The fact that ESPN has Pedro Gomez assigned to Rangers camp to cover Sammy Sosa’s arrival speaks volumes. Gomez was an instant tune-out for me the last couple years in his role as Barry Bonds’s shadow. And now the self-proclaimed Worldwide Leader in Sports has attached him to Sosa.

While stories on how many autographs Sosa signed were being compiled in Surprise and filed in Bristol, Rangers management and Michael Young’s agent spent some meaningful time away from the cameras and the microphones and the notepads, getting down to business and discussing the parameters of a deal that would extend the shared identity between franchise and player well into the next decade.

T.R. Sullivan reports this morning that the two sides have made “significant progress” on a contract that would keep Young right here for the next seven years.

Now that’s a story.

Neither the Rangers nor Young are commenting on the negotiations — bravo — but according to Sullivan, the dialogue that has transpired over the last two weeks could lead to a resolution sometime this week. Sullivan suggests the deal could be in the neighborhood of $15 million per season from 2009 through 2013, taking into consideration the below-market salaries Young is contracted to receive in 2007 ($3.5-$4 million) and 2008 (club option for $4-$5 million). That means the seven-year pact would equate to about $12 million per year.

Can’t tell you how much this fires me up. Get ready. If I get to write about Young locking up here long-term, you will see the most fired-up Newberg Report you’ve ever seen.

Pedro might even squeeze it in as a footnote at the tail of a story on how many minutes Sammy took batting practice, or how many officers are in his security detail.

I’m fired up.

You can read more from Jamey Newberg at

1 Comment

Jamey, I was the same way last year whenever Pedro Gomez came on Sportscenter. I’m a little concerned that he may just be ESPN’s guy to cover “old players with controversy,” but the attention is good. It will help prepare the rest of the team for the huge amount of press they will be forced to deal with this October in the playoffs.

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