Are the Yankees really playing it cheap with Mo Rivera?

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the Yankees, already in a public free agent battle with shortstop Derek Jeter, are now at odds with Mariano Rivera about a contract for next season.

Rivera wants a two-year deal worth around $18 million per season but the Yanks only want to give him a one-year pact.

First reaction?  The Steinbrenner kids are serious about running the club like a business and not spending wildly like the pinstriped teams of the past.  They’re really going to play hardball with the old timers.

Second reaction?  Rivera won’t be treated like Jeter, because Mo is still a highly effective player and worth a little outlandish cash for a couple of final seasons.  The 40-year-old closer turned in a 1.80 ERA and 0.83 WHIP this past year while holding opposing hitters to a .187 batting average.  Jeter, meanwhile, registered a career-worst .270/.340/.370 batting line and showed poor range at the shortstop position.

The Yankees’ three-year, $45 million offer to Jeter is a generous one.  I think we all need to be reminded of that.

Brian Cashman and Co. will concede on Rivera — probably not at a total of cost of $36 million, but they’ll concede.  They shouldn’t on Jeter.

Jered Weaver dealing with “dead arm”

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Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.

Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.

Ian Kinsler doesn’t think Puerto Rico or Dominican Republic players play the game the right way

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Update: Whoops…

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Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:

I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.

The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.

Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.

Jim Leyland also got in on the action:

Go Puerto Rico.