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Yankees president Randy Levine apologizes to Angels for Mike Trout tampering comment

Mike TroutNew York Yankees president Randy Levine is already getting a head start on stealing the Los Angeles Angels’ best player, and he had to apologize for it.

At Friday’s press conference to introduce new Yankee Jacoby Ellsbury, Levine answered questions about the team losing Robinson Cano to the Seattle Mariners. Cano agreed to a 10-year, $240 million contract with Seattle, which was much than the Yankees offered him.

Levine explained that the team has a policy against giving players over 30 10-year deals, and that’s when he mentioned Trout.

“If Mike Trout was here, I would recommend a 10-year contract. But for people over 30, I don’t believe it makes sense. I don’t think Hal thinks it makes sense. We were very clear about that.”

Though Levine might not have made a premeditated comment, his remark gets the thought out there that the Yankees are willing to open the vault for Trout when the time comes. Because of that, MLB was said to be investigating Levine for tampering. Levine already says he has called the Angels to apologize.

“When I was talking about Mike Trout, I was using it as an example of the type of player because of his age, we would consider giving a 10-year deal to. I realized it could be misconstrued, so I called John Carpino, the president of the Angels, and apologized to him for any inconvenience. I spoke to Major League Baseball and apologized to them and my understanding is the matter is over,” Levine said in a statement, via Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.

Trout just completed his second full season and will be arbitration eligible for 2015-2017 before becoming a free agent for the 2018 season. The Angels control him until then, but there is a strong possibility they could lost him after that.

Trout and his agent were upset with the Angels for snubbing him on his team-controlled salary last season. The MVP candidate also has made it sound like he’s open to playing elsewhere when the time comes. We’re another four years away from seeing it happen, but it already seems like Trout going to the Yankees is a strong possibility.

And I don’t care what people think: this absolutely is tampering. You think I enjoy the richest team in baseball talking about giving a 10-year contract to my team’s best player? You don’t think the Angels are ticked about the Yankees screwing with their guy? Of course they are! Back off, Yankees.

Bobby Valentine sticks to his 9/11 comments about Yankees, sounds like an idiot

bobby-valentineBobby Valentine made some incredibly idiotic comments on Wednesday about the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. In short, he felt it necessary to say that the New York Mets were more visible in the days after the tragedy and did more to help the community than the New York Yankees. Later in the day, Yankees president Randy Levine ripped Valentine for his remarks.

“Bobby Valentine should know better than to be pointing fingers on a day like today,” Levine told ESPNNewYork.com’s Andrew Marchand. “Today is a day of reflection and prayer. The Yankees, as has been well documented, visited Ground Zero, the Armory, the Javits Center, St. Vincent’s Hospital and many other places during that time. We continue to honor the 9/11 victims and responders.

“On this day, he would have been better to have kept his thoughts to himself rather than seeking credit, which is very sad to me.”

After taking a night to think it over, Bobby V. stuck to his guns. Rather than apologizing like he should have and acknowledging that the 12-year anniversary of 9/11 had absolutely nothing to do with baseball, the Yankees or the Mets, he reiterated his stance.

“It was an emotional day,” Valentine told Erik Kuselias on the NBC Radio Network. “I don’t know if I was trying to take credit for the team. I was trying to make a fact. After 12 years of hearing what was done and hearing it reported incorrectly, I just thought I’d state for the record that there weren’t any Yankees out there that week.”

It got worse from there.

“And if there were, Mr. Levine could just come up with a photograph of someone who was at a funeral or someone’s house,” he continued. “All I remember is people asking for the Yankees and me making excuses for them not being there.”

This guy can’t be serious. He really thinks Levine should present photo evidence that the Yankees reached out to the community after the Sept. 11 attacks? Even if Valentine is right about the Mets “helping out” more than the Yankees, no one wants to hear it. The fact that he thinks on those terms — even after having a chance to reconsider his stance — is truly disturbing. Here is the audio of Valentine defending himself:

Randy Levine: Yankees are not going to re-sign Robinson Cano ‘at any cost’

Robinson-Cano-YankeesThe New York Yankees remain in the hunt for a wild card berth this season, but many of their players are aging and breaking down. Derek Jeter suddenly cannot stay healthy and Alex Rodriguez is facing what could be a historic suspension at age 38. Simply put, this team needs Robinson Cano.

Cano is 30, one of the best hitters in baseball, and easily New York’s best all-around player. The second baseman recently fired agent Scott Boras and signed with Roc Nation Sports, so you know Jay-Z’s new agency will be looking to make Cano’s contract its introductory splash. However, Yankees president Randy Levine said the team does not intend to pay ridiculously money to retain him.

“Robinson Cano is a great player. We will sit down and talk to him,” Levine said during an interview with Bloomberg Television on Tuesday, via ESPNNewYork.com. “Hopefully he’s a Yankee. Nobody is a re-sign at all costs, but we want him back and we feel good about negotiating something with him. But nobody is a re-sign at any cost.”

The Yankees are in a strong position with Cano, especially with the Boston Red Sox having signed Dustin Pedroia to a long-term extension this season. Pedroia’s seven-year, $100 million extension not only drives down the market price for Cano, it also (presumably) eliminates Boston from being able to drive up the price on New York.

“The Yankees are the Yankees — we’ve been around for a long time,” Levine added. “I think our fan base understands that we’re going to put a championship-caliber team on the field. … Great players come and go, but the commitment to getting great players continues.”

In other words, we have enough money to put a contender on the field every season — with or without Cano. What you’re hearing from Levine are basic negotiating tactics. He’s not going to do Cano’s agents a favor by saying the Yankees need the second baseman, although it is probably true. When all is said and done, I’d be shocked if Cano isn’t in pinstripes next season. Unless, of course, the Los Angeles Dodgers come calling.

Yankees president Randy Levine to Alex Rodriguez: ‘Put up or shut up’

Alex RodriguezNew York Yankees president Randy Levine has fired back at Alex Rodriguez in response to strong accusations from A-Rod’s lawyer that claimed the team tried to sabotage the slugger by keeping medical records away from him. Levine’s message was short and simple.

“Alex should put up or shut up,” he told ESPNNewYork.com on Saturday afternoon.

By that, Levine is challenging A-Rod’s lawyer Joe Tacopina to release medical records that support the claim that the Yankees lied to Rodriguez. Tacopina even alleged that Levine told the doctor who was about to perform hip surgery on A-Rod that he never wants to see the 38-year-old on the field again.

“We will put up, mark my words, we will put up,” Tacopina said in response to Levine’s challenge. “[Levine] is always a very big talker, but he is going to be humbled eventually. He is acting in a way that if his bosses and superiors and the Steinbrenner family have any sense of decency, if they are true to what the Yankees’ heritage is, they would be appalled with how their president is acting. We will put up.”

With Rodriguez’s permission, Levine said he is prepared to release medical records dating back to A-Rod’s first hip surgery in 2009 to prove that Tacopina’s assertion is untrue.

“That’s nonsense,” Levine said. “You can’t even respond to a thing like that. “If he really believes that, he should file a grievance for the release of all his medical records. We’re willing to release all of them. All he has to do is say yes and we’ll release them all for everyone to see.”

Levine also said that A-Rod should release records from the treatment he received from his own doctor — which was not authorized by the team — so that everything is out in the open. After New York’s loss to the Boston Red Sox on Saturday, Rodriguez said he would release those records “when the time is right.” Levine also said he is willing to share all of the emails he exchanged with A-Rod to prove he has been one of his biggest supporters.

“It’s quite surprising that now Alex needs a new layer to put out reckless, specious and false allegations that only distract from the only relevant question here, the one he refuses to answer: Did he or did he not use performance-enhancing drugs?” Levine added.

Meanwhile, Rodriguez continues to be inserted into the Yankees’ lineup with a goal of helping the team win. While he does that, New York’s front office is at war with his lawyers. I can only imagine how the rest of the Yankees feel about the never-ending soap opera.