Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hello and Good Riddance

Further Thoughts on Baseball.

  • Was that really a World Series? Four straight years of boring baseball to wrap things up. Three sweeps and a five game series. And to rub salt in the wound, it was the Sawks. I rooted for them last time, just to get rid of the damned curse. But they seemed like lovable underdogs then. Now, they're just as Evil as the Yankees -- minus the warm fuzzies I get from being a Yankees fan since the days of my youth. And without those childhood fuzzies....they really just make me want to throw up real bad.

  • So Joe Girardi is in, and Don Mattingly is out. As much as it pains me to admit it (I'd follow Donnie Baseball to the ends of the earth), Girardi is the right guy, both for the immediate future and for the long term prospects of the Yankees. Joe Torre was never a baseball genius, he just knew how to manage a ballclub full of New York-sized egos. And he knew how to do it well. However, he never quite got the hang of how to handle a bullpen (Rivera was a gimme); And he's had difficulty plugging younger players into the All-Star Yankee teams of the past few seasons. (Though the blame in that respect also weighs heavily on the Yankee front office.) Girardi's past experience as a big league catcher, and as the manager of a young Florida Marlins club, ought to serve him well.

  • As rumors fly about Torre accepting a job in Dodger-land (he's from Brooklyn originally, as are the Boys in Blue), Grady Little quits and Mattingly muses about following Torre wherever he ends up next. I like this scenario: For one, there's not much to root for the in NL right now, and the Dodgers have been my No. 2 team in the Senior Circuit (after the Brewers) since the first meeting of The Society of Young Gentlemen for a Yankees-Dodgers World Series. In fact, a Torre-led Dodger club would only serve to further public support for S.Y.G.Y.D.W.S. In addition, Mattingly eventually deserves a shot at managing a team, and having him coach for a club not named the New York Yankees can only help his chances in the future. Let's see this happen.

  • A-Rod is a douche. I defended this guy last year, when all of New York was eating him alive, but the timing of his announcement and his failure to even entertain an offer from the Yankees before he hit the free agent market is an all-time low for a Yankee great. (At least, as far as free-agency is concerned. Guys like Bernie and Donnie retired rather than play for another organization. Caveat though -- A-Rod can still hit.) And considering Mike Lowell's performance in the post-season this year, maybe we'd be better off with him at the hot corner anyway.

  • Speaking of....Yes, Mike Lowell is a free agent. Yes, he's a product of the Yankees farm system. Yes, the Yankees need a third baseman. No, he will not replace A-Rod's bat over the course of 162 games next year. Yes, he can actually hit in October. This (and a boatload of pitching) is just what the Yanks need.

  • Geoff Jenkins is done as a Brewer. It makes sense -- you don't pick up a $9 mil option on a guy who hits 21 HRs and bats .255 -- but it's still hard to see a Brewer vet like Jenkins go. Yet with guys like Tony Gywnn, Jr. waiting in the wings....2008 ought to be an exciting year for the Brew Crew.

  • And finally, Dusty Baker just might kill the Reds pitching staff....and any chance they have a returning to the post-season. Note to Aaron Harang and Homer Bailey: learn to say "no" to this guy before he ruins your respective careers.

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