Hi, folks, hope all is well. Only about 30 hours until the pitchers for Game 1 head out to the bullpens to warm up. This World Series matchup is outstanding, because in 10-15 years we will look back and talk about how so many great, star players were in this series, relatively early in their careers, whether it is Longoria or Upton or Howard or Utley or Rollins or Crawford or Hamels or Garza or Price. The series should be loaded with good stuff. Let's get it started...
Any chance that Mussina signs with Cle?
Joe: Very seriously doubt it. He's weighing retirement, and he's a creature of habit, and if he decides to come back, I think he'll work it out with the Yankees.
I know you've said Cashman wouldn't make Tex a priority. How do things stand on that front? I'd rather have CC myself.
Dave -- they'll make him an offer they're comfortable with -- say, 6 years, $18 million a year -- but they won't sniff the 10/200 that has been rumored. If the Red Sox or Orioles take Teixeira much higher than the Yankees, I don't think they'll chase it. On the other hand, all bets are off when it comes to CC -- they'll go crazy to get him.
What's the latest on Peavy? I've been looking everywhere for updates. Thanks.
Mike: It's in the blog today.
Who is the Mets starting 2B in 2009? Any insight on Daniel Murphy's defense in the AFL?
Jake -- his future figures to be in left field, but they're committed to using his roster spot in the AFL to trying him at second. I don't think there's a serious chance he'll fill that role for the Mets regularly, ever -- maybe as an occasional fill-in guy.
How does the Philly bullpen stack up against this Rays slugging-machine? Do you see Lidge finally blowing a save? And will Upton reach the 10 HR mark?
Rob: No question, the Phillies' advantage in this series is with the bullpen, with Lidge at the back end -- and on the other hand, the Rays' middle relief is showing some cracks. The emergence of Price, however, is a real wildcard now; his stuff makes him a great weapon.
1997 2003 Is there any way to stop the Marlins in 2009?
John: I wouldn't put them down as a lock for the playoffs next year, for sure, but if you told me that a year from now they were the 2009 version of the Rays, that wouldn't shock me. They look to be absolutely loaded for next season, and we'll see if they can tighten their defense.
Just a minute folks -- got to take a call.
Sorry about that -- it was a call I'd been waiting for over the last 48 hours. Anyway: Back to it.
I hope you don't treat your son the way you treat SN, Buster. "My son turned ten just the other day He said, 'Thanks for the ball, Dad, come on let's play Can you teach me to throw', I said "Not today I got a lot to do", he said, 'That's ok'"
What a song...
I see the Braves going after established starters. How does Peavy and Lowe sound?
I think you'll get Peavy, in the end, but you won't get Lowe -- I'd bet Lowe turns down a big offer from the Yankees to sign with Boston.
And the next M's GM is?...
Mike: The industry is waiting to hear the final decision, with word expected today. I'd guess Jerry DiPoto.
Is there any point in predicting where Peavy ends up, or is it too early in the process? If Atlanta is still a strong possibility, can they make a deal without giving up Hanson or Heyward?
Jason: It's early in the process, but it is clear that Atlanta matches up with the Padres better than anybody else, in so many ways -- Peavy wants to go there, they could conceivably offer (but to be clear, they haven't) Schaefer, Hanson and Johnson. I think something will get done before the FA market begins, one way or the other.
Can the Braves make a Peavy deal without giving up Hanson or Heyward? Hanson has been great in the AFL...
Jason: I don't think they'll trade Heyward. Hanson might be the deal-maker or breaker.
Buster, any realistic trade options for Carlos Delgado? Maybe in a package to Seatte to buy low on JJ Putz?
SalPacino: I think the Mets are going to keep him.
What would the Mets need to give up to get JJ Putz from the Mariners or Jesse Carlson from the Jays?
Mike: Pelfrey would probably be the guy they would ask for, and the conversations would end right there.
What are your thoughts on the DH? Bannish it completely or make it uniform to have the DH? Which league has the advantage in the WS?
Drew: I'd rather not have the DH. But the union would never permit its ban, because it helps to drive salaries for a horde of players. So while I might wish for it to go away, it'll always be here.
What are the chances the Red Sox land Peavey or CC?
Jay: They could get Peavy if he agreed to it, but I don't think they'll want to give up the prospects to make it happen. And if CC is going to play back East in a big market, he'll probably play for the Yankees, who are prepared to hand over New England and just about anything else CC wants to sign him.
Buster, if you were Charlie Manuel, who would you have DH?
Dan: I'd DH Dobbs against right-handers and play Feliz at third, where he is much, much better than Dobbs, and against lefties, I'd probably go with Chris Coste.
The Phillies will win if....
Slim: If the lineup continues to bury opposing starting pitching the way that they have so far. Opposing starters against the Phillies in October: Nine starts, 37.1 inning, and only one pitcher reached six innings (Hiroki Kuroda). If they get Kazmir, Shields and Sonnanstine out in the 5th and 6th inning, they could take advantage of the cracks we're seeing now in the Tampa Bay middle relief.
Buster, wouldn't you absolutely use Stairs at DH, if only because he's more familiar with the role than anyone on the roster *and* he's faced the Rays' pitching staff numerous times this season as a member of the Jays?
David: Nope -- Dobbs is one of the four or five best hitters on the Phillies right now, and I want him in there, and with the DH, there's no way to get him in as a pinch-hitter. And with the TB speed, I'd put Feliz in the game, because he's a big defensive upgrade.
Do you think personal issues/injuries will end up de-railing Joba's incredible potential ?
Gerry: No, I doubt. I would never minimize what a DUI represents, but I also think the fact that he has immediately taken responsibility is a very good sign -- he's not blaming anybody, or claiming the cops were out to get him -- and I've never heard anyone say anything other than: He's a great kid. He might have issues to sort through, but I think he is, at heart, someone who wants to do the right thing.
Buster, if Peavy gets traded before the 2009 season, give us the biggest name to switch teams at the 2009 deadline.
let's be serious here, if you have to use a dh, wouldn't it be better to use pat the bat as the dh and have dobbs or out there on defense? or even have dobbs at 1st and howard as the dh...
Mac: Personally, I think that Burrell -- while never to be confused with a Gold Glove caliber defender -- is more competent defensively than he gets credit for. I don't know if Dobbs is necessarily a major upgrade defensively over Burrell.
Buster, I've heard that the Dodgers are interested in seeing what they can get for Russell Martin. Are they serious? What could they get for him? What teams could be involved?
Matty D: Yes, I think they'll explore that. And if they decide to trade him, you can bet the Red Sox will be all over that, with Varitek's time nearing an end, whether it's two more years or less.
Buster, pick em as the building blocks of your team --- Lester or Joba? Longoria or Wright?
Jeff: Lester and Longoria. I'd bet that if you were to conduct a re-draft of all the players in the AL, in a keeper-type situation, Longoria would be the first player taken by most GMs.
How about Dobbs at 1B and Howard at DH?
Chris: What happens if they bring in a lefty to face Dobbs and you wanted to pinch-hit? You'd be stuck. Plus Howard has been the everyday first baseman and while he's not exactly a Teixera defenisvely, he's at least been out there.
What's the Street value for Huston? Is Oakland trying to move him?
Brad: yes, they'll market him, and sitting here today, I'd guess that he'd wind up with the Mets or Indians.
Buster - maybe it's my east coast ignorance here, but why would the Dodgers consider moving Martin? I've only read great things about him, and his numbers last year were very good. He's gotta still be at least a top 5 catcher in mlb - was it a lack of consistency this year? Please enlighten me...thanks.
John: There are those within that organization that would like to see him make a greater commitment to his defense. I'll leave it at that.
Burrell at DH and Bruntlett in the OF for left handed pitchers
George: That'd be a good choice, too, but Bruntlett doesn't bring you a lot of pop -- more against lefties, for sure, with a .360 OBP...
Your predictions have been a Godsend for the Phillies this post season. Please tell me you are picking the Rays here.
Bill: You will be greatly pleased to know that I have picked the Rays in 6, so please feel free to start scheduling your championship parade past the Rocky statue.
Buster, I read today that the Twins would like to deal Delmon Young to the Giants for Matt Cain. The Giants wouldn't do that, would they?
John: If the Giants ever put Cain on the market, they'd get 1,000 offers better than Delmon Young. With that, folks, my time is up... I look forward to talking with you next week.