WARREN SPAHN AWARD WINNER
CC Sabathia was in Oklahoma City last week to accept his second straight Warren Spahn Award as the top left-handed pitcher in baseball. While there, CC spoke with the Associated Press. I found one quote in particular to be interesting. Regarding going to Boston to play the Red Sox, CC said, “I’m sure it’s going to be a little more harsh, but they’re tough anyway. Being in a Cleveland uniform, they were tough”, Sabathia said. “I’m looking forward to them being even tougher on me being in a Yankee uniform and hearing some rude things”. CC is going to realize that there is a huge difference walking into Fenway Park with a Yankees rather than Indian jersey. Somehow, I don’t think the Tribes rivalries with the Tigers and White Sox or even the Brewers feud with the Cubs have prepared him for what he is going to experience this year. But, on the bright side, A-Rod and Tex will be there to take the brunt of the Red Sox fans’, um, “criticisms”…
Other past winners of the ten year old Warren Spahn Award are Randy Johnson (four times), Andy Pettitte, Johan Santana (two times), and Dontrelle Willis.
THE O’S ARE MAKING SOME DECENT MOVES
The Baltimore Orioles are taking a chance on former high level prospect OF Felix Pie. I’ve read a number of criticisms of the trade, but I think it might be worth the risk. Pie will only be 24 during the upcoming season, and still has the chance to achieve some of his potential. He was the Cubs top-rated prospect in 2006 and 2007, but has so far failed to hit at the major league level. He hit .241 in 43 games with the Cubs last year after hitting .287 in 85 games with the Iowa Cubs. Baltimore should be able to give Pie the opportunity to play in the outfield that would not have happened in Chicago. Plus, given less pressure at Camden Park than say Yankee or Dodger Stadiums, the environment might be right for Pie to finally experience a breakout season. If he fails, the O’s has lost two quality pitchers in Garrett Olson and minor leaguer Henry Williamson. Oh well, tough luck for the O’s and Peter Angelos…nothing I am going to lose sleep over!
HOW DO THE PEOPLE IN ST. LOUIS FEEL
Now that Kurt Warner has the Arizona Cardinals on the doorstep to an NFL Championship, I have to wonder how the good people of St. Louis feel about their former star being on the verge of delivering the franchise’s first Super Bowl Championship to the Bidwell family. Personally, I’ll be pulling for Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers, and have no love lost for Bill Bidwell (or Bill Bidwell, Jr. for that matter). But I do respect team president Michael Bidwell, and he has done a good job building the Cardinals into a championship caliber team.
I haven’t analyzed the Super Bowl rosters closely, but there are obvious connections to my beloved Vikings on both teams. Coach Mike Tomlin served one year as the Vikings’ defensive coordinator before taking the Steelers job. Even at the time, I wished that the Vikings would have dumped Brad Childress and promoted Tomlin, much like I felt the team should have dumped Denny Green when Tony Dungy left. On the Cardinals, all-world receiver Larry Fitzgerald once roamed the Vikings sidelines as a ball boy.
I have never been a Cowboys fan, and I’ve always thought Jerry Jones, aside from being pompous and controlling, was interested in making the Cowboys the best team that they could be. If so, why does Wade Phillips still have a job? Oh yeah, this is the same owner who once hired Barry Switzer…and Chan Gailey…and Dave Campo. Oops, my bad!
A tough week for the Yankees rumor mill when the only team news was about Randy Levine and the funding of the new Yankee Stadium. Probably the only other stories I read were that there have been no ongoing discussions between Andy Pettitte and the Yankees, and that the team is still not interested in Manny Ramirez. With pitchers and catchers scheduled to report in 25 days, there is still much to be done with the roster. I think the team needs a backup plan at catcher in case Jorge Posada has a setback (Jose Molina is not the answer, and nor is Kevin Cash). I realize that the team just needs Jorge to get them into 2010 before help begins to arrive in the form of Jesus Montero and Austin Romine, but they need a short-term insurance policy. Also, with the uncertainty in right field, I’d prefer that a third option for center field be brought into the mix to compete with Brett Gardner and Melky Cabrera (along the lines of Lastings Milledge, or someone with that type of potential). Give Andy $12 million and shore up the back end of the rotation, with Phil Hughes as the top spot starter (you have to believe that there will be time lost to the DL with the injury risks associated with A.J. Burnett, Chien-Ming Wang, and Joba Chamberlain). It would be a shame to see a $423.5 million investment wasted because you failed to make a few minor moves that could have made the difference…