Hey everybody, I'm in the press box at Yankee Stadium waiting for batting practice to begin. Probably won't be able to go quite as long as usual today. But let's get started.
Jerry, we missed you in the mustache chat.
Jeremy, I was pretty excited when I saw that. Sorry I missed it.
So which AJ Burnett shows up tonight: Good AJ or Bad AJ?
Daniel, I'll go with good A.J. He's got a 1.88 ERA in his last four starts, he's pitching at home, the Yankees are up 1-0 and he's got Molina behind the plate. And with the exception of Mauer, who's 5 for 13 against him, no one in that Minnesota lineup really wears him out.
Posada needs to understand that a leader, supports his team! Not cry about his playing time and act like a child in front of the camera because he can't play one game!!!
Mark, I was there when Posada made his, "They better win that game" comment. First-hand, it didn't seem as bad as it has since been portrayed. He was clearly disappointed he's not playing in Game 2, and I would go so far as to classify him as "terse." But it's not as if the guy went on a rampage. It did make for good talk radio fodder, though.
Where do you stand on the AJ/Posada/Molina flap?
George, If I'm Joe Girardi, I would start Molina, too. No matter what the Yankees say, it's clear that Burnett and Posada aren't on the same wavelength. The Yankees can get by without Posada's bat for a night. But they can't get by with Burnett's head being elsewhere for five or six innings. It's all about pitching now.
Jerry,How do you see game 2 of the Twins-Yankees series going tonight? Blackburn is the Twins best big game pitcher and I'm expecting the Twins will score some runs off of Burnette tonight.
Todd, I was just looking at the pitcher-batter matchups. Mark Teixeira is 6 for 6 against Blackburn and Jeter is 3 for 7 with a home run against him. That's a small sample size, but still ... Blackburn will throw strikes and hang around a while, but I have a tough time seeing him shutting down the Yanks lineup.
How's the weather looking? Chance of a rain out?
Ben, Right now the weather looks very good. Some cloud cover, but pretty warm, with the temp well into the 60s. I think we'll be fine.
The Phillies have chosen Pedro for Game 3. Good choice or will this be a disaster for them?
Gary, Pedro looked great for a while, but you have to wonder if that 130-pitch start took something out of him. What the heck -- he's a resourceful guy, he's got experience, and he's Pedro Martinez. If he struggles, Charlie has some long relief options behind him. I don't know if he'll have a terribly long leash.
Die-hard Sawx fan here and I've been the target of many jokes today (four singles? are you kidding me?)...which Beckett do we see tonight? The playoff Beckett that I've grown to love or will his back cause more problems than he can overcome? Also, how do you think young Clay will fare in his first postseason start on Sunday morning?
Ryan, I'm never going to bet against Beckett in October. He's got a pretty good track record. The Red Sox' bullpen is so deep, they don't need 7 or 8 innings from him, anyway. I do like this Angels lineup, though. You could make a case that Vlad is the easiest out they have right now.
If everyone regards CB Bucknor as one of the worst umps in baseball how does he draw a playoff assignment? And will MLB take a page out of the NFL's book and admit he blew at least two obvious calls?
Mike, My understanding is that postseason assignments are merit based, but that the best umpires go to the LCS and the World Series. I'm not an umpire basher, but CB Bucknor was absolutely terrible in Game 1. Let's hope he shows better focus in Game 2, when he'll be behind the plate.
what are realistic expectations for matt wieters next year?
Danny, I think we're looking at a .280 to .290 hitter with 18-20 homers and 80 RBIs. Wieters had a lot on his plate this year (no pun intended) having to learn the Orioles staff and come up amid all that hype. He hit .362 with a .936 OPS in September, so apparently he's settled in quite nicely.
How would you rate Cuddyer as an outfielder? I've always thought he had an amazing arm, and seemed to cover decent ground and not drop balls. I ask because in Keith Law called him a substandard fielder in his postseason preview. I'm guessing I've missed something about his fielding, and curious to get your take. AND, if he is below average in right, could we give 3B another try next year? Maybe his time at 1st has triggered his infield instincts? His last stint at 3rd was terrible, but that was a few years ago, and I'd love to see a true power third baseman.
Henry, Cuddyer does have a very good arm in right field, but he doesn't fare well according to the defensive metrics. Then again, with Carlos Gomez or Denard Span in center, Minnesota's RF doesn't have to cover much ground. I don't think the Twins much liked what they saw from Cuddyer at third base. He looks decent at first, but the Twins are well-covered there with Morneau, obviously. And they've got Kubel as a DH, so they're covered there too.
Who will be the better starter long term, Hughes or Joba?
Kevin, Personally, I think Hughes is more cut out to start because of his temperament. I know the Yankees are determined to make this Joba-as-starter thing work, but I'd put him in the pen.
What are the Cardinals chances to take the series down 0-2. Will that mistake by Holliday end up costing the Cards this series?
Brady, The Cardinals' chances aren't great, obviously. They need a big outing from groundball-meister Joel Pineiro. And looking at the schedule, Carpenter would have to come back on three days rest, right? One thing on Holliday: The guy did flub that ball, but there's such a thing as picking up a teammate after an error, and Ryan Franklin kind of went to pieces after that play. He still had a chance to work out of it.
Do you think it best to just postpone the Rocks/Philly game tomorrow even w/out snow? High 20's Yikes!!!
George, They don't have time to build a dome there before Game 3, do they? All I can say is, I'm glad I'll be in Minnesota, where men are men and it's always 70 degrees come game day.
THE LIST PRICE ON YOUR BOOK IS $24.95 BUT ON AMAZON.COM THEY ARE SELLING FOR $200.00 ...WHY?
George, I have no idea. But suffice to say, if you buy "License to Deal" for $200, you're probably not exercising the best financial judgment. (No offense to the author)
Life long Angel fan. Do you think the Angels took a lot of people by surprise in game one? And what do you think are their chances for taking the series outright?
Ryan, I picked the Angels to win the series, so they didn't take me by surprise. I'm obviously wary of that bullpen, but I think that's the best lineup, top to bottom, that they've run out in recent seasons. And there's no discounting the positive impact that Torii Hunter has on the clubhouse. It's vital that the Angels win Game 2, though. They'll be lucky to split behind Saunders and Kazmir at Fenway.
Who are your predictions for the world series and who do you got winning it?
Jacob, Before the playoffs began, I picked the Yankees to beat the Phillies in the World Series. Philly is in some trouble, but not quite as much as the Cardinals, who were picked as the NL rep by a lot of people.
Do you think the Yankees will discuss a deal for Halladay in the offseason? Is Melky, Coke and one of the Duncans enough to bring Doc to the Apple? Thanks.
Vito, Geez, You're not exactly anxious to surrender a lot of talent for one of the top five starters in MLB, are you?
Do you think the Dodgers have it in them to make it to the WS?
Allen, Sure. They've got a lot of energy, a calming influence in the dugout in Joe Torre, a couple of very dynamic young players in Kemp and Ethier, a good bench and a terrific bullpen. The starting pitching is questionable, but Kershaw, Wolf and Billingsley are certainly good enough to keep them in games until Joe can go to the pen.
What's a better storyline for the world series: Torre vs. his old team or Manny vs. his old team?
Ryan, I'd have to go with the Joe Torre vs. the Yankees angle.
Why didn't Girardi wait until today to announce the Posada/Molina news? He could have avoided a 3 day media story. The manager of a team in that city should know better
Ryan, Girardi informed Posada Sunday in Tampa, then Posada told the writers during Tuesday's workout day. Do you honestly think the Yankees would have "avoided" this becoming a story by keeping it under wraps? It would have become an even bigger story. And personally, I don't think it's that big a deal to begin with. Other than Jorge Posada's feelings getting hurt a little bit, who cares?
Will Derek Jeter's intangibles get a hit or rob someone of a hit tonight?
Lou, No, but his tangibles could definitely have an impact.
Can you believe Holliday is blaming the lights for that epic foul-up? He played in the Dodgers division for 5 years and must have played 70 games in Dodger Stadium
Steve, I'm not sure if it was the lights or the white towels waving. I imagine that Tony La Russa probably thinks it's part of some grand cosmic conspiracy to keep the Cardinals from winning.
Hey Jerry Yankee fan here, sorry that my fellow Yankee fan Vito just lowered all of our baseball IQ's by 90 points!Which team do you think has the best shot at knocking the Yanks off this year?
Tarek, The Angels give the Yankees a lot of trouble. I believe they're 34-20 or thereabouts against NY over the past few seasons. So I'll go with Torii Hunter's bunch.
Melvin said Prince wasn't available, but if the O's packaged some young pitchers, would the Brewers bite?
Kyle, I think the Orioles would have to dig deep into that Tillman-Matusz-Arrieta arsenal to pry Prince loose from the Brew Crew. I just don't think it's a great fit.
That was a terrible play by Holliday but 1 error doesn't equal 2 runs in this case. 1 error plus aweful relief pitching = 2 runs and a loss. Sorry Cards fans but Franklin couldn't cut it.
George, Hey, it was a bad play, but it's not as if the team walked off the field after the ball conked off Holliday's stomach (or whatever part of his anatomy it hit). Franklin certainly gets his share of the blame for that finish.
Does the baggage I'm now carrying around affect my free agent value or the chances of the Cardinals resigning me?
Matt, No, you've got enough of a track record that one bad play isn't going to affect your free agent value one iota. I'm not sure how your mediocre performance in the AL with Oakland might affect things, though. You'll still do fine this winter.
I know you already answered a few about CB bucknor..but seriously that guy is terrible. Two horrid calls last night, but how big a role do you think he might play in tonights game, especially with Beckett going for the Sox?
Dan, I would hope he won't be the center of attention. But if the guy can blow two obvious calls at first base that badly, he has a lot more opportunity to be a negative factor behind the plate. I don't mean to get on CB, but even Angels fans have to admit he was brutal last night.
Do you think the Cards regret extending Franklin? The pixie dust seems to have worn off and he's gone back to his career norms.
Tim, It was a pretty club-friendly contract, so even if he's just a good setup man -- and not a closer -- Franklin's contract isn't going to kill St. Louis.
Jerry, can the Braves really move Derek Lowe's contract?
Zoey, I'm sure Frank Wren will at least explore the possibility this winter. But three years and $45 million is a pretty serious chunk of change for Lowe. I can't see anyone picking up that contract in its entirety.
Jason Heyward: Delmon Young or Justin Upton?
Kyle, Heyward is a lefty hitter, so I could just cop out and say "neither." But based on what I've heard, he's got terrific makeup (which gives him an advantage over Delmon). And he was good enough to earn a promotion to Triple A this year at age 20. So I'll say "Justin Upton."
Funny how when the calls go against the Red Sox with the umps they cry like no other. They now want something done about it, but during that game during the end of the regular season against the Angels with the home plate calls of pitches when the tides were turned, they were noticably silent afterward....hmm..
Chris, Everybody cries about umps. But you could at least make a case that Nick Green's non-strikes in that game at Fenway were borderline. The plays that Bucknor missed at first base last night weren't even close.
What moves do you see the Tigers making in the offseason? Will Polanco stay?
Matt, The Tigers think Scott Sizemore is ready after hitting .308 in two minor league stops this year, so I don't see Polanco returning. The Tigers are a little tight on finances because of the economy and some bad big contracts (e.g., Dontrelle Willis and Nate Robertson) so I don't see Dave Dombrowski going on a spending spree.
Sorry, but I've only got time for one more.
Do you think Larry Beinfest will ever get a chance with a big market club? When you consider what he has to deal with it's a miracle he has the Marlins competing every year.
Tim, I believe the Marlins gave Beinfest a contract through 2015 when they promoted him to president and named Michael Hill GM, so I think Larry is pretty content right where he is.
Thanks for the questions, everybody. Looking forward to the big Yanks-Twins tilt tonight. Enjoy the games.