Here's the problem: There's been an 'effect' to every Hank 'cause'. He dissed Moose. Moose has been very good since then. He barked the other day that the Yanks offense needs to wake up. How's 18 runs sound, Hank?
If you started making random predictions or proclaimations and they all came true, wouldn't you feel emboldened to make more? That's what I am fearing. I fear that Hank feels too smart right now, when I actually think he's just lucky.
What I fear is that he starts having organizational meetings and begins to act like the GM and manager AND ownership. He's just crazy enough to scuttle all of Cashman's building efforts to overpay for 3 months of Sabathia, only to have him bolt after the season.
It's OK if the Yanks miss the playoffs. Not preferred, obviously, but the world won't end. The Sox missed the playoffs in 2005 and won it again in 2007. The playoffs are not a birthright, though many of my fellow fans seem to think so. We're spoiled. But if the team is doing the right things to ensure the longer term health of the club, we should remain calm about this season. It's when the club starts dumping it's youth for aging stars or FA's-to-be who don't have any intention of re-signing with the team that would begin to really worry me. Right now, I am strangely calm about the rest of the 2008 season.
Big kudos to the Rays. We all knew it was coming, just not THIS year. Maybe next year, but to see this in 2008 surprised me. And, they are not going away. They have a great farm system and lots of talent on the way. So long as they don't get hamstrung by players in their arbitration years.... but they can get around it by signing the Longoria-like deals for their special players.
The Sox are still a team ticketed to the playoffs, but if I were them, I would be very concerned about the offense minus-Papi. Anytime I see wrist or back injuries with sluggers, I get worried. They have an incredible farm system that could be used to heal some wounds if they chose, though it seems they have zero interest in tapping into that well. They could get Sabathia, Holliday, Teixiera and/or Harden if they wanted. Would take about 4 minutes, max. They have been super smart with their handling of Buchholz, who seems to be readying for a return to the big club, possibly as early as Saturday in NY. Beckett & Dice-K remain upper echelon starters, though those two can be very up-and-down during the regular season. Post-season, they have that extra gear. Yeah, they are a damn good team.
Johnny Damon might be the most valuable player the Yanks have. No, he's not the best offensive player, but the team is just a different team when he's leading off and getting on base. When he's out, hurt, struggling, the team follows. When he's on, the offense just hums.
Sidney Ponson has no place on ANY team with playoff aspirations. I would also say that Ponson has no place on ANY MLB team who, you know, wants to win a game? I would like to see him sent packing in 5...4...3...
Melky Cabrera is only a 4th outfielder. If any team (Cleveland, Oakland) is asking for Melky as part of any deal to get top starter, I'd send him in an instant. He's fun, energetic and a good defender. But we have more of those coming from the farm. His double-play the other night was just maddening. Maybe it was Girardi's fault for not asking him to bunt. You can always find a good fielding OF who can hit .250 with 12 HR a year. Not too hard to replace. I'd start Gardner out there right now. At least he has the speed to steal a few and make things happen on the bases.
I'm not sure what to make of Giambi. He's been just great. Will he take another $5-8M on top of his $5M buyout to remain part of the team one more year? Does he even want to? Do the Yanks want him? Do I? Do you? Do you first wait to see if the team makes a strong move for Teixeira? Giambi's not as good as a DH.
OK, A-Rod is separating from his wife. Yawn. Madonna. That body-building chick from Toronto. Who knows how many others? And his wife has been schtupping Lenny Kravitz (oh yeah, Madonna was with Kravitz years ago, too. Also, Kravitz, Madonna AND A-Rod share the same manager. Karma or cruel twist of fate?) His well-documented insecurities. His well-documented desire to be loved and adored by all. He's about to pass Mickey Mantle on the all-time HR list. Instead of doing all the "right things" off the field, he has chosen to head down another road. The Mick was able to do what he did because the media wasn't everywhere like it is now and even if they knew, they didn't want to damage his reputation. Today's media is unrelentless. There were no camera phones, no Internet, no TMZ.com. You know this. Yet, he still got caught with a beefy shemale-looking bodybuilder-type in Toronto and with a similarly married, man-arms-boasting Madonna. He has two, beautiful young daughters. I can't grasp this. Alex, how do you hold them in your arms and look into their innocent faces? You want to leave your wife? Fine. But there's a right way to handle things and I can't understand how you routinely chose the wrong way.
So how long until Cynthia's tell-all book comes out? The infidelities, the insecurities, the rumors of PED usage by Canseco. I feel ill.
/enjoy long weekend