New York Yankees 2011: 10 Reasons Why We Can Still Call Them the Bronx Zoo
Is anyone surprised that another player-management conflict has reared its ugly head in the Bronx Zoo known as New York Yankees baseball? I don't believe so.
If there is, then they don’t know the Jankees—I mean Yankees. From Reggie Jackson, Billy Martin, George Steinbrenner, Yogi Berra and the rest of them, the controversies are countless.
The Yankees once hired a private investigator to dig up secret dirt on Hall of Fame outfielder Dave Winfield during contract negotiations. It's never that serious, folks.
Negotiate and navigate through this investigative and entertaining slideshow. It's more entertaining than investigating, but I'm sure you appreciate that.
Let's get it...Start the show.
10. Derek Jeter: His Contract Negotiations Were the Talk of New York Last Year
Before the season started, Derek Jeter, 36, was embroiled in contentious contract negotiations with the Yankees.
Jank—I mean, Hank Steinbrenner—made some not so flattering remarks about the Yankees' captain. Now the Yankees are tattle-telling on Jeter's homie, Jorge Posada.
Que paso in the Bronx? You know what it is...Zoo York at it's finest.
9. Alex Rodriguez: He's Been Up and Down Using His Bat, Ask Your Girl
A-Rod, or A-Roid, whatever you want to call him is a one-man zoo. Staying in the news from being the highest paid player in the Majors to cavorting with ladies of the night and being filmed eating Cameron Diaz's, um, popcorn.
The days of popcorn-eaters booing him are over, though. He's approaching home run number 620 for his career. He'll probably pass Ken Griffey Jr. (630) this year.
Up next are Willie Mays (660), Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755) and Barry Bonds (762). A-Rod, 35, signed a 10-year, $275 million contract in 2007 and later announced he was a former steroid user. With debates raging about whether or not he deserves to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, it probably means the Bronx Zoo will be open at least until 2017.
8. Phil Hughes: He Was Shut Down Due to a Dead Arm, or so They Say
Phil Hughes was taken out of the rotation because of a so-called "dead arm." In reality, it was his ERA that was getting killed.
With Hughes on the shelf, they need the rest of the starters to pick it up—including the next man on the list. It was going all right—until recently.
The Yankees pitching staff is pretty much dead in the water.
7. Ivan Nova: He Hasn't Been the Beast the Yankees Needed Him to Be This Year
Nova has been up an down this season—like the Yankees. His last outing earned him—from me—the dubious honor of being nicknamed "Chevy."
The Kansas City Royals—the boys from Missouri, the Show Me State—drove him like the old school car by the same surname.
People probably still drive Novas in Missouri, by the way.
6. Robinson Cano: He's Not Playing as Well as Last Season so Far
Cano won the Gold Glove for second basemen in the AL last season. He won't be winning it this season, it's already fair to say. There were a lot of complaints about him winning it last year—along with Jeter and first baseman Mark Teixeira.
The Yankees all-Gold Glove infield has looked more like the Bad News Bears in the last couple of weeks on defense. Cano's average is around .275—down from last year—in a sluggish Yankees offense. What's really going on? It's the Zoo, baby.
5. Mariano Rivera: He Has a Young Turk Breathing Down His Neck
Seeing the way Posada is going out, one has to wonder how the proud Rivera will react once Rafael Soriano takes over the closer role.
Where and when it'll happen remains to be seen, but it's going to happen. Rivera is older than Posada, but Mariano is still producing...for now.
He's No. 2 in the Majors in saves to the Marlins' young gun Leo Nunez. Rivera is No. 1 in the AL, though, and rolling, for now, through the Zoo unscathed. Stay tuned.
4. Joe Girardi: Rumors of Him Bolting to Another Team Have Been Swirling
Tuned in and born in Peoria, Ilinois, it has been rumored—starting last season—that Girardi would love to manage in Chicago and be near his boyhood home.
He also played baseball at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ilinois. With all of the drama lately in the Bronx—especially surrounding catcher Jorge Posada—it makes me wonder if Girardi isn't ready to ask out of the managerial position. A former catcher, Girardi looks weary of the Bronx Zoo.
3. The Steinbrenner Brothers: Hal and Hank
Where and when will the Steinbrenner brothers weigh in on the latest controversy surrounding the Yankees?
Hank, left, had his father George, right, to show him how to run the business.
Hal and Hank took a lot of control from the Yankees' general manager, but the GM kept a significant portion of power.
2. Brian Cashman: The General Manager Has the Steinbrenner Brothers Behind Him
Hank and Jank (Hal) Steinbrenner were taught the business by one of the most sketchy owners in MLB history.
George Steinbrenner is the man who hired a private investigator to dirty Dave Winfield during contract negotiations back in the day. Steinbrenner has passed on, and his sons have been quiet for awhile.
It begs the question whether or not one of them sent Cashman to announce Posada had asked out of the lineup. In some circles, Brian is getting credit for calling Posada out. Cash is sticking to his story and Steinbrenner's stuck like glue. Yuck.
And now for the biggest reason we can still call it the Bronx Zoo.
1. Jorge Posada: Jeter's Buddy Is Apparently Feeling Caged in the Bronx Zoo
Jeter was the best man at Posada's wedding and now the twain looks like they're parting. I mean, Jeter and Posada, not Posada and his bride. Down, you rich boys.
But rev up the 2007 Reggie Jackson-Billy Martin-based movie about the Bronx Zoo: The Bronx Is Burning.
Part II is playing out before our eyes, perhaps. The Cashman-Posada impasse is one to watch.
Thanks to readers like you, I'm one to watch. Keep your eyes out for me, for I'll bring you the latest happenings. Watch me roll out, but catch me on the next Lake's Bronx Zoo Report.