A flower in the clubhouse?

Jacoby Ellsbury was introduced by the Yankees yesterday in a press conference. While Harold Reynolds gushed about how classy the Yankees are in everything they do, including press conferences, I was not that impressed.  Jacoby repeatedly said how excited he was to be a part of the Yankees and how excited he was about this next step in his career. He seemed to answer every question the same way – that he was really excited. I found it pretty dull and milk toast.  The press conference even got a bit weird when Joe Girardi spoke. He beamed that Jacoby would no longer be a thorn in his side but a flower in his clubhouse. It was pretty gag worthy. While the Sox can get pretty corny and choreograph things way too much, this Yankee press conference made me want to cover my eyes.

Anyway, as the press conference wrapped up, I noticed that the number on the back of Ellsbury’s press conference jersey was 22. Clearly, he can’t wear number 2, that’s Jeter’s number. I assume that 22 is a doubling of his former number 2 and that will be Jacoby’s number in 2014. Clemens wore that number with the Yankees from 1999-2003 and then again in 2007.

Here are the #22 Yankees since 2000:

  • 2013 – Brennan Boesch, Travis Ishikawa, Thomas Neal, Vernon Wells
  • 2012 – Andruw Jones
  • 2011 – Colin Curtis, Greg Golson, Brian Gordon, Aaron Laffey
  • 2010 – Chad Huffman, Randy Winn
  • 2009 – Xavier Nady
  • 2008 – LaTroy Hawkins, Xavier Nady
  • 2007 – Clemens
  • 2006 –
  • 2005 – Robinson Cano
  • 2004 – Jon Lieber
  • 2003 – Clemens
  • 2002 – Clemens
  • 2001 – Clemens
  • 2000 – Clemens

Other notable #22s on the Yankees:  Lefty Gomez (1930), Tommy Henrich (1937), Jimmy Key (1993-1996), Jorge Posada (1997), Allie Reynolds (1947-1954), Red Ruffing (1945-1946).

Other notable #22 in baseball: Bill Buckner, Steve Buechele, Brett Butler, Jack Clark, Will Clark, David Eckstein, Billy Hatcher, Ray Knight, Dennis Leonard, Mike Matheny, Jim Palmer, Johnny Podres, Brad Radke,  Walt Weiss and Richie Zisk.

Good bye, Jacoby. After yesterday’s press conference it won’t take much effort to root against you.

The most important question though has gone unanswered. What number will Vernon Wells wear next year and is he feeling disrespected? He wore 22 at the end of the 2013 season (he started off wearing 12). Is this wishful thinking on the Yankees part? If they give away Vernon’s number, they can get him to go away as well?

It’s not that his salary is awful for the Yanks. While it is $21 million, $18.6 million of that is being paid by the Angels. It’s Wells’ slash line that appalls.  As an Angel  in 2011, it was .218/.248/.412 and in 2012 .230/.279/.403. With the Yankees in 2013 it was just as bad – .233/.282/.349. I hope the Yankees keep throwing Vernon out there, but I fear they won’t have to suffer with him much in 2014.

I wondered, since the Yankees are so concerned about the luxury tax threshold, does Wells’ 2014 salary count against it or does only the amount the Yankees are paying count toward their threshold? A quick examination of the 2012-2016 CBA indicates that the $18.6 million paid by the Angels is counted against the Angels’ competitive tax balance threshold and only the remaining $2.4 million counts against the Yankees’ threshold.  If interested see Article XXIII, Section C(2)(b) – cash consideration.


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