Monday, October 20, 2008

There's Justice in the World After All

In just about every action/suspense type film, there's always a moment where the villain has a face to face with the hero and says something along the lines of: ". . why can't you just die?"

After the Rays blew game 5, that sums up exactly how I felt toward the Sox.

In the end though, the Rays have restored my faith in the world order.

. .


old professor said...

Mid, what won it for the Rays - pitching, defense and hitting with runners in scoring position. Yankees could learn a lot from how the Rays were put together.

While I am not convinced the Rays will be able to maintain the competitive edge for more than this year, they were fun to watch.

The Scooter said...

Rays vs. Phillies World Series.....MLB's WORST case scenario. They may have the lowest WS ratings in a long time.

Rays in Six.

As far as the Yankees developing young talent. I agree it hasn't been great, but I think it would be premature to dismiss this current group of youngsters over a year of bad play.

Joba is the real deal. I still feel Hughes will be a top of the rotation starter. Cano is coming off a tough year, but I'm not ready to give up on him. The other young pitchers may still in fact turn out to be special. Austin Jackson is still pretty highly regarded.

Prof, on one hand you preach patience as the Sox have had with their young guys, and on the other hand you seem ready to call the Yankees latest group of home grown talent complete busts. You can't have it both ways.

As for the Matsuzaka thing: The whole world thought Boston over-payed for the negotiating rights. The Yankees really liked him, they just got happens.

OK, Igawa was a mistake.

And by the way, I do believe the Yankees developed Alfonso Soriano and turned him into A-Rod.

What I really think we saw this season, was an inevitable "down year" in which the prospects all got some experience under their belt. We can not make a judgment on this group of youngsters until we have a bigger sample size to consider.


Mid said...

I think Larry Bowa would be a great addition to the clubhouse.

I read that Joba got busted for DUI

Brewers say they're making an offer to retain Sabathia (probably covered already)

Crash said...

I agree Scooter. That scream you hear is the collective voice of MLB and Fox Executives worried about ratings because no major market will be watching the Series. Sorry I don't consider Phili a major market.

Old Prof. I really couldn't disagree more with your assessment of the Rays. They are stacked for many years. All of their starters are young, real young. The oldest is James Shields at 26. Arguably their best pitcher, David Price, is only 23. Plus they are all under contract for a while...Kazmir is signed through 2011 with 2012 team option, Shields 2011 options 2012-2014, Price signed a 6 year deal, Sonnanstine and Garza aren't even arbitration eligible yet, Edwin Jackson may be hitting arbitration for the first time this off season. This means the Rays have these guys under control through the prime of their careers, combine that with post-season experience and you have a dangerous young staff.

Offensively, Pena's under contract through 2010, Crawford probably through 2010 (team options), Iwamura 2010, Longoria signed a 6 year deal (options through 2016), They have control over Upton for another couple of years as he isn't arbitration eligible yet either. They fill in with a couple of cheap veteran players (a la Hinske, Aybar, Floyd, etc.) and they are stacked for at least 2 or 3 more seasons. And they have a great developmental farm system (unlike the Yankees).

Larry Bowa will not leave Joe Torre. Bowa is too loyal. I think every one of those New York guys really like working in LA.

It sounds like Burnett and Lowe, maybe Sheets (yes even I just cringed) are the FA pitchers most likely the team will go after.

old professor said...

Scooter, I can't disagree with your assessment of my comments (Christ Armageddon must be around the corner). It is easy to forget two important items regarding the current crop of young players: (1) the NY hype machine puts a lot of promise on their performance which creates a lot of pressure. Sometimes this hype allows the Yankees to trade "prospects for proven players". (2) It is also easy to forget that Hughes just turned 22 and Melky just turned
23. Even Mickey Mantle failed his first time up and was sent back to the minor leagues.

Having said that the Yankees need to make a decision that they will finally go with youth a rebuild the team for the long haul or go back to the old way and re-load every year.

I would prefer they go with the youth. Hopefully they develop the scouting network necessary to make sound draft decisions.

And finally regarding Dice-K, the Red Sox did pay a lot of money for him, however, he went 18-2 for the season and the Boston did go into the playoffs riding that success - where would they have been without him? (Actually John Lester proved to be the future ace of the staff with his performance).

Crash said...

Jon Lester is not the future ace...he IS the ace. He is better than Beckett, Dice-K, Masterson, and Bucholz (who is in the AFL with Hughes). With Santana and most likely Sabathia both in the NL, Lester is the best lefty in the AL. He may even be better than those guys now, if not it's just a matter of time.

I'm interested to see if the Rays can finish the job and beat the Phils, but not enough to watch. Anyone else with me on this one???

old professor said...

I do not intend to watch the World Series even though I am scheduled to receive a new 32" flat screen tv for my new office. Come to think of it my new office won't be done until Christmas.

Lester is the real deal and has showed he has the mentality to overcome adversity.

Even though you have to root for the Rays, how can you hope they win the series when most of the population in the Tampa-St. Pete area didn't start noticing the team until the last week of the season, when I believe they finally drew 30,000 spectators (not fans, but spectators).

Crash said...

I will cut the people of Tampa/St.Pete some slack here for a couple reasons:

1. It's tough to be a fan for a team that has finished dead last, by a lot, for 10 years. That's not last in the AL East division, but they have carried the worst record in baseball for many of those 10 years.

2. It's not like they have a rich history of baseball in Tampa. They have been predominantly a spring training home and an NFL town before the expansion of 1998.

3. It's always harder to draw fans to a sporting event when it's in a nice climate. People are always outside doing more activities. Plus 90% of Tampa are retirees. They're not going out for nothing, except maybe for a morning round of golf before the heat and humidity crack 100.

Now that the team has a taste of winning, I expect their crowds will be larger next season. If they continue to be competitive, which I think they will (see above) that is how you turn spectators into fans.

The Scooter said...

I'm going to watch the World Series. Wanna know why???


Jeesh, what's wrong with you guys? We have been talking baseball since March and you mean to tell me you aren't going to watch the Fall Classic?

I would watch the World Series if it was St. John Fisher College vs. the Buffalo Bison.

Crash said...

I'm sure I'll watch bits and pieces of it, but it's not like I have to watch it. I'm not clearing my schedule for it.

Predictions...Rays in 6. I think Cole Hamels will be dominant tonight in a close game, I can't see Kazmir getting blown out either. The Phils will win games 1 and 5 with Hamels on the mound. The Rays will light up Meyers, Blanton, and Moyer. BJ Upton is the WS MVP.

Crash said...

Ok...I lied.

old professor said...

The Yankee fall baseball players have having mixed results. Hughes while pitching well in his first couple of outtings, got lit up in his last. Juan Miranda at age 25 is having an exceptional Arizona League season (doesn't necessarily translate to big league success). Austin Jackson is struggling offensively as is Justin Christian.

Their supplemental pick in the 2008 draft, a lefthanded pitcher from Stanford, has pitched well. Brackman is doing so-so and Humberto Sanchez (that would be Mid's pick for Cy Young next season) has been lit up big time.

Of some surprise which could help the Yankee rotation next year - Victor Zambrano is pitching in Venzuala and is doing well as he tries to recover from arm surgery and resurrect his career.

Crash said...

According to the AP: "Bill Livesey was hired by the New York Yankees as a pro scout on Thursday, 13 years after he was fired as vice president for player development and scouting."

Hmmm...let's see 13 years ago he was fired, that's 1995...which means he was there, and in that role most likely responsible, at least partially, for the scouting and development of the players at the core of the most recent Yankee dynasty. Finally getting back to what made them successful all these years.

old professor said...

Just read the Yankees may be interested in Mike Cameron to fill their centerfield needs. That is if the Brewers do not exercise his option for next year. Are they nuts? The guy is 36 years old and they think he will be a better option than Gardner, Melky or Damon. So much for a youth movement.

Crash said...

I was reading Mike Lupica's column today in the DailyNews. There was a side bar of the possible spending for the Yankees to fill the necessary line up voids. Yankees have already committed to about $140MM in salary for 2009. If they sign Sabathia, Burnett, Teixeira, and Manny they would have a payroll about $230MM. That doesn't include Pettitte or Mussina. Which could push the total to above $250MM.

Now before Old Prof posts something along the lines of that will never happen, I know the above scenario is very unlikely, but given that I like the names in the line-up, I like the potential rotation...but $250MM??? Does that not shock anyone else. Especially when you consider the 2 teams in the World Series combined payroll on opening day was about $143MM.

old professor said...

Crash, the amount you cite does not shock me. When you calculate what the new stadium will bring in and what the new marketing agreement between the Cowboys and Yankees will bring in, the Yankees will have a bundle of cash to spend. (The marketing agreement has the Cowboys and Yankees controlling product marketing and concesssions at their new parks).

With the new stadium revenues and the new marketing scheme with the cowboys, MLB will be forced to move toward some type of revenue sharing to maintain some type of competitive balance.

The Rays with their low payrole making the World Series is a feel good story. Being able to maintain that type of production from young players who will now expect bigger paydays will be another matter.

The financial balance of baseball is out of wack. There has been too much expansion which creates opportunities for marginal players who in the past would never have made it to the show.

MLB should seriously look at contraction - Tampa, Florida and dare I say the Washington have no business having teams. (Washington does have a new stadium, but you can't fill seats with an inferior product). And if revenues are divided up in a different manner, look to Colorado and the Brewers to be added to the list of financially strapped teams.

Crash said...

It looks like Peavy will stay in the NL, so I got my hopes up for nothing...until I saw the headline that read: "Holliday is available" (that would be Matt Holliday). If you're the Yankees why would you not try to make that deal, especially with Abreu probably heading out. I heard this evening that the Cubs will pursue Abreu heavily. I'm not sure what Colorado would be asking, but you have to at least make a play for him, right?

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