Quick MLB UpdateQuick MLB update before the Week 5 NFL Rants & Ranks. I know you're all desperate for that. It's coming in a couple hours - I need to get out of this damned shirt and tie first and relax (i.e. drink...) a little.
-- Although no one will believe it, I actually posted in my Blogger's Fantasy League my postseason picks early last week: First round - D-Backs in 4, Phillies in 5 (oops), Red Sox in 5, Indians in 5. I gave the Cubs, Angels & Yankees far too much credit.
-- For the record, I have the World Series as Red Sox over D'backs, and have had that as my pick ever since about late June.
-- I could not be happier and more pissed about the Sox drawing the Indians for the ALCS. From a pure baseball perspective, I would have much rather faced the Yankees and their Gawd-Awful pitching staff. Chien-Ming Wang & Andy Pettite are not nearly as scary as CC Sabathia & Fausto Carmona. But from a fan perspective, the fact that games 3 & 4 are in Cleveland is fantastic, since I only live 2 hours away now. Of course, I can't go to either game because of previous committments, but if there's a Game 5 (which I think there will be - Sox in 6), I am absolutely going to find a way there.
And finally, the "Joe Torre Watch" in New York. There's pretty good debate going in the comments section today on Shanoff's Blog about many things, not the least of which is the Joe Torre situation. At the risk of duplicating someone else's comments (I'm far too lazy to sort through all 100+ so far), here's my take:
1) If Torre's fired, do not be surprised if the following happens:
-- A-Rod opts out to go play for either Lou Pinella (as a shortstop again) or the Angels to put some pop back into the lineup behind Vlad. The Red Sox will probably make a push, but mostly to drive up the price for someone else. They will probably stick with Mike Lowell for 2 more years at 1/10th the overall contract cost of A-Rod. Or they could push for Mark Teixeira and move Youkilis back to third.
-- Jorge Posada leaves for another team. Let's face it - if another team (again, Anaheim jumps to mind, among others) offers him more money, but the Yankees keep the only manager he's ever known, he's staying in pinstripes. But if Torre's gone, he's got to take that last big contract, doesn't he?
-- Mo Rivera gets lowballed, but stays in NY. This is just a hunch - if Torre's gone, the baseball ops people can justify Mo walking because of the young arms they have ready to go. If Torre stays, he's going to demand the veteran arm in the back of the bullpen.
2) As for the question of how best to spend $25M a year if/when A-Rod walks, first let's remember that Texas is kicking in about $6m of that. So the Yankees are "only" saving about $19m. Obviously, that money is best spent on the best player in the game, but why not spend it on, say, Dontrelle Willis or Johan Santana in a year? Or even this year, if they make a push to trade for them?
Back later with the weekly NFL Ranks.