Hey everybody, It was a fun World Series. I think Sergio Mitre and Francisco Cervelli finished in a tie for most champagne sprayed after Game 6. As one fellow writer told me, "The guys who contribute the least always spray the most." Let's start the chat.
Can you make the argument for A-Rod as WS MVP? I know it's hard because he hit .250 for the series, but let me give you some numbers: .407 with runners on, .529 7+ inning & .500 w/RISP 2 out.
Odysseus, A-Rod rallied at the end, but didn't do much at the beginning. I think Jeter had a stronger case than he did -- and quite possibly a stronger case than Matsui did.
What was the best storyline of this world series?
Kyle, Like it or not, I think the "A-Rod sheds the choker label" was right up there, in large part because of the steroid revelations and the hip surgery earlier this year, and how well Rodriguez performed during the playoffs. The Jeter-Rivera-Pettitte-Posada "old geezer" storyline was a close second.
As a small market fan, I feel like MLB and the players union have given mainstream America the middle finger. It's disgraceful that a team can be allowed to buy a championship. No other professional sport allows anything this absurd. MLB should be ashamed of itself for becoming a complete joke in the sports world. I personally think pro-wrestling has more integrity.
Ajay, You're certainly entitled to feel this way, but keep in mind that this was the first Yankees title since 2000. Strictly in terms of championships won this decade, baseball has had more competitive balance than either the NFL (with the Patriots dominating) or the NBA. Money helps, obviously, but nothing beats prudent front office management.
Jerry, lots of talk today about baseball's economic situation. Where do you come down on it? Salary cap? ARe Yankees bad for baseball?
Greg,I'm probably out of the mainstream, but I've never been a big salary cap guy. Look, the Yankees have to fork over a lot of money through revenue sharing and the luxury tax system. I think that's been pretty good for competitive balance. The smaller market clubs with smart management (Twins, Marlins, etc), are able to compete, and some others (who shall remain nameless) continue to have problems. You know who they are.
Hamels, Lee, Blanton and Happ will be the starters for the Phils next year....who is the 5th? Drabek or a FA?
Edge, Well, they're paying Jamie Moyer more than $6 million next year, so I have to think he's going to get a crack at the job. I don't know if Drabek will be ready by Opening Day, but I suspect he'll be up at some point in the season.
Who will be the Phillies closer next year, can't be Lidge again.
Mike, Why not? He's under contract for a couple more years at significant dollars, and they're not going to be able to move him. As we've all seen, relievers' performances tend to fluctuate a lot from one year to the next. Personally, I wonder how much trouble Lidge had with his knee this season. You just don't go from that good to that bad so quickly. Let's see how he does with a fresh start in 2010.
Hey Jerry,Who do you think the Yankees resign, Damon or Matsui? My feeling is they are both expendable. Damon can't throw anyone out, and Matsui will ask for alot of $$$.
Bump, There's probably more room on the roster for Damon, but it seems the Yankees are looking for a one- or two-year deal at $8 million per or so. I heard Scott Boras talking about Damon a couple of weeks ago, and he seemed to be looking at a much more generous deal than that. Matsui is a terrific hitter, but by committing to him, the Yankees would freeze Posada out of the DH spot. I think the chances of Damon return are better than Matsui, but I wouldn't be shocked if they're both gone.
Come on Jerry, that's a ridiculous "answer" to the question of the Yankees buying a championship. They've missed one playoff all decade and spent almost a half a billion dollars this off-season on 3 players. You know full well that the Yankees can afford to make mistakes while smaller revenue teams can not only not make mistakes, but have small windows where they truly have an opportunity to compete. To act like it's great for the game that the Yankees spend 60-70 million more than the next team and well over twice the median team, is a joke.
Monroe, There's also a school of thought that it's great for baseball to have one big-spending villain that everybody loves to hate -- and the Yankees certainly fit the bill there. Would it be great for all 30 teams to have a chance to win? Sure. But some teams are incompetent regardless of how much money they have to spend. Look at the NFL. They have a salary cap, and the Browns and Lions are laughingstocks every year because their entire front office operations are a joke. Sometimes money can be a crutch for incompetence.
Team of Decade? I still say Sox because I think being the first team to lose a 3-0 LCS lead should have some points taken away from them no?
Chuck, Jayson Stark did a great story on this topic before the World Series, and everything seemed to weigh in the Yankees favor because of total wins and some other considerations. Just because their titles came in 2000 and 2009 doesn't mean they did nothing in the middle. They were more consistently competitive than anyone else, and they made the playoffs every year but one.
Think Boston will empty the farm system for Felix Hernandez?
Mike, Well, Theo Epstein and the Sox were reportedly pursuing Felix aggressively at the deadline. The Red Sox have a lot of young talent, and they're motivated to do something really big now that the Yankees have won the AL East and a World Series. King Felix, Roy Halladay and Adrian Gonzalez will all be making the rounds in trade speculation this winter, but it's going to take a mother lode of talent to acquire any of those guys.
still with the sox? you went to boston u...we know you're not happy. get over it
Kurt, Didn't I just say the Yankees were the team of the decade? Or did I miss something? (I'm not operating on a whole lot of sleep, so maybe I dozed off there)
If you had to pick 1 free agent catcher to have behind the plate everyday for your team in 2010, who would it be?
Jason, I trolled through the free agent catcher names, and Bengie Molina and Rod Barajas jumped out at me. Suffice to say, it's not a strong winter for backstops.
If you were the Mets general manager what would moves would you make this offseason?
Carlos, I'm not sure how much money the Wilpons have to spend in the aftermath of the Bernie Madoff thing, but they could use a good starting pitcher and a big bat in the outfield, and John Lackey, Matt Holliday and Jason Bay all fit that description. A lot depends, of course, on how well, Jose Reyes comes back from injury and Carlos Beltran plays next year.
Jerry,Could you forsee the Yankees parting ways with both Damon and Matsui and getting involved in the Left field market with guys like Jason Bay, or Matt Holliday? They could easily afford to pay one of those two what they will command on the market, especially if they do not renew Damon or Matsui. Lastly, what will happen with Andy Petitte?
Tom, Just when I say the Yankees are done spending, they keep spending. I never expected them to spend $423 million on three guys last winter. So I would never rule out them making a run at Holliday or Bay -- or John Lackey or Chone Figgins, for that matter. As for Pettitte, I think he'll be back for another year if he wants do. But I'm sure we'll have to listen to the inevitable "Andy is mulling it over with his family" stories before there's a conclusion.
Just because Scott Boras is going to ask for a generous contract doesn't mean he will get one - just look at some of his clients the previous off season.
Jeff, You're right on that. But if Johnny Damon overplays his hand, the Yankees might quickly head in another direction, and that could kill Damon's chances of returning to New York. Just saying ...
There is no way the Twins are not gonna re-sign Mauer, eh?
Lincoln, I would be absolutely, positively shocked if Joe Mauer doesn't return to Minnesota.
Abreu is back with the Angels on a 2 year deal with a team option for 2012.
Jason, That seemed to be inevitable. Abreu did a nice job for that club this year, and two years seems about right. He's still a very consistent, reliable producer.
How does the Lilly injury affect Hendry's offseason plans? What do you think the Cubs' priorities should be?
Matt, I think the Cubs have to resolve the Milton Bradley situation first, then proceed from there. They still have Zambrano, Ryan Dempster and Randy Wells in the rotation, and Lilly apparently isn't expected to miss much time. Upgrading the offense is a bigger priority for Hendry than improving the pitching staff.
What is the latest on the proposed KC-White Sox trade involving Teahan, Getz and Fields?
Jonathan, It seems to be getting more and more "official" as the day progresses. If that's the deal, I think the Royals did OK for themselves. They cut some payroll, added some inventory and got younger. I don't know if Fields or Getz are impact players, but Fields has some power and Getz falls in the "handy" category. This seems to me like exactly the type of deal Dayton Moore should be making.
One other note about the opening up the DH spot for Posada, that assumes that the Yankees have a catcher capable of playing 70 games or so, and I don't see that player currently on the team, or available this off-season.
Jeff, Yeah, but there will be some decent catchers available in trade. Maybe they go after someone like Chris Snyder or Kelly Shoppach. I think it makes more sense to go out and acquire a catcher who can play half the games than commit to a 36-year-old fulltime DH when you have a bunch of guys on the roster who are suited to log time at DH.
Pettitte certainly boosted his HOF credentials with his performance in the postseason. Where do you stands on his candidacy?
Doug, I just checked Pettitte's baseball-reference profile, and he's compared to guys like Bob Welch, Jimmy Key, Frank Viola and Dave McNally. Without parsing the stats too closely, I have him in the good-but-not-great category. Those postseason wins notwithstanding, I just don't see him as a Hall of Famer.
Jerry, if you're the Dodgers GM, what positions are you looking to target this off-season and who might you see filling those holes, either through trade or free-agency?
Mike, The Dodgers have a nice nucleus of young players. But you have to wonder where they stand with Chad Billingsley -- that's a huge question. That team has always been built around pitching, and Ned Colletti's going to have to focus on the pitching staff again this winter. I'm sure Joe Torre feels that way, since he's always been a pitching guy at heart.
Can you please explain to the Yankee Haters that Money does not buy you champions. I also would like to note that they Yankees spend the most but they also make the most. That is how a good business is run. I would rather them put the money back in the team then the owners pockets. Do you agree?
Ken, I'm not a Yankee apologist by any means. But if I followed a club and ownership was always willing to spend money on talent, I wouldn't mind. Carl Pohlad of the Twins was a billionaire, and he was very resistant to spending money on players. Say what you will about George Steinbrenner: He's never been hesitant to share the wealth.
Abreu's contract: 2 years, $18 million. 2012: $9 million option or a $1 million buyout.
Dan, That's a little more guaranteed money than Pat Burrell received from Tampa Bay last year. After waiting around all winter in a down economy last year, I think Abreu just wanted to get it done. I wouldn't be surprised if some players take nice, comfortable deals this winter rather than try to shoot the moon and risk being unemployed in January or Febraury.
Thanks for the questions, everybody. I'm going to have to call it a day. Heading to the general managers' meetings in Chicago over the weekend. There's nothing like hanging around an airport hotel lobby for three days. Have a great weekend.