby ruining the nature of the game. So bet limits are put in place to regulate the integrity of the game. This is all that Baseball is trying to do.

        I always enjoyed your comments, biased though they may be, recognizing you are an ardent fan, and that is worthy. However, recently you stated something that is seriously troubling to me, and you re-iterated it today. Like men, Baseball wants all teams to be created equal. That doesn’t mean that some franchises won’t be more flush than others. But you support a hierarchy, stating “that is just the way it is.” That thinking is dangerous, harmful and the source of much bigotry. It reeks of aristocratic excuses. (cont.)

      • spudchukar - Dec 23, 2013 at 2:36 PM

        (cont.) I have always believed that one of sports’ intrigue is how uncompromised it remains. A place where at least to a degree the playing field is level. We all know that is unreal, but still, upsets happen, cinderella stories emerge, and rags to riches stories occur.

        In real life that seldom is the case, and currently becoming much more rare. What you espouse, seems to me, to be of the nature of those who want people “kept in their place”. And I despise that way of thinking.

        The Yankees are one of the most successful franchises in the history of sport. “Pride of the Yankees” is real and palpable. But when success sires entitlement it sours.

        This conversation started with teams “bidding up” the Yankees, and that certainly seems fair. What the Yankees, and some of their fans seem to expect, is that only their team has the right to “bluff”. I want to insure, that play to all teams.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 23, 2013 at 4:33 PM

        @ spudchukar, your right the comment started with “bidding up” the Yankees and my reply to that was I light hearted reply about “spreading cheer to destitute team owners with a reference to several of them.

        Then your comment got what I perceived to be personal with “What is more pathetic than a “poor little rich kid” crying over a decreasing financial advantage. Hey, we “deserve” the top spot and payroll advantage,..”

        You have said here on more then one occasion that baseball is a “sport”. It may be a sport to fans but I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that to the owners and players it is a business first and foremost. Believe what you want about my comments, the comments of other Yankees fans or the Yankees themselves and a sense of entitlement. But that sense of “entitlement” is a two way street and I see no shortage of it here by fans of other teams.

        One final comment then I will leave the last word here to you. Feel free to skip over my posts if you find them as disconcerting as your last post seems to indicate. I’m done, but in the spirit of this holiday season Have a Safe and Merry Holiday. Now I’m done.

      • spudchukar - Dec 23, 2013 at 10:30 PM

        Happy Holidays to you and like minded Yankee fans. But I was raised to believe that when my folks dropped coins into the Salvation Army buckets, that it was done in the spirit of giving, from those more fortunate to those who lacked similar advantages. It made me feel good inside, cause I had been taught sharing was something vital, and I still cannot pass up a bucket without feeling obliged. The message the contribution implied was that I was no better than those who would be receiving the alms, just luckier, and I still stand by that.

  6. uyf1950 - Dec 23, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    Balfour makes so much sense for the Yankees. With closing experience and excellent numbers a Robertson/Balfour combination at the back of the bullpen would be almost, almost as good as a Robertson/.Mo combination. Notice I said almost. Both Robertson and Balfour could either set up or close and based on the the max salary number Balfour has already established for himself he certainly is affordable. Just do it Brian.

    • cackalackyank - Dec 23, 2013 at 12:31 PM

      Agreed. There will never be another Mo. There will be “almosts”, though. I do not envy the reliever that ever says he is replacing Mo.

    • mikhelb - Dec 23, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      Interchangeable closers, I like that.

  7. ctony1216 - Dec 23, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    So, we might have a Grant Balfour – Brian McCann battery? Dynamite!

  8. pastabelly - Dec 23, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    Balfour and McCann deserve each other. Balfour dropping F Bombs on Victor Martinez because he didn’t like the way Victor was looking at him. Yup, Grant is getting sympathy now, but maybe some karma is biting him on his backside now.

    • clydeserra - Dec 23, 2013 at 1:34 PM

      Please. for the millionth time.

      Balfour screams and yells through his outings. He does it every time. It is sophomoric, silly and immature (along with all the other synonyms to those words).

      He would drop the f bomb on whomever was in the batters box. Victor Martinez should know that.

      If Martinez was trying to do mind games, fine that is a thing to do, but then he shouldn’t be surprised by the reaction. If he didn’t know that about balfour he is an idiot.

      I am not defending Balfours actions, but Martinez has to be called out for acting like an idiot there too.

      • pastabelly - Dec 23, 2013 at 3:22 PM

        Martinez is a class act and always has been. I suppose there is no debate here that Balfour is a jackass. It’s just whether Martinez was supposed to sit there and take that crap from him. Balfour is 36 years old and maybe it’s time he grew up. I wonder if Joe Girardi wants to put up with his crap. I suppose the Yankees need bullpen help and would take on Balfour.

        Here’s his side.

        Asked whether he knew Balfour was known for saying stuff on the mound, Martinez said no.

        “I don’t even know this guy,” Martinez said. “I know he’s a closer and that’s it.”

        Martinez said he wasn’t trying to get in Balfour’s head by looking at him after fouling off the pitch.

        “I just wanted him to throw the ball at the plate,” Martinez said. “That’s it.”

  9. psuorioles - Dec 23, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    As an O’s fan I completely disagree with how this was handled by their front office, but I don’t really see why Balfour would intentionally hit O’s batters… Please explain?

  10. braxtonrob - Dec 23, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    From that video, it looks to me like Victor Martinez is the one acting like a child.

    Balfour is intense, but A LOT of pitchers are that way.
    (Having actually played baseball for many years, frankly, I came to expect that from many pitchers; it’s not like they’re hard to spot. You know right away who they are, and if YOU’RE professional, then you just go about your business (and let the other guy vent testosterone over nothin’ if he wants too).
    The best revenge in life is happiness, and the best revenge for a hitter is a line drive past the pitcher’s head.

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