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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 12/2/16

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New CBA is good for Yanks; NYY a finalist for Encarnacion; Tanaka eyeing WBC; Rowson hired as Twins’ hitting coach; Catching up with Matsui; Fidel Castro was never actually almost a Yankee

Edmonton Oilers v New Jersey Devils
“Oh I guess I’ll come back to work since there’s no lockout. Darn I was really looking forward to watching Taylor Hall!”
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Around the Empire

New York Daily News | Mark Feinsand: The terms of the new CBA are thought to be “very good” for the Yankees. With teams’ revenue and market size no longer a factor in revenue-sharing, the Yankees stand to pay a lot less than they have previously. They’ll also receive a deduction for money they’ve paid toward the construction of a new stadium. Then with the luxury tax limit set to be raised, the Yanks are poised to be under the threshold as early as 2018, so their tax rate will reset.

CBS: Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, and Brian McCann are no longer on the Yankees’ roster. The result of that is the Yankees having an opening at designated hitter. So it makes sense that they are pursuing big bats such as Edwin Encarnacion. Now, however, it seems the Yankees are one of three possible finalists for him. The Astros and the Blue Jays are the other two teams in the mix. It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out.

Japan Times: Coming off probably his most successful season in MLB, Masahiro Tanaka is looking towards possibly pitching in the World Baseball Classic in the spring. While it’s not set in stone, Tanaka would obviously suit up for Japan in what would be his third WBC stint. He’s also upset about Japan’s loss to Puerto Rico in 2013 which guaranteed Japan didn’t win its third straight title, and vowed to make up for that. Because of course did.

Twin Cities | Mike Berardino: The Twins have hired James Rowson as their new hitting coach after firing Tom Brunansky on November 8th. Rowson spent the last three seasons as the Yankees’ minor league hitting coordinator, and also served in that same role from 2006-2011. Rowson has worked with the likes of Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, and Greg Bird, so the Twins are probably hoping he can help groom some of their younger talent as well. Congrats!

North Jersey | Pete Caldera: Catching up with Hideki Matsui who is enjoying the retired life. He says he stayed in the US because it gave him and his family a better chance at a more “natural lifestyle” than he would have if they moved back to Japan. Matsui would consider a more permanent role in baseball, but hasn’t found something he’s truly passionate about. If he figures that out, say managing or coaching or whatever, he could see himself pursuing that.

NPR: Longtime Cuban dictator Fidel Castro loved baseball. In fact, there was a rumor that before the Cuban Revolution, he actually tried out for the Yankees in Havana. However, it seems that rumor is more of a myth and that myth has now been busted. It’s possible he went to an open tryout for the Washington Senators or then-New York Giants, but it couldn’t have been for the Yankees. The Yankees were not active anywhere in Latin America until the 1960s, well after the Cuban Revolution began in 1953.

Fun Questions

  • Encarnacion: yes or no? Those who said no, would you be upset if he did end up a Yankee or just “eh didn’t want this but dingers are cool, yo”?
  • When does “Christmas season” officially begin for you?

Song of the Day

Bennie and the Jets by Elton John

It’s Ben Diamond Week on Pinstripe Alley. What’s even more beautiful about today’s song selection is that Ben Diamond himself chose today’s Ben Diamond song! #Whoa! Does this mean that our very own Ben Diamond has fallen under the spell of Fitzmagic and loves the Jets? Does it mean he’s a big fan of planes? The possibilities are endless, or end at just those two. I don’t know. As always, please link us your Ben Diamond. Everyone should have a Ben Diamond.