Posted at 9:43 AM on October 11, 2007
by Steve Rudolph
Baseball’s league championship series begin tonight when the Arizona Diamonbacks host the Colorado Rockies. Before the first pitch is thrown I feel it’s necessary to look back at what we learned in the divisional series.
Watching the Yankees lose is still fun. Money can’t buy you love and apparently it can’t buy playoff victories. For the record, I’m completely comfortable with the Schadenfreude I felt watching baseball’s most-storied franchise in disarray.
Speaking of huge payrolls, these playoffs have shown us that you don’t need to spend a lot to make the playoffs or win a series. The Diamondbacks, Rockies and Indians have the 5th, 6th and 8th lowest payrolls in baseball. (The Twins ranked 13th.)
It’s okay to play baseball in Arizona in the spring, but not the fall. While it’s nice to see a low payroll team like the Diamondbacks succeed, I can’t jump on their bandwagon when the people who live in Phoenix aren’t interested in the team. Earlier this week there were still plenty of seats to be had for tonight’s game.
Superstars need to be just that in the playoffs. David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez each hit two home runs and the Red Sox swept their way into the ALCS. Alex Rodriguez and Vladimir Guerrero did little at the plate, particularly in key situations, and have the offseason to think about it.
Posted at 10:55 AM on October 11, 2007
by David Zingler
You’re Joe Torre. You’ve been managing the New York Yankees for 12 seasons. You’ve reached the postseason every year, won 11 division titles, 6 AL pennants and 4 World Series. And it’s not enough.
You’re Alex Rodriguez. You’ve just completed your 4th season as a Yankee. You’ve hit .302 and averaged 43 homers and 128 RBI per year in the Big Apple. Next month, you’ll win your 2nd AL MVP in pinstripes (3rd overall). And it’s not enough. Not even close.
After a season of listening to spoiled Twins fans spew doom and gloom, I really have no time to listen to Yankee fans complain about Torre or A-Rod. I know that Torre hasn’t led the Yankees to a World Series title since – gasp – 2000 and A-Rod has failed to come up big in the playoffs, but neither of these guys deserve the amount of abuse they get in New York.
It sounds like Rodriguez is doing the smart thing by opting out of his contract to become a free agent. I am sure he’ll end up somewhere he’ll be more appreciated. If I were Torre, I’d follow suit by calling Brian Cashman and resigning. Then I would take off a season, work in the media and offer my services to the highest bidder in 2009.
This may come to a shock to the self-absorbed Yankee Nation, but the Yankees need A-Rod, and especially Torre, more than they need the Yankees.
Posted at 3:08 PM on October 11, 2007
by Bob Collins
Suzy Waldman is defending her blubbering (Listen) during a local interview when the reporter was asked about the possibility of Joe Torre being booted as Yankee manager.
In Newsday, Waldman says, "This one's getting me angry, because I don't play this card a lot, but this is as sexist as it gets. What's the big damn deal? That I cried for four seconds of a 10-minute postgame?"
I guess I agree. Sort of.
It was interesting to hear two local radio announcers ("P.A. and Dubay") on KFAN this week suggest that she shouldn't have the job if she can't be more objective (Listen). Of course, this is one guy -- Paul Allen -- who while holding his job as Vikings play-by-play announcer shouted , "Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo" when an Arizona touchdown a few years ago knocked the Vikings out the playoff hunt. (Frankly, that doesn't bother me much; as long as it's not accompanied by a lecture on objectivity).
And his sidekick is the guy who, while performing his job with Fox Sports North and its coverage of college hockey, got into a shouting match with the referees over some of the calls that were going against his beloved Gophers.
So Waldman is right, to a degree. There's a certain amount of piling on going on here.
It's not really about a lack of objectivity. But to me it's about losing perspective on sports to the point where you're given to breaking down crying.... or shouting at refs.... or screaming bloody murder because of a touchdown.
And, Suzi, if Joe Torre loses his job, trust me, you'll not have to look for him sleeping in a cardboard box near the LIE.