Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Back to Reality (Baseball)

NOTE – Thanks to some of my recent posts about high school football, some folks think this is only a football blog; one dedicated to Connecticut’s FCIAC football conference. However I don’t just write about football. I write about everything, so please have a look around. The football stuff is here, but there are other things in my world. That’s why I put the category of my post in parenthesis within the title.

Finally, somebody in Yankeeland used their head. Joe Torre has just announced that he WILL be back for 2007, despite what the New York Daily News has been reporting, and several others have been speculating. Explain to me how Torre became so clueless after winning 97 games? While you’re at it, explain to me why Bobby Cox keeps his job after years of regular season success and playoff failures, but Joe Torre should be fired? Cox last won a World Series (his ONLY one, I might add) in 1995 – the year BEFORE the Yankees dynasty began.

Of course, I know the answer to the Cox question. Cox manages in Atlanta, sports version of nowhere-land. Fans don’t care, to say the least (empty seats at playoff games), and are more interested in NASCAR and Bulldog football than the, what are they called?, Braves.

All of this said – Torre no longer gets a free ride. Neither does Derek Jeter. Despite being a stand-up guy, the Captain now has to show some leadership. If Alex Rodriguez is a Yankee in 2007, Jeter has to embrace the entire team, and that includes his former friend. I like Jeter but remember this – A-Rod was arguably a better shortstop than the Captain, but he gave up the position to join the Yankees in 2004. Still, as much as I want A-Rod to stay and become a legend here (a good one), I think I’m going to have to explain to The Son why his first favorite player is a former Yankee. He has failed in ways that are remarkable, and become a soap opera unto himself. Laid-back Anaheim might be perfect for him. I’ve read rumors of him going to the Cubs, but I can’t see it. Chicago will probably eat him alive. He needs to go somewhere that has the money, but not the passion of New York. That sends him to Anaheim, in my mind. There he’ll hit 50 home runs again, probably win a ring or two, and life will go on.

Others leaving the Bronx have to include Cory Lidle, who is utterly clueless. What the hell was he doing on the radio with Mike and the Mad Dog yesterday? What an idiot. I’d let Mike Mussina come back, but at a bargain price, as a back of the rotation pitcher (where he can join Randy Johnson, if he’s healthy). I’m thinking Chien Ming Wang and Barry Zito would look awfully good at the front of the rotation, but Zito coming to New York just doesn’t seem likely. He’s just too much of a West Coast guy. The Yankees might be stuck with Carl (hey, remember me?) Pavano. This is my knee-jerk reaction, but we’ll see what develops. God forbid the Yankees actually let Philip Hughes come up and join the rotation in 2007! By the way, Jared Wright could be back as well.

There’s no way that first base will belong to Jason Giambi, but you never know. Still I want a guy who can play some defense and has pop in his bat. As much as I like him, Andy Philips is not that guy. Somebody like Sean Casey (Peter Abraham said this in the Journal News, and I won’t be accused of ripping anybody off). Robinson Cano is fine at second. He had a bad postseason, but I’m willing to forgive it. For now. Jeter is a lock at short. Now who plays third if A-Rod is gone? Is Aaron Boone available? Don’t laugh…stranger things have happened. Seriously, the free agent market is weak for third baseman. That’s where the A-Rod to the Cubs trade has some value, because Aramis Ramirez would look decent in New York.

To the outfield, where Hideki Matsui is staying in left, with Johnny Damon in center and Bobby Abreu in right. Melky Cabrera will find playing time filling in at whatever spot they need him. As for Bernie Williams? It’s been fun. Thanks for the memories.

I still think a trade for Jorge Posada is possible, but the problem is – who’s better? So Posada will be back, with a need for good backup. Sal Fasano? Not likely. For ha-ha’s…how about Mike Piazza? I could see it, but I don’t expect it.

In the bullpen, the Yankees have the great Mo. It also seems that they will be using Kyle Farnsworth to implode again in the process of getting the ball to Rivera. Mike Myers is under contract to be the lefty specialist. I’m intrigued by Brian Bruney, but only time will tell. Scott Proctor and Ron Villone fit well, if they’re not overused (are you listening, Jared Wright?).

Right now, this is the closest I can muster to interest in baseball. Good luck to the remaining four teams. It will be interesting to see if I can find any energy to watch these games. Baseball has long been my favorite sport, but right now, I’m just down about it. Thanks, Yanks.


Sean G. Kilkelly said...

I know stranger things have happened but with The Boss on a warpath how about Barry Bonds in Pinstripes!!!

Rob Adams said...

I don't often say never, but I'm going to say never here. At least I hope it's never.