Monday, October 15, 2007

Pepper Allowed

We now know Colorado is never going to lose another game but can anyone tell me who in the world they lost to? Nineteen and one is more than impressive; it's unprecedented. Baseball pundits and columnists are scurrying to find post-season exploits of a similar dimension but the best they can come up with is Cincinnati in 1976, and their run was nowhere near as long. After last night's 4-1 victory in the rain the Rockies are one game away from the first World Series in franchise history. Raise your hand if you picked them to go the big dance. Heck, raise your hand if you had them making the playoffs altogether.

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The circus that is New York Yankee baseball just keeps getting more pathetic. The owner, reported suffering from some form of dementia, is apparently handing the reigns over to his two sons, who by all accounts have been meddling, er I mean running the show for some time now. The manager, who wears a perpetual weary expression, just concluded his latest stint on the hot seat and apparently was fatally burned. Now, several of his players who are eligible for free agency are publicly declaring they won't return if he doesn't. Meanwhile, their star among stars, A-Rod, may exercise his option to leave and his agent, the always understated Scott Boras, is promising the richest contract in baseball history should he depart. Make that the latest richest contract since A-Rod already holds the title.

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The other day Jim Salisbury mused about the return of two former Phillies: Curt Schilling and Scott Rolen. Actually, he admitted Schilling was only a possibility and Rolen a pipe dream. The Phillies aren't about to re-sign Schilling should he leave Boston. Schilling has too much mileage on his arm and mouth for the Phillies and would single-handedly upset the clubhouse atmosphere just when they don't need that complication. Rolen would come back to Philadelphia only if Rich Kotite were appointed to succeed Andy Reid.

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Dusty Baker is living proof that nice guys aren't finished as long as there are managerial openings somewhere in the big leagues. I am starting to lose count of where he has managed, but I think thethree year deal he just signed with Cincinnati is the fourth or fifth stop in his management career. Word that he is determined to manage as long as Kenny Lofton is an active player could not be confirmed by either party.

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I make no bones about rooting for Cleveland to go all the way this year. The Indians' faithful are nearly as long-suffering as the fans in a few cities we could name but hardly need to, the difference being that we aren't constantly subjected to stories of curses when their years in baseball's wilderness are discussed. The Tribe's comeback the other night in Boston was a real momentum builder. Not only did they take it to Curt Schilling early, but they rallied not once but twice against Boston at Fenway, something very few teams have done in the last few years. If the Indians do put away the Red Sox, they can take a crack at derailing the Colorado Express, not exactly an enviable task this season.

1 comment:

David said...

Cleveland is definitely in the drivers' seat now, considering how amazingly they've played at home. A Cleveland-Colorado World Series? That would have to be among the most unlikely matchups ever, at least considering their perceived status at the start of the season. No one was picking the Rockies to finish anywhere other than last place, and the White Sox, Tigers, and Twins all seemed to have higher pedigree in the AL Central.

If you're Joe Torre, why would you stand for that nonsense? I question the dignity of a man who would tolerate it, when he has to know he'd have a job anywhere else in the sport.

Salisbury's column was a bit bizarre. Half of it was devoted to Scott Rolen, yet he would then repeatedly affirm that there was zero chance Rolen would consent to return. So why keep mentioning it...? As for Schilling, it would appear that your statement that the Phils aren't about to sign Schilling may not be accurate. Both sides sound like they have a good deal of interest, and I don't think it'd surprise anyone if that came to pass. Although I can't imagine Schilling would be able to put together a year much unlike the one Jamie Moyer just completed. I'd say he's an injury risk and more or less a .500 pitcher at this point. But that's about the best they can hope for in the free-agent market.