Brad Ausmus signing finalized

He passed his physical, which is no small feat for a guy who is going to turn 40 in April(as a proud quadragenarian myself, I can attest to that). The deal, once again, is one year, $1 million, with up to $350k in incentives. Still not sure what they are, but given the number of games Russell Martin will catch, I’m going to guess it’s going to be tough for Ausmus to reach any of them. Here is the release from the team:

LOS ANGELES – The National League West Division Champion Los Angeles Dodgers today agreed to terms with catcher Brad Ausmus on a one-year contract. General Manager Ned Colletti made the announcement.
Ausmus is a three-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner, earning the honor for National League catchers while with Houston in 2001, 2002, and 2006. He ranks ninth in Major League history among catchers with 1,887 games and 1,720 starts. Among active catchers with at least 600 games played, the 39-year-old is tied for third with Bengie Molina with a .994 career fielding percentage behind Mike Redmond (.996) and A.J. Pierzynski (.995). Ausmus also ranks second in big league history with 12,486 putouts as a catcher, trailing only Ivan Rodriguez (13,124). He has thrown out 30.7 percent of potential base stealers (383 of 1,246) in 16 Major League seasons.
Ausmus has played 10 of his 16 big league seasons with the Astros, including the last eight in a row. He was Houston’s Opening Day catcher for nine of those seasons, including each of the last six campaigns. The Dartmouth University alum, who makes his off-season home in Del Mar, CA, is Houston’s all-time leader for catchers with 1,243 games and 1,119 starts. He had started at least 100 games at catcher for 11 straight seasons until starting 62 behind the plate in 2008.
Ausmus has played in five postseasons, including one World Series appearance in 2005 with Houston. He was an American League All-Star with Detroit in 1999, when he started 121 games, threw out 32 of 91 potential base stealers (35.2 percent), and established career highs with a .275 batting average, nine home runs, and 54 RBI.
In 1,914 games during his career, Ausmus is batting .251 with 79 homers and 596 RBI with San Diego (1993-96), Detroit (1996, 1999-2000), and Houston (1997-98, 2001-08). He batted .218 with three homers and 24 RBI in 81 games with the Astros in 2008.
Ausmus was the recipient of the 2006 Darryl Kile Award presented by the Houston chapter of the BBWAA, which is given annually to the St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros player who best exemplifies Kile’s traits of “a good teammate, a great friend, a fine father and a humble man.”
The Connecticut-born Ausmus was selected by the Yankees in the 48th round of the 1987 First-Year Player Draft.

More on Torre’s book

I spoke today with a source close to Joe Torre, who said the book was an “honest” account of what transpired in New York. But the source basically echoed what Tom Verducci said in his SI.com interview, that it isn’t nearly as much of a hit job on the Yankees as it is being made out to be in the New York tabloids. I also heard from TWO sources today, both of them close to Torre, that almost everyone who appears in the book was contacted by either Torre or Verducci to give them a heads-up on what was written about them, and that none of those people took exception to any of it.

Torre’s yet-to-be-released book already a source of controversy

But it sounds like much ado about nothing. There were stories in this morning’s New York Daily News and New York Post indicating that the book, called The Yankee Years, which is due to be released on Feb. 3, is a tell-all book in which Joe Torre cuts loose on the Yankees organization, including general manager Brian Cashman and third baseman Alex Rodriguez. But the book was actually written by Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated (based on several interviews with Torre). In an interview with SI.com, Verducci says the book is NOT a Torre rip job on the Yankees. To its credit, the N.Y. Post already has posted excerpts from that interview, including the following quote from Verducci that seems to exonerate Torre:

“Anybody who knows Joe, especially during his time in New York, knows he’s a very honest man and he is very honest in the pages of this book. People also know Joe Torre doesn’t go around ripping people and he doesn’t do that in the pages of this book. There is a lot of information in this book over a tremendous period of baseball history. It’s been reported out by me as well as informed by Torre’s own insights into that period.”

One thing you can be sure of: sales of the book certainly won’t be hurt by the stories that came out today — whether those stories are accurate or not.