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Saturday, November 18, 2006

No Yankees for Wes Helms at any price

Are the Baseball Thought Police wrong? All those BBWAA voters from Minneapolis who daily break down in sobs about the Yankees being able to buy anything they want (this keeps the focus away from their guy Carl Pohlad, net worth $2.6 billion). Their other big fear: How would we get our name in headlines without complaining about the Yankees?
  • Today's installment of "No Yankees for me at any price" features Wes Helms. According to the NY Times, the Yankees offered more money, but Helms told them to stuff it:
"The Yankees' only need in the lineup is a first baseman. They outbid the Phillies for the former Marlins infielder Wes Helms, but he chose Philadelphia for two years and $5.45 million.

Helms said he would not have liked the "older atmosphere" of Yankee Stadium, but acknowledged that the Yankees made a strong offer.

"The role was to play first base," Helms said in a conference call with reporters on Friday. "They were going to D.H. Giambi. On the guaranteed side, they were a little higher. But that's just me. I'm going to go where I'm happy.""

  • Boy, this guy is a diplomat, too.

Article, "Yankees Begin Retreat From Winning at All Costs", NY Times, by Tyler Kepner, 11/19/06

Addendum:

The Philadelphia Daily News gives background to Helms' decision, not mentioned by the Times:

"I definitely wanted to stay in the National League. I knew all the pitchers. I knew all the hitters. I know where to play them in the field. Everybody I know who has changed leagues, it's an adjustment period.

  • "It's a more comfortable place for me to come to. I think it's better for my family, also. I felt they'd be happier here than in New York." The soft-spoken Alabaman,
  • who almost became a Phillie this time last year, said he took less money from the Phillies."
Staying in the national league was paramount as well, and he'd almost signed with the Phillies last year. The Philadelphia Daily News gives a more complete portrayal.

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