Yankees Looking To Buy EPL’s Tottenham Club?

London’s DAILY STAR reported Sunday that the New York Yankees are entertaining the possibility of making a bid for Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League.

Hal and Hank Steinbrenner

THE owners of baseball giants New York Yankees are looking into buying Spurs for a massive £450million.

Powerhouse Yankees are said to be weighing up an offer for a major stake in the White Hart Lane outfit.

Hank, a former college soccer player, expressed an interest in buying the club in the early 1990s.

Back then, the Yankees were ­approached to buy a 33 per cent ­interest in Tottenham for around £20m – but they passed up the option and it is a decision that Hank still regrets.

It’s probably not a coincidence that this news hit just days after George Steinbrenner passed away. Can’t imagine the old man would be too excited about it.

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Asked about buying into another sports franchise, Hank said: “The only thing would be a major soccer team in ­Europe, preferably in the Premier League. That’s always a possibility for me.”

Current owner Joe Lewis, 73, could be tempted. The Bahamas-based, East End-born businessman is worth £1.5billion but he and his partners lost £500m in the Bear Stearns bank collapse.

Yankees President Randy Levine responded to the report today. Read more…

Yankees Declaring War On Germs In New Stadium

In today’s “we can pimp our team logo anywhere” announcement, the New York Yankees are really getting their money’s worth out of the billion-plus dollars poured into the stadium.  Not only do they get awesome TVs (because of blocked views) and plenty of (available) premium seats, but now they have the magic power to rid the park of microbes.

A pensive moment with Hank Steinbrenner

(A pensive moment with the latter-day Howard Hughes, Hank Steinbrenner)

Seriously, that’s a superpower, right? Hank Steinbrenner is Antimicrobial Man! Leaps over tall tales in a single bound! Scrubs clubhouses clean with one flick of his hair! Sanitizes all Yankees stories on the YES Network with just a grunt! Anyone that can keep that building in the Bronx free of germs deserves a Nobel Prize in medicine and a World Series ring.
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Buying Yankees Tix Just To Watch Game On TV?

Yes, the New York Yankees’ owners have taken over a billion dollars of taxpayer money (warning: PDF) in one form or another to fund their new personal playpen.  Yes, the Yankees have taken their season ticket holders from old Yankee Stadium behind the woodshed and explained in so many words that they have purty mouths and how much it would please them if they could just squeal in a porcine fashion.

New York Yankees fans

(How Yankees fans see themselves)

Still, they didn’t double (or worse) all the ticket prices while shrinking capacity to create demand.  In fact, a small handful of tickets will go for $12 for each home game.  Of course, that just allows people to watch most of the game on televisions embedded into the walls because they’re obstructed-view.  But hey… game experience, baby!

How could they possibly lower the prices on those tickets?  We suspect it’s because they’re so far away that they actually sit in international waters.  Brooks heard a Montserrat vessel fired on a hot dog vendor during a dry run earlier today, but that’s not the least of your problems if you sit out there.  We hear you don’t have to wait until interleague play to see pirates.

How Yankees owners see New York Yankees fans

(How Yankees owners see Yankees fans)

(Hope you’re loving this Borscht belt humor, Yankees fans, because the remaining $12 seats are in the Catskills.  The concession stand is lousy out there in Rochester… and such small portions! HA!)
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Even Red Sox Now In Favor Of MLB Salary Cap?

With steroids now dominating the headlines in baseball again, the sport needs a new public relations makeover. Could a salary cap be just the gesture the sport needs to get back in the good graces of the American people? The idea has been knocked around for years, but now even big market teams like the Red Sox are throwing support toward the idea.

yankees money hat

(No, no, not that kind of salary cap)

Of course, the Sox are only interested these days because of the new stadium down in New York, which is going to put massive amounts of cash in the pockets of the Steinbrenners — and allow them to spend even more on salaries. It’s not insane, even, to think that the Yanks would run their payroll up to $300 million or more in the next few seasons.

So, is there finally hope for the Royals?

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Torre’s Tell-All Book Rips “A-Fraud,” Yankee Brass

Someday Joe Torre is going to be in the Hall of Fame as a manager. The only question is which cap he will be wearing on his bust: Dodgers, Cardinals, Mets or Braves? Because based on the contents of his new autobiography, it sure as hell won’t be the Yankees. The NEW YORK POST says that the book, entitled “The Yankee Years,” is filled with just the sort of juicy tidbits and accusations you would expect from anything involving the Yankees.

The cover of the new Joe Torre book

The book, co-written by SI baseball scribe Tom Verducci, is not on sale at Amazon.com until Feb. 3, but the newspaper was able to obtain an advance copy through lots of hard work and close sources. Meaning: they went to a bookstore in New York that was selling it early and bought a copy. In the book, Torre goes into great detail about his exit and his relationship with Yankee brass, but he also has some special words for Alex Rodriguez - and they aren’t good:

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For $423.5M, Yanks Could Own Freddie, NY Times

In this offseason alone, the Yankees have spent $432.5 million on three free agents: pitchers CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett and first baseman Mark Teixeira. To get Sabathia and Burnett, New York bid above market prices. For Teixeira they shot appropriately high. yet all those moves pale in comparison to what the Yankees could have bought with the same money in the downtrodden stock market: Freddie Mac, a controlling ownership of Churchill Downs, half of the New York Times or one-third of Foot Locker.

hank steinbrenner, george steinbrenner

That’s right, Steinbrenner, Steinbrenner and Steinbrenner, Inc., clearly could have spent their money a bit more wisely, according to CNBC Sports Business guru Darren Rovell. Two years ago Freddie Mac was booming, and there’s no reason the organization couldn’t return to their previous glory of share-price highs. Just think: The Yankees could own one of the largest mortgage brokerages in history. They could call it Yankee Homes and go buy up one-third of New England delinquincies, forcing Red Sox fans to sign on to “Yankee Home” deeds. The possibilities are endless.

Instead, New York has two pitchers and a slugging first baseman. For five years (assuming Sabathia doesn’t opt out). Seems like a misallocation of resources, if you ask us.

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Speed Read: Is Manny To The Yankees Inevitable?

Is Manny Ramirez really going to end up being a Yankee when all is said and done? The pinstripers look like they’re willing to attempt to buy a World Series title for their long-suffering fans (seriously, there are Yankee fans in college who haven’t seen a championship since they were in junior high!). The NY DAILY NEWS is saying that the Brewers have taken the Mike Cameron for Melky Cabrera trade off the table, leaving the Yanks looking for an outfielder.

Manny Dives and Misses

(get ready to see this a lot next year, Yanks fans)

It makes perfect sense. Manny is from New York City and grew up literally within a mile or so of Yankee Stadium. Manny also cares about placating Red Sox fans possibly less than anyone who has ever played in Boston (and you thought Sawx fans were mad about Johnny Damon going to the Bronx). Manny’s also the kind of guy who would probably go play in Kazakhstan if they offered him the most money, so if the Yankees offer the most cash he almost certainly will go there. The DAILY NEWS claims that Hank Steinbrenner is pushing for Manny, while Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman aren’t entirely sold on the idea. Stay tuned.

Joe Johnson bricked a free throw with three seconds left last night, and the Celtics did something they couldn’t do in last year’s playoffs – win in Atlanta. Boston won its 16th consecutive game with an 88-85 victory over the Hawks. At this point, I think it’s legitimate to start considering the C’s a potential 70-win team. They’re 24-2 now, and are not entirely reliant on the “big three.” Guys like Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins are turning into legitimate players, and they just don’t seem to have any major weaknesses (well, there is Ray Allen’s defense).

Kendrick Perkins

In another big game, the Hornets went on a late 13-0 run and beat the Spurs 90-83 in New Orleans. Chris Paul set an NBA record by recording a steal in his 106th-straight game.  And  LeBron James got a standing ovation last night for his 32-point performance…in Minnesota. That’s how desperate T-Wolves fans are to cheer for something. It must warm Kevin McHale’s heart. The Cavs won the game 93-70 to improve to 21-4.

Elton Brand dislocated his right shoulder in the third quarter of a win over the Bucks last night. Anyone think that it’s just not in the cards for Elton? Every team he plays for isn’t any good, and he keeps finding new and exciting ways to injure himself.

Now it’s time for you to guess how many links I’ll be providing you now — without going over (don’t be that guy who bids $1):

• I know this is a sports blog, but we need to talk about The Price Is Right for a second. On Tuesday, a guy got the price of his showcase exactly right. This has only happened one other time in this history of the show, back in the early ’70s (the exact date isn’t known). But the big shock in all of this is that Drew Carey reacted to this unbelievable achievement as if the dog he just had neutered was hit by a car:

So what’s the real story here? Well, it seems that there was a ringer in the audience. Apparently, there are people so obsessed with TPIR that they memorize the prices of anything and everything that could be on the show (and I guess some prizes are repeated), and one of those people just happened to be in the audience and shouted out the exact price of the showcase, which Terry used as his bid (Terry also got his one-bid item right on the nose earlier in the show, presumably with the help of the mystery man). And the guy has been found. His name is Ted. After Terry’s bid (but before Drew revealed the actual answers), suspicious producers stopped the taping and met for what is rumored to be as long as 30 minutes to decide what to do, but then realized that no rule had really been broken (people are allowed to shout suggestions from the audience). But Drew knew exactly what was going on, and thus didn’t even pretend to be excited when he announced the winning bid. I feel bad for the other lady, who was only $400 off. Tough break.

•  CBS2 in L.A. brings us sad news. MMA fighter Justin Levens and his wife were found shot to death in a Southern California condo yesterday. Levens had a 9-8 professional record, and had fought for various brands, including UFC. One of his losses was to Evan Tanner, who died earlier this year when he ventured out into the desert alone and ran out of water.

• The last surviving member of the football Hall of Fame, Sammy Baugh, died yesterday at the age of 94. DC PRO SPORTS REPORT memorializes the man who revolutionized the quarterback position.

Scott Shafer resigned as defensive coordinator at Michigan after one season, and blamed the “demise” of the program on himself. No, it certainly didn’t have anything to do with the horrible offense. The DETROIT NEWS has the full story.

• FOR THE RECORD has their five worst officiating calls of the year. Poor Ed Hochuli, rooting very hard for a Bronco loss this weekend.

• More unfortunate news, as former Astros and Cubs closer Dave Smith died yesterday at the age of 53. Smith is Houston’s career save leader with 199. FAN HOUSE points out that Smith will most be remembered for giving up a walk-off homer to Lenny Dykstra in the 1986 NLCS, but Smith was an excellent pitcher. His career 2.67 ERA was well below the league average for relievers during his career.

• Here’s a doozy. BROOKLYN MET FAN says that Bernard Madoff, who screwed Mets owner Fred Wilpon out of about $300 million in his giant Ponzi scheme, has already paid for two season-tickets behind home plate at the new CitiField. Something tells me Bernie might not be showing up for those games, though. Meanwhile, the Mets are having to squash rumors that the team’s in financial ruins because of all of this. To get your mind off all of this, Met fan, let’s look at this random photo of Shea Stadium’s destruction:

Shea Stadium

London Fletcher isn’t exactly happy with being left out of the Pro Bowl yet again, considering he’s the leading tackler of the decade in the NFL. THE BIG LEAD says Fletcher is calling himself the “Susan Lucci of the NFL.”

• Knicks players basically ignored Stephon Marbury last night, according to the NY DAILY NEWS. Marbury bought his own ticket to the game and showed up to watch, but received no acknowledgment from any of his “teammates.”

Tony Romo tells USA TODAY that he missed T.O.’s birthday party because he “couldn’t walk,” alluding to a back contusion he suffered against the Giants. Take that, Ed Werder.

How many games are the Celtics going to win?

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Bern, Baby, Bern: Williams Says He’s Not Done Yet

One of the last times I saw Bernie Williams play at Yankee Stadium, he attempted to throw out a runner at the plate from shallow center field. And “attempted” is used loosely here, because the ball bounced twice and came to rest just inside the pitcher’s mound. That was 2006.

Bernie Williams

(”I’ll reel in the big free agents with smooth jazz”)

But despite a budding career as a musician, Bernie still has the baseball bug and expressed interest in making a comeback — though it appears he only would want to return to the Yankees. Your move, Brian Cashman.

Quotes from Bernie after the jump.

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Speed Read: Rising NHLer KO’d By Evil Golf Cart

Validating those of you out there who think the Ryder Cup is more dangerous than the NHL, it was reported on Tuesday night that St. Louis Blues defenseman Erik Johnson suffered what appears to be a season ending knee injury while golfing last week. The 20-year-old Johnson, one of the bright young defensive stars in the NHL, tore his ACL and MCL when his leg got caught between the gas pedal and brake pedal on his golf cart.  If I was Johnson, I probably would’ve  tried to pull a modified Monta Ellis and lie about it, and at least say I was wrestling a wild boar or something.

golf cart crash

And while we’re on the topic, the Yankees are going to have plenty of time for golf next week as they were finally put out of their misery last night when the Red Sox beat the Indians 5-4. The defending champs held the standard champagne-spewing party afterward, but likely did so as the wild card team. But hey, any celebration featuring Jonathan Papelbon acting like a tool is worthy in my book:

Jonathan Papelbon

The Yanks are missing the postseason for the first time since 1993. Hank Steinbrenner blames “socialist” revenue sharing. And the “divisional setup” for allowing inferior teams to attain playoff spots. Never mind that the last Yankee championship team won only 87 regular-season games.

Beneficiaries of much revenue sharing, the Rays lowered their magic number to two with a doubleheader sweep of the officially hapless Orioles. It was the first DH sweep in franchise history. Prince Fielder’s walk-off homer gave the Brewers a win and kept them within one game of the Mets, who beat the Cubs. The Mets, meanwhile, have decided that Omar Minaya is deserving of a four-year extension.

The Phillies phell and now lead the division by just a game and a half. The Dodgers bashed San Diego while the D-Backs were stymied in St. Louis, putting L.A.’s magic number at three. The Twins spanked the White Sox to pull within a game and a half in the AL Central.

And finally, your Lane Watch 2008 update: still employed. But don’t expect Petros Papadakis to be happy about that.

  • What’s the big secret to the 49ers’ 2-1 start? It might be this thing:

the glove

The creatively-named “Glove” is a newfangled contraption that is reportedly “billed as better than steroids without any ill effects.” It pulls blood into your palm and cools it down or something, I think. Whatever, this article from the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE should tell you all you need to know.

  • Q: Do you, Mr. Arenas, take this woman as your wife?  A: Hibachi! (thank you WASHINGTON POST)
  • Star USC cornerback Shareece Wright is out for up to six weeks, leaving the Trojans with just 37 future first-round draft picks when they invade Corvallis, Oregon on Thursday.

We interrupt your regularly-scheduled Speed Read to give you this week’s installment of Ridiculous CFL Touchdown Celebrations (thanks to LARRY BROWN SPORTS for the tip):

Oddly, this isn’t even the worst CFL celebration this month.

  • The DETROIT NEWS’ Terry Foster is told that Jon Kitna is not the Lions’ biggest problem — by Jon Kitna.

Let’s lay some blame:

Who is most responsible for the Yankees missing the playoffs this year?

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Lil’ Steinbrenner Says Girardi’s Comin’ Back in ‘09

Alex Rodriguez may have given up on the season*, but Lil’ Hank Steinbrenner has faith that the guys who put the Yankees in their current predicament will also turn help things around next year.

Joe Giradi

Obviously, Hank’s old man, George, has a lot to do with New York’s situation, but since he’s family — and more importantly, the reason his son has a job — the fingers are pointing in the general direction of GM Brian Cashman and first-year manager Joe Girardi. But according to the ASSOCIATED PRESS, nobody’s getting canned. Not yet, anyway.

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